In case you haven’t heard, in a recent episode of The 700 Club noted corpse Pat Robertson reluctantly admitted maybe that whole thing about the earth being only 6,000 years old is just kind of, y’know, maybe a complete load of shit.
Obviously, this was a bit of a shocker. Robertson has been the captain of the delusional nutjob team for decades now. Why the sudden change of heart? Is he so old that he’s just entered “who gives a fuck” mode? Whatever the case, it certainly threw a lot of people for a loop, but the question is: does this actually matter? Let’s take a look at the details and see if we can’t reach conclusion on this.
Why It Doesn’t Matter
He’s Still An Asshole
I really, really hope no one looks at this and decides “you know what, I kind of like him now!” Please don’t. He’s still a dick who opposes women’s rights and gay rights, told people to pray for Supreme Court justices to die, and thinks 9/11 and Katrina happened due to abortion and butt-fucking. Being right about one thing does not make someone a decent person. Please remember that.
He’s Just One Dude
Let’s not forget that Christianity is a giant, lumbering force, and the Christian right is a lot bigger than we want it to be. One guy coming to his senses about one issue isn’t going to convince everyone else, and it’s going to take a lot more work to stop people form trying to teach creationism in schools. It’s a good start, but it’s not too much else.
Why It Might Actually Matter
We Now Have A Great New Argument To Use On Creationists
“Come on! Even Pat Robertson isn’t dumb enough to believe that shit!”
Fundamentalist Christians might Be Realizing How Stupid They Sound
Okay, this might sound a bit contradictory because I just said he’s only one guy, but just for fun, let’s take the optimistic viewpoint on this: maybe the most hardcore Christians are slowly beginning to realize how ridiculous they sound. Remember, we’re coming off an election where the Christian right received a serious ass-handing-to, and that might be causing people to rethink things. They’ve been using the same arguments for what seems like an eternity now:
1. God made everything
2. Abortion is bad
3. Butt sex makes Jesus cry
Lately, it really seems like a large portion of the country is rejecting that line of thinking. At some point, the people peddling Christianity are going to have to realize that these arguments aren’t really working anymore. Mainly because the people who used to by into them are either dying, or – in Robertson’s case – coming to their senses shortly before dying.
Frankly, I would’ve been more encouraged if Robertson had reconsidered his views on marriage or abortion. Anyone can look at concrete facts and say “hmm…maybe I should start taking this seriously,” but it would’ve been even cooler if Robertson had realized that using religion to bully women and gays might not be the best idea in the world. But hey, you take whatever victory you can get.
Only time will tell if Robertson newfound stance on creationism is going to have a serious impact. It might be the beginning of a period where Christians take stock of what they’ve been saying and make serious adjustments. It could just be one random old dude coming to his senses while his comrades continue shouting along about the same old shit. For now, it’s a minor victory for reasonable people, and if turns into something more, that would be great, but I’m not holding my breath.