The old “kindness” bugaboo raised its ugly head on Facebook last week. I ended up retracting a comment I made in response to a story about Pat Robertson saying gay and lesbian people would die off because they couldn’t reproduce in which I called Robertson stupid for making that statement. As a side note, others saw in it a tacit admission by Robertson that sexual orientation is in fact genetic. Can we say that somebody making the statement Robertson did probably lacks the ability understand genetics? I digress. The person who owned the page said that he doesn’t want people overtly questioning anyone’s intelligence on his page. That’s fair enough because it is his page. However, implicit in his statement is the idea that it’s somehow okay to insinuate someone is a fool as long as we don’t come right out and say it directly.
Horseshit. Grow some stones.
Pat Robertson has a history of hate speech that reaches back decades. He’s blamed just about everybody but 700 Club members for just about everything from AIDS to earthquakes. His record of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and misogyny cannot be disputed. Neither can his record of some pretty imaginative and counter-scientific thought. Over the last several years his statements have been less directly hate filled and more blatantly absurd. I can’t imagine how hard his regular viewers have to work to put their brains on hold just to watch his show. I believe he is suffering from a moderate amount of dementia, but whomever is profiting from his continuing appearances on television keeps right on propping him up and letting him continue to destroy what little credibility he once had. In a way, it’s really quite sad – but his long history of hatred make it hard to generate much sympathy for him.
What’s more, he’s an idiot. Idiots who seek to harm the lives of other people need to be called out. Dancing around it not only doesn’t help change anything but it also make us complicit in Robertson’s campaign of hatred and foolishness. It’s simply irresponsible to sugarcoat the truth. Might people be offended that I call him an idiot? Of course, but that’s their problem, not mine. Each and every one of us is responsible for our own feelings, thoughts, and behavior. If you’re offended, you will have to deal with it – just as the targets of Robertson’s hatred over the decades have been left to cope with his idiocy. Jesus didn’t sugarcoat his criticism of the Pharisees of his day, and we shouldn’t sugarcoat ours, either. Speaking the truth to power is something we are called to do if we hope to eliminate injustice. Prophetic voice has a place in the Church, but church people are quick to try to silence it. That’s the biggest reason Christianity has become effete in our day. Time to play with the big boys and girls, children!