I enjoy mocking Pat Robertson as much as the next guy…

Cidu Bill on Jan 30th 2010

robertson.png

… but what’s the actual joke here? Clearly there’s some reference to Haiti here, but that’s as far as I can figure.

Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, Far Left Side, Pat Robertson, comic strips, comics, humor | 64 responses so far

64 Responses to “I enjoy mocking Pat Robertson as much as the next guy…”

  1. Jeff S. Jan 30th 2010 at 12:44 am 1

    It combines his Haiti comments with the stereotypical ‘money-grubbing televangelist’ theme. Send in your money and I’ll just keep it for my personal use.

    Although I don’t get the carnival barker getup though.

  2. Jeff S. Jan 30th 2010 at 12:45 am 2

    The previous comment was brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department. *sigh*

  3. Charlene Jan 30th 2010 at 12:47 am 3

    Televangelists are modern snake oil salesmen. They con the sick and the old out of their hard-earned money even though what they’re selling can be found for free.

  4. Kevin A Jan 30th 2010 at 12:51 am 4

    The salesman-looking guy is referring to contribute to the 700 Club. Tithing to God is sort of like insurance to some people; hence the is/isn’t humor. Pat’s comments were during the end of his show when a disaster relief telephone number was being displayed on the screen.

    http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201001130024

    PAT ROBERTSON: And, you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.” True story. And so, the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.”

    And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti; on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, et cetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now, we’re helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable.

    KRISTI WATTS (co-host): Absolutely, Pat.

  5. Kevin A Jan 30th 2010 at 12:52 am 5

    whoa, 3 got in before me.

  6. Molly J Jan 30th 2010 at 12:53 am 6

    It would make more sense if Pat Robertson was well known for bilking Haitians out of money, but I don’t think he’s figured that angle out yet.

  7. John Small Berries Jan 30th 2010 at 01:10 am 7

    It’s not just the Haiti thing; Robertson also insinuated that Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for legalized abortion, and “totally concurred” with Jerry Falwell that 9/11 was God’s punishment for secularism, abortion, feminism, gays and lesbians, the ACLU and People for the American Way…

    So he’s got a history of using tragedy as an opportunity for attacking people (most recently, the victims of the tragedy), rather than using his position as a “man of God” to comfort the stricken.

    To be honest, I don’t think the artist was so much making a joke, as commenting on Robertson’s douchebaggery.

  8. Annie Benson Jan 30th 2010 at 01:42 am 8

    Gotta go with Mr. Berries on this one. This is a “Robertson is a nozzle, ha ha ha!” comic. I can’t say that I disapprove of it.

  9. Nicole Jan 30th 2010 at 09:39 am 9

    JSB #7 got it …. but the question still remains is why is Popeye wearing Olive Oyl’s dress ?

  10. less reality, more fantasy, no baby blues Jan 30th 2010 at 01:50 pm 10

    Pat Robertson takes money from idiots, and claims to give it to charity, but when an opportunity for charity appears, he declares the potential recipients to be evil. This suggests that he keeps the money.

    Haiti suffered all of that shit because the French used all of its money on extravagant luxuries, and left it in massive debt, thus, it was unable to afford proper services or care for its citiens. Pat Robertson is a terrible man, who should go to Hell, but will not, because the Judeo-Christian-Islamic trinity is a bastardiation of the ancient Persian religion, not an original belief system.

  11. Mark M Jan 30th 2010 at 01:55 pm 11

    It’s Far Left Side. As long as he’s mocking someone considered a conservative, it doesn’t have to be funny. The fact that Robertson claims to be a Christian is just a double bonus.

  12. Cidu Bill Jan 30th 2010 at 01:58 pm 12

    Okay, serious question here: Why does Pat Robertson support sending aid to Haiti? After all, if God caused the earthquake to punish them, aren’t we going against His will by helping them out?

  13. Nicole Jan 30th 2010 at 02:12 pm 13

    CIDU BIll #11 My my, you do like stirring up the pot

    This question assumes there religious beliefs have inherent logic behind them. They don’t. Religion often comes in conflict with reality and morality. Believers have to compartmetalize thier beliefs from relaity in order to function in the real world. Your question is a perfect illustration of this priciple. Any compassionate human being must feel for the suffering the people are experiencing in Haiti, but god wanted it to happen.

