Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pat Robertson Had Quite a Show Today

There was so much Pat Robertson crazy on today's broadcast of The 700 Club, I don't even know where to begin.  At the start of the show, I guess.

1. The opening news story: the United Nations Human Rights Council is considering referring Kim Jong-un and other North Korean officials to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Robertson follows up the story:
“Why do we have this?  Keep in mind the policy decisions of the United States have enormous consequences and they last for decades.  We had the opportunity—and I was in the Marine Corps in Korea, I know whereof I speak—we had the opportunity in that peninsula to close it off and win a military victory.  General MacArthur was going on the way to the Yalu River, he was going to set up a defense line across that boundary, and then he was going to mop up what was there, and we would have installed a democratic government in Korea.  Instead of that, the politicians were scared of what the Russians might think or the Chinese might think, and they took MacArthur home in seeming disgrace, he was cashiered by Truman. 
“And we made a line on the 38th Parallel, and we allowed Kim's grandfather…to set up a dictatorship, and have had that country on the watch list.  Now they have developed nuclear weapons, who knows if they have chemical weapons, and they have tormented their people.  And at the same time we send delegations over there to make peace with them—there's no peace with a group like that.  They should be arrested and executed…”
In actuality, Gen. Douglas MacArthur was relieved of his command after his efforts to push the war up to the Yalu River resulted in China's joining the war on the North Korean side and flooding the Korean peninsula with 180,000 troops—despite having assured President Truman that China would not do so, and severely underestimating how many Chinese troops could cross the Yalu into North Korea if they did.  The unexpected Chinese offensive severely drove back United Nations forces; for two months, Seoul was under North Korean control.  Pat Robertson's "scared politicians"were the Truman Administration with their order to establish a cease-fire, an order which MacArthur directly contravened—a clear act of insubordination warranting his removal.

At least that's what the history books say. But Pat knows whereof he speaks, as he was in Korea—in the rear echelon, to be exact, where his father, a U.S. Senator, secured him a cushy position as a "liquor officer" responsible for maintaining the soldiers' supplies of alcohol. (Actually, Pat's father wanted him kept in Japan and out of Korea entirely.)  Pat calls himself a combat Marine, but he never saw combat or came anywhere near it.

2.  A former Planned Parenthood nurse (who admits she wasn't really pro-choice to begin with) is calling the organization "a money-grubbing, evil" place because some staffers liked to chant "Abortion all the time!" (Also, receptionists got yelled at if they let the phone ring more than three times.  Evil!)  Well, Pat Robertson needs only the barest of excuses to go off on Planned Parenthood, and here it is:

