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Friday, January 13, 2006

Israel 1, Charlatans and Demagogues 0.

I'm a Christian. A liberal, openminded, Zennish sort of Christian, maybe, but a sincere follower of Jesus, a believer in God, and an elder in a mainline Protestant church. When I defend Christianity against the kind of "Christian" demagogues the Bible warns against, I'm not just making fun of the faithful, but seriously defending the faith. Just to get that out in the open.

Here's a fun, ethical question:

What do you call someone who states a view, stands by that view, refuses to apologize -- but, when the people he insulted get so angry that they decide not to let him guild his $50 million theme park on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, suddenly realizes he was unthoughtful, apologizes, and asks for his $50 million deal back?

Answer: Either incredibly cowardly, or an utter charlatan. I won't pretend to judge.

Pat Robertson is bold in stating his extreme views to a friendly and financially generous TV audience. But when his views start costing him money, he backs away from them right quick. If this is how he acts about theme parks, I wonder how he would have handled the choice between affirming his faith and, say, being fed to lions?

US TV evangelist Pat Robertson has apologised for saying Israeli leader Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for leaving the Gaza Strip. Mr Robertson wrote to Mr Sharon's son Omri to say he now realised his remarks were "inappropriate and insensitive".

He asked for forgiveness, but there is no suggestion the Israeli authorities will overturn a decision to block a tourism deal with the preacher.

Israel said on Wednesday it would no longer sign a $50m contract with him.


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