    Let me stir the pot just a little more…. if indeed no compassionate human would turn his back on the suffering in Haiti … how can an all loving, all merciful God do so ?

  14. Cidu Bill Jan 30th 2010 at 02:22 pm 14

    Nicole, I do expect religion to be internally consistent, and your extrapolation of my question is precisely my point: If the earthquake is God’s work, then helping the Haitians isn’t doing God’s work.

  15. Mark M Jan 30th 2010 at 02:25 pm 15

    That’s a good question Cidu Bill. I think the answer is just that he simply doesn’t think rationally.

    Nicole, there you go again. ;-)
    In order to believe in God, I think one has to discard the notion that he controls what happens on Earth. I’m always amazed at people who think God performs a miracle when something good happens to someone but ignores that logic after disasters.

  16. Cidu Bill Jan 30th 2010 at 02:26 pm 16

    And I hope it’s not necessary to point out that my comments are not a criticism of religion, but rather an expression of my belief that Robertson is a f****** nutjob.

    I believe most religious people would agree that Robertson is unacceptably arrogant by presuming to know why God makes His decisions.

  17. Nicole Jan 30th 2010 at 02:50 pm 17

    CIDU Bill — that is the problem — religion is not internally consistent. The bible, the word of God, promotes slavery, sexism, homophobia, genocide etc. Actions and attitudes that most modern people reject as immoral. Yet they still believe these are the , if not literal then inspired, words of a loving God. There are colleges that offer apologist courses to explain the internal inconsistencies of the bible (often simply making stuff up) and there are people who make a living as apologists.

    But perhaps more to the point of your question. I think it is as simple as good PR. If Pat Robertson turned and said “God sent this disaster to the people of Haiti, we must let them suffer” What in the world would that do to his career ?

    Why, Mark M , whatever do you mean ?

    Just so people don’t think I am just picking on the judeo/christian tradition. There are internal inconsistencies in all religions .. it is just that I happen to know the most about the inconsistencies in the bible.

  18. George P Jan 30th 2010 at 03:02 pm 18

    You can make #14 consistent if you try: God made the earthquake in Haiti to see how we would respond and to give us the opportunity to do good. See?

    My favorite similar argument is this?

    Q: Why did God create porn and gambling and booze?
    A: We have free will. He gave us these temptations to test us.
    Q: So, by making them illegal, aren’t you thwarting God’s plan? If you get rid of them, then no one will be tempted, and God will have no way of knowing who the “good” people are.
    A: God knows who the good people are.
    Q: Then why did God create porn and gambling and booze, if not to test us?

    And on and on.

  19. Nicole Jan 30th 2010 at 03:23 pm 19

    George P #18

    Except that God already knows how we will respond and wheter or not we will do good.

  20. Detcord Jan 30th 2010 at 03:28 pm 20

    CIDU Bill (12)

    If I remember my – long abandoned – catechism the meme goes something like this. With regard to “God”, what happens to us in life is not important. How we react to what happens, especially to others, does matter. Since we are all just “clay”, then God shaking us up occasionally (in Haiti’s case literally) is insignificant when compared to how we respond.

    The Biblical story of Job, which, as a child, always bothered me. Why?
    a. because God was having chummy conversations with Satan;
    b. God allowed himself to be goaded by Satan into inflicting all kinds of torture on Job just to prove a point and
    c. God restored all the original clay-type “blessings” to Job suggesting that they DID matter (which made it a logical fallacy, as far as I was concerned)

    By this meme the Haitians are “God’s instrument” for testing the rest of the human race. I know. Nasty, but that’s how the meme is supposed to work. I think the “punishing” part is something the religious add to the theme to absolve God of wanton cruelty (i.e. they earned it, but we’ve got to help anyway).

    I should add I do still accept the “we’ve got to help” part, but as for the rest, no.

  21. Cidu Bill Jan 30th 2010 at 03:44 pm 21

    Detcord, complicating this is the fact that, at least in the Old Testament, God tests people in very odd ways, the the “right” response is unpredictable. One story I heard recently involved a Torah being transported someplace by horse, and it began to slip off and two people quickly grabbed it. God struck them down, because they should have had faith that God wouldn’t let it hit the ground.

