Among the many conservative political pundits whose blown predictions made them look foolish, I have particularly enjoyed those like Pat, who claim to have heard from their gods about such cosmic trivialities as who will win the next election.
Pat Robertson and CBN were as stunned and dumbfounded by the defeat of Mitt Romney, which is saying something, considering that he personally claimed that his god told him who would win back in January, and then later in the year his network predicted a GOP sweep.
Thanks to Right Wing Watch, I got to see an interesting clip of how believers like Robertson work to convince themselves that their own opinions are somehow divinely inspired.
So this was Pat & crew, boggled by their defeat a couple weeks ago.
The Christian Broadcasting Network put on an election night special and host Pat Robertson appeared to be dumbfounded that President Obama won re-election. Robertson’s guests included Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, Regent University vice president Paul Bonicelli and Romney adviser Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, the legal group Robertson founded. Barnes reassured Robertson that even if Obama wins, the President “hardly has a mandate for anything” because “this was a status quo election,” as apparently Barnes thinks any incumbent who gets re-elected doesn’t have a mandate. But Sekulow said that Obama will likely appoint two or three justices to the Supreme Court and will use the power of the executive branch to push new “encroachments on liberty and freedom.”Just another scene of many, of Republican pundits buying into their own propaganda, their own wishful thinking masquerading as certainty based on data from the real world. Dime a dozen at this point. Never mind that some supposed religious network puts on an 'election night special' worthy of Fox; we're long past the point of the religious right lining up their churches and their flocks of sheep as an extension of the GOP.
Robertson, who throughout the program held out hope that Karl Rove’s prediction that Romney could win Ohio would materialize, was stunned that Obama was the winner: “What have they got? He doesn’t seem to have any program and yet he’s been able to win a re-election, what is going on with the American people?” Bonicelli said that Americans will spend their next four years “regretting this decision” and Robertson warned that the U.S. is looking more like Western Europe and even Zaire.
More recently, the subject came up again as Pat was attempting to respond to someone who thought they'd heard one thing from their god, only to find reality going in a somewhat different direction. And since Pat had claimed the same thing himself and got it wrong too, I'm sure he can understand this dilemma.
In January, televangelist Pat Robertson told 700 Club viewers that in his annual New Year’s “conversation” with God, the Almighty had revealed to him who the next president would be. Up through Election Day, Robertson harshly criticized President Obama and the Democratic Party while praising Mitt Romney. Then, Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network predicted a GOP sweep, leaving Robertson utterly confounded by Obama’s victory.
Today, responding to a question from a viewer who wondered why her business is struggling since she thought God told her it would be successful, Robertson admitted that he sometimes misses God’s message. “So many of us miss God, I won’t get into great detail about elections but I sure did miss it, I thought I heard from God, I thought I had heard clearly from God, what happened?” Robertson replied, “You ask God, how did I miss it? Well, we all do and I have a lot of practice.”
RWW quotes Pat in reference to his/god's blown call for the presidency, but I found the preceding...teaching, fascinating.
You have to practice the presence of god, practice the voice of god, practice hearing from god, and then check to see if indeed you are hearing from him.Assuming for the sake of argument that one does 'hear from god' I could maybe understand having to work at it. Checking it, against what I wonder? Probably cherry-pick some bible verses that comfort you, sure. What about the rest? Who has to practice 'the presence of god' aside from the god-concept itself? What about practicing its 'voice'?
To me, this sounds like Pat is giving away the goods on his method: he has practiced how to sound like his words come from his god; he has practiced its 'presence,' how to give his preaching the right appearance and tone; to use the right wordings out of their holy book. To make his own opinions look like not just his opinions, but coming down to us from on high.
And clearly in the case of the presidential election, he fooled even himself. He 'heard from god' -- got a prediction, had his network CBN call it for Republicans -- and blew it. He never came out and said plainly that god told him Romney would win, but it's clear that this is what he thought. Can't blame the god-concept of course, it must have known better, it must be blameless. He could suggest that he got the prediction from...elsewhere, but what would that do to his reputation to be hoodwinked by his supernatural adversary?
Much easier to admit that he fakes it. I doubt that his flock will catch it through the word-salad obfuscation, and they wouldn't want to see it that way regardless.