Special extra-low bar the media provides for converted knuckleheads merits headline for Pat Robertson

August 3, 2006 | By | 5 Replies More

Gosh.  If you’ve publicly shown yourself to be especially prone to dysfunctional cognition and flights of fantasy for many years, you can get yourself a big headline by merely stating the obvious.  Here’s the story from Reuters:

Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson said on Thursday the wave of scorching temperatures across the United States has converted him into a believer in global warming.

“We really need to address the burning of fossil fuels,” Robertson said on his “700 Club” broadcast. “It is getting hotter, and the icecaps are melting and there is a buildup of carbon dioxide in the air.”

He’s certainly singing a different tune.  He’s the same guy who earlier had this to say

Tell me, what do the environmentalists believe? Do they worship the God of the Bible or something else?

I wonder what changed Robertson’s mind.  Could it be . . . evidence?

Evidence is very dangerous stuff.  Robertson will need to be very very careful with his new infatuation with real life information.  If he’s not careful, he might get seduced by other evidence, which might then cause him to modify his views on Iraq, evolution and the existence of a vengeful God.

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Category: Environment, global warming, Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. grumpypilgrim says:

    Robertson has been nuts for a long time, and he's not getting any better with age — his recent conversion to the global warming camp notwithstanding. I happened to stumble across his program recently and tuned in to listen for a while to see what he was about. Mostly, his "guest" — one of his staff — was there to lob him softball questions and make sure he didn't go too far off-topic. Whenever he would spin off on a tangent, his "guest" would quickly and gently steer him back to the here and now. Robertson didn't even seem aware of it. The sad thing is, I don't think he has Alzheimer's. His mental deficit seems more like the net result of spouting crazy nonsense for decades and having no one around who dares challenge him. He seems to think that whatever piffle comes out of his mouth is both true and relevant. (I believe that syndrome is known in medical circles as georgebushitis, but that's a whole other post.) The other thing I noticed on his show was the artificial applause, which would appear and disappear so mechanically that I can't imagine how the show's producers could possibly imagine they're fooling anyone. I came away from my viewing experience with mixed feelings: on the one hand, Robertson seems like no threat at all to people with common sense; on the other hand, it's a bit frightening to think how influential he might be to people without common sense.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    I learned a new word today: "piffle." Thanks, grumpy.

  3. Jason Rayl says:

    I've noted before that I think Robertson is quite perceptive–he plays to his base very well. But…

    In Laurie Garrett's book BETRAYAL OF TRUST (which is about public health care) there is an extended note on Robertson. Back in the day when Mobuto was running Zaire, Clinton condemned his regime and cut off aid–specifically military aid, but a lot else, too. Robertson showed up himself in Kinshasa to "deliver" a load of humanitarian aid to meet the current disease outbreaks. In a photo op, Robertson embraced Mobutu and wondered publicly what was wrong with Clinton that he had turned his back on such a "friend" as Mobutu.

    Later…well, let me quote the paragraph in full:

    "Roberstson's donated medical supplies were loaded onto an ancient Caribou cargo plane and flown by two Vietnam veteran Navel SEALs to Kikwit. When questioned about their familiarity with local flight paths the pilots explained that the old Caribou was part of a small fleet of planes owned by Robertson and used to haul goods to the 700 Club leader's diamond mining operations in Zaire and nearby Angola. Robertson said that he was trying to raise funds, via his televion viewers, to rebuild railway lines that once connected diamond and mineral mines of Angola to that country's capital, Luanda. Robertson's holdings in the region were well known to competing diamond and mining operators. A top Canadian mining executive who had conducted numerous diamong and gold excavations in the region confirmed that Robertson had a longstanding interest in Central African mining." Betrayal of Trust, pg. 596-597

    I have no doubt Mr. Robertson's current conversion has something to do directly with the cost of fuel and is a bottom-line observation that has little to do with genuine environmentalism or enlightenment. He is of the brand of christianity that directly links financial success (his) to godliness, and anything that will promote profit promotes the prophet.

  4. Erika Price says:

    I have to admit that I like the advent of Christian environmentalist groups– if you can't change the entire illogical mindset created by religion, perhaps you can teach them to take responsibility. However, Christianity has also created the opposite movement in those who cry "armageddon", who rationalize that Jesus will come and save us from this battered, man-raped planet anyway, so we needn't concern ourselves with the long term effects of our destruction. Maybe Pat Roberson's support will help the former. I doubt he'll support any real sacrifices for the sake of our environment, though.

  5. grumpypilgrim says:

    Further to Jason's comment, it appears Robertson has had a real sweetheart deal going with his diamond mining operations. He apparently has been using his organization's tax-exempt status and the donations of his 700 Club members to build a fleet of small cargo airplanes, ostensibly for sending humanitarian aid to Zaire, but mostly to support his diamond mine. Read more here: http://www.skeptictank.org/robem2.htm. Curiously, despite the many favorable and borderline-(il)legal financial games, the diamond mining operation somehow still managed to go bankrupt. Hmmm…I wonder where all the profits went…?

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