Saturday, January 16, 2010

Josh Carples: Why Donald Miller misses the point on Pat Robertson’s new low

  Donald Miller wrote a very good response regarding the newest Pat Robertson foot-in-mouth moment regarding the suffering going on after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. If you missed the original comment, Robertson said the country is cursed because many years ago a pact was made with the devil to free them from French control. Classy, right?

  Miller, on his blog, sets out to ease the anger by calling his fellow Christians to pity Robertson and show him that God is not impressed with religious posturing. His blog is geared toward Christians – he is a Christian author, and I would say a good one after reading his book “To Own a Dragon” – and I say that to put the post in proper context.

I think that Miller gets it mostly right in his take on the situation. He says, “Many controlling personalities are drawn to the idea of a severe, vengeance oriented God,” and says that Robertson was “sadly irresponsible” for making “such a devastatingly shocking statement in the context of great hurt.”

  Miller also points out that Robertson “doesn’t represent most conservatives.” Having many conservatives as friends and family, I will agree on that. In fact, many conservatives readily admit that Robertson has a talent for making them look bad with his many foolish statements.

  However, he goes on to say this to his Christian audience: “So here is what the Devil is really going to try to get you to do: Hate other people. Those conservatives, those Christians, those whoever…I think we’d be wise to watch out for that, and stop it at the point where it starts.”

Would this be the same “devil” who Robertson says made a pact with Haitians and cursed their country?

  Robertson uses the devil in ignorant comments that inflame people’s emotions. Miller is using the “devil” to unite Christians against hate. The only difference between each person’s claims about this “devil” character is that Robertson’s statement brings negativity and callousness while Miller’s is meant to be positive.

  In the year 2010, it seems a bit archaic to still blame earthquakes on devils. It also seems archaic to blame the devil for rifts in thinking. I propose to Mr. Miller that it’s not the devil that is dividing the Christian community and causing hatred - it is people like Pat Robertson.

  About the author: Josh Carples is the managing editor for the Capital City Free Press.

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