Anger Management

Pat Robertson is this nice grandfatherly man who comes on ABC Family on a televengalising program called the 700 club (which alert readers will realize is 007 spelt backwards). In it, he and his son and a few others explain the news happenings of the day in a Biblical context interrupting his weighty discourse with metaphysical activities like “Betty of Iowa has lost her pet dog. Let us pray for its safe return.”

Unfailingly polite and kind, I enjoy watching his show while gulping down my TV Dinner. I specifically admire his tolerance for other cultures especially my own. Some samples:(1 , 2, 3)

If anybody understood what Hindus really believe, there would be no doubt that they have no business administering government policies in a country that favors freedom and equality. … Can you imagine having the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as defense minister, or Mahatma Gandhi as minister of health, education, and welfare? The Hindu and Buddhist idea of karma and the Muslim idea of kismet, or fate condemn the poor and the disabled to their suffering. … It’s the will of Allah. These beliefs are nothing but abject fatalism, and they would devastate the social gains this nation has made if they were ever put into practice.”

From “The New World Order

They have thousands and thousands of earth stations picking up satellites. It’s a window of opportunity [for Christian TV programs]. Of all of India’s problems, one stands out from the rest. That problem is idol worship. It is said there are hundreds of millions of Hindu deities. All this has put a nation in bondage to spiritual forces that have deceived many for thousands of years.”

(His son says)

“Wherever you find this type of idolatry, you’ll find a grinding poverty. The land has been cursed. The Bible talks in terms of the land being cursed on behalf of what the inhabitants have done to it. You erect all these idols under every green tree, on top of every hill,you’re going to curse your land. And the oppression, we see it in evidence.”

“Siva [is] the God of Destruction, and his consort, the Goddess of death [Kali] — that black, ugly statue there with all those fierce eyes.”

Quite a nice logical person. And knowledgeable. Sample below:

To begin, Robertson’s experiences in Rajahmundry (where he was converting Hindus) are described by a narrator. The scene is of a poverty-stricken people, bathing in the river at the head of which rests a statue of Lord Siva. Water is pouring out of Siva’s head and a snake is wrapped around his head as well. Robertson and his son are found in the midst of the scene, observing and mocking the early morning prayers of Hindus. As they witness the scene, they make incorrect reference to the river as “Siva’s sperm,” and claim that the people “were supposed to wash away their sins in the sperm of the God.”

However this nice, kind man who rightfully considers religious Hindus to be pornstars, lost his temper recently and said something very silly.He asked for the assassination of President Chavez of Venezuela which some have pointed out is a violation of one of the commandments—possibly the one about not killing and all.

But I feel bad for the man. I mean come on all of us are allowed to lose our tempers sometimes —even men of God have their weak moments.

Everyone cracks and so has poor Pat.

Let me conclude with an anecdote the person who taught us the history of Bengali literature told us.

Vaishnavites (followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) are, by philosophy, the most non-violent of people whose motto is “Tirnadopi Sunicheno” ie be as resistanceless as grass.

The life-story of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and his teachings are written down as “Podabolis” —different disciples have penned different Podabolis. One of the Podabolis conclude with these lines:

“I have spent a lot of time and effort detailing Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s greatness and extreme non-violence. Even after this if someone is not convinced about his godliness, then that person deserves to be kicked in the head.”

Which just goes to corroborate what Norman Bates, the serial killer in “Psycho” , said:

We all go a little crazy sometimes .


12 thoughts on “Anger Management

  1. “The Hindu and Buddhist idea of karma and the Muslim idea of kismet, or fate condemn the poor and the disabled to their suffering”

