Televangelist Pat Robertson turned his attention to the question of what America’s role is in helping Syrian refugees by concluding that Jesus would have cynically voted against letting refugees into the country.
Taking advantage of his seemingly infinite capacity to spew bad ideas from the comfort of his chair at The 700 Club studio, Robertson took a viewer’s question about what Jesus would have done for the refugees and ran with it.
The viewer asked: “With the horrible, ongoing ISIS attacks, I was wondering what Jesus would say about letting Syrian refugees into America.”
Robertson responded by first assuring viewers that (despite what was coming) he was a really sensitive, compassionate guy. He wants to give refugees hugs! But just not in America. Okay? Once that was out of the way, Robertson got down to the business of spreading misinformation and suggesting America seal off its borders to Syrians fleeing oppression.
Speaking with all the authority of a man who thinks he’s channeling Jesus, Robertson told viewers that “from a policy standpoint, the truth is these evil people have infiltrated the refugee hordes.” To prove it, the televangelist cited a long-debunked rumor that one of the Paris terrorists was found to have a Syrian passport. Robertson took that myth a step further by explicitly saying the man who “brought mayhem” to France was a refugee. In fact, no such evidence exists. The “Syrian passport” turned out to be a forgery and French investigators now believe it may have been intentionally dropped by one of the attackers to “sow confusion” and stir up anti-Muslim bias in the West (a major ISIS recruiting tool).
Lost on the biblical literalist and supposed theological expert was the rather glaring fact that Jesus himself could be considered to have been an “Arab refugee” having migrated with his parents from one place to another seeking refuge from persecution. The Bible also makes it clear that Jesus was not willing to let fear or prejudice shade his view of people. He frequently astonished his own followers by showing he was willing to meet (and eat) with people whom many would dismiss as “undesirables.”
It’s foolish to try to imagine what Jesus think about current events “from a policy standpoint,” but it’s clear that his message is one of tolerance and compassion – even in the face of fear. To suggest that Senator Jesus Christ (R-Nazareth) would allow cowardice to turn him away from helping those in need is a pretty egregious accusation.
That may be why Robertson doesn’t dwell on the question of heartless cruelty to refugees for very long. His next question, “Is it wrong to say ‘holy smokes’?” gets equal time.
Watch the video below via Raw Story:
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