Pat Robertson's speaking for God again. This time he says God punished Ariel Sharon with a stroke for giving land back to Palestinians. (AP via ABC News)
No, it's not surprising. It is disappointing to continually hear God portrayed as a wrathful overseer, striking down those who act in disrespect of His (often linked with America's) interests. It's not surprising that it is difficult to get a hearing for the crucified Christ and God's mission to bless and redeem the world that is regularly hearing, from men of God, who the Lord is excluding and punishing. Does it seem to you that this type of talk is ramping up? Why do fear and control seem to be such strong themes for so many Christians? And how do we speak effectively when the media spreads such messages worldwide every time one of these "leaders" shoots off his mouth?
Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League said it well: "His remarks are un-Christian and a perversion of religion. Unlike Robertson, we don't see God as cruel and vengeful."
So much better to pray for Mr. Sharon, the nation of Israel, and the fragile peace process that hangs in the balance.
Update: Lutheran Zephyr points to a really funny (but not very generous) satire piece on why Robertson's inanity gets so much press coverage. A taste: "Is there a better argument against intelligent design than Pat Robertson?"