EDITORIAL: Preachers long have blamed sinners for disasters

By Rheta Grimsley Johnson

If there were justice in this world – and there is not – Pat Robertson would be swooped up by a Wizard of Oz tornado and delivered to Haiti, where he’d be forced to dig through rubble with his soft, pink, worthless hands.
Blaming victims for natural disasters, the poor for poverty, the sick for their ailments is a disgusting habit, especially when delivered via a medium that draws the stupid and vulnerable like flies to chicken spit. Robertson knows his audience, and unfortunately it grows in a country increasingly divided into the rich and the unfortunate.
Quakes bring out the quacks.
Pat Robertson won’t be swooped up by a tornado, or even warmed by a convenient house fire, because that’s not the way it works. Seldom do the deserving really get what they deserve.
Preacher Pat has made his own pact with a Satan called Greed, and the earthly rewards aren’t about anything as worthwhile as playing the blues guitar.
Now, preachers have been blaming “sinners” for sickness and such since lepers were shunned. This is nothing new. Wouldn’t be worth noting, except now religion and politics are so intertwined in this country, today you have to look for party platforms in hymn books.
Ever since Ronald Reagan – by his own admission not a churchgoer – used the Religious Right to win an election, the Ship of State has listed to Looney Tunes. Talk about your pacts with the devil.
Before 1980, you didn’t have environmental ennui because those in charge thought the End of Time was coming soon, and cleaning up our nest wasn’t worth the effort. You didn’t have a generation of children being home-schooled in the pseudo-science of a 6,000-year-old Earth. You didn’t have prayer meetings in the U.S. Attorney General’s office or doctors being shot to death with the tacit approval of “Christians.”
We are edging ever closer to a fanatical fringe theocracy, and the television preachers and gutless politicians are leading the charge.
When this country lost lives to terrorists fueled by religious intolerance and hate, what happened? Pat Robertson blamed it on sin, and politicians quickly pitted their own prayers against those nuts from another faith.
How blind do you have to be not to see that there is sanity in separating highly personal matters of faith from government, warmongering, education and even football games?
I am, of course, falling right into the trap set by the intentionally controversial Preacher Pat, improving his ratings by mentioning his smarmy business plan. I suspect he’s less than spontaneous when he spews his venomous and idiotic pronouncements.
The problem is not Pat, of course, but all those voters out there nodding their empty heads in total agreement. Ignorance is the devilish curse.

Rheta Grimsley Johnson is a syndicated columnist. She lives in the Iuka vicinity. Contact her at Iuka, MS 38852.