The ability to have God kill you over a point of the gospel.
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 98 10:23:57 -0700
Subject: The ability to have God kill you over a point of the gospel.
Forwarded-by: "Keith E. Sullivan" <KSullivan@worldnet.att.net>
AND GOD LAID WASTE THE MOUSE
ORLANDO, FL (DPI) -- The Suspiciously Reverend Pat Robertson predicted that
God would send a hurricane this summer to destroy Orlando in retribution
for Disney World's hosting of an event for gay and lesbian patrons at the
theme park. Orlando residents responded by filing a class action suit
against Robertson and God for conspiracy to destroy property and threaten
life. Said Orlando resident, Craven Heathen, "Robertson and this God fellow
need to be more careful about who they threaten with their hellfire. This
ain't no third world village with peasants groveling at the high priest's
shiny medallion. This is America, and what's more, it's Florida. We shoot
at outsiders for sport. Bring on your hurricanes. Why the University of
Miami's defensive backfield alone causes more damage on a typical Friday
night out." Orlando's Mayor quickly added that tourist shootings were
substantially down in recent years and that Robertson would be better served
asking God for an understanding of geography, considering that Orlando is
well inland and generally safe from significant hurricane damage. Look for
Disney's animated film, "False Prophet," in theaters this fall, featuring
the voices of Jimmy Swagart and Harvey Firestein.
Reported by Jonathan Colan
The Daily Probe, June 19, 1998 <email@example.com>
LACK OF PREDICTED CALAMITY IN ORLANDO LEAVES YOU WONDERING ABOUT PAT
ROBERTSON'S PULL WITH THE LORD
by Robert Kirby, The Salt Lake Tribune, September 5, 1998
Enough waiting. It's been almost three months now, and Orlando, Fla., is
still on the map. This despite the fact that Pat Robertson predicted God
would punish the city for hosting Gay Day.
Among the prophesied punishments were serious hurricanes, earthquakes,
tornadoes, meteors, maybe some killer bees, a little rent control, and, what
the heck, a plague of Social Security check thieves, too.
I've watched the news for months and ... nothing.
The fate of Orlando was not the issue. Mainly because no one I know lives
there. But also because the last time I was there with some pals from Ft.
Jackson, we got into a bone-rattling altercation with a group of naval
personnel over the salutatory phrase, "You rustpickers sure are ugly."
Frankly, if God needs a reason to whack Florida for being nice to a
particular type of person, large numbers of sailors works for me.
Never mind that. The issue was whether Robertson's prediction for celestial
calamity was accurate. After all, nothing increases the stature of a
religious figure like his ability to have God kill you over a point of the
There was a hurricane in the news. Bonnie. But it missed Florida and
whacked Virginia instead. This was either a misunderstanding between the
Lord and Robertson, or the wrong hurricane.
However, as time (and Orlando) went on, I started wondering. Maybe, as some
of Robertson's followers have since pointed out, the Lord is just biding
his time. Just, you know, waiting until Orlando isn't looking.
Doesn't make sense. If the purpose of Orlando getting squashed by a meteor
is because it was too nice to gays, why wait to squash it until long after
the gays left? We might miss the point if the people who actually get
whacked for Gay Day are half a million retired New Yorkers.
I find this form of Christian worship very tiring. For me, life is
stressful enough just trying to stay out of jail without having to worry
that the earth will swallow me up because someone else misbehaved.
What is it with some religious types and emotional terrorism? Maybe it's
a simple case of malapropism run amok. "Exhorting, extorting, what's the
dif? Just get 'em into church."
Maybe they do it because it works. After all, when you think about it,
nothing puts the fear into fear of God like, well, fear.
Remember when Oral Roberts announced that God would take him if the faithful
didn't pony up millions of dollars, a double cheese pizza and a getaway
helicopter? It worked. Well enough, anyway, so that God let Oral go.
But you have to admire Roberts for having the gumption to stick his own head
on the block. He didn't, for example, say, "Cough it up or Minneapolis gets
it in the ear."
Worst case, all we stood to lose was Oral.
But fear is still fear. Telling people that God will kill them if they do
not abide by every jot and tittle isn't much different in my book from
threatening to park a car bomb next to a school yard if they don't.
Finally, there is credibility. Who is going to be impressed with gays
causing a hurricane in Orlando? The entire state gets hurricanes for free.
If you seriously want to impress people by calling down God's wrath, it has
to be a bit more unusual. For example, if the Bible really is down on
divorce, let's see a hurricane take out Reno.
Robert Kirby welcomes e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 1998, The Salt Lake Tribune <http://www.sltrib.com>
© 1998 Peter Langston