Thursday, January 03, 2008

God Tells Pat Robertson Who The Next President Will Be

"Secret, secret, I have a secret!" Dateline Virginia: It was revealed to televangelist Pat Robertson yesterday, by God no less, who the next president of the United States will be. But he's not telling anyone, because he's sure that people will make fun of him. Well, it's too late. We're making fun of you already, Mr. Twister.

I wonder if God revealed to "President" Robertson who was going to win the presidential election in 1988, when Pat Robertson ran for president? Oh, he lost?

Pat Robertson has already put his money this time around on Rudi Giuliani. Does the revelation match the backing? Pat's not telling. I guess we'll have to wait and find out. My breath is so baited, I can't stand it.
"He told me some things about the election, but I'm not going to say, because some old man on "60 Minutes" would make fun of me, so I'm not going to tell you who the winner's going to be..."
The ratings for Robertson's 700 Club show must be down a bit. "Stay tuned for our next show, where Pat will absolutely, positively, maybe tell you who God told him will win the next election!!!" Sounds like we all got stuck in a room with no door and have been forced to watch episodes of Lost--forever.

Does God actually speak to someone who advocates murder? MediaMatters reported in late 2005 that Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. It doesn't matter how much you hate someone, advocating their murder disqualifies you to speak on any sort of religious grounds.

You know...there is an upside to Robertson's refusal to reveal of whom it was revealed to him would win the presidency. On election day, when the votes are all in and the controversy is over, he can (a) receive another revelation, or (b) exclaim "That's what God told me..back in January!!!"

And then we can make fun of him some more.






16 comments:

  1. MediaMatters? Frank, say it ain't so! ;)

    I'm not sure what to think of this post Frank. Does it bug you when people make fun of LDS prophets getting "revelations"?

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  2. No, it doesn't bug me. I have my opinion, and they have theirs. But first of all, a prophet would never (according LDS doctrine, admittedly) receive a revelation on who will be president.

    The highlight of the post, I hope, isn't that he received a revelation, which I hope I've highlighted that he's not entitled to by his advocacy of murder. The highlight of the post is that he won't tell us what God allegedly told him.

    How convenient.

    When my prophet receives a revelation on behalf of the people (members of the church), he's not afraid to tell the people, regardless of whether someone might make fun of him.

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  3. Fair enough Frank. Your post just seemed a bit snarky for someone who also believes in revelation.

    I certainly am not defending Robertson. If he says "God" told him something about the election but he won't tell us what "He" said, then what's the point?

    I guess it just seemed a bit hypocritical to rhetorically ask "Does God actually speak to someone who advocates murder?" when there are so many similar things that can be asked of LDS prophets, past and present. In my opinion many of the things LDS prophets have advocated would "not entitle" them to revelations from "God" as well, if I believed in such things.

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  4. What are some examples of

    many of the things LDS prophets have advocated [that] would "not entitle" them to revelations from "God" as well

    ?

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  5. I don't want this to devolve into a "Mormon bashing" thread Frank, so let's just say you're probably already aware of most people's concerns with your prophets.

    I have no problem with you believing whatever you want to believe. Any concerns I have about what your prophets have advocated are just my opinions anyway, the same as your opinion about Robertson not being entitled to revelations because he advocated the murder of Chavez.

    As I've already said, I don't believe in revelation. But if I did, there probably wouldn't be more than a handful of humans throughout time who truly "deserved" such gifts. Robertson? I'm with you, I don't think so. GBH? Maybe. But many of his predecessors? Probably not.

    :)

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  6. I am curious what those issues are (blacks and the priesthood come to mind, but I'm not sure what else), so I will likely create a post in the near future that allows us to have a separate conversation about that specific issue.

    Maybe I don't know as much about what other people think about my church as I think!

    ;-)

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  7. "Does God actually speak to someone who advocates murder? ... It doesn't matter how much you hate someone, advocating their murder disqualifies you to speak on any sort of religious grounds."

    Let me introduce you to the Old Testament, New Testament, and Book of Mormon. :)

    Seriously, I think you're way off base with this post, so I'm glad Don forced you to tag up. You do come across as strongly mocking the principle of revelation. You also come across as asserting that God would never command people to do things that seem wrong.

