Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Pat Robertson Changes His Mind

That wouldn't be much of a headline if it referred to just about any normal person. This is Pat Robertson, after all - the guy who in 2013 was still going on and on about the evils of Dungeons & Dragons, when no reasonable person has considered role-playing games dangerous or evil since at least 1990 or so. This week, though, the impossible happened. A week after telling his followers that bonesaw-murdering a journalist was totally okay as long as it didn't threaten American arms deals with the Saudis, Robertson changed his tune. In his latest statement he sounds almost like a reasonable person.

On “The 700 Club” today, Robertson had a radically different response to events, blasting the Saudis for engaging in premeditated murder and declaring that the U.S. cannot simply look the other way, regardless of what sort of arms deals or alliances exist between the two nations. “The Saudis aren’t telling the truth,” Robertson said. “They’ve lied and lied and lied and it’s been dissembling and half-truth and a little here and a little there … It was a premeditated murder.”

Robertson then praised and paraphrased a recent New York Times column by Maureen Dowd as he accused the Saudi government of having “bribed their way into the hearts of Americans” and railed against the Saudi role in 9/11 and past support for Osama bin Laden. “Oil or not, or arms deal or otherwise, we cannot be aligned with a group of people who have persecuted women and have kangaroo courts and have this religious police that is just incredibly bad,” Robertson said, as he called for Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman to be tried for Khashoggi’s murder.

“We still want to maintain a relationship with the Saudis,” Robertson continued, “but we cannot have this anymore, these things they’re doing. And we certainly cannot allow this man to go scot-free and we can’t excuse him or try to make any kind of accommodation with him. He is a murderer and he had a hit squad and there is no question that this was premeditated; this was a hit squad that came in, when they have body doubles and when they have bone saws and all this kind of stuff. There is no doubt they intended to kill this man, dismember his body, torture him and then hide the evidence and that is what they have been doing and nobody with any intelligence is buying it. They have been lying through their teeth.”

Cleary, it's a newsworthy story when Pat Robertson and I agree on something. It must have been especially hard for him, given that he (A) loves money and (B) loves theocracy but (C) hates Muslims. Clearly those conflicts have been rattling around in his brain and causing some erratic behavior. But hopefully this latest statement shows that he finally gets it - you can't be even marginally okay with murder and torture and call yourself a real Christian, especially if your stated motivation for doing so is financial.

It should also be noted that there are apparently a lot of self-proclaimed Christians out there who are still on the side of Robertson's original statement. They should get with the program too, because the Khashoggi case is an international outrage. We can't just shrug it off as business as usual.

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