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Jul 12 2012

Pat Robertson on the Bible and Slavery

On the 700 Club, Pat Robertson was asked about the Bible and slavery and his answer was correct but completely disconnected from the obvious conclusion. He admits that the Bible endorses slavery, but then says we’ve “moved in our conceptions” and now realize that “slavery was terribly wrong.”

Okay, Pat. But where did that moral evolution come from? Certainly not from the Bible, or from any of the Christian theologians from the early days of the religion to the 18th and 19th centuries. It came from Enlightenment thinking. And yet Robertson is the first person to howl in outrage at the idea that mere human morality is better than the morality of the Bible (which is also human morality, of course, but one based on divine command theory). Agree to the premise, miss the obvious logical conclusion.

23 comments

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  1. 1
    timgueguen

    And of course believers ignore the question of why Jesus didn’t call for the slaves to be freed. Guess it’s another one of those “God’s mysterious plan” things.

  2. 2
    slc1

    Re timgueguen @ #1

    Maybe he did but his statement didn’t make it into the scriptures.

  3. 3
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    @timgueguen, #1:

    But he totes did. It was in code. If you take the second letter of every word in the Book of uh… you know… in the King James version, except for two paragraphs in which you must use the New American version, it is obvious! It was also in a parable, the one about the… um… Look! A diversion! What, you missed my proof just now? I’m not going to repeat it, but boy howdy – it was awesome. You must have faith.

  4. 4
    dingojack

    “As the Great Prophet, Pat Robinson, said nearly 200 years ago: ‘I admit that the Bible endorses bigotry toward our beloved homosexual brethren, but we’ve moved in our conceptions and now realise that this bigotry is terribly wrong’.”
    Lord High Commissioner of History, David Barton VI
    (4th of July, 2208 AD)

    ;/ Dingo

  5. 5
    jimmiraybob

    “…why Jesus didn’t call for the slaves to be freed.”

    We’ll never know. He didn’t write down or edit his material before publication.

  6. 6
    Dr X

    Dingo beat me to it. I can’t listen to clip at the moment, but based on what I understand from the post, it would seem that Robertson could question his own condemnations of homosexuality.

  7. 7
    Dr X

    Okay, I had a chance to listen. It sounded like they cued music into break as he started to wade into it. I’m imagining the director in the control room screaming: “go to break! go to break!”

  8. 8
    dingojack

    Dr X – it is said that great friends Whistler, Wilde and Shaw were talking together when Shaw said something particularly witty.
    ‘Oh I wish I had said that!’ Wilde exclaimed, to which Whistler replied, in a rather wryly sage manner:
    ‘You will Oscar, oh – you will.’

    No doubt, given enough time the ‘wise’ heads in the Religious Right will airbrush out the hatefulness of their present positions to fit the moral standards of the future and put this ‘new moralitity’ into the mouths of today’s most immoral bigots.
    Dingo

  9. 9
    reverendrodney

    Well hell, if we can “move in our conceptions” about one thing, why not everything?

    It is not religion that gives us morality, but thinking.

  10. 10
    raven

    And of course believers ignore the question of why Jesus didn’t call for the slaves to be freed.

    In one place, Jesus the godman gives people advice on how to beat their slaves. He is completely oblivious that there might be something wrong with owning people.

    The English versions usually use the word servant in the NT. The original Greek word was slave.

  11. 11
    raven

    airbrush out the hatefulness of their present positions to fit the moral standards of the future…

    They will for sure but the christofascists are always a few centuries behind the rest of us. 26% of them are still grappling with (and rejecting) Heliocentrism. Most of them are creationists who think the universe is 6,000 years old.

    And of course, a David Barton clone in the Minstry of Truth will be revised history.

  12. 12
    McC2lhu doesn't want to know what you did there.

    Jesus’ lack of action on slavery is especially damning evidence if you are of the Catholic branch of the religion. The Jesusgodghost has a chance to change his mind, but just doubles down on how to deal with those bloody uppity slav…, er servants.

    For an all-knowing being, he really shat the bed on knowing what would be considered ethical a mere handful of millennia ahead. You would almost think that he was nothing but hallucinations of superstitious dolts of the pre-sciencey era, based on that kind of bugger-up.

  13. 13
    stuartsmith

    I think you’re misunderstanding. He isn’t saying that our understanding of morality has advanced. What he means is that God was joking about with the slavery parts in the bible, and it just took a few thousand years for people to catch on. But they get it now, and no worries, they’re preeeetty sure the rest of the bible is intended to be taken seriously and at face value.

  14. 14
    dingojack

    God is a poe? I thought he/she/it was an iron.
    Dingo

  15. 15
    timberwoof

    Didn’t some teary-eyed girl recently stomp out of an auditorium after being told that since she can so easily ignore the bullshit about slavery in the Bible, she can also ignore the rest of the bullshit?

  16. 16
    iangould

    “No doubt, given enough time the ‘wise’ heads in the Religious Right will airbrush out the hatefulness of their present positions to fit the moral standards of the future and put this ‘new moralitity’ into the mouths of today’s most immoral bigots.”

    20 years and Larry Craig will be a heroic pioneer of the struggle for gay rights hounded from office by the homophobic Democrats.

  17. 17
    Michael Heath

    Pat Robertson’s quip not only has him [inadvertently] abandoning the idea we should obey the morality of his god, he also abandons the argument that we should accept biblical edicts on how we should behave and govern ourselves.

  18. 18
    iangould

    Surely the Bible was wrong when it said Pi is equal to exactly 3 and when it said that the Sun revolves aroudn the Earth and when it endorsed polygamy (including requiring men to marry their brother’s widows) and when pedophilia didn;t even make it into the Top 10 sins but none of that means it isn’t the inerrant word of God.

  19. 19
    Gregory in Seattle

    Christian fundamentalism is based on the complete inerrancy and eternal nature of the Bible, aka the Eternal and Unchanging Holy Word of God.

    Christians routinely ignore clear rules set down in the Old Testament, such as prohibitions against pig, shellfish and mixed fiber clothing, and the requirement to keep the Sabbath (from sunset Friday through sunset Saturday) or die. They will point to the New Testament and say, “New Covenant, end of discussion.” But slavery is clearly endorsed in the New Testament, which makes that excuse invalid.

    So if the Holy Word of God as given in the New Testament has changed with regards to slavery (and apparently with regards to divorce, which Jesus denounced in no uncertain terms and which most Talibangelicals seem to have little problem with) why shouldn’t it also have changed with regards to the status of women? With regards to homosexuality?

  20. 20
    Quantum Mechanic

    *Gasp* Moral Relativism!!!1!1!one!
    /Clutches pearls

  21. 21
    d cwilson

    Of course Pat Robertson believes the babble endorses slavery. Who else was going to work in his silver mines?

  22. 22
    feralboy12

    20 years and Larry Craig will be a heroic pioneer of the struggle for gay rights hounded from office by the homophobic Democrats

    And his “wide stance” will become “an inclusive, egalitarian view of society that sought to extend basic civil rights to all.”

  23. 23
    Ing

    Am I the only one who is thinking that Pat’s heart doesn’t seem to be in it as much as it was ten years ago when he was preaching a cure for AIDS and all that?

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