The Uninspired Manifesto
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
TV preacher Pat Robertson targets Obama
About a year ago, in a speech before a left-leaning religious group, Barack Obama delivered a fairly provocative speech urging progressives to do more to “acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people.” Last week, Obama chatted with TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network and had some advice for the other side of the ideological spectrum.
For my friends on the right, I think it would be helpful to remember the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy but also our religious practice. Folks tend to forget that during our founding, it wasn’t the atheists or the civil libertarians who were the most effective champions of the First Amendment…. It was the forbearers of Evangelicals who were the most adamant about not mingling government with religious, because they didn’t want state-sponsored religion hindering their ability to practice their faith as they understood it. Given this fact, I think that the right might worry a bit more about the dangers of sectarianism.
Whatever we once were, we’re no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of non-believers. We should acknowledge this and realize that when we’re formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we’ve got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community.
Well, he's not entirely right about the evangelical founders, but I'm not going to split hairs when he's trying to be progressive.
Of course, TV preacher Pat Robertson, who still controls CBN, didn’t quite see it that way.
The way CBN is set up, religious-right reporters will give a religious-right perspective on a news story. The broadcast then turns to Robertson, who shares his unique insights on the news, before the program, “The 700 Club,” moves on to the news story.
Last week, after his show reported on Obama’s comments, Robertson was less than pleased.
“I think what he says is dangerous,” Robertson blustered. “I think that it has a veneer of sophistication and it has a veneer of moderation, a veneer of intelligence, but underneath it he basically is selling out, well, the origins of our nation.
“America wasn’t built on Hinduism,” Robertson continued. “America wasn’t built on Islam. America wasn’t built on Buddhism. America and our democratic institutions were built on the Christian faith. There is no question about it…. And I think to put Christianity on a par with Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., I believe this man is doing a grave disservice to our nation.”
Hate to break it to you, Pat, (scratch that, it actually feels pretty good) but this country wasn't founded on Christianity. It was founded by deists trying to escape the tyranny of The Church of England. The real 'disservice to this nation' is mother fuckers like you building empires by taking money from hard-working people, and using it to spout your insane backwards logic rhetoric.