    I almost say “WTF” right there in the synogogue. So it would have been the right thing to stand aside and let the Torah fall? Wasn’t it just as reasonable to assume that God’s method of making sure it didn’t hit the ground was making sure these two poor schmucks were close enough to catch it in time? How is anybody supposed to know whether the test is to catch or or to not catch it?

    And for guessing wrong they were killed??

  22. Cidu Bill Jan 30th 2010 at 03:47 pm 22

    Regarding the whole concept of God allowing tragedies to happen because people deserve them: this mean that anybody to whom something terrible happens is an awful enough person to warrant it. How depressing is this?

  23. Detcord Jan 30th 2010 at 04:21 pm 23

    CIDU Bill (21, 22)

    If one accepts the meme that this life doesn’t matter (i.e. the good life is the afterlife), then those quick-witted Torah stoppers were REWARDED with death. If such was the case, then I suppose the leaders of the time had to edit the story a bit to prevent their remaining followers from emulating them too often – leaving them with no one to lead. Making death-causing things their “fault” raises the bar, so to speak, and keeps enough of the “flock” intact to provide dinner.

  24. paperboy Jan 30th 2010 at 04:48 pm 24

    Yeah,if you believe in Heaven and Hell, the only real “tragedy” in life would be to die a sinner and go to Hell; otherwise if you’re righteous you get an eternal reward.

  25. Molly J Jan 30th 2010 at 06:33 pm 25

    The bible is messed up. Needs to be taken with a huge, giant, enormous pinch of salt. Terribly flawed, messed with, edited, polluted piece of work.

    I do believe in God. But I don’t believe God is nearly so interested in what goes on down here. I don’t believe God causes earthquakes or tests people or punishes or rewards. I believe God, like any good parent, has given us a set of tools for dealing with life and with each other. Be nice, try to love other people as much as I love you, treat people like you want to be treated, care for the sick and others who need help and so on. If we could manage to do this, life would be pretty good, even in times when bad things happen. Jesus came along later (sent by God? son of God? Who knows?) to take another stab at explaining all this to us yet again, but we still didn’t get it and he ended up nailed to a tree for his efforts. We needed to find some meaning for this, so we said it was human sacrifice. I don’t really buy that either. It’s just what went down is all.

    Yeah, I know that’s a really “loosey goosey” kind of belief system, but I count myself as a believer in God and as a Christian in that I try to follow the teachings of Christ as I understand and know them. I guess my point is just to say, “Careful with that tarbrush, you guys!”

  26. Cidu Bill Jan 30th 2010 at 06:53 pm 26

    Detcord, Judaism doesn’t subscribe to the “only the afterlife is important” idea, and therefore there’s no upside to having the Old Testament God smite you.

  27. Molly J Jan 30th 2010 at 08:25 pm 27

    Bill, your story of the two guys and the Torah reminds me of a joke my dad (a retired Methodist minister, BTW) used to tell.

    A guy was in a house and a flood was coming. Some people came by in a truck and shouted, “Let us get you out of here! There’s a flood coming!”

    “God will save me,” replied the man.

    The water started rising and the man went up to the second floor. Some people came by in a boat. “Get in the boat!” they shouted. “We’ll take you to safety!”

    “God will save me,” replied the man.

    The waters rose and he climbed out onto his roof. A helicopter flew over and the people in it shouted “Let us send down a ladder!”

    “God will save me,” the man shouted back.

    So sure enough, the waters rose and the man drowned. He went to heaven where he met God.

    “God! I believed in you! I had faith! Why didn’t you save me?” the man cried.

    God said, “Look! I sent you a car and a boat and a helicopter. I couldn’t save you from being an idiot.”

  28. Cidu Bill Jan 30th 2010 at 08:29 pm 28

    Molly, that story did go through my mind when I heard the Bible story.

  29. Cidu Bill Jan 30th 2010 at 10:46 pm 29

    This discussion reminded me of this song which, fair warning, some people might find unsettling.

  30. chuckers Jan 30th 2010 at 11:40 pm 30

    “I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair.
    Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?
    So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.”

  31. Cidu Bill Jan 30th 2010 at 11:44 pm 31

    Chuckers, I like that much better than the way I said it.

  32. Nicole Jan 31st 2010 at 12:55 am 32

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
    – in 1896, addressing the National American Woman Suffrage Association meeting
    Susan Brownell Anthony

  33. Detcord Jan 31st 2010 at 07:24 am 33

    CIDU Bill (26)

    Bummer!

