Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 5, 2006
By: Amy Sullivan

NUTCASE THEOLOGY....I try not to comment on all of the ridiculous things that come out of Pat Robertson's mouth because 1) he's a moonbat who seems to be reading a very different translation of the Bible than I am, and 2) most evangelicals, even conservative ones, don't think of him as a spokesperson who represents their views.

But then there are statements like this, in which he suggests that Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for "dividing God's land." This general line of thinking isn't new for Robertson (see: post-9/11, post-Katrina, dire predictions for Dover, PA post-election). But it's interesting that he chooses to ascribe personal illness to divine disfavor.

I seem to remember that a few years ago Pat Robertson spent some time battling prostate cancer. What was God punishing him for then? It's not hard to think of some possibilities, including Robertson's gold-mining deal in Liberia with the vicious Charles Taylor.

Amy Sullivan 4:59 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (133)

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Comments

Someone should ask O'Reilly, et al if they don't think this whackjob does more to discredit religion than the "secular progressives".

Posted by: Newton Minnow on January 5, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Moutpiece of the repuke party.Along with Ann Coulter, Rush and Hannity.

Posted by: scott on January 5, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Amy:Don't you get your dander in an uproar when someone says something about YOUR religious beliefs?

Just saying.

Posted by: Karmakin on January 5, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

For a while now, I've been very afraid of the Christian Right's nominal support for Israel. It's true that they love the State of Israel, but it's not a healthy love. It's stalker love. They want Israel to exist so that Jesus can come back and we can have the End of Days. The existence of Israel is only a means to that end. As a result, the Christian Right's support for Israel disappears the moment that the Israeli government does anything that would thwart the Second Coming. In other words, they will oppose any peace agreement that gives up a portion of Biblical Israel.

Robertson's comments are just the most public version of what I'm afraid is lying under the surface.

Posted by: mxh on January 5, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

One thing that's bugged me about the Katrina comments these wackjobs have made is that God specifically promised not to use flooding as a method of divine retribution. So to try and claim that Katrina is divine retribution is calling God a liar, i.e. blasphemy.

Posted by: Greg on January 5, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

But the funny thing is, you can't really prove Robertson's not right. For all we know God could be angry at Sharon for divided Israel.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim on January 5, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

But the funny thing is, you can't really prove that Cadbury's isn't right. For all we know there could really be an Easter Bunny laying chocolate eggs.

Posted by: Constance Reader on January 5, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Amy Sullivan,

Pat Robertson isn't a moonbat. If anything he's a wingnut (or just plain nuts). You and I are moonbats.

Posted by: alex on January 5, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Bear with me Amy... but I think I'm getting this Christian fundamentalism stuff down Pat.

Let's see:

If the miners are found alive it is a miracle.

If the miners are found dead it is God's mysterious way of working things out...

In other words: God's will can be ad-libbed on the fly by any moonbat with a stiff prick and a big grudge.

That's the way religion works... right?

In other words Amy... it doesn't have anything to do with whatever crappy edition of the bible or the koran or the kabbalah one happens to be reading...

Rather-- it is the whole shithole idea that God has spoken at all. That's the original Pandora's box. Once you allow that... the earth becomes a place of enduring evil.

Amen... my ass.


Posted by: koreyel on January 5, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Recent news reports regarding prostate cancer indicate eating lots of green onions and having lots of ejaculations during puberty and early adulthood prevent the disease. No onion diet and no spanking the monkey for ol' Pat, or it is no god's way of punishing him for sodomizing those children in Liberia.

As for the mass murdering Sharon, well...

Posted by: Hostile on January 5, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

He waited too long for the Second Coming.

Posted by: Ann Coulter's twelve-speed dildo on January 5, 2006 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

koreyel:

Brusquely but accurately put. I'm alternately amused and horrified that religionists can fixate literally any event in the physical world--no matter how obvious its cause or trivial its results--and attach some cosmic meaning to it. It's primitive, disgusting, and sad, no different from neolithic shamans rooting around in goat entrails for omens. Or, less charitably, schitzophrenics who insist that David Letterman is sending them secret, personal message with his choice of tie color.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on January 5, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

no different from neolithic shamans rooting around in goat entrails for omens. Or, less charitably, schitzophrenics who insist that David Letterman is sending them secret, personal message with his choice of tie color.

Is the latter analogy really "less charitable" than the former? That doesn't seem obvious to me.

Posted by: Urple on January 5, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

But the funny thing is, you can't really prove Bush is not right. For all we know God could be talking to Bush with his Dick Cheney voice through the contraption strapped to Bush's back.

This is a fun game.

Posted by: The Dad on January 5, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

I wish somebody could punch him in the nose so I could ask him why God made somebody do it? I wish he would just drink his Kool Aid so we wouldn't have to listen to him anymore.

Posted by: Jeremy on January 5, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Comments like Pat's most recent are why I'm convinced we'll win in the end. It takes time, but people catch on to insanity.

Posted by: Tony Shifflett on January 5, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

The thing about Robertson's idiotic statement is that he seems to be confusing Judaism and Christianity. God may have told the Jews that Israel was theirs, but I thought the birth of the messiah and all that sort of erased all the Old Testament "covenants" and such.

Are we to see Robertson converting sometime soon to become a rabbi? He'd make a great Hassidim.

Posted by: Jeff II on January 5, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Any religion is as good as it is practiced by its adherants, not as it looks on paper, just like communism.

Posted by: lib on January 5, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

mxh:

Don't forget that this stalker love (great term) also includes two-thirds of Jews getting wasted (and not with Manechewitz) during the Tribulations so a third of them can follow Rabbi Ben Judah's message from Left Behind II and take Christ into their hearts.

I sure as *hell* hope that the actor who played that guy wasn't Jewish ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

God must be mad at Bush that is why he falls off his bike so much,and the brush that keeps attacking his face,Gods will baby.

Posted by: scott on January 5, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

He waited too long for the Second Coming.

Second Coming is not that easy.

Posted by: nut on January 5, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Robertson IS the AntiChrist.

Posted by: kaptain kapital on January 5, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Oh and Clinton comes out unscathed ,God loves Clinton.Amen

Posted by: scott on January 5, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Robertson's on safe ground when he says this kind of stuff. Any Israeli who does anything that Robertson doesn't like is sure to die of something eventually.

My question: who's going to be the first to claim proof that God smites sanctimonious assholes when Robertson dies?

Posted by: chaunceyatrest on January 5, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Second Coming is not that easy. Posted by: nut

Depends on how you're wired and/or how old your are.

Posted by: Jeff II on January 5, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

And don't forget also tht this stalker love includes blowing up the Dome of the Rock (the third holiest site in Islam) so that the Jews can construct the Third Temple ...

Please don't anybody wonder why the Islamic world (and hardly just radical Islamists) thinks that anytime Bush and his supporters get *near* the Mideast, it is *all about* a Christian crusade.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever the overall standing of Pat Robertson in the evangelical pantheon these days, I haven't seen any move by other prominent evangelicals (e.g. James Dobson) to point out that he's a moonbat and shouldn't be thought of as representative of the evangelical movement. Heck, they aren't even willing to do that much to Falwell, who's an even bigger moonbat, with less clout.

