So today I’m turning in a slightly different direction and am posting a few highlights from some of the truly whacky and utterly bizarre bits of religiously motivated news items that have happened in the past week. You might think that I would need to widen the span of time to say a year to find such items, but no, just a week will do it.
None of the items are related, expect perhaps they are all belief driven, and so they do perhaps illustrate just how weird things can get when religion goes full throttle within the human mind.
Item 1 – Pat Robertson : Challenging tRump is a revolt against God
Each and every week that Pat Robertson pops up on his TV show, you are more or less guaranteed that he will come out with something that leaves you thinking … WTF!
This week was no exception, and so his gem for this week is his claim that anybody who in any way dares to criticise Mr T is rebelling against God.
I think, somehow, the Lord’s plan is being put in place for America and these people are not only revolting against Trump, they’re revolting against what God’s plan is for America. These other people have been trying to destroy America. These left-wingers and so-called progressives are trying to destroy the country that we love and take away the freedoms they love.
So there you go then … God’s plan for America is to apparently put a thin-skinned pussy-grabbing narcissist into office and any attempt to criticise his bizarre behaviour means that you are “revolting against what God’s plan is for America”.
The scary thing here is not that Mr Robertson says this stuff, but rather the observation that he has a large audience of people that pay attention to what he says and deems it to be credible.
Item 2 – Steven Anderson – Education makes you stupid
Steven Anderson is a chap with a bit of a reputation for coming out with some stuff in the past that has captured media attention. For example back in 2009 he preached about how he hated Obama so much he was praying for him to die.
He tends to not make as much news as Mr Robertson does, but this week he bubbles up with this gem …
You know, what makes women stupid is college. Because college makes everybody stupid. Because fools — fools — say in their heart that there is no God. And it’s an atheistic fool system — it’s not a school system, it’s a fool system — that teaches Humanism and atheism and Agnosticism and godlessness and blasphemy against the Lord Jesus Christ.
…You talk to some of the smartest people that you know, they’re people who know this book [holds up the Bible] really well…
…The Bible makes you smart. College makes you dumb…
Well yes, reading books does make you smarter, but if you only ever read just one book, then that is not going to work out very well.
As for his quip about anybody who says in his heart that there is no God is a fool, I do recall somebody once making the suggestion that calling anybody a fool is in danger of going to hell. Now who was it that said that? Oh yes, I remember now, it was Jesus in his sermon on the mount …
whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Matthew 5:22
On a slightly more serious note, the entire thrust of his argument is that you need to stay safe inside a bubble of ignorance. It is a very Orwellian idea – ignorance and the embrace of a book of myths is smart, but exposure to other different ideas is foolish.
I’m using the term “Orwellian” to encapsulate the promotion of propaganda and misinformation as “truth”. This rather sadly is an experiment that the new US administration is attempting on a grand scale, and hence folks such as Mr Anderson begin to get a bit of traction.
In reality, Mr Anderson is a nobody who started his own tiny church that only has about 150 members, and so he comes out with weird stuff that is designed to provoke a reaction and thus gains wider attention.
One last thought. Mr Anderson quips …
You talk to some of the smartest people that you know, they’re people who know this book [holds up the Bible] really well
Indeed yes, I agree. Generally those who are atheists are those who have read the bible, it is often those who have not that tend to be religious.
Item 3 – Ken Ham – New Ad Campaign
If you recognise the name Ken Ham, then you will know what is coming.
So here is one of the New Ads that Mr Ham will be airing on various cable networks in the US …
I wonder how long a dolphin lives.
I wonder if they can make cookies in space.
I wonder when people started brushing their teeth.
I wonder if people and dinosaurs ever lived together.
Then his Mum pops up …
Wanna find out?
… and off they go to the Creation Museum.
You can insert your Face-Palm here.
The questions are great, it is however the answers that most have a problem with. Hint, no planet earth is not 6,000 years old, and no humans and dinosaurs did not live side by side. Yes, they really do promote all that at the Creation Museum.
With the recent appointment of Betsy DeVos as US education secretary, the lady who has expressed her desire to use her new appointment to “advance God’s Kingdom“, we can seriously anticipate a possibility that stuff like this becomes official US education policy.
One last thought
Remember that all of the above was just this last week.
What is truly fascinating about all of it is that you don’t need to satirise any of it, instead just quoting it is sufficient.