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Pat Robertson's Evolution
He may not believe in evolution, but he is evidence of it
Who Descends From Whom?

Pat Robertson's allegation that the devastating earthquake in Haiti was a direct result of a "pact with the devil" made by the people of that island nation in the early 19th century was just another example in a long series of wacko comments about world events, in several cases including specific prognostications about the future. Some would call this "prophecy," others see the politics showing through. 

Shortly after the 2008 presidential election, Robertson was off and running in the New Year with a prophecy of impending doom. Apparently reacting to the Democratic takeover of the Congress, the great prognosticator told his 700 Club audience on Tuesday, January 2nd, that a terrorist attack on this country would cause "mass killing" later in the year. "I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear," he told he eager listeners.

"The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

He said further that God told him about the impending tragedy during a recent prayer retreat. God also said that major cities and possibly millions of people would be affected by the attack, which should have taken place sometime before the end of Obama's first year in office. Not.

Robertson's increasingly shrill descriptions of how God is punishing people around the world, whether heads of state or ordinary citizens, begs an explanation and response. It is clear that Robertson sees events like the Sept 11 terrorist attacks, hurricane Katrina, and Prime Minister Sharon's stroke, as acts of an angry and punishing God. In this he blames both God and the victims of such retribution in one voice. Quite a feat for one who professes to worship a God who is both just and loving!

For the growing list of Robertson's "prophecies."

One could, of course, respond to Roberston in kind. And there may be some biblical warrant for this, even in the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Can we assume that as Robertson blames others for their own woes and troubles, that this is fair indication he would have others do the same unto him? It seems to me that Robertson's habit of invoking the wrath of God wherever and whenever tragedy occurs has become more pronounced in recent years. An addiction perhaps? Or, could this be a sign of dementia? And if he is slipping, inexorably, toward senility, could that be an indication of God's anger against Robertson's own false prophecies? Or are his fading mental powers simply a sign of advancing age, one of the characteristics of the aging process that has evolved over time according the processes of natural selection?

Since I don't believe God wishes Alzheimer's disease or senility on anyone, while I do believe in evolution, I am included to take the later view. Tragically, at some point in life, various parts of the body begin to break down, including the brain. That is simply a fact resulting from the ways we have evolved. Ironically, then, Robertson's intemperate words do not reflect the judgments of the God he professes, but rather the one he denies: Charles Darwin's God who established the rules by which we live and die in the first place. Pat Robertson may not believe that our destinies are bound by the genetic structures of our own minds and bodies, but his own words provide strong evidence that they are.

Who is Pat Robertson?

Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson (born March 22, 1930) is an influential Christian televangelist, entrepreneur, and political activist. He is the founder of numerous organizations and corporations including: the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), the Christian Coalition, International Family Entertainment, Operation Blessing International, and Regent University. He is the host of The 700 Club, a TV program which airs on many channels in the United States and on CBN affiliates worldwide.

Robertson's strong views have often provoked controversy, especially his condemnation of groups and individuals he believes to be in a state of sin. Robertson is active in the Republican Party and ran in the party's presidential primary in 1988. He is a Southern Baptist.

Robertson was born in Lexington, Virginia, into a prominent political family. His father was Absalom Willis Robertson, a United States Senator. He married Adelia "Dede" Elmer in 1954. the Robertsons have four children, among them Gordon P. Robertson, and fourteen grandchildren (as of early 2006).

For more on Operaton Blessing International

A Sampler of Pat Robertson's Prophecies:

Alleges that the devastating earthquake in Haiti results from a "pact with the devil" made by the people of Haiti in the early 19th Century just prior to their revolt against the French.    -- Jan 2010

-- source: 700 Club television broadcast

Predicts a terrorist attack on the US causing death and destruction equivalent to that of a nuclear war sometime before the end of the year.  -- January 2009

-- source: CNN.com

Suggests God Caused Israeli Prime Minister's Stroke -- January 2006

On the January 5 edition of Christian Broadcasting Network's (CBN) The 700 Club, host Pat Robertson suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's recent stroke was the result of Sharon's policy, which he claimed is "dividing God's land." Robertson admonished: "I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU [European Union], the United Nations, or United States of America." Although Robertson professed that "Sharon was personally a very likeable person," he nonetheless declared that "God has enmity against those who, quote, 'divide my land.' "

-- source: CNN.com

Warns Citizens of Dover, PA -- November 2005

Robertson told citizens of a Pennsylvania town that they had rejected God by voting their school board out of office for supporting "Intelligent Design".

"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 his "The 700 Club" TV show.

"And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there," he said.

-- source: The American Chronicle

Urges Assassination of Venezuelan President -- August 2005

In August 2005, Robertson suggested that the U.S. should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez: "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop," Associated Press reported. Asked about the comments at a Pentagon media conference, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said "our department doesn't do that kind of thing. It's against the law. He's a private citizen. Private citizens say all kinds of things all the time."

-- source: Media Matters

Prays for Removal of Supreme Court justices -- July 2003

In July 2003, Robertson urged the 700 Club audience to pray for God to remove three justices from the Supreme Court so they could be replaced by conservatives. "We ask for miracles in regard to the Supreme Court," Robertson said as he launched a 21-day "prayer offensive" directed at the Supreme Court. Robertson is quoted in a letter on the CBN website that the court "has opened the door to homosexual marriage, bigamy, legalized prostitution and even incest." The same letter targeted three justices in particular: "One justice is 83-years-old, another has cancer and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire?"

-- source: CBS News

Explains Sept 11 Terrorist Attacks -- Sept 2001

We have allowed rampant pornography on the Internet, and rampant secularism and the occult, etc. to be broadcast on television. We have permitted somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-40 million unborn babies to be slaughtered by our society.

We have a court that has essentially stuck its finger in God's eye and said, "We are going to legislate You out of the schools and take Your commandments from the courthouses in various states. We are not going to let little children read the commandments of God. We are not going to allow the Bible or prayer in our schools."

We have insulted God at the highest level of our government. Then, we say, "Why does this happen?" It is happening because God Almighty is lifting His protection from us. Once that protection is gone, we are vulnerable because we are a free society.

-- for the full text of Robertson's comments

Warns God May Strike Orlando with Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tornadoes -- June, 1998

After Orlando, Florida, city officials voted in 1998 to fly rainbow flags from city lampposts during the annual Gay Days event at Disney World, Robertson issued the city a warning: "I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you. ... [A] condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs, it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor."

-- source: Jeffrey Lowder

Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and author of Faith, Science and the Future, published in 1994 by CrossCurrents Press. He is also the author of God and Science (John Knox / Westminster, 1986) which he is now rewriting to incorporate more recent developments in the conversation taking place between scientists and theologians. He has also written widely for such publications as The New York Times, The Nation, Commonweal, The Christian Century and others.

For further information about Charles Henderson.