    Let's remember that our founding prophet, Joseph Smith, received revelations on matters large and small, including on the start of wars. Certainly, the selection of the president of the most powerful nation on the earth is not less consequential on many of the matters others have received legitimate revelations on.

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  8. Bradley,

    Thanks for pointing that out. I guess I'm having a bit of a blind spot on that. I don't mean to mock revelation in general--just Pat Robertson's convenient claim that he's not going to tell us what God told him.

    You'll have to give me some examples that you refer to from the Book of Mormon, Old Testament, etc. because I'm not coming up with equivalents of what Robertson advocated as regards Chavez. I thought of Moses and Teancum, but those don't work, because war is not murder.

    Joseph Smith receive a revelation on the beginning of the Civil War, yes, but he told us about it. He didn't hide it.

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  9. I re-read the article, and wonder...would it help if I removed the words "by God, no less"

    ?

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  10. What, you expect me to back up my assertions?! What is the blog world coming to? :)

    From the Old Testament, we have David who sent a man to his death after stealing his wife, and yet who continued to receive inspiration from God even though he had fallen so far. We credit him with writing many of the psalms which appear in our scriptures. We also have Moses, who killed an Egyptian before he fled to the desert and later became a prophet.

    From the New Testament, we have Saul who consented to the death of Stephen. Of course he repented of his murderous ways, but it took a revelation from God before he did so. We have God taking out Annanias and Sapphira for lying. (That's meant to be an example of God doing something that our modern sensibilities tell us is a punishment out of proportion with the crime.) We have Peter who tried to take out a Roman during the arrest of Jesus.

    In the Book of Mormon, we have Nephi who claims God commanded him to kill a drunk man and steal his property. To a non-believer, that makes Nephi sound kind of scummy.

    My argument is that we should be cautious in condemning religious leaders for doing things in their tradition that we'd be perfectly okay with if it was part of our own tradition. I love your writing on Islam (mostly at your Serving Iraq blog) because you see so much good in their faith. It is that past demonstration of tolerance that made this present post seem so out of character.

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  11. Nephi is a great example that I shouldn't have forgotten about. I have bones to pick with the other ones, although they are very interesting examples to further the conversation. However: David probably wasn't receiving revelation for the people anymore; Moses may have been acting in self-defense, and he wasn't a prophet at the time of the killing; Peter was acting in defense of another, and he only got an ear; Saul wasn't a Christian yet.

    I will admit that I have a huge bias against Pat Robertson, and a lot of it stems from what he said about Chavez (but not completely). In my eyes he is a complete and utter crackpot, so I let him have it with both barrels.

    Of course if he told us that God revealed to him that Ron Paul was going to be president, I'd declare him a prophet immediately!!!

    ;-)

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  12. God told me what your next blog post is going to be about. But I'm not saying because I don't want Bob Agaard to make fun of me.

    Post something, and I'll tell you if you are right.

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  13. I believe in revelation, but I'm also a huge skeptic of it as well. The problem is that you cannot prove or back up revelation. The only come back to someone questioning your revelation is to claim they are challenging God and no-one can win that argument.

    I do find it highly suspect that Pat claims to have received revelation that would appear to be a help in his career, all moral flaws aside.

    My view of revelation is that it is a very personal and very private thing, not to be flaunted or shared in most cases.

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  14. UK,

    I couldn't agree with you more. Revelation is always a personal thing.

    If Gordon B. Hinckley were to receive a revelation for the LDS Church regarding something or other, and he told the members of the church about it, the beauty of LDS doctrine is that I am entitled to find out for myself whether that revelation is true.

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  15. I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one Koda.
    We believe in personal revelation. We don't say "accept that the book of mormon is true or you're challenging god" we say, "we believe that the BOM is true. Read it and pray for god to reveal to you if it's true."

    Mormons believe very much that you should question God about whether or not things the prophet says are true.

    Frank,
    Thank you for having the courage to admit you're biased on Pat Robertson. It reminds me of a person I know who after something bad happens tells us that he/she had a "feeling" it was going to happen.

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  16. Ron and Jessica,

    Good point. Latter-Day Saints are in a very good position, because they can (should) always be sensitive enough to the Holy Spirit so they can find out for themselves whether that speaker at the pulpit is preaching truth or falsehood.

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