”The American Center for Law & Justice—of which I'm the head—is suing Planned Parenthood in California…  
“We have discovered that Planned Parenthood is enormously rich, and some of these individual chapters may have as much as a billion dollars in cash on hand.  They are getting right now from the Federal government—it's in the budget—$550 million a year, taxpayer money, to go into that abortion mill. 
“And when you read the writings of Margaret Sanger, who was the founder of this organization, it is the most shocking thing that you can simply imagine.  She was slightly crazy.  But the wealthy people decided that rather than having a flood of poor people—especially other races—born in our cities, that the best thing to do was mass abortion.  And that's what's been going on with Planned Parenthood using United States government money… 
”It is an abortion mill, and anything beyond that—all these fancy phrases with Faye Wattleton, people like that who are in charge of it, is just nonsense.  It is a massive, massive moneymaking abortion mill…”
The Raw Story posted their article as I was writing this, so my thanks to them for helping me complete a few of these points:
  • Some chapters have a billion dollars on hand?  Yyyyeaaaahhh, no.  Planned Parenthood's most recent annual report [PDF file] shows that the national office and all of the chapters combined have $1.6 billion in total assets—and about $400 million of that is net property and equipment valuation.  There's also about $300 million in liabilities.  (There might be some overlap between the liabilities and the net valuation.  This is a very thin balance sheet they're providing—although I probably wouldn't understand a detailed one, anyway.)  Ultimately, the whole damn outfit doesn't have $1 billion in unrestricted, ready cash, let alone a single chapter.
  • Once you factor in Planned Parenthood's contraception services (including vasectomies and tubal ligations), sexually transmitted infection testing/treatment, cancer prevention and screenings, pregnancy tests, prenatal care, primary care, urology services, and adoption referrals—whew!—abortion comprises less than 3% of what they do.  Planned Parenthood is not using that $550 million in taxpayer money for that 3%, because it's prohibited from doing so.  It uses taxpayer money for most or all of that other 97%—you know, standard medical assistance.
  • Oh, jeez, the Margaret Sanger smears.  Give it a rest.  Here's Politifact's debunking and here's Planned Parenthood's (admittedly self-interested) response [another PDF file].  And even if Margaret Sanger was not such a nice person with some extreme ideas 100 years ago, how does that implicitly discredit Planned Parenthood's work today?  The Southern Baptists broke off from the national Baptist church 170 years ago because they still wanted to own slaves.  Does that mean all of today's Southern Baptists—like Pat Robertson—are complicit in their founders' love of slavery?  You know what, maybe let's promulgate that comparison.
  • Lastly, Faye Wattleton was the president of Planned Parenthood from 1978 to 1992.  Way to keep current, Pat!  (Cecile Richards has been president since 2006.)

3. After an update on the Iranian nuclear program talks in Vienna (and Israel's opposition to the negotiations as giving in to Iran), Pat warns his viewers that the Iranians are lying and they're laughing at us and they're going to attack us:
“There's an intercontinental ballistic missile…and it means it'll go from one continent to another.  What continent?  Out there in the Middle East over to our continent… Even if it's a small bomb, it'll be enough to destroy one of our cities.  Imagine we're sitting there, and all of a sudden one of the head mullahs in Iran says, 'We don't like your policy in relation to trade sanctions,' or whatever, 'and if you don't lift them, we're going to pulverize Washington or New York or Philadelphia or Baltimore.  That's what they're looking at!  And then suddenly, an American president is going to be faced with putting one of his cities on the table in front of a group of crazies…”
Okay, mistrust of Iran isn't beyond the pale, but "they'll nuke us over trade policy"?  Didn't we spend 40 years saying the Soviet Union would nuke us over any disagreement?  Of course, that never happened because we would have nuked them right back.  And before you reply, "Ah, but these Iranian Muslim crazies have no respect for human life, they'll die for their cause," let me remind you that that's also exactly what we said about those commie atheist Russkies for 40 years.

But you know what?  I don't have to play the Mutually Assured Destruction card.  I already know that we won't be destroyed by a nuclear attack.  How do I know?  Pat Robertson told me:

“There's something else the Lord said [to me], and I think this is very important… He said, 'I am not going to let men destroy the world with nuclear bombs.  And I think that is important.  We worry about North Korea, we worry about Iran, and so forth—the Lord is not going to let that happen.  So I think we can take that one off the table.” – Pat Robertson's New Year's Message from God, January 3, 2011
When did he forget all about that?  Why is he ignoring what God told him?


Apparently there was an asteroid fly-by last night, and The 700 Club always covers asteroid stories because Pat loves to bring up his godawful novel The End of the Age—I'm reading it, and it's perhaps the worst-written book I've ever read—where God ushers in the end-times with an asteroid crashing into the Earth, because "the only thing that will make the moon turn to blood and the sun obscured" and blah blah Revelation blah is an asteroid hit.  But here's why I mention this:
“There's billions of those things floating around in space… It's a cosmic shooting gallery out there.  Fortunately, God in his infinite wisdom placed a great big planet named Jupiter near to us, and that can attract some of these big things, and pull them away from us and over to Jupiter.”
Wouldn't it have made sense for God to put Jupiter closer to us?  Maybe given us more than one moon to run interference with those asteroids?  Whatever.  God knows best.

