Friday, July 08, 2005

Pat Robertson, Of All People, Talking Sense

The New York Times featured a guest columnist a couple of days ago named Sarah Vowell, who talked about something I had been wondering about, too.

As I was dozing in front of the TV over the Fourth of July weekend, watching the Live-8 concerts, I saw a snippet of an anti-poverty "ad" (if you can call it that) that featured a second or two of the faces of various famous people saying a few words. You know, the usual liberal movie stars, rock singers, a couple of politicians, as I recall. But one face flashed by, and it took me a minute -- I admit, I do not watch 700 Club -- but then I realized: that was Pat Robertson!

Well, read what this guest columnist had to say:
Since I have been hired, temporarily, to write about the news, here's some: seeing Pat Robertson on television cheered me up. Until recently, about the nicest thing I would have said about this televangelist is that he isn't boring. Remember when he wanted to boycott the "Satanic ritual" that is Halloween? Or when he said, "The husband is the head of the wife"? Or when he warned the city of Orlando that the flying of homosexuals' upbeat rainbow flags might incite divine retribution in the form of hurricanes or "possibly a meteor"? Yep, good times.

Nevertheless, when I spotted Robertson in a lineup of celebrities including Brad Pitt, Bono, George Clooney and the also-never-boring Dennis Hopper, I was delighted to see him. He was in the One Campaign's television ad asking for help in the crusade against poverty, starvation and AIDS in Africa and elsewhere.

In the commercial, Robertson says, "Americans have an unprecedented opportunity," and then Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, of all people, finishes his sentence, concluding that "we can make history."

On a recent "Nightline," Robertson showed up with his new best friend, Clooney. When asked if his group Operation Blessing would promote "the responsible use of condoms" along with abstinence in its AIDS education program in Africa, Robertson answered, "Absolutely." Pat Robertson!

"I just don't think we can close our eyes to human nature," he continued, adding that with regard to teaching proper condom use, "you have to do that, given the magnitude." I could have hugged him. A Pat on the Back

She goes on in an entertaining way that does not need to be reproduced here. I think you need to register to read The Times, but it's free and probably worth it.

Let's just say, I am not expecting any big turnaround from Pat Robertson. But we have seen individuals from the religious right argue that condoms don't work, that teaching how to use them promotes promiscuity, that people should simply, absolutely abstain for sex until they are in a monogamous lifetime marriage, and that's that. So it is good -- not to make too much of it -- to hear a leader from that community acknowledge that we can't close our eyes to human nature. There are some problems that just won't be solved by willpower alone. Let's teach our kids what the backup systems are when prudent willpower snaps.


Blogger Alex K. said...

On an semi-unrelated note, I was listening to WAVA last night and some gentleman was giving a sermon and then he talked about how he often went down to Florida or Disney World (or something like that) except on "gay days".

I find it appalling that people can say that with no reprimand.

They can just as well go back to using "the n-word" to describe blacks.

Or maybe they should start burning witches again.

I think these people are forgetting the reasons we stopped doing that.

Huh? What? All humans are created equal? You don't say? Where did that "rubbish", as they would have it, come from?

July 08, 2005 9:42 PM  
Blogger Alex K. said...

Oh by the way, I listened to the MP3 (from 2 posts ago), and I must say:

HEIL DWYER! (As in not).

July 10, 2005 12:10 AM  

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