I've had to take a break from blogging. Other things intruded. Personal lives are like that, aren't they? One could arguing that this blog is personal, but it really isn't, since it goes out there to so very many people whom I don't know. It's PUBLIC.
Anyway, I 've been delving into the issues published today (the new Pope, marriage equality) with an atypical languor simply because everyone else has been writing about them and there is nothing new under the sun about them to write about. And there's the intensity the subjects create, which is wearing on a writer, especially one as snarky as I am.
So I'm turning to an old subject with which I am familiar and which oddly energizes me: Pat Robertson, that senile, Christofascist and abysmally insipid piece of "eye pudding" (as Stephen Colbert so aptly put it). Robertson's stomach-churning displays of "wisdom" are legion, but today's latest entry struck me as the core reason of my war against this incredible slab of hypocrisy, because it's been at the core of his "ministry" from day one: money.
His video profile of a family who "turned to God" (and, of course, The 700 Club) after losing it all is the stuff of sitcoms, or at the very least a good SNL sketch. It is also a great ad for the prosperity gospel, although Robertson has eschewed the term for "reciprocity" when dealing with the Lord. His throw-away line is "You can't out-give God," but you CAN give the 700 Club $20 a month which may give you back 20, 30, 60-fold. The featured family did so, and look where they're living now!!
The idiocy of the video lies in the last shots: the denouement supposedly comes from the family realizing that money isn't everything, that material goods should not be placed before God, but the house (and wealth) they garnered after giving Pat their money was definitely worth more than the one they lost! It looks twice the size! These people lived in a million-dollar home, incurred $5 million in debt, lost the home, went bankrupt, then gave Pat Robertson $20 a month for several years and now live in a whopping mansion!
This is a picture of Pat Robertson's home - the ONLY house the $20-per-month tithe ever generated:
It's modeled on the opulent Governor's Palace of Colonial Williamburg, VA and a tribute to Robertson's father, Senator Absolom Willis Robertson, the quintessential Dixiecrat (a "Byrd Democrat" devoted to segregation). It houses the televangelist (worth an estimated $1.5 billion) in dignified comfort, an additional tribute to God's "reciprocity."
Scam artists like Pat Roberton never die. They just fade away, dragging their unearned billions behind them, inspiring others to do the same. That's why a war, any war against the likes of Pat Robertson is so important: it prevents future Pat Robertsons, or at least dwindles their numbers down to an irrelevant few.
Additional note: during the last part of the donor drive, Robertson offers a book about people who have had have near-death experiences. Notice the author: Gordon Robertson, Pat's son.
"Reciprocity." It's all in the family.