  34. Detcord Jan 31st 2010 at 07:49 am 34

    CIDU Bill, chuckers

    I remember this old “law” from my thermodynamics classes The rules were:

    1. You must play the game
    2. You can’t win
    3. You can’t break even
    4. You can’t quit the game

    I vaguely recall some wag applying these rules to life, based on certain religious philosophies. I think it goes something like this:

    1. Catholicism says you must play the game
    2. Judaism says you can’t win (which CIDU Bill succinctly pointed out)
    3. XXXX says you can’t break even
    4. Hinduism says you can’t even quit the game.

    Sadly, my poor memory and weak knowledge of many religions does not allow me to recall/fill in the XXXX, and I may have the order wrong. Any thoughts?

  35. chuckers Feb 1st 2010 at 08:32 am 35

    Nearest I could find in the brief period before I have to go to bed:

    http://www.xs4all.nl/~jcdverha/scijokes/2_18.html#subindex

  36. Delita Feb 1st 2010 at 12:14 pm 36

    Wow, for a forum about comics, this place is shockingly anti-religious (not that’s there’s anything shocking about that belief, I’m just surprised that opinion is so uniform on a site for a completely unrelated topic).
    So, I’ll try to provide another (hopefully good-natured) perspective. Er, as far as the whole “how could a loving God allow suffering?” topic - we are all aware that this in not a new question, right? It’s a main line of thought in all major religions. You might not agree with all of these philosophies, of course - but just raising the issue is not a magic bullet that destroys religion. Pretty much every person with any sort of religious belief has wrestled with this problem and, presumably, found a satisfactory answer. If you can dismantle a theology that complex and resilient with a single example and a short blog comment, you’re probably attacking a straw man.

    But to establish that we’re all on the same page on other issues, I’d like to echo the opinion that Pat Robertson is an idiot.

  37. Nicole Feb 1st 2010 at 01:37 pm 37

    Delita #36

    I hope this will be an equally good natured response to your post.

    You are not the first to notice that there non-believers seem to make up the bulk of visitors to the site.

    It seems to me that whenever someone questions religious belief they are almost immediately labeled anti-religion. What makes religion above reproach and question? If questioning faith based beliefs makes me anti-religion … then I guess I am.

    The reason the question of evil is the main topic in this particular thread is that Pat Robertson’s statement focuses on what most of us (religious or not) consider to be a natural disaster and not an act of god. That being the case, it is not surprising that the discussion should focus on the question of evil in the world.

    To be frank, I think that, while people may have come to a personally satisfactory answer to the question of evil, I don’t think most have thought their answer all the way through. I think those answers when taken to their logical conclusion fall flat. I don’t think anyone here thinks they have destroyed religion based on this one argument or a short blog post, but regardless of personally satifactory answers it is still a question that religious leaders have wrestled with for ages and they have yet to come up with a truly satisfactory answer.

    From your post I assume you have come to a personally satisfactory answer on this question, but since you did not share it with us, there is no way I can know if it would satisfy the questions I have around this issue.

    I can’t speak for others, but I hope you don’t think that the question of evil is the only reason that I have rejected religion and the belief in god. I did not wake up one morning and think “There is evil in the world — therefor there can be no god”. I personally spent years reading, questioning and thinking before I came to the conclusion that there is no god. As I said earlier, religion (including the god concept) is self contradictory in many ways and relies heavily on faith. Faith, by definition is the belief in something without evidence. Personally, I don’t want to believe in something without evidence.

    And calling Pat Robertson an idiot is an insult to all the idiots out there :-D

  38. Delita Feb 1st 2010 at 05:08 pm 38

    Thanks for the considerate reply, Nicole. And I’m sorry if I implied that I thought any questioning of faith is anti-religious. You’re right, it’s not. But there have been some blanket comments here along the lines of ‘all religions are inherently inconsistent’ or ‘apologists who defend their faith are just making stuff up’ which were deliberatly more antagonistic than asking well-reasoned questions.

    And I think I have to respectfully disagree with the assesment that most people haven’t thought the issue through. Some haven’t, certainly. But I think in many cases, and particularly in the aftermath of a disaster like Haiti, we make an opposite error of being swayed by the emotional magnitude of the event. If an explanation of the link between free will, sin and human suffering seems consistent, but then is rejected in outrage when we see or experience extreme suffering - well, the theology didn’t change. Just our subjective perspective, which actually tends to make our reasoning less logical. Not to say that this makes the church necessarily correct, but it is a bias we should be aware of.

