Sigh. Pat Robertson’s constituency must appreciate the fact that he says stupid, foul things. Otherwise, it’s hard to explain how come he still has a forum to keep spouting nonsense. According to MSNBC.com (www.msnbc.com), now he’s popped off with this:

WASHINGTON – Conservative Christian televangelist Pat Robertson told citizens of a Pennsylvania town that they had rejected God by voting their school board out of office for supporting “intelligent design” and warned them Thursday not to be surprised if disaster struck.
Robertson, a former Republican presidential candidate and founder of the influential conservative Christian Broadcasting Network and Christian Coalition, has a long record of similar apocalyptic warnings and provocative statements….

“I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected him from your city,” Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia, “The 700 Club.”

“And don’t wonder why he hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for his help because he might not be there,” he said.

You know what? Just because people don’t agree with Intelligent Design Theory, that doesn’t mean they have rejected God. One can reject Intelligent Design Theory and still believe in God and be a Christian. Apparently Pat Robertson can’t comprehend that, and apparently his followers don’t either; but then, it seems, many creationists and the like demonize their opponents in just this way on a regular basis. I’ve found it relatively common among many of my fellow Christians to consign those who dare disagree on some point of doctrine, however minor, to Hell.

From the theological standpoint, I believe that the intelligent design concept is deeply flawed. It is simply a new version of a very old error: the God of the Gaps fallacy. To put it simply, the God of the Gaps fallacy argues that God is to be defined as mystery. Where there is mystery, there is God: if we find something in the world we don’t understand, the explanation is always the same: God did it.

This is an incredibly lazy approach to the world. When explanations for objects and events are found—as they must always be—the God of this fallacy inevitably shrinks. Needless to say, those caught in the grip of this fallacy inevitably fear explanations. Each time humanity’s understanding of the universe grows, a little piece of their God shrinks. They little realize that they’re worshiping a false God who needs to disappear.

Most theologians, along with most scientists, discarded the God of the Gaps fallacy a long time ago. God is not dependent for his existence on ignorance.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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