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Robertson's statements too extreme, alienating

Nov. 16, 2005

EDITORIAL STAFF

Conservative Christian icon Pat Robertson has predicted the downfall of yet another town in a scare tactic aimed at keeping intelligent design theory in one of the few public schools to incorporate it.

On Thursday, Robertson warned a town in rural Pennsylvania that disaster may strike after eight school board members who favored teaching intelligent design were voted out of office.

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Ben Humeniuk | Lariat staff
Robertson said on his daily television show, The 700 Club, that by voting these people out of office, the town had voted God out as well, and to not be surprised if disaster struck. The 700 Club claims a daily audience of around 1 million.

This isn't the first time Robertson has predicted the wrath of God. In 1998, Robertson warned the city of Orlando, Fla., that it risked hurricanes, earthquakes and terrorist bombs after it allowed homosexual organizations to put up rainbow flags in support of sexual diversity.

Then last summer, he called for the assassination of leftist Venezuelan Present Hugo Chavez, one of President Bush's most vocal critics.

Ranting about the wrath of God is not an effective way to get a point across. Robertson's viewers deserve more than just the lazy fallback argument that God will punish nonbelievers. We don't live in the Dark Ages, where religious leaders routinely shouted that the punishments of God could rain down upon the Earth if people don't follow the political leanings of the church.

If Robertson has to make such outrageous statements just to get his message across, he really isn't promoting any sort of intelligent discussion of the issues, but rather banking on the fears of the his viewers.

If Robertson truly wants things to change, attacking the actual issues would be a more effective way to bring that change about. When he makes blatant nonsensical statements, it hurts his cause more than it helps it. In saying things like his recent outburst, he furthers the stereotype that all Christians are unintelligent and reactionary.

Being a radical prophet fighting to keep positive Christian morals and being a fearmonger are two completely different things.