    I deliberatly didn’t start explaining my beliefs (I’m Christian, if you’re interested) because I wasn’t looking to start a discussion on what the “correct” way to understand suffering is. My point was merely that can have different philosophies without being evil or stupid - a less ambitious thesis, true, but also a much more defensible one.

  39. FeelinOld Feb 1st 2010 at 05:19 pm 39

    All this reminded me of a Mike Neun bit, the Fanatical Agnostic,
    I don’t know and I’m willing to fight over it….

  40. Mark in Boston Feb 1st 2010 at 05:42 pm 40

    Almost everyone is anti-religion. Anti some religion or other, that is. Even Pat Robertson is anti-Satanism.

  41. paperboy Feb 1st 2010 at 05:51 pm 41

    You can believe in any “God” you people want; me, I’m waiting for Superman to arrive from Krypton, as foretold in the Books of Action Comics, to save us.

  42. CIDU Bill Feb 1st 2010 at 06:07 pm 42

    Detcord (33), Jews don’t see it as a “bummer,” as opposed to a different set of priorities: we believe that our “afterlife” is the impact we make on Earth.

  43. CIDU Bill Feb 1st 2010 at 06:10 pm 43

    Delita, there’s a difference between non-religious and anti-religious. I believe the tone of the discussions here tend to be the former rather than the latter.

    And while the majority here might be non-religious (or agnostic), all points of view are welcome and respected.

  44. arvy Feb 1st 2010 at 09:30 pm 44

    I suspect that the personality traits that attract readers to this site (irrevrence, a talent for logical analysis and deconstruction, a desire to find alternative explanations) are closely correlated to atheism, agnosticism, et.

  45. Nicole Feb 2nd 2010 at 07:59 am 45

    Delita # 38

    You are right, those are sweeping statements, and since I made them I would like to apologise and modify them. All relligions I have looked at are internally inconsistant, and some apologists I have read have said things not supported by scripture.

    You say that you think some people have thought the question of evil through. By this I am assuming that you mean they have come to a logically satifactory answer. But this begs the question, if there is a logically satifactory answer to he question of evil why is there still a question of evil at all ?

    The idea of free will is a problem. God knows what I am going to choose, god can’t be wrong, I have to make the choice god knows that I am going to. Since I have to make the choice god knows I will make, I have no free will.

    I totally agree that we can have differing philosophies without being evil or stupid. However some philosphies are evil and or stupid. Nazism would be a good example of an evil philosphy and Heaven’s Gate , the group that commited suicide to catch a ride on a comet Hale-Bopp in my mind quailfies as a stupid philosophy.

  46. Detcord Feb 2nd 2010 at 04:19 pm 46

    Cidu Bill (42)

    Thank you for the correction. I did not know that about the Jewish faith. Your response did cause me some puzzlement though. At Cidu (21) you noted how God “struck down” two quick-witted (or was that dim-witted?) individuals who stopped a Torah from hitting the ground. I assume this Torah toppling would have been a blasphemy that would have had serious negative ramifications on the whole group, yes?

    So, if, as you say, Jews view the impact they make on Earth the most important element of their life, then I would have thought the self-sacrificing actions of these two individuals would have been seen as making a major, and positive, impact – by preventing such a catastrophe falling on the whole group. The loss of their lives would only serve to emphasize that fact, and underline the point that there is no gain (or impact?) without sacrifice.

    If all this is true, then why the angst expressed at Cidu (21)? Sacrificing oneself for the benefit of others was, I thought, the greatest gift one could give in this “life”. Have I missed something?

  47. arvy Feb 2nd 2010 at 05:35 pm 47

    Detcord,

    Not sure if you’re being facetious here or really looking for a response…

    If I recall, the “penalty” for dropping a Torah is that everyone present must fast for 40 days. Two people sacrificing their lives so that others may eat during daylight hours for a few weeks seems a bit disproportionate to say the least.

    Additionally, while I’ll admit I may be on shaky theological ground here, I’m pretty sure that you don’t get “credit” for something if you didn’t know what you were doing. The men did not know they were sacrificing their lives and may not have made the same decision if they had known.

