Posts Tagged ‘Pat Robertson’


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Emanations from the Human Butt Polyp Pat Robertson: Gays Will Force Christians To Like Anal Sex And, Eventually, Polyamory And Bestiality

Right-wing televangelist Pat Robertson tackled the recent controversy over Memories Pizza, which became Indiana’s first business to publicly declare that they won’t cater to same-sex weddings in the wake of the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act this week.

“Most gays, if they’re having a wedding, don’t want pizzas — they want cake,” Robertson told “700 Club” viewers, according to Right Wing Watch. “It’s the cake-makers that are having a problem.”

Still, he warned Christian business owners of all types that gay customers will eventually “make you conform to them.”

You’re gonna say that you like anal sex, you like oral sex, you like bestiality,” he added. “Sooner or later, you’re going to have to conform your religious beliefs to the group of some abhorrent thing. It won’t stop at homosexuality.”

Noting that Christian beliefs will “come under assault” until polyamory and polygamy are acceptable, too, Robertson lamented, “It’s a weird world we’re living in.”

The comments aren’t too surprising, particularly given Robertson’s recent history of anti-gay sentiments. In Febuary, he argued that a Washington state judge’s ruling that a florist had discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to provide flowers for their wedding was also indicative of society’s eventual embrace of bestiality.

He asked, “To tell a florist that she’s got to provide flowers for a particular kind of wedding? What if somebody wanted to marry his dog? She’s got to have flowers for that?”


10 Reasons Christian Heaven Would Actually Be Hell

Perhaps descriptions of hell are so horrific to keep people from thinking about how hellish popular versions of the Christian Heaven would be.
Most Westerners are at least vaguely familiar with the popular Christian version of Heaven: pearly gates, streets of gold, winged angels and the Righteous, with their bodies made perfect and immortal, singing the praises of God forever. What’s surprising is how few people have actually thought about what a nightmare this kind of existence would be.

Let me start by laying out a bit more detail about what Heaven is supposed to be.

Our familiar images of Heaven come from texts written in the first and second centuries and incorporated by the Catholic Church into what we now call the New Testament. The Hebrew writers of the Torah alluded to an afterlife much like the Hades of the Greeks and Romans—a hazy underworld in which the souls of the dead neither die nor fully live. But by the time the New Testament was written, the concepts of a distinct Heaven and hell had emerged in the Jewish culture, from whence they entered early Christianity and then, later, Islam.

The books of the New Testament were written at different times and for different ends, which means they don’t always agree. Although Paul, in 1 Corinthians, says that Heaven is beyond imagining, other writers offer concrete details. The popular version of Heaven today is a composite that comes from several texts but relies heavily on the book of Revelation.

  • Heaven is a real place. The writer of John puts these words in the mouth of Jesus, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3NRSV). Some Christian leaders use verses from Old Testament prophets to pinpoint the location of Heaven, suggesting that it is somewhere beyond the North Pole.
  • People in Heaven have bodies. The earliest Christian texts, the letters of Paul, suggest that the eternal body is pneuma or spirit, but later New Testament writers inclined toward physical resurrection of both Jesus and believers, though with renewed bodies. This view was affirmed by Church fathers and is now the predominant Christian belief. From this we get the Evangelical belief that in the “End Times” bodies of believers will rise up to Heaven in a Rapture. This belief in a bodily resurrection is even used to explain why Christian women should keep their bodies “pure.”
  • Trappings of wealth abound. Many translations of the Gospel of John say that the dwelling places in Heaven are mansions, which fits with other descriptions of heavenly opulence. In the book of Revelation, the writer is taken in a vision to glimpse Heaven for himself: “And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” (Revelation 21). God sits on an ornate throne, and along with crowns, the heavenly hosts are clothed in white, a symbol of purity and a reminder that they do not need to work.
  • Heaven is eternal and reserved for believers. The Bible verse that is most quoted by Protestant Christians is John 3:16, which makes both of these points: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. The author of Revelation assures that, “he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more” (Revelation 21:4). In this eternity, it is always light and there is no need for sleep.
  • Children who die before an “age of accountability” also go there. Despite the belief that children are born bad, thanks to “original sin,” many Christians believe that children who die young go to Heaven because the alternative is simply unthinkable. For evidence, they point to two verses in the book of Matthew: “So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost” (Matthew 18:14). “But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs” (Matthew 19:14). Although Christians have disagreed over the centuries about when a budding human acquires an immortal soul, many now believe this happens in the process of conception.
  • Inhabitants spend their “time” serving and worshipping God. Even though it is always light, we are told that the saints (meaning the saved) will serve and worship God round the clock. For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them (Revelation 7:15). Several passages suggest that the faithful will receive crowns, which they can then offer up as gifts to God. Some take this literally and some do not.

