Lying Liars Part 3
|Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen the film Donnie Darko, be advised that there's a bit of a spoiler below. I've done my best to gloss over it as much as possible, but a minor spoiler it is. And if you haven't seen Donnie Darko, you should put it in your Netflix queue immediately. Preferably the director's cut version. Seriously, don't wait. Do it now. |
Back? All right. