The man’s not even officially dead yet, and the vultures are already out to see what they can scavenge from his demise.
According to Pat Robertson, the self-serving yet inexplicably enduring voice of the “Christian” Zionist fringe, the stroke that Ariel Sharon suffered yesterday was God’s punishment upon him for “dividing the land” of Israel. Additionally, God had Yitzhak Rabin assassinated for the same reason:
I have said last year that Israel was entering into the most dangerous period of its entire existence as a nation. That is intensifying this year with the loss of Sharon. Sharon was personally a very likeable person. I am sad to see him in this condition. But I think we need to look at the Bible and the Book of Joel. The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who, quote, "divide my land." God considers this land to be his.
You read the Bible, he says, "This is my land." And for any prime minister of Israel who decides he going carve it up and give it away, God says, "No. This is mine." And the same thing -- I had a wonderful meeting with Yitzhak Rabin in 1974. He was tragically assassinated, and it was terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless, he was dead.
And now Ariel Sharon, who was again a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with. I prayed with him personally. But here he is at the point of death. He was dividing God's land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations or United States of America. God said, "This land belongs to me, you better leave it alone."
(via Media Matters)
Coincidentally, God speaks to me too. Or rather, he speaks to me as much as he speaks to Pat Robertson. In fact, just this morning God told me to tell you that Pat Robertson is an idiot.
While he had my attention, there were a few other things he wanted me to straighten out. For instance, God wants to make it known that the destruction of the World Trade Center was actually the work of 19 terrorists in four hijacked planes, rather than an expression of his “divine wrath” meted out on “the powerful of the earth”, despite what the Archbishop of Athens might say.
He insists he did not send all those innocent people jumping to their deaths from the 100th floor of the two towers because he was mad at the pagans, the abortionists, the feminists, the gays and the lesbians, the ACLU, People For the American Way, and generally everybody who favours the separation of church and state, even if Jerry Falwell claims otherwise.
God also assures me that he did not wipe out 280,000 human beings in a terrible tsunami just because Ariel Sharon had proposed removing the Gaza settlements.
He is particularly ticked off at the number of people who are throwing about his good name in connection with Hurricane Katrina. He wants me to reassure you that if he were looking for a way to get a gay pride festival cancelled, he would surely have done something a little more precise that destroying the entire city of New Orleans. Likewise, being God Almighty, he certainly has more efficient ways of punishing the oppressors of Muslims than by killing hundreds of people from among the poorest, least empowered, segments of our society. Nor was he making an example of the nigras for neglecting their Bible study.
And God, who doesn’t like it when we steal and therefore wants all the settlements to be dismantled and their land restored to the people it was stolen from, was really insistent that the devastation of New Orleans was due to its vulnerable position below sea level on the Gulf Coast, not to any divine misgivings about the disengagement from Gaza.
He has also studied the National Weather Center's photo of Katrina making landfall, which Columbia Christians for Life cite as proof that God is really mad about abortion rights, and to be honest he can’t see the foetus in it, no matter what angle he looks at it from.
Off the record, God says that people who abuse the misery of others to further their own political-religious agenda make him want to puke. He says one of the few religious leaders he has time for anymore is the Revd. William Sloane Coffin, who wrote this eulogy for the funeral of his own son, Alex, who died aged 24 in a car accident:
When a person dies, there are many things that can be said, and there is at least one thing that should never be said…The night after Alex died, a kind woman came into the house carrying about 18 quiches, saying sadly, “I just don’t understand the will of God”.
I exploded. “I’ll say you don’t, lady”. Do you think it was the will of God that Alex never fixed that lousy windshield wiper, that he was probably driving too fast in such a storm, that he probably had had a couple of beers too many? Do you think it is God’s will that there are no streetlights on that road and no guardrail separating that right-angle turn from Boston Harbour?
For some reason, nothing so infuriates me as the incapacity of seemingly intelligent people to get it through their heads that God doesn’t go around this world with his finger on triggers, his fist on knives, his hands on steering wheels. Deaths that are untimely and slow and pain-ridden raise unanswerable questions… Never do we know enough to say that a death was the will of God…
My own consolation lies in knowing that it was not the will of God that Alex die; that when the waves closed over the sinking car, God’s heart was the first of all our hearts to break.
-- via James Carroll, Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews
In closing, God mentioned that he really isn’t the kind of omnipotent, micromanaging, vengeful, merciless deity that Pat Robertson suggests. He points out that the definitive proof of this is that, while innocent babies and children die every day unnoticed and unmourned, 74-year-old Pat Robertson lives on, chirpy, healthy and still evangelizing his elderly viewers out of their last five bucks of social security money after all these years.