And I notice that evangelicals are still sending their kids in nontrivial numbers to both moonbats' universities - Regent University (Robertson) and Liberty University (Falwell). I'll believe these guys don't have much of a following when they have to shut their schools' doors due to lack of tuition-paying students.

Posted by: RT on January 5, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Recent news reports regarding prostate cancer indicate eating lots of green onions and having lots of ejaculations during puberty and early adulthood prevent the disease.

Best news I've heard all week

Posted by: Goran on January 5, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

That televangalism is crazy stuff sometimes. A few months ago I was flipping around looking for cartoons in the morning and found some grey haired glistening makeup slathered old guy doing his end times sermon. It was actually kind of hard to figure out what he wanted people to do, if anything, but any sermon given over a video montage of people rioting and atomic bomb blasts has a surreal enjoyability. It was like the opening to a bad sci-fi movie except... real!

Posted by: jefff on January 5, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah Clinton did come unscathed. Bastard.

Posted by: nut on January 5, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

I guess now we all need to just wait for that plague of frogs that Robertson called down on Dover, PA, for voting God out of their city.

That's gonna be kinda cool to watch, actually ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

And thus, Pat Robertson spaketh into the holy microphone:

I think we need to look at the Bible and the Book of Joel. The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who, quote, "divide my land." God considers this land to be his.

Translated as: Robertson must have not gotten all the real estate he wanted in this deal:

Plans for Holy Land theme park on Galilee shore where Jesus fed the 5,000

Evangelical groups and Israel on brink of deal
Some Israelis fear motives of US Christian right

A consortium of Christian groups, led by the television evangelist Pat Robertson, is in negotiation with the Israeli ministry of tourism and a deal is expected in the coming months. The project is expected to bring up to 1 million extra tourists a year but an undeclared benefit will be the cementing of a political alliance between the Israeli rightwing and the American Christian right.

I'm basically thinking that it's gonna end up being a $48 million-dollar bomber magnet.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 5, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

if there is a god who is wont to strike people down for the things they say and do, he would have planted pat years ago.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 5, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Let's lock Robertson up with Michael Moore. Or Howard Dean. Or Al Gore. Or John Kerry. Or Nancy Pelosi. Or Ted Kennedy.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 5, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Second Coming is not that easy.

It's easier if you can borrow Bill O'Reilly's loofah-headed vibrator.

Posted by: Stefan on January 5, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

You're all going to hell

Posted by: Satan on January 5, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Robertson isn't a moonbat. If anything he's a wingnut (or just plain nuts). You and I are moonbats.
Only a moonbat couldn't tell the difference between a moonbat and a wingnut.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 5, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Let's lock Robertson up with Michael Moore. Or Howard Dean. Or Al Gore. Or John Kerry. Or Nancy Pelosi. Or Ted Kennedy.

Or nuts-on-chin

Posted by: nutty little nut nut on January 5, 2006 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

peanut cerebrum:

No, he needs to be locked up with Duke Cunningham, "B-1" Bob Dornan and Jim Trafficant where he belongs.

Nobody comes *near* the right wing when it comes to bloviators on the edge of criminal insanity.

Michael Moore looks like the president of a high-prestige college of law in comparison.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, CN, be sure to keep track that we all call each other by the right childish generality

Posted by: G on January 5, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

It's easier if you can borrow Bill O'Reilly's loofah-headed vibrator. Posted by: Stefan

That would be falafel-headed, Stefan.

Posted by: Jeff II on January 5, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan,
Actually, I believe that vibrator was tipped with falafel.

Posted by: MJ Memphis on January 5, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

I have finally concluded that Pat Robertson is God's punishment on reasonble believers.

Posted by: Karen Cox on January 5, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Then what was the loofah sponge for?

Posted by: Ann Coulter's twelve-speed dildo on January 5, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, CN, be sure to keep track that we all call each other by the right childish generality
I like to do my work with accuracy and precision.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 5, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

The problem here is not Robertson's statement per se, but Amy's half hearted faith, for she is unable to accept the fact that if her faith in faith is taken to its inevitable logical conclusions, the rantings of a mad man like Roberston will have to be accepted as rational.

Posted by: lib on January 5, 2006 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut:

So we've been told ...

Posted by: conspiracy nut's robotic anal probe on January 5, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Amy, how can you talk like that about a man emblematic of those who got GWB elected?

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 5, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Robertson speaks for meeeeeeeeeeeeee ...

Posted by: GerbilTron D'Amore on January 5, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

In "The New World Order" Robertson made not so veiled refrences that daddy Bush was in fact the Anti-Christ. Now we know, via Robertson, God chose W. Guess the fruit rolled away from the tree.

Posted by: the eel on January 5, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, C-nutter! Master of the art of the accurate and precise smear.

Posted by: kaptain kapital on January 5, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Robertson is an idiot. Remember, both sides have their idiotarians. Lib, above, is wrong -- Robertson is not what you get when you take faith to its logical conclusion. Robertson's faith (along with his common sense and intelligence) got laywaid somewhere along the way.

I had forgotten about the Chuck Taylor / gold mine deal. Thanks, Kevin, for the reminder.

Posted by: Steve White on January 5, 2006 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

the eel:

No, no, the Anti-Christ is UN Secretary General Nicolae Carpathian -- don't you read the Left Behind books?

That's a good point, though. The Black Helicopters crowd, which culimated in Timmy McVeigh, initially got extremely exercised by something that Bush I called the New World Order.

What was that supposed to be about, anyway?

Not the conspiracy version; the Birchers have been gassing about One Word Government since the UN was created. I mean the sincere, Bush/Scowcrowft version?

Memory escapes me ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, yes, Robertson represents just a tiny fringe of the Republican party, whereas a scholar of the likes of Ward Churchill dominates Democratic policy.

Posted by: Miked on January 5, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

yeah. The republican party has intellectual stalwarts like Jonah Goldberg and Ann Coulter and the lapdog Will.

Posted by: lib on January 5, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Pat Robertson IS the AntiChrist.

No, he isn't., but W. may be.

Someone on another blog said that the reason Robertson and other wacky evangelicals don't act like Christians is that they are following the Bible, as stated in Revelations, not the Bible that Jesus taught. I'm a Christian, and I've never studied Revelations in depth, but I've never been told that we can "bring on" the end times. I was always taught in church that NO ONE could predict the end of time.

Posted by: pol on January 5, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

...a scholar of the likes of Ward Churchill dominates Democratic policy.

In the United States of Lay Off the Crack, maybe.

I have to say I'm looking forward to the rest of this thread spinning itself out without Don P's puerile attacks on liberal Christians for not understanding just what a badass Jesus really was.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

i always thought televangelists like pat robertson were jokes. some are in on it, and some aren't. some are in it and on some the hoax is pulled. like the old show, hee haw. not funny, but a joke.