Please note that I have made no attempt to analyze or explain what these passages may have meant in their original contexts, given the objectives of the writers. My purpose is to demonstrate where modern Christianity got the image of Heaven so often depicted in hymns, sermons, art and pop culture.

Why This Heaven Would Be Hellish

To many people the biblical description alone is enough to make Heaven sound unappealing, especially if you add in the company of noxious public figures like Pat Robertson, Mel Gibson, Sarah Palin, Ken Ham, or Anita Bryant. (Why does God have such a bad marketing department?) But the problem isn’t just bad company. The closer you look, the more the Bible’s version of paradise seems like another version of eternal torture. Let me spell it out.

1. Perfection means sameness. Much of what makes life worth living is the process of learning and discovery, growth and change. We delight in novelty and laugh when we are startled by the unexpected. Curiosity is one of our greatest pleasures, and growth is one of our deepest values and satisfactions. In fact, our whole psychological makeup is designed for tuning in to change, including our senses. When a sound is continuous, we mostly stop hearing it; a static image on the eye registers as a blind spot. Even art relies on imperfection and newness to create beauty or to trigger our aesthetic sense.

By contrast, timeless perfection is static, as Christians are reminded in the traditional hymn, “Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise”: We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree/And wither and perish but naught changeth Thee. In the book of Matthew, Jesus commands, “Be ye perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” and in Heaven, supposedly, this ideal is finally attained. The problem is, perfect means finished and complete. It means there’s no room for improvement—for change and growth. Perfection is sterile, in every sense of the word.

2. Your best qualities are irrelevant.If everything is perfect, then many of the qualities we most value in ourselves and each other become irrelevant. Compassion and generosity are pointless, because nobody is hurting or in need of anything. Forgiveness? Not needed. Creativity? Courage? Resilience? Decisiveness? Vision? All useless. Sigmund Freud once said that mental health is the ability to love and to work, but in the state of perfection both lose their meaning. There is no need to create or produce, and little value in offering our affection and commitment to another person who is 100 percent perfect and complete without us.

3. Gone is the thrill of risk.In addition to loving and creating, some of life’s most exhilarating experiences require risk: flying down a ski slope almost out of control, jumping out of airplanes, racing cars, surfing, performing. The adrenaline rush—the high—and the euphoria afterwards surge only because, despite our skill and preparation, there was some chance we would fail.

4. Forget physical pleasures like food, drink, sleep, and sex. Does the risen Jesus with his new and perfect body have a penis? Do angels? Eating, drinking, or fornicating—each of these physical pleasures depends on hunger of one sort or another. Ice water tastes most heavenly when you are hot and thirsty. Falling asleep is most delicious when you simply can’t stand to be vertical any longer. The reality is that our bodies and brains are made for each other and optimized for life on this planet where our pleasures are linked to survival.

To make matters more complicated, we are predators in a complex web of life. The eating that gives us so much sensory pleasure and sustenance simultaneously destroys other lives and creates waste. Christians disagree about whether there will be meals in Heaven. Some point to “feasting” in the book of Revelation and reassure foodies that eating and drinking will be part of paradise. But none dare speculate on the perfect slaughterhouse and sewer.

