TV preacher Pat Robertson might be the king of the head scratchers, and he unleashed another whopper recently when he claimed that God performs fewer miracles in the United States because of our widespread belief in evolution.
For some reason Robertson still has a television show, and on Monday a viewer named “Ken” asked him why “amazing miracles (people raised from the dead, blind eyes open, lame people walking) happen with great frequency in places like Africa, and not here in the USA?”
I was unaware that people are being routinely raised from the dead in African nations, but let’s play along for a bit with Pat here.
“People overseas didn’t go to Ivy League schools,” Robertson explained. “We’re so sophisticated, we think we’ve got everything figured out. We know about evolution, we know about Darwin, we know about all these things that says God isn’t real. (Hat tip to Right Wing Watch for the transcript.)
“We have been inundated with skepticism and secularism,” he continued. “And overseas, they’re simple, humble. You tell ‘em God loves ‘em and they say, ‘Okay, he loves me.’ You say God will do miracles and they say, ‘Okay, we believe him.’
“And that’s what God’s looking for. That’s why they have miracles.”
First off, plenty of international students attend colleges in America, including Ivy League schools. Others go to schools in their home countries or elsewhere. Many still believe in God. It’s foolish to label all of these people “simple.” Robertson seems to be trading in some stereotypes here.
Second, the idea that religion and science must be perpetually at war with one another is easily debunked. Jeff Hardin, chair of the zoology department at the University of Wisconsin, identifies as an evangelical Christian. He also believes strongly in evolution and tries to explain to his fellow Christians that they, too, can embrace both God and science.
Hardin isn’t alone. Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, and Cambridge University molecular biologist Denis Alexander both think the Bible and scientific facts can coexist.
And let’s not forget that Robertson may not even be a true believer in all forms of creationism. After all, he said last year that: “You have to be deaf, dumb and blind to think that this Earth that we live in only has 6,000 years of existence, it just doesn’t, I’m sorry. To deny the clear record that’s there before us makes us looks silly. There’s no way that all this that you have here took place in 6,000 years, it just couldn’t have been done, couldn’t possibly have been done.”
Based on that, it doesn’t sound like God will be performing any miracles for Robertson anytime soon.
At the end of the day, this is just a clumsy attempt by Robertson to undermine sound science. Instead of encouraging the two camps to work together to obtain a better understanding of our world, he’s trying to drive wedges between people and it serves no useful purpose.
Robertson simply wants people to remain ignorant because it serves his agenda. It’s hard to imagine God would agree with that approach.