My name is danah boyd and I'm a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and the founder/president of Data & Society. Buzzwords in my world include: privacy, context, youth culture, social media, big data. I use this blog to express random thoughts about whatever I'm thinking.

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God will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger

During the elections last week, Dover Pennsylvania chose to replace their school board with eight new members. Why? The incumbents had supported “intelligent design” and the citizens were outraged and expressed it by voting. Well, this did not please Pat Robertson who issued a pox on all their houses:

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city… And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for His help because he might not be there” — Pat Robertson on The 700 Club

I read this and my jaw just fell slack on the floor. I know that i haven’t paid much attention to Pat Robertson lately but since when is it permissible for judgment to be made by anyone but God? And how does this rhetoric of hatred and vengeance represent God? And let’s assume that the citizens of Dover did poor by God – since when can you not ask for forgiveness? Since when will He not be there?

Somehow, the version of Christianity that i learned entirely missed this type of hate. If Jesus were to descend again, he would be lynched in a matter of seconds by those who worship him for trying to help homeless people, drug addicts and prostitutes. How is it that people cannot see the problems and hypocrisy of such a hateful interpretation of the Bible?

(For the loving side of Christianity, check out Jo and Cross Left)

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6 comments to God will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger

  • Where does the surprise arise from? The Bible do seem to have intances which contradict the concept of a benevolent Holy Father – instead there seems to be the primitive instinct of revenge an rage. It has disturbed me without even being religious.

  • Chris

    Galatians 5 describes the unholy and holy.
    The unholy does all that leads to violence and destruction.
    The holy gives Peace, Love, Joy, Patience, Life.

    As for rejecting intelligent design, I’d say that that explains why this generation is producing so much rubbish!

    Finally he is apparently “calling evil Good” and vice versa. According to Jesus, that’s the work of the devil himself. May God have mercy on all of our souls.

  • randomtruth

    You’re forgetting that Pat thinks he’s the voice of God…

    Here’s the bit that gets my dander up: how can the Pat Robertson’s of this world justify being so selective about which scientific theories they’ll accept and which ones they won’t when they aren’t at all as flexible on what aspects of the scriptures they’ll accept? (such as homosexuality being an abomination before God).

    “To Pat and his followers: when/if the bird flu pandemic hits, don’t turn to science for vaccines, because you have rejected it from your Club. Stick to prayer – it did wonders for the 30M that died in 1918.”

  • Lynn

    > If Jesus were to descend again, he would be lynched in a matter of seconds by those who worship him for trying to help homeless people, drug addicts and prostitutes.

    That happend the first time. Just took a little over 3 years.

  • p@

    P.R.’s voice only represents the value we are willing to give it… Are we really to the point where that value is that of the integrity of Christianity? I’m not really sure I’m willing to give him that opportunity… Instead I’ll just be glad that the citizens of Dover made the right choice. It’s up to them how to move on from here, I doubt P.R. will have much impact on that.

  • Pat Robertson is a nutcase. If he can go about calling for his country to assassinate democratically elected Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez then to me he’s lost all sense of sanity. Interesting enough, I recall that one of the 10 Commandments includes a sentence that goes somewhat like “Thou shalt not kill”. This is perhaps another large reason why I choose not to associate myself with the Christian community. If there can be a man like Pat Robertson, saying and calling for the things like the example I mentioned above and the one you touched on, and the world-wide Christian community does nothing then I think it is easy to see my reasoning.

    Moving on to the Intelligent Design, there are a few MPs who are currently trying to introduce this class now… into science! What the hell.