Are We Pat Robertson Types?

January 3, 1999

The note came from someone who serves in the legal community in the Chicago area. A few days ago she happened to join a conversation about the current impeachment crisis in Washington. “It amazes me how people feel that the President is a victim of politics and that he shouldn’t be subjected to this scrutiny because his crimes were ‘none of our business.’ I beg to differ with that since lying under oath is extremely serious especially for the President who is sworn to uphold the laws of our nation.” For the record, I happen to agree with what she wrote. But that’s not the whole story. One participant in the conversation said that the right-wing religious were getting a foothold in the government. When she asked, “What do you mean by right-wing religious?” he responded, “Those Pat Robertson types.”

The writer then asked a pertinent question: “Pastor Ray, does that refer to us at Calvary?” I could qualify my answer with many statements, but in the end the answer is yes. He was talking about us, too. The issue isn’t Pat Robertson. He just happens to be a leading Christian spokesman whose name is well-known around the country. What Pat Robertson believes about public morality is no different from what Christians have generally said throughout American history. It’s just that today those views have come under enormous attack from people who don’t believe in absolute truth. They use a throwaway line like “Pat Robertson types” to stereotype their opponents. It’s easy to do because if you can label people you don’t have to answer their arguments.

For the record, I’ve never met Pat Robertson personally. Come to think of it, I’ve never met Jerry Falwell either. Or Chuck Colson. Or Bill Bennett. Or James Dobson. Those men–and millions of other American citizens–share a common commitment to the Bible as the Word of God, and a belief that truth is not determined by the latest Gallup poll.

Given the current cultural climate, any time evangelical Christians speak out on moral issues, we are very likely to face some kind of ridicule. I don’t think this should surprise us–and it certainly shouldn’t stop us. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.” Salt stings, and then it heals.

The great divide in our society is between those who believe in truth and those who don’t. However imperfect we may be, we’re on the side of those who believe in truth. Not to worry. We’re in good company no matter what our critics may think about our friends.

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?