Posted by: chris from boca on January 5, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

I've never been told that we can "bring on" the end times

Evangelical Protestant theology, especially the modern American version, is an odd blend of biblical literalism, pop psychology, and Promethean hubris. I blame it on John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd who popularized the "mission from God" notion, and are thus probably responsible for both the Iraq War and Pat Robertson's personal delusions.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 5, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Sa -braaaah shatilah
Sa -braaaah shatilah
Sa -braaaah shatilah
Sha - ti - lah


Posted by: God on January 5, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

I don't expect to see Robertson convert to Judaism anytime soon. I didn't read it myself but the reviews I read of "New World Order" made it clear that the book is warmed over Jewish banker conspiracy theory of history with all the usual Rothschild et al. references but without the word "Jew."

A very evil man.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on January 5, 2006 at 7:14 PM | PERMALINK

The real problem is that having come first, Christians never figured Muslims in to their theology.

Posted by: Boronx on January 5, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

Then what was the loofah sponge for? - Ann Coulter's twelve-speed dildo

Leakage?


Anyhoo, Robertson, Dobson, Robison, Falwell et al belong in the category 'Apocalyse Nut' because their cult prepares exclusively for that event. They are a death cult spending more time preparing for their afterlife than in bettering this one and are praying for the death of liberal supreme court justices, the nuclear annihilation of Isreal, and the 'rapture' (which appears nowhere in the bible). If this cult were not associated with Christianity we would see them for the pathological out of control zealots that they are. If we called them Satanists they would all be on a watch list and infiltrated by Homeland Security agents trying to break them apart because of the danger they present to the country.

Why do we coddle hate groups and cults if they associate themselves with Jesus? Is everybody so afraid of possibly going to hell that we will allow monsters to thrive in our neighborhoods? This is why it is dangerous to allow true believers to ascend to places of power in this country.

We are becomming a country of superstitions, not of laws.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on January 5, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

I try not to comment on all of the ridiculous things that come out of Pat Robertson's mouth because 1) he's a moonbat...

Yeah, thanks a bunch, Amy...

Posted by: Doozer, (Moonbat) on January 5, 2006 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

And I see "God" (not, presumably, G-d, who posted above me, shares Robertson's convictions about diving retribution.

Sharon isn't my favorite political leader in the world and his actions or lack thereof in Beirut were unconscionable. But to call him a "mass murderer" as someone above does... gosh we're back to the Jews = Nazis trope there. Another form of the Robertson conspiracy theory.

Wingnuts come in all forms.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on January 5, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

The fact is, Pat Robertson is head of one of the largest, most successful Christian Evangelical ministries in the world. Yet I keep hearing from Amy and other Evangelicals (liberal and conservative) about how Pat Robertson doesn't really represent Christians or Evangelicals. But I only hear this privately. What they need to do is very loudly, very publically condemn this man, point out that what he says is NOT at all Christian, and that everyone who belongs to his ministry and donates money to him is following a false teacher. Until this happens, I cannot have much respect for the Evangelical Christian community.

Posted by: danno on January 5, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

A very interesting and related article written by Tony Campolo:

http://tinyurl.com/84g9u

Posted by: danno on January 5, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

pol:

Well, there are three basic schools of thought:

premilleniarian, postmilleniarian and amilleniarian.

The Catholics are amillienarian. They believe the issue is entirely moot. They don't hold much to Revelation (Martin Luther tried to get that book expunged from the canon, and at Nicea when they were sifting through manuscripts it almost didn't make the cut) and believe that spending any time worrying about the Final Days is a complete waste of time. Many mainline Protestant denominations are also in this camp. If anything, they view Revelations for what it is -- a highly poetic allegory. Considering that John was around to watch the Roman Emperor Titus crash through Jerusalem and stop it flat with his armored elephants in 70 CE, this take sees Revelation as "well, you beat us now but you'll get yours in the hereafter" message.

Postmillenials believe in the Thousand-Year Reign of Jesus (the Millienium), but they believe that He will only return to Earth when we've made the place decent, finally. This was in some of the older forms of evangelism, the ones that focused on things like crusading against drink and taking care of the needs of the poor. Also the Abolition movement against slavery. The idea is that we should hasten the Kingdom of Heaven by doing good works. Sounds like this is where your own church is coming from.

Premillenials are the true nutcases. The modern doctrine is called Dispensationalism and it was introduced by British evangelist Joseph Darby. This is where you get the Rapture and the seven-year Tribulations from, before the Thousand-Year Reign of Jesus. Here, they believe that Jesus will first "come like a thief in the night" -- at any minute -- and rapture away all the good Christians before everybody else gets their comeuppance when Satan and the Antichrist are unleashed to rule world events.

Scarily enough, there's a doctrine even more insane (and politically influential) than the Left Benind moonbattery of the premillenials. That's called Dominionism. Dominionism is a postmillenial flavor formulated by radical Presbetyerians from orthodox Calvinist doctrine which believes in establishing a literal theocracy and ruling over everybody, saved or damned. That's actually Robertson; contrary to popular belief, he's not a Dispensationalist -- or at least isn't today. Regents University is called that because they are regents acting in Christ's stead before his return. And that can only come when Dominionists control every level of government.

Some say that the well-funded campaign for Intelligent Design is a Dominionist plot. And if you think this is just a little too kooky -- consider that John Ashcroft is a Dominionist, as are several GOP Congresscritters.

Truly fucking frightening. Makes the Dispensationalists look like an entertainingly goofy cult.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon isn't my favorite political leader in the world and his actions or lack thereof in Beirut were unconscionable. But to call him a "mass murderer" as someone above does... gosh we're back to the Jews = Nazis trope there. Another form of the Robertson conspiracy theory. Posted by: larry birnbaum

So, Larry, just how many murders did Sharon need to "oversee" before he was officially a mass-murderer?

This has nothing to do with equating the Jews with the Nazis other than the obvious issue that, except for a "final solution" of their own to deal with those pesky native born Palestinians, Israel has from the beginning disposed and persecuted the native Arab population in pretty much the same fashion the Nazis and their fellow travellers in Europe did before and during WWII.

By any standards, permitting the slaughter of non-combatants makes you a war criminal.

Posted by: Jeff II on January 5, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

I can neither remember nor find the exact quote, but Jimmy Carter's (approximate) words are most apt: "In the most Christian fashion I know, Jerry Falwell can go to hell."

If anyone knows the exact quote, I'd appreciate it.

Posted by: Craig Nelson on January 5, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

diving retribution

shortstop is into this too.

Nice summary Bob. In the Eastern Orthodox church, premillenial and postmillenial beliefs are known as chiliasm, and considered heresy.

Here is a link offering some background on the Dominionists and the movement they grew out of. Scary people.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 5, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

I don't expect to see Robertson convert to Judaism anytime soon. I didn't read it myself but the reviews I read of "New World Order" made it clear that the book is warmed over Jewish banker conspiracy theory of history with all the usual Rothschild et al. references but without the word "Jew."

Indeed. Although the term "stalker love" above made me smile, what the End Timers feel for Jews ain't any kind of love. They dislike them just a little less than they dislike Muslims; they've just learned to disguise their derision as anti-Muslim solidarity. Why some Jews continue to fall for it is a mystery.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Things like this totally reinforce my hypothesis (which I just made up) that Pat 'Assassinate Hugo Chavez' Robertson is a comedian in the Andy Kaufman sense. He's getting a good chuckle over all our reactions to his wacky comments.