5.  Today's 700 Club feature story took a hard look at how American immigration policy breaks up families—specifically, how children can face life alone if they lose their undocumented parents to deportation, after infractions as minor as a traffic violation.  If that sounds like a compassionate, not-so-conservative slant on immigration, you are correct—"behind the scenes of that immigration debate are the faces of real people," Pat pointed out.  "They're human beings."  I don't recall ever seeing Robertson beat the xenophobia drum (although maybe he has and I missed it in his almost 50 years of broadcasting).

But Pat couldn't resist turning the story into a swipe at President Obama, because he can't help himself:
“But we need perhaps to secure the border, and Congress, Speaker Boehner said we can't trust the Obama administration to keep the law.  'If we pass a law, they won't keep it,' and he's right.  They ignore the laws, they abide by whichever law they feel convenient, and the rest of them, they ignore.”
It's becoming more and more apparent that this whole "King Obama is a dictator who ignores the law at his choosing" is a carefully devised gambit by the Republicans to justify not passing legislation the Republicans know we need but are too afraid of the Tea Party to pass (e.g., immigration): "We want to pass this law…but we just don't trust Obama!"  And Pat's more than willing to propagate these and other conservative talking points you hear about on Fox News—The 700 Club, almost 50 years old, was doing what Fox News does before there was a Fox News—because ultimately Pat cares at least as much about propagating Republican politics as he does about spreading the Gospel.  Or maybe they're the same thing to him.

6.  A viewer emails Pat Robertson, "Why is it a sin to be gay?  Why would a loving God condemn a good-hearted person just for loving the same gender?"

Oh, semi-anonymous viewer.  You think Pat Robertson will give you a satisfactory answer.  That's so cute.

“A tendency is not sin.  A tendency.  Heterosexuals have a tendency to have sex with the opposite sex.  That is not sinful.  It is sinful if they exercise that tendency and begin to have sex with multiple men or women, not their husband.  Sex is for marriage.  Now, God said, 'For this cause shall a man leave his mother and father, cleave to his wife, the twain shall be one flesh.'  So, God established marriage between a man and a woman.
“Now, what happens to homosexuals?  You can have a tendency.  That's no sin.  You have a tendency.  You can be attracted to the same sex—no problem.  But when you start having sex with that person, you go into the…I don't want to get graphic—that guy on 'Duck Dynasty' got graphic, and it got a little disgusting—but when you see what they do, it's not very pretty.
“And I want to say this, too: Nobody can ever produce a child through homosexual sex—or lesbian sex.  You can not do it.  This is for procreation, and God has said that those who violate it, the land will vomit them out.  Now, it isn't for us to tell God what's fair and what isn't fair.  He set it up this way, and that's the way he wants it.  He holds all the cards.  He's the one who decides who goes and who doesn't.  And so don't say he's unfair.  And these people are nice, and they go to church…but they're out they're doing something that God says is wrong.  It's wrong! And so when he says it's wrong, it's wrong!  Period.  End of story.”
You know, the usual.

Anyway…did you notice the differentiation between "homosexual" and "lesbian" up there?  As if lesbians aren't homosexuals?  Pat's been saying "homosexuals and lesbians" forever, and I know he's not alone among the Christian Right in terming it that way.  I'm not sure why; maybe there's some Biblical distinction, or maybe they just don't like saying the word "gay."  I don't know.  What I do know is that lesbian sex can be pretty.   Very pretty.  Did you see that movie Blue Is the Warmest Color?  So pretty, their lesbian sex.  I don't know about homosexual sex…but lesbian sex can be very pretty.

So that's…six different variations of crazy conservative-Republican-thumping-your-Bible-on-peoples-heads fun times!  Wow, Pat Robertson, you had a busy show today!  Now you go get some rest, you old coot.  You have another abortion rant on deck for tomorrow, I know.

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