Whenever Pat Robertson opens his mouth, nine times out of ten something unhinged will come out. That’s been amply established for awhile. Still, something he said on Tuesday’s edition of “The 700 Club” is outrageous even by his standards. When one of his viewers asked for advice on how to console a friend who lost a child, Robertson suggested that God let that child die because he somehow knew he’d grow up to become a monster.
As part of the daily “Bring It On” segment, Robertson answered a question from “Jane,” who mentioned a conversation she’d recently had with one of her coworkers. Jane said the coworker was grief-stricken over the recent death of her three-year-old, who had succumbed to a long illness. People for the American Way got a clip.
The coworker was hopping mad at God, and said she couldn’t believe in a God who let her child die while other children were healed. Jane said that God “sees the big picture,” but didn’t know what else to say.
Robertson started out well at first, saying that it was entirely possible the child died as the result of human error at the hospital. But alas, it’s far too much to expect long-term moments of sanity from the Virginia Beach Ayatollah–and this was no exception. Robertson suggested that God decided to take this child to heaven because he knew he’d grow up to be evil. His full spiel on this has to be reproduced in full to be believed.
“Now, as far as God’s concerned, he knows the end from the beginning. And he sees a little baby, and that little baby could grow up to be Adolf Hitler. He could grow up to be Joseph Stalin. He could grow up to be some serial killer. Or he could grow up to die of a hideous disease. God sees all that, and for that life to terminated while he’s a baby, he’s going to be with God in heaven forever. So how could God do that? How could a good God do that? Well, the good God is going to take that baby to heaven right now, and that isn’t a bad thing.”
Cliff Notes version: this mother should be grateful that God did her a favor by saving her child from becoming another Hitler or Stalin. I don’t think I need to tell you how callous this sounds.
Like Robertson, I’m a charismatic Christian. However, I have the weird idea that the last thing a grieving parent needs to hear is Christianese like what Robertson suggests Jane tell her friend. If a non-Christian friend of mine were to say he or she was mad at God for letting his or her child die, I’d talk it out with that friend first and let him or her know I was there if he or she needed someone to talk to.
Riddle me this, Pat. Is it too much for you to realize that maybe grieving parents need to be loved on, not preached at? Well, if this spiel is any indication, apparently it is.