Posted by: Dave on January 5, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Craig Nelson:

Ol' Jiminy quit the Southern Baptist Convention very visibly a couple years ago because he got disgusted at the politicization.

He's with the northern Baptists -- I forget their formal name.

Truthfully, there's a bigger difference between the northern and southern synonds of the mainline Protestant denominations than there is between say, a northern Episcopalian and a northern Methodist.

The real contrast is in the emphasis on the Old Testament. The Southern churches prefer the wrathful God of Laws of the Old Testament.

The northern churches perfer the forgiving New Testament God of Love.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew Wyatt wrote: I'm alternately amused and horrified that religionists can fixate literally any event in the physical world--no matter how obvious its cause or trivial its results--and attach some cosmic meaning to it. It's primitive, disgusting, and sad

Since "meaning" is conventionally considered to be a "subjective" aspect of experience, rather than an "objective" aspect of experience, then it would seem equally amusing, horrifying, primitive, disgusting and sad for anyone, religionist or otherwise, to attribute any meaning whatsoever, cosmic or otherwise, to any event or phenomenon in the so-called "physical" world.

Are you really prepared to engage a world in which all phenomena and events are literally meaningless?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 5, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

diving retribution

shortstop is into this too.

Ha, Phil, I noticed that also. We call it the bends, of course.

Things like this totally reinforce my hypothesis (which I just made up) that Pat 'Assassinate Hugo Chavez' Robertson is a comedian in the Andy Kaufman sense. He's getting a good chuckle over all our reactions to his wacky comments.

I think he started out that way, but somewhere along the line he started to believe the crap that flies out of his own mouth. Like W, perhaps?

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Why some Jews continue to fall for it is a mystery

I don't think they have learned to take the Christian Right seriously. I have a hard time taking them seriously, and I'm a Christian.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 5, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

...somewhere along the line he started to believe the crap that flies out of his own mouth. Like W, perhaps?

I think his only belief is that he's gotta clear some more brush at the ranch.

Posted by: Dave on January 5, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think they have learned to take the Christian Right seriously. I have a hard time taking them seriously, and I'm a Christian.

That's probably true for most. Others know the score, roll their eyes and figure the payoff of support for Israel is worth putting up with these whack jobs. And a minority are personally profiting from the unholy (heh) alliance. Remember Evelyn in The Plot Against America?

I think his only belief is that he's gotta clear some more brush at the ranch.

See, he's started to actually believe that that's an important and valuable task! Life imitates photo ops.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think his only belief is that he's gotta clear some more brush at the ranch

I think you're wrong about this. I have mentioned this before, but GWB reminds me of several cult Master Teachers I knew in the '80s. Same total conviction that God speaks personally to them, same distrust of reason and facts in favor of personal intuition, personal charisma (which GWB is said to possess), and same sycophantic inner circle where opposing opnions are considered heresy.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 5, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think his only belief is that he's gotta clear some more brush at the ranch

I think you're wrong about this. I have mentioned this before, but GWB reminds me of several cult Master Teachers I knew in the '80s. Same total conviction that God speaks personally to them, same distrust of reason and facts in favor of personal intuition, personal charisma (which GWB is said to possess), and same sycophantic inner circle where opposing opnions are considered heresy.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 5, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

"Pat Robertson IS the AntiChrist."
"No, he isn't., but W. may be."

I think comparing either one to the Anti-Christ is an insult to the Anti-Christ


"The real contrast is in the emphasis on the Old Testament. The Southern churches prefer the wrathful God of Laws of the Old Testament."

Wasn't Martin Luther King a Southern Baptist? There was a guy who knew how to use the Old Testament. His "I Have a Dream" speech relied heavily on Isaiah. I heard a bit on the radio today and it reverberates.

Posted by: 2.7182818 on January 5, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Are you really prepared to engage a world in which all phenomena and events are literally meaningless? SecularAnimist

Already there.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on January 5, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed. Although the term "stalker love" above made me smile, what the End Timers feel for Jews ain't any kind of love. They dislike them just a little less than they dislike Muslims; they've just learned to disguise their derision as anti-Muslim solidarity. Why some Jews continue to fall for it is a mystery. Posted by: shortstop

If you take them at their word (chortle, vomit), the relationship is a bit more complicated. The millenialistas rely on the Jews to turn Israel into a battle ground for Armageddon, etc., etc. That's why they cheer on every un-Christian act Israel commits towards the Palestinians, and why they happily support U.S. militarism in the region.

These people are really pathetic and brainwashed. They are, under their zombie-like placidity, very sad and disturbed people who want the world to end, mistakenly believing that the here-after will be better than multiple orgasms, two-feet of new snow at Alta, single malt whisky, pasta carbonara, Rubber Soul, Brideshead Revisited, and high speed rail transport.

Posted by: Jeff II on January 5, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

2.7:

Jim Wallis is a progressive evangelical who's been advising the Democrats on how to connect to people of faith. He's linking Democratic Party planks directly up with quotes from Isaiah.

Don't get me wrong, Isaiah 2:4, "beating swords into ploughshares" is a beautiful sentiment.

And King's damn speech makes me choke up every time I hear it ...

But I have my qualms about this approach. Holier-than-thou is, after all -- holier-than-thou.

I understand what the Dems and Wallis are trying to do, but I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of using religious doctrine to justify political positions.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't Martin Luther King a Southern Baptist

As cliche-ridden as it is to say so there is a huge difference between white Southern Baptists and black Southern Baptists. I once attended a gospel concert at a black church in Houston. My face hurt from smiling by the time it was half over. I know it sounds trite, liberal, and very white to say so, but it was an experience I will always treasure

Posted by: LW Phil on January 5, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

But I have my qualms about this approach. Holier-than-thou is, after all -- holier-than-thou.

I understand what the Dems and Wallis are trying to do, but I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of using religious doctrine to justify political positions. Bob Posted by: rmck1

Amen brother. I don't like the idea of dragging the party down to their level. Appealing to the heart is fine, though the head is what really matters. Matters of faith, however, should be kept to oneself. I believe Jesus (supposedly) preached along this line with regards to a separation of religious and government spheres, didn't he?

Posted by: Jeff II on January 5, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of using religious doctrine to justify political positions

Amen. "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God's."

A provision, by the way, absent from Islam, adding to the difficulty of converting Muslims to secular democracy.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 5, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, I know what they think they're doing and why they're doing it, Jeff II. I just don't think it's a complicated relationship on the part of the Christian Right. They're motivated solely by their own desire for Armageddon and they don't care how many Jews have to burn in hell to get them what they want. Not exactly stalker love...more like wham, bam, thank you, ma'am, now don't let the door hit you in the ass.