5. Free will ceases to exist. Some Christians explain the presence of suffering and evil here on earth as God’s way of creating creatures who would love him freely—by giving them the option to reject him. But that is exactly the opposite condition they predict in Heaven. In Heaven there is no sin, no option to sin, and so, by Christianity’s own definition, no free will. (Some skeptics point out that “love me or I’ll torture you forever” doesn’t exactly create the conditions for genuine love either. Why, they ask, would a god who wants love to be freely given threaten us with hell, even if it existed? But that is a different article.) Philosophers and neuroscientists debate whether free will is real or merely and adaptive illusion. Either way, in the Bible’s version of Heaven, even the illusion vanishes.

6.  Ninety-eight percent of Heaven’s occupants are embryos and toddlers. Human reproduction is designed as a big funnel. Most fertilized eggs die before implanting, followed by embryos and fetuses that self-abort, followed by babies and then little kids. A serious but startling statistical analysis by researcher Greg S. Paul suggests that if we include the “unborn,” more than 98 percent of Heaven’s inhabitants, some 350 billion, would be those who died before maturing to the point that they could voluntarily “accept the gift of salvation.” The vast majority of the heavenly host would be moral automatons or robots, meaning they never had moral autonomy and never chose to be there. Christian believers, ironically, would be a 1 to 2 percent minority even if all 30,000-plus denominations of believers actually made it in.

The theological implications are huge. Christian theologians typically explain evil by arguing that this was the best of all possible worlds, the only way to create free will and to develop moral virtues (like courage, compassion, forgiveness and so forth), to make us more Christ-like and prepare us for Heaven. But if we run the numbers, it appears that God didn’t need the whole free will—sin—redemption thing to fill his paradise with perfect beings because no suffering, evil, or moral freedom is actually required as a prelude to glory.

The ratio of adults to embryos has social implications as well. Pastoral counselors sometimes tell a women she will get to apologize in Heaven to the fetus she aborted, which will be a fully developed person there. As a psychologist, I don’t know what this means, because the brain and mind, our individuality and identity—our personhood—develop only via experience. Imagine if 98 percent of the “people” around you had never made a decision or felt sorrow or experienced anything akin to an adult conversationThe company of Mr. Robertson starts sounding not so bad.

7. Gems and streets of gold define heavenly wealth and beauty.Our desperate, goat-herding Iron Age ancestors may have yearned for the trappings of royalty. They may have heard rumors of the gold and jewels amassed by Pharaohs or kings or tribal warlords and wished the same for themselves. Both greed and inequality are timeless, and the story of King Midas has played out in countless variations over the millennia. So, the fascination of the Bible writers with gold and precious stones is understandable.

But let’s be honest. Their gem-encrusted paradise is the product of limited imagination, an inability to dream beyond the arts, technologies, and mythologies of their own culture. The Bible’s version of paradise is like a velvet painting from a tourist shop when compared to an alpine meadow or cloud forest or coral reef (or when compared to a world that contains all three as Tracy Chapman does in her song, Heaven’s Here on Earth).

8. Take your pick of sadism or ignorance. One of Heaven’s dirty little secrets is that it co-exists with hell. Or maybe it isn’t a secret. Maybe it’s a perk. Some theologians have argued that witnessing the torment of the damned will be one of the joys of paradise. In the words of Puritan superstar Jonathon Edwards, who preached a whole sermon on the topic:

When the saints in glory, therefore, shall see the doleful state of the damned, how will this heighten their sense of the blessedness of their own state, so exceedingly different from it! When they shall see how miserable others of their fellow creatures are, who were naturally in the same circumstances with themselves; when they shall see the smoke of their torment, and the raging of the flames of their burning, and hear their dolorous shrieks and cries, and consider that they in the meantime are in the most blissful state, and shall surely be in it to all eternity; how will they rejoice!

