Evangelical Christians have really got their white male Christian panties in a bunch over North Carolina being sued. Appearing on “The 700 Club” Tuesday, Pat Robertson took the fight further afield, on behalf of the Republican of Georgia, a former Soviet Republic at the eastern end of the Black Sea once fought over by Romans, Persians, and Turks, among others. Georgia has for a flag a big red cross, surrounded by smaller red crosses. You can see where this is going already, no doubt.
Robertson is incensed that apparently the U.S. and the European Union are trying “to force Georgia into accepting homosexual practices and same-sex marriage as societal norms.” Of course, Robertson feels the U.S. is doing the same thing to its own states, like North Carolina, and claims the result will be a very angry God who will then engage in a lot of smiting of unbelievers. As a result, Robertson says, “We’re making the nations drunk with the wine of our fornication.”
Good times, or not? You decide courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
The truth is, from what we understand in history, there hasn’t been one nation in the history of the world that has openly embraced homosexual lifestyle and begun to practice the homosexual lifestyle that has endured. Every one of them has gone down. Every single one of them. Once rampant homosexuality takes place, then people don’t take care of their children, they aren’t concerned about the next generation, they’re concerned about physical pleasure and the activities surrounding this lifestyle, they aren’t planning for the future and the country goes to pot.
This is demonstrably untrue. First of all, homosexuality isn’t a lifestyle. It isn’t a choice. Robertson can’t acknowledge that science trump’s his religious teachings, meaning he is always going to sound stupid when he says things like this.
Secondly, homosexuality itself is a 19th century pathology, an effort to “either/or” human sexuality, which is by nature more on the fluid side, a sliding scale rather than rigid biblical settings.
Thirdly, even Robertson’s church didn’t care about “homosexuality” before the High Middle Ages. It was no big deal.
Finally, in even earlier (Pagan) eras, there were no demerits for the penetrator, no matter who he penetrated, because a hole is a hole and a man is a penetrator. The demerits went to those who allowed themselves to be penetrated, because women are meant to be penetrated and a man who allowed himself to be penetrated was therefore making himself a woman.
Right now it it’s kind of in the balance, it’s kind of interesting, but the fact that the European Union and the U.S. is trying to impose this lifestyle on a little country like Georgia that wants to stay orthodox is incredible.
You look at the Book of Revelation and it says, ‘Mystery Mother of Harlots, you have made the world drunk with the wine of your fornication.’ And you say, who is that ‘mystery woman?’ Well, more and more, this great nation of ours, the U.S. of A, is becoming — to take on that role. I don’t know if we intend to but that’s what’s happening. We’re making the nations drunk with the wine of our fornication and God brings judgment on a country that does that.
The Book of Revelation, otherwise known as the Apocalypse of John. Robertson gives a lot of weight to Revelation but fourth century Church historian Eusebius doesn’t necessarily think it belongs in the Bible, writing that the books that are “acknowledged” are the four gospels, Acts, fourteen epistles of Paul, 1 John, 1 Peter and “if it really seems right” the Apocalypse of John.
There are far too many obvious problems with this text to list them all here, but first and foremost is the fact that this John, whoever he is, is writing to the “seven churches” of Asia Minor, and to them only. For the record, those churches are Pergamum, Sardis, Philadelphia, Ephesus, Smyrna. Thyatira, and Laodicea.
You think these are going concerns two thousand years later? History has left these early Christian centers in obscurity, along with their individual problems. Another big problem is that though Revelation talks about a New Jerusalem, it ends by promising it is all going to happen very soon.
Needless to say, even in the context of the book’s “mystical” and “bizarre” senses, twenty centuries (it was put into its final form circa 95 CE) is too long to be considered soon.
For thousands of years of recorded history people have been doing ‘it’ to each other in a wide variety of ways, and yet the human race is still here, despite twenty centuries of people like Pat Robertson issuing hysterical warnings. Early Europeans were very vexed over Native Americans not making sufficient use of the missionary position but it wasn’t God who destroyed Native civilizations, but European diseases, and a great display of technology, much of it on behalf of Robertson’s God.
What we are left with here is Robertson appealing to a book even early Christians weren’t sure belonged in the Bible, written to a bunch of churches that are no longer relevant.
Wikipedia tells us that “The Archbishop of Thyateira resides in London and has pastoral responsibility for the Greek Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom.” So yeah, the fact that Thyatira had a false prophetess (Revelation 2:20) doesn’t really matter so much anymore, does it?
Revelation has nothing to do with the Republican of Georgia, which isn’t one of those seven churches, and it has nothing to do with the United States or the European Union. Robertson claims God’s law is immutable and doesn’t change, even while he ignores well over half of it as irrelevant and focuses on homosexuality, a 19th century pathology, when men having sex is barely alluded to in the Bible, unmentioned by Jesus, and women doing women isn’t a sin because no fluid is exchanged!
Yet these are the sorts of arguments being thrust into our faces when we argue for equal rights and against Robertson’s religious oppression. Nothing relevant; just old, outdated beliefs even Robertson doesn’t understand or really care about except as a cloak to sanctify his bigotry.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.