I have to admit, sometimes I don't like writing about whatever the latest insanely stupid and offensive thing Pat Robertson has said. For one thing, my head hurts reading insanely stupid and offensive things that come out of Pat Robertson's mouth and other open orifices. For another, it seems wrong, like making fun of a six-year-old. And also, it's just too easy, like shooting apples in a barrel.
But in the end, Pat Robertson isn't a six-year-old. And responding does have a way of getting my head to stop hurting. And ultimately, there's nothing inherently wrong with easy. Eating ice cream is easy (unless you're lactose intolerant, which I suspect is similar to how many people are towards Pat Robertson.) And besides, this was a guy who ran for the GOP nomination for president once, and Republicans actually took him seriously. So, I should, too. I don't, but I should.
And so it was that on his 700 Club TV lollapalooza, Pat Robertson pondered --
"What would have happened in Jesus’ time if two men decided they wanted to cohabit together, they would have been stoned to death. So Jesus would not have baked them a wedding cake nor would he have made them a bed to sleep in because they wouldn’t have been there. But we don’t have that in this country here so that’s the way it is."
I suppose it's possible that, in Jesus' time, two men deciding to cohabit together might have been stoned to death. Unless they lived in San Francisco. But then, in Jesus' time, the bible says a child could be stoned to death by his or her parents just for being disobedient (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). And a father could stone his daughter to death for not being a virgin (Deuteronomy 22:13-21). And oh-so many other things gallingly ghastly to us today. (And by "today," I mean like for the last thousand years.) Not to mention permitting slavery. So, I hope the good Rev. Robertson isn't holding 2,000 year-old society to the Good Old Days standard he thinks should be followed.
For that matter, I also agree with the Reverend Mr. Robertson that Jesus probably wouldn't have baked them a wedding cake. But then that's because Pat Robertson's scenario merely had the two men "cohabiting together," not marrying, and it would be so incredibly inappropriate, let alone presumptuous to bake a wedding cake for that -- and Jesus had a pretty darn good sense of decorum and manners (except for that one time he went all ballistic about moneylenders). But there's another huge reason that Jesus wouldn't have packed them a cake -- it's a well-known fact among biblical scholars that Jesus was an extremely bad baker. If he ever wanted a wedding cake for anything, he definitely would have hired it out.
Having said all that, I agree yet again with Pat Robertson that Jesus wouldn't have made the couple a bed to sleep in, even though he was a very talented carpenter earlier in his life, much like Harrison Ford, another celebrity. But that's because what kind of people who agree to cohabit together would do so before they had a bed already. They wouldn't have needed one, and Jesus -- being Jesus -- would have known that. Mind you, assuming that Jesus didn't know the two men (a fair assumption because Rev. Robertson clearly doesn't say they all are friends), what kind of person goes off and just makes a bed for total strangers? Even if you're the Son of God. Besides, if you're the Son of God, you assuredly have far more important things to do than build beds for strangers. (Though it's worth noting that Jimmy Carter does build complete houses for strangers, though that's a specific job he's taken on. He's not burdened with being the Son of God.) And if this imaginary cohabitation took place when Jesus was still doing his carpentry work -- I think we can all agree that it's pretty poor business practice for a carpenter to build a bed unsolicited. What if the people like a soft mattress, and you've made it medium-hard? If they don't want to pay, you could be out a lot of shekels.
But, as Pat Robertson and Walter Cronkite say, that’s the way it is. (Or to keep this biblical, as Pharaoh said to Moses, “So it has been written, so it shall be done.” Okay, at least he said it in the movie version. Or Yul Brynner did.)
By the way, dear Mr. Robertson also compared same-sex couples to abortion, saying that "both of them deny the reproduction of human species."
Interestingly, this is almost exactly the same way I feel about when his parents gave birth to Pat Robertson.
That aside, on this last comment of his I must disagree with the being known as Pat Robertson. The comparison is incredibly misguided. After all, by his definition of those who "deny the reproduction of human species," he might as well add comparisons to football huddles, Christian youth retreats, barbershop quartets, prostate cancer survivors, kindergarten through fourth grade, monks, nuns, all celibacy for that matter, senior citizens, prison, and most parents after their third child. Also, many women after delivering her first child. Not to mention fathers who stone their daughters to death for not being virgins.
But far be it from me to deny Pat Robertson the opportunity open his pie hole and say whatever he wants. I not only always appreciate the opportunity to get source material for yet another article -- but every time he does speak, I suspect it diminishes his mean-spirited cause one more rung. Always a good thing, should he decide to try and get the Republican nomination for president again.
And in the end, the truth is that although Jesus was not a good baker, he did know how to make delicious hummus. And that's what he probably would have made for the two guys cohabiting together.
.And his good disciple would have made the Peter bread.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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