    what an ignoramus!!! this is not surprising, though. forget about such “spiritual leaders” like pat. the halls of academia are no less tainted. wendy doniger (professor at the university of chicago last time i checked) has made her glorious career “exposing” sexual innuendos implicit in hindu scriptures. she spares not a single one of them. in 1996, one of her doctoral students, jeffrey kripal, published his thesis (u chicago obliged), “kali’s child”, in which he asserts that sri ramakrishna’s spiritual drive can be sourced to a profound sense of guilt, from having had homosexual feelings for swami vivekananda. the book went unnoticed for a while and even won the best new book award from the american academy of religion, before the sri ramakrishna mission got wind of it. thereafter, swami tyagananda, head of the mission in boston, where i live, published a 100-odd page rebuttal of the book’s assertions. most damning was swamiji’s discovery that kripal had not bothered to consult anyone in the mission, nor did he have a good grasp of the bengali language, so that he liberally mistranslated texts with the blessings of doniger. when academic research cannot be trusted, what hope can we hold out from idiots like pat robertson? perhaps we should just heed christ’s teaching – forgive them for they know what they do.

  2. Nice post as usual!

    I think “religion” is really personal business…and in this country where “personal space” is such a ‘well defined’ concept, it suprises me that such people exist. For my part I think we do not need Gods (and preachers / allahs/ Christs/ Bhagvans..) but “godliness” on our own account.

    So ya Pat can go to hell and pretty much any one who enter other people’s personal space.

  3. If this learned person is ABC’s TV evangelist, then surely ABC should have another program where Martha Stewart talks about business ethics !!

  4. Hi Greatbong
    This is excellent.
    I’ve always greatly disliked Pat Robertson. He’s just a nut.

  5. If Hinduism is idolatry, I wonder what worshipping a cross with a Jesus impaled on it is.

  6. gawker, lets attack the man, not the religion he falsely represents.

  7. I’m pretty much against all religions, and I consider the religion to have made the man into what he is.

  8. This is what you get with half baked knowledge about your (Pat’s) own religion.
    unfortunately ABC cannot get rid of the show – (this from the media post – i can’t find the link but can mail you the whole article)
    In 1997 when Robertson finally sold out to the Fox Family Channel, Robertson made a deal that “The 700 Club” would be on the air in perpetuity, no matter who owned the channel. You see, media moguls never really want to let go; they may have something to say down the road like deciding that a South American leader with gobs of oil should be made to play ball with the United States for our SUVs.

    It will be interesting to see the lawyers get involved. I can almost hear ABC executives say “who will rid us of this troublesome priest” 🙂
    if someone like Pat Roberston started saying nice things about other religions you should seriously start getting worried 🙂

  9. Did you happen to read the Harpers from a couple of months ago? About mega-churches in US? It is an excellent expose of what drives these churches. Its the typical bait and switch. Yet another means of control. I meant to write about this in your earlier bit about independance and law and order. I fear you seem to value law and order a lot. Surely social justice is just as important (if not more). Don’t forget Niall Ferguson’s defense of the British imperialism was based on the supposed rule of law it had brought. But as Sugata Bose has pointed out, there is a difference between a rule of law in a democratic country with checks and balances and the oppression of law in an autocratic country.

    You remember Rabindranath’s line: Notice how the police station, liquor store and the temple are right next to each other.

    Hmm. I forget what my point was.

    Anyway, save yourself an ulcer and avoid network TV altogether.

  10. When I first say Robinson years ago on TV, i was shocked and outraged by the loony. “How can such a ignoramus spout such stuff”, was my question.

    Now, I watch him on TV purely as a form of mindless entertainment. What a loon.

  11. @Rudro, Yes I had heard about the homo-erotic interpretations of Ramakrishna by Wendy Doniger…distasteful bit of character assasination passing of as scholarly research.

    @SD, As long as the “success” of a religion is measured by its “conversion rate” such things are going to persist.

    @Deba 🙂 Kenneth Lay my man is a bigger expert. Martha Stewart was small fry.

    @Michael: He is a funny man.

    @gawker: Yes thats why I dont believe in organized religion.

    @Harini: Why does he not go to Fox and sit along with OReilly and Hannity?

    @SNDutta: Cant avoid network TV…otherwise the taste of the TV dinner becomes perceptible.

    @Sunil: Exactly. He is entertainment. Bigtime.

  12. They are after India because they see poverty+lots of marginalized people+ murky laws + secularism indoctrinated into educated masses by one of their own + a bunch of kleptomaniacs in charge.

    India is like a dangling rump roast to these hungry rabid dogs.

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