The chronicle of a lonely do-gooder family doctor who survived.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dear Pat Robertson

Letter to the editor in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, January 14, 2010

Dear Pat Robertson,

I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action. But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished. Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth -- glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven't you seen "Crossroads"? Or "Damn Yankees"? If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox -- that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it -- I'm just saying: Not how I roll. You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings -- just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.

Best, Satan

(LILY COYLE, MINNEAPOLIS)


A much more charitable, christian, response to this sad, old, fearful politician preacher man can be found by Don Miller on Relevant Magazine's website:

Regardless, it was sadly irresponsible for him to make such a devastatingly shocking statement in the context of great hurt. Can you imagine giving the eulogy at a funeral and starting out by saying “before I tell you about God’s grace, let me make it clear that little Johnny deserved to die because he stole candy from a store.” There is something wrong with a person who would do this. These people are often, themselves, controlling. They are wired to build empires, and in order to build empires you have to get people to do what you say, and if you have God standing behind you threatening hurt and pain, you can motivate people.


And for speaking the voice of the truly outraged bleeding-heart liberal, I'll take Jon Stewart any day:

Transcript:

Pat Robertson, sitting in front of a CBN Disaster Relief Fund Banner

You know, Kristie, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and the people might not like to talk about it. They got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said 'we will serve you if you get us free from the French.'
True story. And by whatever sense they have been cursed by one thing after another.
Stewart [Stunned silence]

Shut yer pie hole old man. Out of all the things that you could draw on from your religion to bring comfort to a devastated people and region...
[Brings out a large bible]
Look how big your book is! Look at ... [leafs through bible]
'The Lord is close to the broken hearted
he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.'
'Fear thou not for I am with thee. Be not dismayed for I am thy god, I will strenghten thee.'

But you decided to go with "tough titties devil folk"!

Have you read this book?!?! [gestures with bible]

'From the depths of the earth you will again bring me up though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed. "Yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed" says the Lord who has compassion on you.'

I mean that almost sounds like it's about %&$#ing earthquakes!

You've got all this, but you went with an urban legend about a deal with the devil.

[imitating Robertson]
"Wheeeel none of this would have happened if those people hadn't drank all those pop rocks and coke."

These are terrible events! Can't we put aside ideology for a second?


Monday, January 11, 2010

Here's to you, Tony



Neither of us ever discuss it, with each other, or with others. It seems so improbable to me that there's really nothing to say about it.

20 years ago I met this Australian foreign exchange student at Berkeley. We had an instant connection, an affinity that seemed like we were destined to play a major role in each others lives. We even shared a birthday. We spent the winter after we'd met driving across the US together.

Over the years, despite being in the pre-internet era, we stayed in touch, writing letters, sending care packages, the occasional phone call. He even came back to the states for a visit.

Flash forward 10 years. I move thousands of miles for school and residency and eventually end up in Seattle. Tony, living in Paris, meets a wonderful American woman, they fall in love and decided to get married and move to her home town: that's right, Seattle. Our wives become best of friends and now, 20 years later, we both have sons that were born three months apart.

As I tap this blog entry out on my iPhone, he and Jen are out together at a party for a much needed break and I am babysitting in their home, their infant son peacefully asleep on my chest.

Life is truly wonderful and magic.