iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Kyle Anderson

GET UPDATES FROM Kyle Anderson
 

Pat Robertson Misses the Part About Loving His Neighbors (Again)

Posted: 05/08/2013 5:38 pm

Perhaps picking on Pat Robertson is not the most productive use of time; he has proven again and again and again that he is extremely intolerant and not the best ambassador for interfaith understanding (understatement of the year) and a Christian love that I am sure Jesus would look to promote were he alive today. While it is easy to dismiss Pat for just being Pat, the reality is that he has a microphone (remember, he ran for President in the late 1980s?) through his television program, the 700 Club, which many people hear and take seriously. Voices like Robertson's need to be called out for adding nothing but hateful rhetoric and divisiveness into conversations about religion in society today.

Robertson has implied and directly connected the actions of the Boston marathon bombers with having a radical agenda rooted in the Islamic faith. When people say things like this, I cannot help but yearn to go to nearest mountaintop and yell, "the two men involved in the Boston Marathon bombings are nothing more than murderous thugs. Regardless of their motivations, inspirations, and beliefs, their actions are THEIR OWN and DO NOT REPRESENT AN ENTIRE FAITH TRADITION!"

When acts of terrorism are committed involving "dark skinned men" (terminology that CNN correspondent John King was so quick to throw out there while initially reporting on the tragedy as the news began to break) -- why do so many minds make the connection between Muslims and terrorism? I get why it happens, but do not get why it KEEPS happening. It is becoming an unfortunately predictable reaction following tragedies like what happened in Boston (the Onion does a good job of capturing this in a recent satire article).

When a "light-skinned person" commits a crime, most people's first thoughts are likely not "oh gee, there goes another Christian citing God for justification of the killing spree he or she went on." Without a doubt, people have cited the Bible to justify terrible atrocities throughout history, but I feel safe in saying that is not where the minds of most go when they first hear about crimes committed by Christians.

Did it enter Robertson's mind for one second that maybe the bombers were perhaps not motivated by religion at all when carrying out their actions? It appears that some people need to be able to rationalize unexplainable acts of terror. Putting the bombers into a box of the "typical religious extremist" is the easy way out and is affirmed on television by individuals like Pat Robertson; this does not have to be our default position though.

In a busy world of 24 hour news, every network races to be the first to report the latest breaking story. Why not take a deep breath and get the story right instead of rushing to quick conclusions that may be exaggerated or completely false? Many people report that their knowledge of religious traditions outside their own come from what they hear through the media. The language news outlets choose can have profound effects on the views that people hold toward other religious and non-religious people.

And literally for God's sake, can someone turn off Pat Robertson's microphone as soon as possible?! His version of Christianity is a far cry from what the vast majority of other Christians aspire to follow. I don't think Jesus told us to throw our neighbors under the bus like Pat wants us to believe. He said to love them unconditionally.

 
FOLLOW RELIGION