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Friday, January 06, 2006

Robertson, Scriptures, and Mining Safety

If you haven't heard the news, Ariel Sharon is, most likely, about to die. Pat Robertson took the opportunity to rachet up the wing-nut rhetoric by claiming that Sharon's cardio-vascular problems were the sudden manifestation of God's wrath. Rather than be anywhere close to repentant, Robertson's spokeswoman says:

According to The Associated Press, Robertson spokeswoman Angell Watts said of people who criticized the comments: "What they're basically saying is, 'How dare Pat Robertson quote the Bible?'"

"This is what the word of God says," Watts told the AP. "This is nothing new to the Christian community."


Supposedly, Robertson's determination of God's wrath is taken from the Book of Joel, one of the minor prophets in the Hebrew scriptures. Well, the Book of Joel is only three chapters long, so it isn't difficult to take a look and see how far from scripture Patty-boy has drifted. Here is the only verse in Joel that speaks of "dividing land":

I will gather all nations
and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
There I will enter into judgment against them
concerning my inheritance, my people Israel,
for they scattered my people among the nations
and divided up my land.


The "Valley of Jehoshaphat" is clearly a reference to what Christians refer to as "the end-times". You see, Joel could probably be understood as being the rough equivalent to the Revelations of St. John. So, if Patty-boy is referencing this passage, does he also think we are living in the "Last Days"?

It helps to back out and look at the whole passage:


1) In those days and at that time,
when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,

2) I will gather all nations
and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. [a]
There I will enter into judgment against them
concerning my inheritance, my people Israel,
for they scattered my people among the nations
and divided up my land.

3) They cast lots for my people
and traded boys for prostitutes;
they sold girls for wine
that they might drink.


Um, this is about WAY more than just land.

In short, I find absolutely no basis for Robertson's assertion in scripture - so his spokeswoman's words are just a blatant lie. Of course, this is no surprise at all.

Among the many quotes of Abraham Lincoln there are two that I want to end this with:

It is an established maxim and moral that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false is guilty of falsehood, and the accidental truth of the assertion does not justify or excuse him.

and this:

When an individual, in the Church or out of it, becomes dangerous to the public interest he must be checked.


It seems fairly apparent that Pat Robertson consistently proves the truth of both statements.

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I purposely haven't said anyting about the Sago mining tragedy. A number of people already have said everything there is to say. I pray those left behind may find comfort. Yesterday I sat and listened to Johnny Cash singing "Dark as a Dungeon" and thinking about how so little has changed in this world, for all our progress.


Well I hope when I'm gone and the ages shall roll
My body will blacken and turn into coal
Then I'll look from the door of my heavenly home
And pity the miner that's digging my bones

Where it's dark as a dungeon and damp as the dew
Where the dangers are double and the pleasures are few
Where the rain never falls and the sun never shines
It's dark as a dungeon way down in the mines

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