Friday, November 11, 2005

Time for an intervention with Uncle Pat

Everyone's got one.

You know, that brother, or aunt, or second cousin that continually embarrasses the family with their illegal habits and practices. They're the ones that stew silently in the corner at Thanksgiving, and the reason Grandma no longer makes rum balls.

You know, the relative that, when they come over, you have to lock up your medications, hide the credit cards, and make sure he's never alone with the kids.

In the Christian family, Pat Robertson is our Uncle Pat. He's off his rocker drunk with power.
"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected him from your city," Robertson said on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "700 Club."
Uncle Pat said this after Dover, Pa., voters booted eight school board members who were in favor of promoting intelligent design in schools as an alternative to evolution.

Aside from the fact this was a theist issue, which is a poor substitute for the Gospel, it was primarily a local political issue. This was not a rejection of the Gospel. This was a rejection of theism being taught in schools. As a Christian, I don't see how teaching our children an open theory of creation promotes the Gospel. I believe a good argument could be made it hinders the Gospel in some cases.

Furthermore, I am not in favor of a public school teacher of unknown faith teaching any child about the things of God. I can accept they would teach evolution, and if I were a parent, I would be delighted for the opportunity to discuss the Biblical account of creation when they come home from school.

If I were a Dover, Pa., resident, I might have voted against school board members in favor of promoting intelligent design, too. Will Uncle Pat now condemn me, a man who confesses a Biblical faith in Christ?

This is not the first time Uncle Pat has embarrassed our family:

  • "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it," Uncle Pat said of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, whom Uncle Pat accused of turning the South American country into "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent."

  • "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist," he said back in 1991.

  • He took credit for steering the course in 1985 of Hurricane Gloria, which caused millions of dollars of destruction in many states along the U.S. east coast. He made a similar claim about another destructive storm, Hurricane Felix, in 1995. In 2003, Robertson called on God to prevent Hurricane Isabel from hitting Virginia Beach.

    We can forgive Uncle Pat for being a strange combination of Southern Baptist and Charismatic. I am a Charismatic and I love Southern Baptists of any flavor, although I imagine my SBC cessationist cousins would relish the opportunity for a disfellowshipment -- if they are even allowed such a thing in the SBC.

    What we can no longer let slide with Uncle Pat is his propensity to speak on behalf of our Father, in ways that are completely contradictory to His character and nature, with words the damn entire people without so much as a mention of the mercy of God in the person of Jesus.

    Uncle Pat is not a quiet malcontent left to his own devices. He has an enormous platform with which to inflict his damage and to corrupt our family mission of the Gospel.

    That so many of us just write him off as, "Oh, that crazy Pat, no one listens to him anymore," has become less of a joke and more of a sign we are slipping in our responsibility to love and correct a family member. We need to take to our own platforms to condemn the words and actions of our Uncle Pat, and to set straight what the Church is really about.
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