    Finally, the real issue seems to be not whether or not the men (and their families, fellow congregants, etc.) should be happy with their fate, but the fact that there is such a glaring logical inconsistency here that it would seem to prevent anyone from ever knowing what the right course is. If we are supposed to have faith that God will take care of things, then why should we do anything? But if we are supposed to be his instruments, then why were the men struck down?

    On the other hand, it may all be a moot point because I’m not sure Bill has the story correct. I remember a similar story (one somehow involving Kind David), but IIRC the person who was struck down was steadying the Torah, not saving it from falling necessarily, and the crime was not lack of faith but that the person was not “authorized” to touch the Torah. It may be that both stories are in the bible (or in different versions), but I wonder if Bill may be remembering it wrong.

  48. Detcord Feb 2nd 2010 at 06:12 pm 48

    Arvy (47)

    Facetious, that’s an interesting choice. I do like Cidu Bill’s site because it is cleverly amusing in tone, and (generally) has a light-hearted, bantering quality, with lots of tongue-in-cheek commentary. That is to say, it’s fun!

    As I mentioned in one of my earlier post (not in this thread), I also enjoy learning new things as I am naturally curious. In the short time I’ve been posting here, I’ve learned a lot about comics – even though I’ve been a life-long fan. I am amazed at the different perspectives one can take. I also especially enjoy it when the conversation goes off-piste, so to speak.

    However, as some of my posts should indicate, I do take serious subjects … er, seriously. Religion is a very serious subject for many people and I respect that, even if I disagree with any particular creed etc. Who am I to judge?

    So no, with regard to Cidu Bill’s various posts, which have been thoughtful and considered, I am not being facetious, but simply curious. I do tend to probe boundaries and Cidu Bill has been kind enough to assuage my curiosity. If I’ve been unintentionally rude, I apologize.

  49. arvy Feb 2nd 2010 at 06:27 pm 49

    Detcord, by asking if you were being factious I in no way intended to imply that you were being rude (nor did I intend to sound harsh in my reply).

  50. Detcord Feb 2nd 2010 at 07:03 pm 50

    arvy (49)

    No problem. You made me think about my approach, and that is never a bad thing.

  51. CIDU Bill Feb 2nd 2010 at 08:28 pm 51

    Detcord, my point was pretty much that God was acting — at least by my thinking — irrationally. God acting irrationally is kind of a disturbing thought.

    arvy, it’s very possible that the rabbi’s story was a version of the one you mention, though his explanation of God’s wrath was that the two men didn’t have the proper faith, rather than that they weren’t authorized to touch the Torah. Neither version particularly impresses me, because they both involve an extreme punishment for somebody who was instinctively doing the right thing.

  52. Arvy Feb 2nd 2010 at 09:06 pm 52

    Bill, for a guy who teaches reading for a living, I sometimes need to do a better job (at least in terms of recall), since I (not going back up to re-read your original post) remembered it as though you’d said you were recalling a story from your childhood as opposed to one you “heard recently.”

    I’ll assume you’re remembering the story accurately (and I did a Google search to verify my version) so either god has a thing for smiting Torah touchers or your nephew’s rabbi was indeed a little kiddush krazy that night.

  53. Nicole Feb 2nd 2010 at 09:20 pm 53

    Bill #51

    See, now no matter what I say it is going to sound snarky. Having read the bible, I am afraid that God is not portrayed as a very rational being. Detcord in #20 mentioned the story of Job, God basically tortures Job to prove to Satan that Job is a good man. Seriously .. God the all powerful creator of the universe is goaded by Satan — that is rational? God killed every living thing on the planet other than Noah, his family and the animals on the ark — not very rational. Here God tells us to kill the rape victim (Deuteronomy 22:23-24) - If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife. How is any of this rational ?

  54. Winter Wallaby Feb 2nd 2010 at 11:49 pm 54

    Arvy, I’m assuming that the story Bill heard was the story of Uzzah, although if it is, as you say, it’s gotten a bit garbled. The penalty for dropping a Torah may be fasting for 40 days, but in the story of Uzzah, he (one person, not two) was steadying the Ark of the Covenant - a lot more important than just a Torah. The story is here if anyone is curious. I suspect the original message of the story was less “Have trust in God,” and more “Don’t touch powerful magical artifacts” (as you say, without authorization). My understanding is that in later years, God got even more strident about this message, and melted the faces of an entire squad of Nazis who weren’t touching the Ark, but were just nearby when it was opened.

