Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bishop: Pat Robertson is an idolatrous buffoon.

Wonderful rant by the Rt. Reverend John Spong, a retired Episcopal Bishop (Diocese of Newark) who grew up southern and conservative but has been fighting fundamentalism and asking uncomfortable questions for most of his career. When asked about Pat Robertson's latest Doom for Dover pronouncement, he fired back with this:

[W]ho, other than Pat himself, designated Pat Robertson to be God's spokesperson? How dare Pat assume that the God revealed in the Jesus I serve is filled with all of Pat's peculiar prejudices. Why does he not understand that God is God and Pat Robertson is not? Why does he not see that when he tells the world with an unashamed certainty what God thinks and what God will do, he is only revealing what he thinks and what he would do if he had God's power? Pat needs to understand that he is acting out the very meaning of idolatry. He has confused God with himself.

Second, someone needs to inform Pat Robertson that the idea of God sitting on a throne above the clouds manipulating the weather in order to punish sinners is so primitive and so naïve that it is staggering to the educated imagination. It is bad enough that his mind cannot embrace the thought of Charles Darwin from the 19th century, but Pat has yet to embrace the thought of Copernicus from the 16th century or Galileo from the 17th century.

He goes on to say that he knows Robertson and his family well from Virginia, that Robertson's father lost his U.S. Senate seat to Spong's first cousin - William Spong - in 1966, and that his ludicrous comments embarrass all who devote their lives to Christianity. They also raise an interesting question:

Pat is a 1955 graduate of the Law School at Yale University and received a Master in Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary in 1959. He cannot possibly be as dumb as he sounds in his wild and thoughtless utterances. If ignorance is not his excuse, then one has to wonder what motivates him. In academic theological circles he is treated as a buffoon. No one takes his thoughts seriously.

Yay, Episcopalians.

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