P.S. You left Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, fresh pineapple and snorkeling naked off your list.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II:

LOL ! Great heaven attributes! You forgot rock music in odd time signatures, though :)

There really was a difference between GHWB's approach to Israel/Palestine and W's. GHWB and Baker pushed Israel damn hard to come to the table, threatening loan guarantees if the money was used for settlements. I think this was less a concern for the Palestinians as people as it was due to the oily hose that connected them up to King Fahd's asshole. GHWB's peeps were Arabophiles, though, in practical terms whaterver the underlying reasoning.

W, though, is a thinly-disguised anti-Arab racist. 9/11 was a golden opportunity pecisely to give Israel every thing it wants, and I don't doubt at all that tacit support for Greater Israel (and all the attendant human rights abuse) plays directly into helping Bible prophesy unfold ...

Anyway, off to read LW Phil's link on Christian Reconstructionism ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

I remember in 2000 hearing Al Gore address a black religious group a week or so after Bush had. Gore reminded the group of James 2:18. As soon as he said that, there was laughter and shouts of Amen, even before he quoted the verse:

"Yes, a man will say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' Show me your faith without works, and I, by my works will show you my faith."

Posted by: 2.7182818 on January 5, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Amy Sullivan: But then there are statements like this, in which he suggests that Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for "dividing God's land."

More likely, Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for being an old overweight guy who smoked and drank and ate too much meat and eggs and dairy products all his life and hadn't got much exercise in years and years.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 5, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Podhertz and Lopez seemed to be embarassed by Robertson on the NRO's The Corner today. This is the intelligent response I got from Podhertz when commenting on their hypocrisy:

jpod@sprynet.com
blah blah blah blah blah psycho blah


On Jan 5, 2006, at 6:52 PM, JFISCHERFRIEDMAN@aol.com wrote:
Radical Christianic Fundamentalist.
The conservatives have stroked and used the religious right and now you want to deny their biblical pronouncements. What will happen to Jerry Falwell, Reverend Dobson, Ralph Reed and the other creationist, intolerant, shaman you have supported? Maybe they will form a third party to elect a theocrat. Oh, the Iraqis are the ones starting a theocratic state.
Jeanne Fischer

Posted by: Jeanne on January 5, 2006 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

Faith is a strange beast.

To say God does this or that is not a testable hypothesis.

I believe that God is a human construct, often used to humiliate and subjugate others.

Everyone has their own definition of God.

"Grace" can only be experienced individually.

I could blame God for all kinds of human frailities, but then that would just be a paltry human attempt to explain the unexplainable.

Pat's pontificating is nothing but the ranting of a white ego-tistic male.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 5, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Another Dominionist link if anyone is interested.

And here is why Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, and frickin' King George get away with their sins.

Know your enemy.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 5, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1: You forgot rock music in odd time signatures, though

There's a song on the first Live Dead album called "The Eleven" which is in 11/8. Quite an amazing performance, both instrumentally and vocally. 11/8 is actually a cool groove when you consider it as three measures of 3/8 and one measure of 2/8.

Then there's "The House at Pooneil Corners", the song about nuclear war on the Jefferson Airplane's Crown of Creation album, in my opinion the best thing they ever did. It's in 7/4. Again, outstanding instrumental and vocal work, with the lead vocalists and instrumental soloists trading off verses; the duet between Grace Slick and Jack Casady's bass is amazing:

Someone stood at the window and cried one tear
I thought that would stop a war
But someone is killing me
And that's the last hour to think any more
Jelly and juice and bubbles
Bubbles on the floor

The video retrospective Fly Jefferson Airplane includes a live performance of "The House at Pooneil Corners" by the Airplane on the roof of an office building in the financial district of New York City, filmed by French movie director Jean-Luc Godard a year before the Beatles borrowed the idea and filmed a live performance on the roof of their Abbey Road studio, which became part of the Let It Be album and movie. Both events were shut down by the police; in the Airplane's case however, lead singer Marty Balin was actually arrested and hauled off to jail.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 5, 2006 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Pat Robertson is part of a smaller subsection of the larger Christian community in North America. Of that large group he is NOT representative. In the global Christian community he is even LESS representative. However, because of his past, because of his having a television station, and because the secular media give him too much attention and give others too little, these incidents get blown out of all proportion.

I am very sickened and saddened by Mr. Robertsons comments, and the insensitivity of making them now about such a region. That it has occurred in an area where he already has a dubious track record is a source of further disappointment and anger."

Posted by: Kendall Harmon on January 5, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

so pat, you old man of god you, what evil are texas and oklahoma being punished for. (well, i can totally understand texas)

Posted by: linda on January 5, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

LW Phil:

Yep. If you thought that antinominism was just what they did in Rhode Island for a good time after being kicked out of Masachusetts Bay Colony -- think again.

Once saved -- always saved.

Tantamount to a license to kill.

Dominionists don't have a secret handshake as far as I know -- but some of them do literally take a blood oath.

Freakin' Satanic cult if you ask me.

And this is why that James quote that Gore used in the black church is so important. Because it blasts at the whole underpinnings of right-wing fundamentalism -- the radical overinterpretation of the doctrine of Grace.

Which is, of course, just a nice way to tell the rest of the world to go to hell.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

antinomianism ... sheesh, as GC sez, PREVIEW is my FRIEND :(

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 8:40 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

I'm a progrocker. I came of musical age in the early 70s. Not much into the Dead or the Airplane (not putting either of them down), but cut my teeth on Genesis, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Soft Machine, Egg, National Health, Henry Cow -- bands that chain-smoked odd siggies.

I also compose progressive rock. I've written stuff in 11/8 with a 5/8 bass underneath. Or layed a syncopated 6/8 on top of a groove in 7/4. And used different tempo ratios simultaneously like one of my heroes, Conlon Nancarrow.

Or a nice, fat techno groove in 29/16 with solos laid over it composed in a different meter :)

As Uncle Frank sez, xenochrony rules ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Freakin' Satanic cult if you ask me.

Well, I've always thought so.

Tantamount to a license to kill

Yes.

The frightening difference between the rapture people and the dominionists is that the rapture people don't care about the world - thus they are at a distinct disadvantage in dealing with it. The dominionists consider the world heaven, and thus put everything they have into victory. Google Howard Ahmanson - the man behind the California recall. Here is a link to an article he wrote comparing redistribution of wealth to Judas. It's about as far from real Christianity as I can imagine.

Posted by: LW Phil on January 5, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist:

Are you really prepared to engage a world in which all phenomena and events are literally meaningless?

Yes. That's the world I believe that I'm living in right now.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on January 5, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

It's simple. When someone Robertson doesn't like, or someoe who does something Robertson doesn't like, is hurting, that is because G*d is punishing them. When Robertson, or someone Robertson likes, or someone who is doing something Roberston Likes, is hurting, that is because G*d is TESTING them because of G*d's GREAT LOVE for them.

Simple, huh?

Posted by: Nancy Irving on January 5, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Robertson needs to read and meditate on the Book of Job - the Old Testament's "When Bad Things Happen to Good People".

Not that I'm a fan of Ariel Sharon, but I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: 2.7182818 on January 5, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Wow! Following that final link was a real trip. Just to add to the ambience of this thread, in the event it has not already been said (I don't care to read through a hundred comments to find this), the great-grandson of the Lawyer Maverick was Maury Maverick, of San Antonio. Also a lawyer, and one of the best damn liberal Democrats to ever hold office in Texas.

