Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dear Pat Robertson

Dear Pat Robertson:

Please stop calling yourself a Christian. Please stop referring to yourself as a spokesman for God.

Your track record over the past two decades suggests very strongly that you are following your own religion, not Christianity. Through your death threats to world leaders you don’t like, your support of apartheid policies in South Africa, and your vitriolic slurs against women, Hindus, Muslims, atheists, and non-heterosexuals, you present a very non-Christian face to the world. I suggest that your real religion is the worship of all things Pat Robertson – that is, being male, white, Protestant, Christian, American, rightwing, heterosexual. Everything else is on your list to despise.

You see, Pat, that is not Christian, not by anyone’s definition. And to be very frank, it also doesn’t make the least bit of sense. You can’t call yourself a patriotic American when you call on people to denigrate its laws, its supreme courts, and its ethnic diversity. And you can’t make calls to hatred and violence in the same breath as quoting the loving teachings of Jesus.

I have noticed the same tendencies among other fundamentalist groups, such as fundamentalist Jews, Muslims, and Hindus. And before you get angry by that comparison, consider how similar fundamentalist groups are, despite their rigid differences in creed. In fact, creeds are about the only real difference among them: the way they all live, speak, and act on their creeds is exactly the same. Violence, hatred, superiority, claims about what God wants, claims about who gets into heaven, opposition to change, education, science. They also all show a remarkable disdain for democratic principles, human rights, laws, and human progress. We really should consider fundamentalism as its own religion, with sub-sects of Christian, Muslim, and Jew.

And speaking of science, Pat, just a point of information. It’s not a collection of facts approved by the powers that be, as you seem to assume. Science is a method. It is a way of determining the truth of a principle. It is a testing and retesting and reviewing and discussing and experimenting path to truth. So school board authorities can’t dictate to the world’s science community what is and isn’t science, just because fundamentalists are breathing down their necks. Science just is such as it is. So if you really want to discuss creationism or its newer euphemism, intelligent design, then you need to find a more appropriate avenue. I recommend church or home.

Just as science is not a collect of facts, Christianity is not a collection of rules and edicts approved by the powers that be either. It’s especially not a set of rules of who-to-hate and edicts of what-harm-we-get-to-do-to-which-others. It’s a way of life, following the example and teachings of Jesus.

This is why, mysterious as it seems to be to you and your followers – this is why people in your country are demanding a sharp separation between church and state affairs. They don’t want people who know nothing about science or education -- or democracy or decency or human kindness -- returning everyone back to the Dark Ages.

Fundamentalist, it may be. But Christian, it ain't.

Sincerely


Nancy A


******

Dear Dover, Pennsylvania:

You rock. Totally.

Sincerely

Nancy A

5 Comments:

At 6:43 AM, Blogger david said...

glad to find you here.

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger Richard said...

Nancy wrote: "Just as science is not a collect of facts, Christianity is not a collection of rules and edicts approved by the powers that be either. It’s especially not a set of rules of who-to-hate and edicts of what-harm-we-get-to-do-to-which-others. It’s a way of life, following the example and teachings of Jesus."

I love this paragraph. Sadly, far too many people abdicate their obligation to reason to simply following rules without question. It is a sad coment on the human spirit.

I find Pat Robertson and many of the evangelicals to be more "old testament" Christians rather than Christians who embrace the entirety of God's revelaed word as well as recognizing that God's word did not stop 2000 years ago.

Yes, there is a lot of disambiguation that needs to be done. A lot of cultural and historical prejudices that need to be understood.

My own persoanl view of the Bible is that it represents a record of the Jewish experience of God (this statement alone seems to guarantee the title of heretic).

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger Richard said...

A good article I just came across on the differring attitudes of forgiveness and hate between Christian and Jewish schools of thought is here: http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0302/articles/soloveichik.html

In reading it, I think you will come to the same comclusion that I have, that the "evangelical" Christians are more Old Testament Jewish in their thoughts than New Testament Christian.

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Richard said...

Urg ... let me provide a better link. You can read the article here.

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger Nancy A said...

Thank you for that link, Richard. What a powerful essay! I was not aware how unique Jesus's teachings on forgiveness and loving enemies was.

 

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