Friday, November 11, 2005

Watch Your Backs, Dover!

It looks like Pat Robertson just blew his chances of ever being named grand marshal of the Dover, Pennsylvania Christmas Parade. Earlier this week, the citizens of Dover wisely voted out a school board that had been leaning toward introducing intelligent design as a alternative to the theory of evolution, and Robertson took the opportunity to cast judgment on them. “If there’s a disaster in Dover, don’t turn to God,” he said. “You’ve just rejected him from your city.”

(To which I would add “Don’t turn to FEMA, either, because it’ll take them three weeks to respond and they’ll probably go to Dover, Delaware first.” Or not, since FEMA jokes are pretty much outdated by now.)

Robertson went on to recommend that if the citizens of Dover run into any future problems, they should call on Charles Darwin. “Maybe he can help them,” he said. I’m sure he thought that was a clever quip, and I have no doubt that he had a shit-eating smirk worthy of George W. Bush on his face when he said it, but let’s face it, if a disaster were to hit Dover, nobody would be calling on Charles Darwin, because, well, he’s not alive. They’d call the Red Cross, and they’d call the local rescue squads, and they’d pitch in and help each other out, just the way human beings do whenever a disaster hits anywhere.

And if a miracle happened and someone claiming to be God showed up to help, I’m pretty sure his first words would be “Pat Robertson doesn’t speak for me.”

Who does Pat Robertson speak for? One would hope the number of deadheads who believe everything this guy says would be declining steadily, for a couple of reasons, the cynical being that he’s conned them out of so much money that they can no longer afford the ramen noodles and Alpo they were using for sustenance, and the optimistic being that even the most sheeplike fundamentalists have the wherewithal to recognize that when their “religious” leader starts calling for the CIA to assassinate foreign presidents (as Robertson did a few months ago), then maybe, just maybe, he’s crossed the border into Kookyland.

Pat Robertson is worlds apart from the Christianity I grew up with, and I’m betting he’s worlds apart from the Christianity followed by sincere believers today (this would not include the George Bushes of the world). Robertson is a self-worshiping fame whore who absolutely will not pass up a chance to call attention to himself, especially when it gives him a chance to pretend to be an Old Testament prophet: “Yea, verily, the Doverites have sinned against the Lord, and lo, they’d better watch their backs.”

But Pat, what about the people who voted to keep the superstitious school board members in office? Surely God would pluck them out of a disaster, right? “Yea, verily. I’m pretty sure.”

Robertson’s little tirade served no purpose other than to get his mug in the newspapers again. At one point he said the citizens of Dover had “voted God out of the city,” which is the sort of thing zealots trot out every so often to scare people who haven’t had an original thought since the first time they set foot in Sunday School. But, honestly, Pat, which the hell is it? Is your gravy train omnipotent or not? What kind of deity lets himself get voted off the island?

Kudos to the people of Dover for standing up to the backwards thinkers who want the magical theory of creation taught as science. And kudos to the media who reported Robertson’s latest nonsensical outburst. The more you can expose this charlatan as a crazy old coot, the sooner he can wither away.

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