Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Cooler Head?

I just reread what I wrote yesterday about Pat Robertson. Holy moly, was I ever mad! Of course, the story is all over the news now, and just about everyone is running as fast as they can to distance themselves from Robertson's inflammatory remarks. I have read a few "no big deal"s and a few "well, maybe he is right"s along with a bunch of "this guy is insane"s.

I want to clarify what is at stake for me, and why for me this story is a very big deal. It has something to do with the notion that, "God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it" (1 Cor. 12:24b-27). What Pat Robertson says is an infuriatingly big deal because his ideas are self inflicted wounds to the body of which he and I are both members.

One commenter on my last post asked me if I wasn't just as bad as Pat Robertson with my "Somebody stop this guy" remarks. Today I answer that astute observation with a resounding "Yes!" I am just as bad as Pat Robertson, because the mystery of Christian unity has connected me to him in such a way that I am intensely impacted by the words he is saying. In a sense, what he says, I say. It seems Christian unity is not something to be unquestioningly celebrated.

And so I got angry. I am still angry. I believe my indignation to be righteous in this case. But after a day's worth of reflection, I am beginning to more clearly understand why.

Still thinking,
Andy B.


Vman said...

I was shocked and aggravated by his comments too. I really don't like the religious right check out

Anonymous said...

I agree with one of the people who posted on your previous entry. We "moderates" must do something to let the world know that these "far right" Christians do not speak for all of us. I know there are more moderates out there, we just are not as good at getting our voices heard. I think (and hope) that is changing!!!!

I was a little disconcerting to see you so angry -- but I can understand why. Sometimes that is needed.

David said...

Robertson yesterday apparently apologized for his remarks, but denies that he said we should "assassinate" Chavez. Even if this denial were not refuted by the recorded video of his comments, a few crucial points would remain:

1. Religious authorities speak with weight. More weight than they think they do. More weight than they deserve.

2. Speech is physical: spoken words can be recorded and transcribed. Hearing is psychological: people often hear what we mean more loudly than what we say. And they’ll swear it’s what we said.

3. A nationally broadcast television program which disguises itself as “news from a Christian perspective” (rather than the much less catchy, but more apt, “xenophobic political hatemongery for rich white heterosexual men and their wives”—but I digress) is not an appropriate venue to encourage murder. A joke spoken, with a straight face, from behind a news desk, is not a joke.

Andy, while I appreciate your apology, I for one do not put words spoken in the emotions of righteous anger in the same category as words chosen and prepared as part of a television broadcast. Anger that is framed as anger is much more honest—and, I believe, less dangerous—than anger which is disguised as politics.

But now I’m starting to rant.

(BTW, Andy, did you notice that Blogger now has an anti-spam option in the “Comments” tab of your settings page?) ; )

Chris said...

I thought it was clear that I was kidding with the Andy = Pat comment. If not, let me clarify. Robertson ticks me off, too. I was in no way seriouly entertaining the idea that your comment was just as bad.

Andy B. said...

Yes, Chris, I understood you to be kidding. I just used your comment as a jumping off point for my further reflection. I completely got the tone of your tongue firmly planted in cheek!
- Andy B.

Anonymous said...

It was NOT disconcerting to read that you were so angry as someone else said. Anger does not equal bad. Why are people SO damn afraid of anger, especially when it's righteous anger like this. You have every reason to be angry and so do I and so does every other person on this planet. Hmmmm....i'm thinking even Chavez should be a little bit pissed. (not that I condone his behavior). My whole point is that Christians are sometimes so afraid of anger and view it as a bad thing rather than a powerful emotion that can be used for good.
just as righteously angry,

Anonymous said...

Check out this link - one of the UMC's bishops put out a statement firmly denouncing Robertson's statement and asking him to apologize. - amy