If we are to believe the earnest Christian hate mail that Bonnie Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has compiled into a book, or “love letters” read aloud by biologist Richard Dawkins (watching him struggle with the word biatch is priceless!), at least some of the faithful can hardly wait for the show to start.

Many Christians, to be fair, find this thought horrifying, and some teach universal salvation or that evildoers are simply annihilated. But for hell-believers the alternatives to gloating aren’t a whole lot better: Either the faithful are blessedly blissfully indifferent to the endless suffering of the damned, or their joy depends on them being unaware, meaning ignorance is a condition of their eternal bliss.

9. Your celestial day (and night) job is to sing God’s praises. What do the faithful do in Heaven? The same thing the angels do. They worship God and sing his praises. The writer of Revelation even offers us a sample song. In one passage, 24 elders “fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:10-110).

As one graduate of Evangel College (Assemblies of God) observed wryly, “Having spent some time in N. Korea, where the incessant praise music and propaganda were required and all-pervasive, I sometimes wonder if the dynastic leaders there somehow lifted a page from an older playbook.”

It has been said that the only god worthy of worship is one who neither wants nor needs it. What are we to think of a deity who creates the earth and her inhabitants—in fact the entire universe—so a few bipedal primates, most of whom were never born, can spend an afterlife in this posture of praise and adulation?

10. This Heaven goes on foreverMost of us would prefer to live longer than the time allotted to us. Aging sucks, and losing a loved one is one of the most painful wounds we can experience.

But forever? Forever is infinity. It never ends. Think of the best possible experience you can imagine—your favorite symphony or rock concert, the most beautiful place you’ve traveled, the most intimate or intense sex ever, holding your child…any one of them, stretched to infinity becomes unthinkable.

Fiction writers who seriously explore the idea of immortality rarely treat it as something to be desired, and for good reason. Even kids grasp the problems, for example, when they read Tuck Everlasting. Author Edgar Shoaff put it bluntly: Immortality—a fate worse than death. The movie Groundhog Day is a comedy. But part of what’s funny for viewers is the insane array of suicide attempts Bill Murray makes in order to stop living the same day over and over. What might an inhabitant of the Heaven I’ve just described do to cease existing?

Could an omnipotent god create an afterlife that was actually some form of paradise? Perhaps. And without a doubt pained Bible believers who read this article will insist that their God has done just that. Some will fall back on the words of Paul and claim, on biblical authority, that they (and I) have no idea what Heaven will be like—other than eternally wonderful.

But the fact is, Christians for centuries have claimed that they do have an idea of what Heaven will be like. New Testament writers, Church fathers, monks, iconographers, crusaders, inquisitors, reformers, conquistadors, missionaries, priests, nuns, Sunday school teachers, pulpit pounders, faith healers, televangelists, Internet wonders…for almost two millennia Bible believers have sought to entice small childrenthe desperate poor and the trusting by promising the kind of debased, tawdry everlasting life described above. They still do today. Selling shares in this Heaven is a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Crowns and white robes and streets of gold and angelic choruses are Christianity’s carrot, with the threat of eternal torture as the stick. Millions of people have lived and died, fearing one and anticipating the other, never noticing the sleight of hand—that they are two versions of the same thing.


This Week in Religion: Revisionist History, the Hitler Card and Pat Robertson on Speed

The religious right said some more ridiculous and repellent things this week.

Photo Credit: Wonderland/Flickr

If you are not a big fan of U.S. history, fear not, because the State of Texas may decide to rewrite American history and make it more, well, Christian.

The Texas Board of Education will vote whether or not to approve historical changes to its textbooks as put forward by Christian pseudo-historian David Barton. Among Barton’s proposed changes would be inflating the impact Judeo-Christian beliefs had among the founding fathers, a historical exclusion of most non-Christian religions, and using some offensive and outdated anthropological racial terms to describe African civilization

This comes months after a heated Texas Board of Education battle to remove evolution from science textbooks, which even led to board members attempting back-alley deals with book publishers.

