Pat Robertson is Right! (Sort of)

An Open Letter to Pat Robertson

Sunday, 20 July 2003

Dear Pat,

A couple of days ago, as I was going down my personal prayer list of people I'm asking God to strike down or incapacitate, I heard that you had a similar list. "Great!" I thought. "Finally there's something that Pat and I can agree on!"

I've always believed that Jesus' message in the Sermon on the Mount concerning loving one's enemies has been greatly overemphasized in some circles. Jesus was probably speaking in hyperbole and didn't intend for his words to be taken literally. This point of view is supported by Paul in Rom 12:20, where he quotes from Prov 25:21-22: "If your enemies are hungry, give them bread to eat; and if they are thirsty, give them water to drink; for you will heap coals of fire on their heads, and the Lord will reward you." The biblical message is clear: the purpose of doing good to your enemies is to call down God's vengeance on them.

You and I have obviously come to the same conclusion about the interpretation of this passage. In fact, since the ultimate goal of doing good to your enemies is to do them harm, you and I have both decided--independently, I might stress--that it makes sense to eliminate the unnecessary intermediate step of showing kindness to our enemies and go straight for their throats, theologically speaking.

So when I heard that you were praying for God to strike down three U.S. Supreme Court justices, I thought, "Hey, I have three Supreme Court justices on my list, too! Great minds think alike!" It turns out that they don't, quite. You're praying for God to strike down Justices John Paul Stephens (who is 83), Ruth Bader Ginsberg (who has had surgery for cancer), and one other justice with a heart condition, whose identity is unclear. Some think you're asking for God to take Sandra Day O'Connor. If so, you're aware, I'm sure, that you would be asking God to rid the court of both women. That is certainly consistent with your image of the ideal woman as spending her days in the kitchen. Or it could be that you have some inside information on the physical condition of another justice, and I don't mean that you got it from Court insiders--I'm talking the ultimate inside information! You're a guy who can sense total strangers' ailments through the TV cameras, so it comes as no surprise to me that you might have received a divine revelation concerning a particular justice's heart problems.

However, my list of justices that I'm asking God to strike down is completely different from yours, and it's got me a little worried. I'm praying that God will get rid of William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. In my mind, these three guys have done all they could do to set back civil rights, workers' rights, religious liberty, and federalism. Not only that, but they also conspired with Jeb Bush to put his brother in office, and you can see where that's gotten us. I think you'll agree with me that September 11 was God's judgment on the U.S. for letting this trashing of the Constitution go unpunished. Clearly they need to go.

What worries me, though, is that you're praying for God to remove three completely different people. I'm a little bit intimidated by a guy who can ask God to redirect a hurricane so that it won't kill anybody he knows, only people he doesn't know. You certainly seem to have the inside track with God. Nevertheless, I'm confident that God will take my candidates for judgment seriously, because I think I've made some pretty persuasive arguments to him. I know you're not the sort of person who believes in compromise, so I won't even try to talk you into some kind of deal where God strikes down one of yours, one of mine, and we flip a coin for the third, so I've come up with a proposal. Pat, if you'll pray that God will strike down my three candidates, I'll pray that God will strike down yours as well. That way we'll have six new seats to fill in the Supreme Court. If we'll both pray that God will tell President Bush which godly men (I know your feelings about women) to appoint, I'm sure he'll listen. After all, we know that he listened when God told him to remove Saddam Hussein from power, no matter what it took. He's a guy we can both depend on to listen to God, so I'm sure that his appointees will be the sorts of people that we'd both like to see in those important judicial seats.

I hope you like my proposal. Please let me know what you think.


Tod O. L. Mundo

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