Hit him where it hurts

Pat Robertson's remarks about Sharon—once again blaming human suffering on divine retribution—have put a crimp in his pocketbook. He's been leading a consortium to open a Christian theme park in Israel, and finally the Israelis have noticed that Robertson is a tasteless bigot and dishonest con-man. A spokesman for the tourism minister says he's out now.

Mr Hartuv left the door open to continuing the project but only with evangelists who disown Mr Robertson's statements.

"The contract is still open - just not with Mr Robertson. If there are other Christian leaders, they are most welcome to sign a contract to bring Christian tourists to the State of Israel.

"We want to see who in the group supports his (Robertson's) statements. Those who support the statements cannot do business with us. Those that publicly support Ariel Sharon's recovery are welcome to do business with us. We have to check this very, very carefully."

That's a mistake. These people are professional hucksters—they shouldn't trust any of them. And seriously—putting up a food court at the site of the purported miracle of the loaves and fishes? Isn't that just a little bit tacky?

(via Julia)

Loaves and Fishes tacky? Nah, it just depends on how good the tarter sauce is, and of course the bread must be fresh-baked...

Tacky is ANYONE from any Christian orginization NOT calling out and slapping down Poltroon Pat Robertson.

Think of the profits the food court could generate if they can figure out how to to do Jesus trick.
Of course Robertson and his ilk are already past masters of getting people to pay good money for utter rubbish so perhaps the Israelis ae missing out.

By CanuckRob (not verified) on 12 Jan 2006 #permalink

Tacky? It's downright gross! What's next, a spa at the tomb of Lazarus? Personal fitness training at Golgotha? When, oh when, are Israelis going to figure out that their "friends" on the Christian Blight only support Israel and them as scenery and props, respectively, for their ultimate passion play, the return of Jesus? They should cut all ties with these blight-wing fundies now.

Everyone will stay hungry at the food court, as it is a SIN to eat all those donuts, toast and cookies with faces of Jesus on them.

Hmm.... I guess there's no freedom of speech in Israel?

I know you don't like these guys, PZ. I don't either.

But let's reverse the idea:

Martin Sheen wants to open an organic food stand at the Grand Canyon. But he said bad things about President Bush, so he's not allowed the concession that he otherwise would qualify for.

Good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

PZ, you have a sharp mind. Turn the situation on its head every now and then to see if you're arguing for a principle, or for "results-based democracy."

as in:
Bad stuff happens to a Democrat:BAD!
Same bad stuff happens to Republican: good!

If I were not an atheist, I would believe that Pat Robertson is God's punishment on the U.S.A. for having so many citizens who believe so much ridiculous nonsense.

By Derick Ovenall (not verified) on 12 Jan 2006 #permalink

Siamang, normally I'd agree - though I have as much Schadenfreude as the next guy, and enjoy that Robertson was again forced to offer a nonapology or risk offending Mammon, the idea of personal politics or religion preventing a building project is somewhat disgusting.

However, the entire project was going to be built on land offered for free by the Israeli government in the first place. The whole set up stinks of the religious being given a free ride because of their religion - and Robertson finally getting burned by same. Let them eat their own.

Siaming, I don't see a conflict here. Nobody tried to prevent Robertson from saying what he did, publishing it, etc. so I see no infringement on free speech or censorship. But I don't see any reason why anyone would be compelled to do business with someone else in a case like this, where there isn't a question of equal access (the Israeli government isn't about to give the same land to me, and it's not something that's open to public bidding like your Martin Sheen example) and there's no contract in place. Not to mention the fact that it's a different country with a different legal system and the parallels to the US legal system may not apply.

I've heard it said that Israel does not allow Christian proselytizing in public places. I don't know if that is really true, but if it is, it adds a whole new dimension. How is an evangelical theme park going to not proselytize? That's what evangelicals do.

NPR had an item Thursday 12 January about all of the ridiculous things Robertson has been saying. Said some people think he's been losing it since he was a presidential candidate, but then noted that back then Robertson had handlers to minimize damge.

I'm not sure if that's how the government works in Israel. Do they have laws against insulting the PM?

Just wondering, aside from schadenfreude, what purpose is served by such a story. The guy's clearly an idiot, and idiocy should probably be a more likely barrier to running a theme park!

TomS, of course the Israeli government isn't about to give the land to you. You're not a multi-milliondollar developer (I assume.) Reverend or Tom, do either of you know for a fact that there was no bidding process? Or that if Disney came in and wanted a secular theme park, that wouldn't be met with similar deals?

Isn't this similar to where a city gives free land and tax breaks to the NFL to build a stadium? Just wondering why an insult, even a grotesque one like this, changes the dynamics of a real-estate deal with a government.

I mean, if the deal was good for the government (increased tourism and tax base for the area) before the comment, why is it suddenly bad now that Roberts mouthed off?

I've heard it said that Israel does not allow Christian proselytizing in public places. I don't know if that is really true, but if it is, it adds a whole new dimension. How is an evangelical theme park going to not proselytize? That's what evangelicals do.

The Jewish fundamentalist parties introduced this as a bill in the Knesset, but I don't think it passed.

I'm not sure if that's how the government works in Israel. Do they have laws against insulting the PM?

No. In fact Israel doesn't have the reverence toward its leader that the US does, so it's a lot easier and more acceptable to ram Sharon in Israel than to ram Bush in the US.

That's a mistake. These people are professional huckstersthey shouldn't trust any of them.

You have to look at it from Israel's point of view. Christian fundamentalists are about the only ally the country has in its occupation and oppression of the Palestinians. Even Bush has indicated he would like Israel to leave Palestine alone. When you're in such want of people who like you, you can't be picky about who you associate with.

That's a mistake. These people are professional huckstersthey shouldn't trust any of them.

Ah, but their sheep have money. Since the Israelites (at least the non-Christian fundie ones) believe that the Rapture is a bunch of hokum anyway, let the fundies build their theme park and bring in the hard-core religious tourist bucks that are less likely to be scared away by terrorism. They can pray for the Jews to burn in hell all they want, as long as they bring their Visa card.