The vote was originally scheduled for earlier in the week, but was delayed according to the Christian Science Monitor:

“The board, comprised of 10 Republicans and five Democrats, has asked publishers to make changes critics have demanded. Still, the board wasn’t able to get preliminary approval of the books, setting them up for a high-stakes final vote Friday, when the board will approve the books or else miss the deadline to get them to the state’s 1,000-plus school districts by September 2015.”

These devastating changes could keep Texas students from gaining a proper social science education. This ruling could also apply to those states forced to buy the same books Texas orders. As the saying goes, as goes the leader so goes the nation.

Earlier this month, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss postulated that it could only take a single generation of critical thinkers to wipe out religious belief. Speaking at an event in Australia, Krauss said:

“People say, ‘Well, religion has been around since the dawn of man. You’ll never change that.’ But I point out that… this issue of gay marriage, it is going to go away, because if you have a child, a 13-year-old, they can’t understand what the issue is. It’s gone. One generation is all it takes.”

This caused Ray Comfort, a creationist and host of the online Christian talk show “The Comfort Zone,” to go off the rails and compare Krauss to Adolf Hitler.

Comfort’s co-host Emeal Zwayne pointed out that Krauss does not seem to be a big fan of Christianity.

“Just the glee that he got from the thought of eradicating religion — and it’s not religion, he hates Christianity,” Zwayne said. “He hates Christ….”

“Hitler said some similar things. Hitler’s Youth,” Comfort replied.

“And that’s exactly what I was going to say it was reminiscent of,” Zwayne said to viewers. “Very, very terrifying, friends.”

Playing the Hitler card or Godwin’s Law, as it is also called, is usually a sign of a foundering argument. When you are backed against a wall and see no logical way out, playing the Hitler card is an attempt to demonize your opponent. You have to wonder if these radical Christians have finally realized that their back is against a wall and they cannot reason their way back into reality.

The next time you get pulled over for speeding, tell the nice police officer God said it was OK with him. That is, according to Pat Robertson of the television ministry “The 700 Club.”

When a viewer asked Robertson if her husband was sinning when he drove over the speed limit, the host replied: “You’re asking a guy that had a Corvette with a 430 horsepower engine, who is now driving a car that has about a 650 horsepower engine.” Robertson laughed. “Who also drove 30 laps around the Charlotte Motor Speedway in a stock car.”

“I don’t get tickets, I pay attention,” he continued. “But there was one night up in the mountains, when it wasn’t anybody around a four-lane highway late at night, and I did get that little bug up a little over 200mph.”

Robertson then corrected his statement, saying he was only doing 100mph (only the most exotic of sportscars can eclipse 200mph), and then continued to contemplate whether speeding was a sin.

“Is it a sin? I think it’s a sin to hurt somebody,” said Robertson. “I think it’s a sin to drive recklessly….If your driving imperils other people, you are sinning, there’s no question about it.”

Apparently, driving at illegal and possibly dangerous speeds is fine as long as you don’t hurt anyone. Which is equal to shooting a gun into a crowd of people and not hitting anyone. It’s not a sin unless you hit someone. And it’s not a sin if you’re the one who’s imperiled.

Robertson closed the conversation by noting, “don’t imperil anybody else with the way you drive a car, and be careful.”

Dan Arel is the author of Parenting Without God and blogs at Danthropology. Follow him on Twitter @danarel.

Robertson predicts ‘Nazis’ and ‘guillotines’ because of atheists ‘rejecting God’                                

By David Edwards
CBN's Pat Robertson

Televangelist Pat Robertson started the week off by predicting that Europe could be returning to the days of “Nazis” and “guillotines” because of humanists, atheists and other liberals who reject God.

During a Monday report about a bill in Belgium that would expand the country’s euthanasia law to terminally-ill children, Robertson said that the Nazi Germany “spirit of death” still existed in Europe today.

