The One Time Pat Robertson Told the Truth
During the many years Marion Gordon “Pat” Roberson has been on national television as host of the 700 Club, he has made countless outlandish, unreasonable, and shocking statements; but last Thursday, he shocked the nation and the world in a different way: He declared that Bishop James Ussher was not inspired by the Lord when he said the world is only 6,000 years old.
Responding to a question written by one of his viewers about her belief that “her son would not be with her in the kingdom” because of his question on creationism, Robertson responded, “Look, I know people will probably try to lynch me when I say this, but Bishop Ussher wasn’t inspired when he said that it all took 6,000 years. It just didn’t. You go back in time, you’ve got radiocarbon dating. You got all these things and you’ve got the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas’. They are out there. So, there was a time when giant reptiles were on the earth and it was before the time of the Bible. So, don’t cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That’s not the Bible.”
Who would have ever thought those words would fall from the lips of Pat Robertson, especially since his Christian Broadcasting Network, according to The Huffington Post, supported Ussher’s Creation Museum in Kentucky? But he didn’t stop there. He continued, “If you fight science, you’re going to lose your children, and I believe in telling it the way it was.” What? Telling it the way it is was? When did Robertson ever tell anything, “the way it was?”
Robertson is not known for making proclamations such as the one about the age of the world not being in the Bible. To the contrary, he is well-known for making statements so far from reason that he awakes even mild mannered people out of their slumber and enlivens them with a barrage of severe criticism. From his studio in Virginia Beach, he has, through the years, flung through the airwaves a catalogue of affirmations that defies common sense and sends shockwaves through the enlighten world.
In 1976, he said the world was coming to an end in October or November 1982. He said, “I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world.”
In 2001, Robertson agreed with Jerry Farwell that the terrorist attacks of September 11 should be “blamed” on the “ACLU,” “the pagans, the abortionists, the feminists, the gays, and the lesbians,” because of their sins.
In 2004, he predicted that President George W. Bush would be re-elected by a landslide. He stated, “I really believe I’m hearing from the Lord it’s going to be a blowout election in 2004.” It turned out to be one of the closest elections in history.
In 2010, he uttered on the 700 Club that the cause of the Haitian earthquake was a deal Haiti made with the Devil. He said that in 1791, when Haitians were under the rule of France, “they got together and swore a pact to the Devil,” saying, “we will serve you if you get us free from France,” and “ever sense they have been cursed by one thing or another.”
In 2011, When Robertson was asked about a man who was angry with God because his wife had Alzheimer and he had begun to see another woman, he replied on the 700 Club, “I know it sounds cruel, [but] he should divorce her and start over again; but [he should] make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking out for her. If you respect that vow, ‘til death do us part,’ this is a kind of death.”
In 2012, he stated: “I think God has showed me the next president.” Although he did not say it was Romney, he indicated that it would not be Obama, saying Obama’s views were “at odds with the majority.”
Robertson is a poor spokesman for God, but even a poor spokesman may get it right once-in-a-while. Robertson got it right when he said Creationists are wrong on their belief based on the Bible that the world is only 6,000 years old. He also got it right when he said, if we keep on fighting science, we are going to lose our children.
What he fails to say is that we are already losing our children. Barna Research Group found six reasons why young people are leaving church in droves, but the most interesting is that one-third leave because they say “the church is out of step with scientific development and debate.” No wonder Rick Santorum, in his campaign for the nomination for the 2012 GOP presidential candidate, declared that “62 percent of kids who go into college with a faith commitment leave without it.” No one wants to admit it, but when kids find objective truth—scientific truth—they cannot hold on to the untruths that the church has taught them through their early years. If they did so, it would hinder their education and, subsequently limit their careers.