Posted by: doran on January 5, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Atrios has already devoted two posts to Amy's.

He has suggested a question that I think Amy should herself answer in her next post.

She says that "most evangelicals, even conservative ones, don't think of [Robertson] as a spokesperson who represents their views."

Question: In your opinion, Amy, who is/are the spokesperson(s) who best represent the views of most evangelicals, even conservative ones?

Alternative question: Amy, who do you think most evangelicals, even conservative ones, would choose to be the spokesperson to represent their views?

Posted by: Libby Sosume on January 5, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not a Christian, but I believe if Jesus did return to earth, he would pay a visit to Robertson's and Falwell's houses and turn them over. Destroying their houses as they have destroyed His name. Using His name for selfish greed and gluttony. Jeez...I could go on

BTW: Has Robertson yet declared what Sago, WV did to piss off God?

SecularAnimist: Gonna have to go through my 'legs now, haven't heard "The Eleven" in awhile. When I find it, I'll listen a little more closely. Thanks

Posted by: MyPetGoat on January 5, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

antinomianism ... sheesh, as GC sez, PREVIEW is my FRIEND :(

Since you mention it, millennial has two Ns, but only about 5 percent of the population seems to know this.

Posted by: shortstop's pet peeve of five to six years ago rears its head again on January 5, 2006 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop:

OMG, some of the typos I made in my long post on the millennialisms are just totally embarrassing ...

It's Presbyterianism, dammit ...

I should really just write all my stuff offline, but then again, I use a tiny little text editor with no spell checker. I'm pretty good on the fly, but I think I'm also beginning to go blind ... or maybe I should just clean my damn monitor again, always a fun way to spend 45 minutes ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 5, 2006 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

The nice thing about being Canadian is that our Religious right compares to your religious left. Pat Buchanan would be in jail in Canada for his hate messages. Only in the land of the "Free" can you spew hatred against minorities and be applauded by your political leaders.

Posted by: murmeister on January 5, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

I second that question. Who is the evangelical spokesperson? Or probably more likely, who is that set of prominent evangelicals who together represent the majority?

And why shouldn't Pat Robertson be numbered among them?

Posted by: PZ Myers on January 5, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

Only in the land of the "Free" can you spew hatred against minorities and be applauded by your political leaders. - murmeister

Oh please, apparently you are forgetting Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Nazi Germany to name but a few. We are no worse than any other oppressive totalitarian country.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on January 6, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, for the sanity and wisdom of Dr Carl McIntyre to return to the political arena. Dear ole' Carl and Ian Paisley bringing compassion to the masses.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 6, 2006 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

And I think all of those wildfires in Texas are God's way of saying that eternal fire and damnation awaits those two Texas oilmen - George W. Bush and Dick Cheney!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 6, 2006 at 6:55 AM | PERMALINK

What if you don't believe in God? Why does the nation constantly need to be pushed in this direction? I am so tired of talking about these zealots.

Posted by: Jeremy on January 6, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

The dominionists consider the world heaven, and thus put everything they have into victory. Google Howard Ahmanson - the man behind the California recall.

Also the majority shareholder, I believe in E,S&S. They count your votes.

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 6, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

I think Amy is mostly right that "most evangelicals, even conservative ones, don't think of [Robertson] as a spokesperson who represents their views." There are after all a good number of evangelical preachers out there who stick mainly to religion--your Joel Osteens, etc.

But...I don't think that means Robertson has no following and no influence. Sure, most evangelicals don't agree with even half of what he says, but he's pursuing a fractional strategy. So long as the mainstream media refuses to call him what he is--an unreconstrcuted bigot and retrograde ass--he has impunity to continue doing what he does and having his measure of influence.

Posted by: KevStar on January 6, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Nutty as they may be, as long as Robertson, Falwell et al are on speed dial at the White House we'd better pay attention to what they say...and mock it loudly and often...

Posted by: A Hermit on January 6, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

The cable networks certainly believe that Pat and Jerry are the spokesmen because they are usually the first ones brought in to present the religious side. Cable keeps Falwell front and center before the public eye. Pat's mouth keeps him front and center.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 6, 2006 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1:

Gentle Giant, eh? Given the political situation I think it might be time to dig through my LP's for "The Power and the Glory"...

Thanks for the memories! ;-)

Posted by: A Hermit on January 6, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

Gentle Giant, eh? Given the political situation I think it might be time to dig through my LP's for "The Power and the Glory"...

"Peel the Paint" was a dynamite song! How about Yes, ELP, PFM, Wakeman's solo stuff, Steve Hackett, Tull and Dream Theater? My eyes get bloodshot just thinking about that era. The times they are a-changing...

Posted by: Fred Flintrock on January 6, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Since the Jews (by modern religious definition, not ethnic group) reject Jesus as savior, their land really isn't in sacred trust anymore anyway, is it? Really, isn't it a bit strange for them to have all this support from American evangelicals and a God who is later going to throw them into a fire pit for not believing in Jesus? (Not that logical problems ever bothered these irrational flakes - as has been mentioned, the Republican anti-rational anti-reality-based style is hoisted on the twin pillars of religious piety and business/advertising world snake oil selling.)

Posted by: Neil' on January 6, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Rmck1 - you're probably long gone from this thread, but...

rmck1 wrote:

I'm a progrocker. I came of musical age in the early 70s. Not much into the Dead or the Airplane (not putting either of them down), but cut my teeth on Genesis, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Soft Machine, Egg, National Health, Henry Cow -- bands that chain-smoked odd siggies.

Very cool - I run into people so seldom that were into this music as I was so passionately in the 70's (and still am). Remember Triumvirat?

I also compose progressive rock. I've written stuff in 11/8 with a 5/8 bass underneath. Or layed a syncopated 6/8 on top of a groove in 7/4. And used different tempo ratios simultaneously like one of my heroes, Conlon Nancarrow.

Makes me think of "Apocolypse in 9/8 Co-Starring the delicious talents of Gabble Ratchet" from Supper's Ready.

I also compose progressive rock.

Yeah, I do as well as other electronica, techno. There is no question that my keyboarding is heavily Tony Banks/Keith Emerson influenced, though my talent pales in comparison. Fun fun fun though.

Cheers

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on January 6, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

A Hermit & Fred Flintrock:

> Gentle Giant, eh? Given the political situation I think it might
> be time to dig through my LP's for "The Power and the Glory"...

The Power and the Glory was prolly my favorite album in highschool,
and it's still damn listenable today (unlike, say, most ELP).

It can change
It can stay the same
I will say
I will make my claim

Hail ... Hail ... Hail ...

> "Peel the Paint" was a dynamite song!

Peel the Paint is great. My favorite from Three Friends is
Schooldays, I think. There's some really profound nostalgia
in the central piano section. Also, Working All Day has a
positively murderous Hammond organ solo ... The Three Friends
chorale at the end deeply influenced a favorite later band,
The Cardiacs, in their The Everso-Closely Guarded Line.

