Be still my heart. Pat Robertson reportedly has diagnosed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as suffering from Divine Punishment. Yep, what caused the severe stroke that threatens Sharon’s extended visit on the planet was his decision for Israel to withdraw from Gaza. Kid you not. Read the news report yourself.
Granted, this story originated from the Associated Press (AP), the same group of meticulous journalists who brought us 12 surviving miners the other day, so I searched Robertson’s 700 Club website to verify it myself. I saw no mention of this potentially slanderous accusation. But considering the source (Robertson, not the AP) and the existence somewhere of today’s 700 Club show tape, I think it’s safe to start ranting vigorously. Plus, I doubt that the AP would risk its last strand of credibility by libeling Robertson, of all people, so soon after that last debacle. So I think it’s safe to say that this time they got it right.
According to the AP, Robertson had kind words to say about Sharon, calling him “a very tender-hearted man and a good friend”. Funny, he doesn’t think as highly of God. In Robertson’s view, the Almighty God settles disputes like…the “devil”: with wrath-filled intent to cause serious bodily harm.
Robertson cites the Old Testament for his diagnosis of Sharon’s real medical problem. He said that the Prophet Joel (second in the group of 12 minor prophets in Hebrew scriptures) “makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who ‘divide my land’.”
To echo the famous cry of Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan, “WHY? WHY?”
Why, indeed, Reverend Robertson? Name one spot of the world’s 92.5 million square miles of land that is NOT God’s? And why would a 25-mile long, six-mile wide strip of it cause God to attempt premeditated murder?
Instead of sourcing the Old Testament, where God is consistently portrayed as violent, inhumane, and vengeful, let’s put on our New Testament “God is Love” lenses, shall we, Pat?
If God was so upset that Sharon was going to divide Israel, why didn’t He just inflict him with heart palpitations when he announced the plan in December of 2003? That might have been enough to distract Sharon, or even change his mind. But no, Robertson wants us to believe that it was so critical for that land to stay undivided that God waited more than four months AFTER it was split to critically maim Sharon. Come on; if God’s going to intervene, why not do it BEFORE Sharon executed his plan to bring peace to Gaza?
In the spirit of the Jesus you claim to serve, Pat, we give you loving allowance to believe all sorts of heinous things about God. But for goodness sake, could you keep that craziness in your own prayer closet?