“You know the liberals, the so called socialists, the progressives, they’ve moved away from God and when you move away from God then you say, ‘were humanists,’” he explained. “Then as a result of humanity and rejecting God, you have the orgy of the French Revolution, you have the guillotine cutting off the heads of thousands of people.

“You have the same thing going on now in Europe,” Robertson added. “You had it under the Nazis.”

“Why can’t we come back to the fact that God loves people?”

Watch this video from CBN’s 700 Club, broadcast Oct. 21, 2013.

(h/t: Right Wing Watch)


Robertson: Secret Demonic Objects In Your House Could Give You Headaches                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

by Brian Tashman

Earlier this year, Pat Robertson told 700 Club viewers that it wasn’t a bad idea to pray over clothes, and even rings, just in case they have a demon attached to them. When a viewer asked him today how she could manage to pray over everything in her house every day, Robertson said not to worry too much… unless God is telling you that there are in fact demons in your house.

“What is important is: were these objects actually used in some kind of Satanic ritual? Some occult practice? If that’s the case, then there might be some demonic force that attaches to that which was used in pagan worship,” Robertson said. “In terms of going around and saying this is cursed and that’s cursed, you can drive yourself crazy doing that.”

Co-host Wendy Griffith claimed that she knew of cases where God told a preacher to remove certain paintings from his house “because they have something attached to them,” and Robertson agreed: “I’ve heard of people who had headaches, they get something from overseas and it looks so beautiful yet it’s actually a deity, a demonic force has attached itself to that.”

Watch:-

Religious charlatan Pat Roberston, whipping up his noxious snake oil.

 


‘Happy atheist’ Ricky Gervais rewrites Pat Robertson
By Nick Ramsey
Video here:-

On the latest edition of MSNBC’s The Last Word, host Lawrence O’Donnell relied on some wise words from comedian Ricky Gervais to rewrite some less-than-wise words from religious television host Pat Robertson.

In a recent edition of his show, The 700 Club, Robertson accused atheists of trying to ruin the Christmas holiday:

“Well, it’s Christmas all over again. Uh, the Grinch is trying to steal our holiday… Atheists don’t like our happiness. They don’t want you to be happy, they want you to be miserable. They’re miserable so they want you to be miserable. So they want to steal your holiday away from you.”

That flies in the face of something comedian Ricky Gervais, a vocal atheist, wrote about Christmas two years back. Just before Christmas in 2010, Gervais wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal explaining his atheism.

Gervais also wrote a follow-up three days later taking questions from Wall Street Journal readers. It is from that second post that O’Donnell found the right words to rewrite Pat Robertson’s claims on atheists who “want to steal” Christmas from Christians. Gervais wrote that he celebrates Christmas in the following way:

Celebrating life and remembering those that did, but can no longer… They are not looking down on me but they live in my mind and heart more than they ever did probably. Some, I was lucky enough to bump into on this planet of six billion people. Others shared much of my genetic material. One selflessly did her best for me all my life. That’s what mums do though. They do it for no other reason than love.

Gervais ended his piece by wishing “Peace to all mankind. Christian, Jew, Muslim and Atheist.” That led to O’Donnell’s conclusion, “the happy atheist Ricky Gervais is actually more Christ-like than the Reverend Pat Robertson.”


Robertson Admits he Blew Election Prediction he Received from God

In January, televangelist Pat Robertson told 700 Club viewers that in his annual New Year’s “conversation” with God, the Almighty had revealed to him who the next president would  be. Up through Election Day, Robertson harshly criticized President Obama and the Democratic Party while praising Mitt Romney. Then, Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network predicted a GOP sweep, leaving Robertson utterly confounded by Obama’s victory.

Today, responding to a question from a viewer who wondered why her business is struggling since she thought God told her it would be successful, Robertson admitted that he sometimes misses God’s message. “So many of us miss God, I won’t get into great detail about elections but I sure did miss it, I thought I heard from God, I thought I had heard clearly from God, what happened?” Robertson replied, “You ask God, how did I miss it? Well, we all do and I have a lot of practice.”