Dana's Court of Opinion

On the docket today: People vs. Pat Robertson

Charged with: Being a crazy fucking lunatic.



I now admit into evidence this article by Bill Sizemore from the Virginia Quarterly Review:

Robertson had long rued the day in 1947 when the Supreme Court, in Everson v. Board of Education, enshrined Jefferson’s 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Convention describing a “wall of separation between church & State.” That decision, he has written, paved the way for the high court’s rulings in the early 1960s banning organized prayer and Bible reading in the public schools, which Robertson blames for “virtually every social pathology” in the United States today: the exploding prison population, teen pregnancy, drugs, divorce, murder, alcoholism, and low scholastic achievement. The lamentable result, he insists, has been the “establishment in the public schools of the religion of secular humanism with its attendant sexual permissiveness, embrace of one-world government, and Marxist-inspired economic theory.”

By training a new generation of lawmakers, Robertson hoped to reverse the Supreme Court’s wayward path. The first step would be to reject the legitimacy of the court’s landmark Marbury v. Madison decision of 1803, which established the concept of judicial review—the ability to declare laws unconstitutional. The final corrective, he wrote, would be for Congress to “nullify the decisions of the Supreme Court” by refusing to allow it to overturn new Christian-based laws: “Then those laws will remain in effect.”

At the same time, however, Robertson was pursuing a second trategy—a bid for the presidency. A president, he wrote, could simply refuse to enforce the court’s decisions. After all, he noted pointedly, the court has no army.

Further damning testimony, from Gerry Straub, former CBN producer:

“I would be terrified,” he wrote, “to have the president of the United States be a person who has daily conversations with both God and the Devil.”

The court, based upon testimony from intrepid reporter Bill Sizemore, rational Christian Gerry Straub, and countless other reality-based individuals, that Pat Robertson is a batshit-crazy, dangerous fucking lunatic. It is so ordered that Americans of all political and religious stripes shall fight like hell to confine this man to a tiny corner of the nuttosphere where his harm to society can be limited.

Court is adjourned.

*You may wonder why I call Gerry Straub a genuine, rational Christian. Peruse the evidence for yourselves:

A short hop from the glitz of Hollywood and the opulence of Beverly Hills, in a drab office behind a Quiznos sub shop in Burbank, California, Gerard Thomas Straub—Gerry to his friends— sits in front of a video monitor and watches endless pictures of poverty flash by. A leper colony in Brazil. A teeming slum at the base of a mountainous garbage dump in the Philippines. Homeless people living in cardboard boxes on Los Angeles’s skid row. Starving children lying helpless in the dirt in the remotest reaches of Uganda.

A gifted photographer and storyteller, Straub weaves these distressing images into documentary films aimed at exposing Americans to the harsh reality of persistent poverty. The films are difficult to watch. The scenes of abject squalor are presented with an unblinking eye, in an all-too-real cinema-verité style.


“We try to find people who are living their faith,” he told me when I visited his small, windowless studio, which held a tangle of electronic equipment and mismatched office furniture. “People who exemplify a kind of self-emptying love, giving themselves away.”

Straub came to embrace this brand of Christianity—emphasizing social justice, concern for the poor, peace, and nonviolence—after a long and winding spiritual odyssey that included a life-changing stint with Pat Robertson and a public fracture that threatened to shake the ministry to its foundation.

Read the whole article. Just… read it.

Dana's Court of Opinion