> How about Yes,

Fragile and Close to the Edge are still two all-timers for
me. I lost interest in them when Bruford and Wakeman left
the band. Patrick Moraz is a great keyboard player, but he
never learned the Wakeman parts in concert. Wakeman's hands
are flippin' huge (a boon to groupies everywhere :); he
could do those fluttery two-octave aprpeggios in his sleep.

> ELP,

My first favorite band. I saw the Brain Salad Surgery tour in
Madison Square Garden, with the rotary grand piano (on the pitch
axis, not Paul McCartney's kiddie-ride yaw axis he used on Fool
on a Hill a decade and a half ago). They got sucky pretty
quickly, though. Stood as an object lesson for the critics who
championed punk rock. I still love The Barbarian (shamelessly
stolen from Bartok's Allegro Barbaro) and the trio version of
The Enemy God (credited, from Prokofiev's The Sythian Suite).

> PFM,

Premiata Forneria Marconi -- helluva band. Italy produced a huge
number of classically-trained, classically-influenced progrock bands.

> Wakeman's solo stuff,

Loved Six Wives, hated Journey to the Center of the Earth.
I still want to see Ken Russell's Lisztomania, with Wakeman
playing some kind of decadent court composer with rotting teeth.

> Steve Hackett,

I got Voyage of the Acolyte. Liked it a lot more than Peter
Gabriel's first solo, although I think today Solisbury Hill
(in a wonderful 7/4) stands out from both those albums.
Got Please Don't Touch for Christmas from a friend a couple
years later, with Kansas musicians on it. It's okay ...

> Tull

Another all-timer, introduced me to progrock through the friend
who turned me on to ELP. Virtually everything they did in the
70s is great, including Songs From the Wood, where Ian Anderson's
incredible voice started showing wear from cigarette smoking.
Aqualung, of course, is a favorite (and a great critique, to
this day, of religious excess; Wind-Up has fantastic lyrics).
Thick as a Brick is marvelous "prog lite;" a great album to expose
people to sidelong suites of songs who are taken aback by too
much dissonance or classical influence. A Passion Play, for me,
stands out as their best disk; very dark and thickly structured.

> and Dream Theater?

Eww. Dream Theater never struck me as anything more than hair
metal by guys who went to Berklee School of Music. I've *tried so
hard* to get into them because I have progrocker friends who adore
them. I have the same problem with Rush. Aside from Geddy Lee's
chipmunk-on-steroids vocal delivery (which I absolutely loathe),
the music is ponderous. Same basic problem I have with later
Kansas, although Song For America is a goddamned masterpiece.

> My eyes get bloodshot just thinking about
> that era. The times they are a-changing...

Yeah, that was an incredible era of music, made possible by
a great economy that ran smack-dab into the '73 OPEC oil embargo
which set off stagflation and killed the recording industry.
The majors put pressure on progrock to become more commercial,
which turned most of it into shit by the later 70s, and then
punk rock emerged with an entirely different ethos, celebrating
a lack of musical ability as a sign of "authenticity" and genius.

In the 80s I spent my time filling out
my jazz and classical collections.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 6, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

E. Henry Thripshaw:

> Rmck1 - you're probably long gone from this thread, but...

He he he, he writes just as I'm finishing up my last post :)

Gotta do this quick, though, before this puppy sinks into archive.

> "I'm a progrocker. I came of musical age in the early 70s.
> Not much into the Dead or the Airplane (not putting either
> of them down), but cut my teeth on Genesis, Gentle Giant,
> King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Soft Machine, Egg, National
> Health, Henry Cow -- bands that chain-smoked odd siggies."

> Very cool - I run into people so seldom that were into this
> music as I was so passionately in the 70's (and still am).

It's very difficult (and I've been published on this subject).
The entire orthodoxy changed in such a way that progrock has
been virtually banished from the "classic rock" canon. Oh sure,
you'll here Karn Evil 9, Part 2, or maybe a song or two from
Aqualung, or Yes's Roundabout. You won't hear *any* Genesis
with Peter Gabriel, or Bruford-era King Crimson. Gentle Giant?
PFM? Forget it. My argument is that this is entirely deliberate,
because the *last* thing that the majors want to do is to give this
kind of music a chance to be revived, because unlike virtually
every other style of rock music, it's so difficult to do well.

There is no commercial formula for progressive rock.

> Remember Triumvirat?

Sure I do. The ELP-type band I played bass in in highschool
covered a tune from Illusions On a Double Dimple. Forget the
name of the tune but it's in syncopated 5/4 (3 + 3 + 2 + 2),
on an altered minor scale with a flatted 2nd and a major 3rd.

> I also compose progressive rock. I've written stuff in
> 11/8 with a 5/8 bass underneath. Or layed a syncopated
> 6/8 on top of a groove in 7/4. And used different tempo
> ratios simultaneously like one of my heroes, Conlon Nancarrow.

> Makes me think of "Apocolypse in 9/8 Co-Starring the
> delicious talents of Gabble Ratchet" from Supper's Ready.

With the guards of Magog swarming around
The Pied Piper takes his children underground
Dragons coming out of the sea
Shimmering silver head of wisdom looking at me
He brings down the fire from the skies
You can tell he's doing well by the look in human eyes
Better not compromise
It won't be easy

> "I also compose progressive rock."

> Yeah, I do as well as other electronica, techno. There
> is no question that my keyboarding is heavily Tony
> Banks/Keith Emerson influenced, though my talent
> pales in comparison. Fun fun fun though.

Gahh, I totally suck on the keyboard. I can do some extraordinarly
bent things like improvise in two different time signatures
simultaneously, and I can jam all night in 27/8 (7/4 + 13/8)
and stuff like that. I also like to get *real fucking stoned*
on reefer and record free-form improvisations that are suprisingly
good upon later playback, but other than that I'm useless. My
sense of tempo is completely unsteady and my fingering blows.
I am cursed with being left-handed and that colored everything.

I use the computer for composing. Sort of a low-rent
equivalent of Frank Zappa's love affair with the Synclavier.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 6, 2006 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, serious flashbacks here!!

The "Aqualung" album actually had a profound effect on my life. Realizing that you could actually think about God as simply a projection of human desires...blew my adolescent mind...

I'm not as musically sophisticated as you guys; I pund out a decent Blues lead and steady fingerpicking, but 11/8 time's just too much work for me. I mean I love to listen to that stuff, but I haven't the patience to actually do much of it...

Posted by: A Hermit on January 6, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1:I use the computer for composing.

Yes, almost hard not to, it makes things so much easier. My set up is modest - using a few synth's and sonar 4.0. It's a hobby - but one I can lose myself for hours in.

I bet you recited the Genesis lyrics above without having to even think. It's amazing that the lyrics I memorized 30 years ago, are written in fucking stone. An old 70's fellow prog lover and I were backpacking a few years ago, and started singing ELP's Pirates (great fucking song) in the middle of nowhere having not heard the song for a very long time. Didn't miss a word. Trippy. Or maybe it was the 70's drugs.

ciao,
dave

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on January 6, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hermit:

Yes Aqualung remains stuck in my brain. As Bob mentioned above, Tull's poking at religion really struck a chord in my adolescence that resonates to this day. And as I mentioned in my last post, it is amazing how I can go for-fucking-ever and still remember every lyric, word for word.

