I have a semi-official policy of ignoring Christian media mogul Pat Robertson whenever possible. You can set a clock by how often he says something stupid, insensitive, outrageous, or inadvertently amusing about any belief system that doesn’t walk lockstep with his own. He’s a calculating offender who knows that causing controversy is good for his business. I frankly have no idea how the folks at Right Wing Watch or Talk to Action manage to cling to sanity in their daily trawl through the seamy underbelly of conservative Christianity. Surely that much Pat Robertson isn’t healthy for anyone? In any event, the folks at RWW reported on yet another stupid observation on Robertson’s 700 Club, this time from current Roberston sycophant Kristi Watts.
Robertson’s cohost Kristi Watts mockingly asked that since the Wicca religion “believes in the environment and believes that trees are there God,” then “why are these atheists not saying we should cut down every tree because it’s offensive?”
“The obvious answer to this is that Wiccans don’t worship trees. This is more of the ever-popular Old Testament dumb idol meme, the hatred of the Yahwists for trees as representative of goddesses, and repeated all through early Christian history (e.g. 1 Corinthians 12:2), where Pagans become people who worship rocks and trees rather than seeing in nature the divine all around us. On a whole, this is roughly analogous to and about as accurate as saying Christians worship a cross.
Although, it wouldn’t surprise me if even militant atheists aren’t too worked up about Wicca, which like other Pagan religions, eschews proselytization and preaching to “non-believers” like Kristi Watts’ own religion. Pagans also aren’t known to be busy either trying to deprive atheists of their right to not believe. But then, comprehension of causation is not a strong suit for those who believe their god’s will decides everything, including who is born to whom and when.”
Since Hrafnkell has done such an able job of dismantling the anti-Pagan (and anti-atheist) religious hit-job on Robertson’s program, I’ll instead bring up one other point. Atheists aren’t gunning to chop down all the trees us Pagan tree-huggers hug because they predominantly believe in environmental and climate science, and know that cutting down “every tree” would destroy our ecosystem, and life on earth itself (sadly, ski resort Jesus statues don’t absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen). To some Christians climate change initiatives and environmental regulations aren’t a matter of responsible stewardship, but a form of “paganism” in of itself. However, interestingly, Robertson isn’t one of them.
“They have broken heat records in a number of cities already this year and broken all-time records and it is getting hotter and the ice caps are melting and there is a build up of carbon dioxide in the air. We really need to address the burning of fossil fuels. If we are contributing to the destruction of the planet we need to do manage about it.”
So even if Wiccans worshiped trees as their “god,” I think both Robertson and the straw-man atheists described on his program would agree that a policy of cutting “down every tree because it’s offensive” wouldn’t be in their best interests. It’s a shame that Robertson didn’t correct his sidekick on this simple point of logic.