  55. Detcord Feb 3rd 2010 at 01:46 pm 55

    Winter Wallaby (54)

    It’s true, I saw it too! Nasty.

    More (and less) seriously. Trust in God. Um, yes. In a way, but I like Molly J (27)’s take on that aspect. Now, my father used to say, “God helps those who help themselves” and I find it hard to argue with that one. Not much has landed in my lap by my just sitting there wishing for it. Still…

  56. Elyrest Feb 3rd 2010 at 02:15 pm 56

    “God helps those who help themselves”

    Detcord (55) - My Mom always said “God help those who help themselves” as she swatted our greedy little hand away from whatever it was that we were trying to take.

    :-D

  57. Detcord Feb 3rd 2010 at 04:54 pm 57

    Elyrest (56)

    LOL :-) … and yes, we did test that principle too. Funny how it didn’t always work out that way. Cidu Bill is right. God is irrational, just like parents.

  58. Tim Feb 5th 2010 at 09:49 am 58

    I’m confused by the comments, not the comic. “Where’s the joke?” The Far Left Side only has a “joke” when there’s enough room left over. It’s the Liberal equivalent of Glenn Beck.

  59. Nicole Feb 5th 2010 at 10:18 am 59

    Tim #58 — I will be sure to pass your comic onto Mike :-P

    We liberals stick together …LOL

  60. Todd Feb 7th 2010 at 12:29 am 60

    I notice that in all the discussion of Robertson, everyone overlooks one thing: Robertson never claimed that God caused the earthquake in Haiti. In fact, one can assume that it is the devil who caused it.

    If a question ever arises about religion, always remember that the devil is standing behind you whispering in your ear. As he always has been, all the way back to the time of Moses and before.

  61. Winter Wallaby Feb 7th 2010 at 01:48 am 61

    If Satan has been whispering in people’s ears, back to the time of Moses and before, it’s a little strange that, aside from a few incidental mentions, he appears in only one, relatively late book in the Hebrew Bible (Job).

  62. Nicole Feb 7th 2010 at 10:05 am 62

    Todd # 60 — You are correct Robertson never actually says that God caused the earthquake. Here is the actual quote “They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it’s a deal […] ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.”

    We’ll ignore the fact that he couldn’t be bothered to find out which Napoleon the Haitian’s were under ( it was Napoleon Bonaparte who ruled France, 44 years before his nephew Napoleon III) no reason to let facts get in the way. The question I have is are you interpreting this statement to say that Satan is cursing the Haitian’s for having a pact with him ? Wouldn’t that be rather bad PR for the devil ? “Make a pact with me and i will make your life miserable and as a bonus you get to spend an eternity being tortured by my minions … where else are you going to get a better deal for the measly price of your soul?”

    Seriously … does that make any sense ? Wouldn’t it make more sense for God to be doing the cursing to discourage others from making pacts with the devil ?

    Robertson is also known for claiming that God visits his wrath on those who don’t obey his word. Here are two examples ..

    ” But have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected in some way? And he goes down the list of the things that God says will cause a nation to lose its possession ”

    And after 9/11 he agreed wholeheartedly with Jerry Falwell that the terrorist’s were allowed by God to attack as retribution for the ALCU, abortionists, pagan, gays lesbians etc.
    http://comicsidontunderstand.com/wordpress/2010/01/30/i-enjoy-mocking-pat-robertson-as-much-as-the-next-guy/#comments

    So while it is true … he did not actually say that God caused the earthquake, the implication is that at least God allowed the earthquake. Which to myself and others is just the same.

  63. arvy Feb 7th 2010 at 01:35 pm 63

    Reading Nicole’s comment leads me back to a question that has never been adequately answered for me. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, then he either created Satan or knew that His actions would lead to Satan (one might say he “literaly set the stage for the emergence of a not-so-nice being.”).

    Why would he do this?

  64. Nicole Feb 7th 2010 at 01:48 pm 64

    Arvy #63 — and so we come circle to the question of evil .

    Epicurus put it this way :

    if God is unable to prevent evil, he is not omnipotent
    if God is not willing to prevent evil, he is not good
    if God is willing and able to prevent evil, then why is there evil?

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