If there is anyone out there in GetReligion land who really, really wants to work their way through 43 more news stories and editorials about the Rev. Pat Robertson, they can demonstrate their free will -- I am not a Calvinist -- by clicking here and browsing through (scroll down a screen) the always awesome collection of URLs at the Christianity Today weblog. Then again, the whole subject does raise issues of total depravity. Let me go on the record and say that I remain stunned at the media reaction to this story, in large part because I have considered Robertson a non issue ever since his fade started in the late 1990s. There is more I could say, but I won't. The key is that there are so many people within evangelicalism who are -- for better and for worse -- more interesting and influential than Robertson at this point in his career.
I am not alone in thinking this way. Check out this Cal Thomas column, which is a strong call for people on left and right to stop believing that they can vote in the Kingdom of God (and pay people to push for that). Here is the end of the piece:
If people who bear the label "Christian" want to reduce these embarrassments, which interfere with the proclamation and the hearing of "true religion," they should refrain from sending money to TV preachers and contribute more to their local church. Local giving not only would allow the giver to better monitor how the money is spent, but also, if the pastor occasionally says something he should not have said, the embarrassment will remain within the walls and not be a rhetorical shot heard around the world.
Pat Robertson eventually apologized for his remarks about assassinating Hugo Chavez. His penance should be to retire and to take his bombastic conservative and liberal colleagues with him.
Believe it or not, this is one Thomas column that even drew praise from Andrew Sullivan. Preach it, brother.