Good shit, that.

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on January 6, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

A Hermit:

> Whoa, serious flashbacks here!!

Yeah, I know what you mean, bro. Doesn't it suck when a thread topic
starts to naturally die and then somebody goes off-topic on a subject
of intense interest to two or three people -- and then it sinks into
archive and Kevin turns off the comments. Grrhh. There really should
be more open threads he could paste convos like this into so we could
continue them. I'm sure Henry and Secular have more things to say.

> The "Aqualung" album actually had a profound effect on my life.
> Realizing that you could actually think about God as simply a
> projection of human desires...blew my adolescent mind...

I think Aqualung had a profound effect on a lot of Baby
Boomers' lives. It really was quite a stark, powerful
statement -- and not snide counterculture atheism by a long
shot, more like an intelligent critique of the Church of England.

I remember reading the lyric sheet in 6th grade, long
before hearing the album, and feeling shocked -- literally
shocked -- at the line "Snot running down his nose."

> I'm not as musically sophisticated as you guys; I pund out
> a decent Blues lead and steady fingerpicking, but 11/8 time's
> just too much work for me. I mean I love to listen to that
> stuff, but I haven't the patience to actually do much of it...

Well, the thing you have to understand about odd siggies (and
I'm an evangelist for odd time sigs the way Pat Robertson trawls
for suckers, uhh, I mean souls) is that they're not some creation
by a European academic composer working out a set of abstract
ideas the way, say, Shoenberg came up with the 12-tone system
(which is virtually dead today). They come from folk music
and from approximating the natural rhythms of speech.

In Eastern Europe, in India, in Bali, their rhythmic notation
systems are entirely different than in the West, where
we developed divisive rhythmic notation (every note value
divides by half except dotted, which divides by a third).

These systems, while all different in other ways, are additive,
based on a long and a short note value, which usually works out
to a quarter note / dotted quarter note relationship, or a 2 and
a 3, which are then added together to get assymetrical rhythms.

If you've ever heard, say, a Macedonian bar band, their
main time sigs are 7 and 9. The music otherwise is
*entirely cheesy*, but they get down in odd sigs the
way American bar bands are locked into four-on-the-floor.

Odd time sigs are sinuous, sexy, fun to dance to, fun to interpolate
things over which create the tension of cross-rhythmic syncopation.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 6, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Appropos of the discussion on all sides -- and also of the thread topic:

Wind-Up

When I was young and they packed me off to school
And taught me how not to play the game
I didn't mind if they groomed me for success
Or if they said that I was just a fool

So I left there in the morning with their God tucked underneath my arm
Their half-assed smiles and the book of rules
So to my old headmaster and to anyone who cares
Before it's through I'd like to say my prayers

I don't believe you, you have the whole damn thing all wrong
He's not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays
Well you can excommunicate me on my way to Sunday school
And have all the bishops harmonize these lines ...

How you dare to tell me that I'm my father's son
When that was just an accident of birth
Rather look around me and compose a better song
Because that's the honest measure of my worth

In your pomp and all your glory you're a poorer man than me
As you lick the boots of death borne out of fear
Ooh-ooah-oo-oo

--Ian Anderson

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 6, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

I usually try to ignore Pat Robertson. I have always thought of him as a nut-job. As he gets older he's getting nuttier. He presumes to speak for God. Me thinks he presumes too much!
Divine Retribution....hmmm....I think God "smote" him with prostate cancer for having his head burried up his own ass.
I think this man is not only a danger to himself but a danger to all people of good will around the world.
We need to find a "rest home" for this one and throw away the key.

Posted by: Greg Smith on January 6, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

1. Amy Sullivan is not a theologian, as far as I know. Yet, she is making a political comment and/or ad hominim attack on Pat Robertson's opinion which is based on the Biblical text about Sharon's medical condition.

2. She should at least use some tools when analyzing a legal document, yet alone the Bible:

a. The text of the Old Testament on many occassions clearly and unequivocally states that the Lord G-d gave the land to Israel. For example, after the Exodus God told Joshua, the military leader of the Jewish army, that the land - Israel - belongs to the Jews.

b. God's intent was and is to have a place for His chosen people to live, reside and prosper in Israel.

c. The New Testament, further, states that the Jews (ones who accept Jesus, of course) will have a special place in Israel, during the Messiah's rule.

d. If the land was given by God to the Jews, then nobody, including General Sharon, a military hero in his own right and a statesman (who apparently is either a Reform Jew or a secular Jew) cannot divide the land and give it to the Palestinian Arabs or Syrians or Jordanians or the EU or the Martians.

e. Throughout Jewish history the Old Testament is replete with examples of God punishing the Jews (individuals or the entire nation) for disobedience. (In fact, God is more demanding on Jews than He is on others)

f. Therefore, it MAY very well be (and is logical) that Sharon, who was contemplating of giving up a portion of the West Bank to the Arabs, was punished by God. There is a Biblical basis for it.

g. Indeed, its impossible to say with certainty whether God caused Sharon's stroke. To claim as such will imply reading God's mind, which by definition is impossible. (God acts in mysterious ways).

3. The real issue is this: How does God view Israel's giving up the land given by God?
(a) Pat Robertson believes that Israel should not give up the land, because nobody has a right to disobey God.

NOTE: Many Orthodox Jews also believe that. Moreover, Likud Party chairman Natanyahu was opposed to giving up Gaza, yet alone the West Bank.
NOTE: Pat has impeccable record of supporting Israel.

(b) On the other hand, Albert Mohler, a prominent evangelical thinker and leader, contends that the Israel will get the land given by God during the tribulation and/or Messiah's return. Mr. Mohler does not view the giving up land by the present Israel as a violation of the Old Testament Rule.

NOTE: So, there are different ways to interpret the Bible and/or answer the question.

(c) Bear in mind that this is a theological question. However, it also has political, social, economic or military components and/or implications. Of course, for seculars or atheists, it may well be only a political question or "human rights question."

4. Now, there are others who:
(a) do not believe that the Bible is divine, but merely a collection of writing by men without any divine inspiration and/or guidance.
(b) think the Bible is crap (they should ponder over Pasquale's Dilemma)

For them, of course, any opinion based on the Bible - for example about Israel giving up land - is "insane," "dangerous," "ridiculous," "fundamentalist," "theocratic," "fascist," and so on.

5. Every person of good will, and presumably Pat Robertson, who claims to be Sharon's friend, and in fact, has supported Sharon on many occassions, feels bad for Sharon's medical condition. And, no Christian rejoices or should rejoice that he is suffering.

6. Before, attacking or criticizing or disagreeing with Pat Robertson, you should first and foremost answer this question:

If any person giving up Israeli land violating the Biblical promise of God to His chosen people? Yes or no.

(Many will end up arguing with God, and we know who will lose that argument, don't we?)

Posted by: John on January 8, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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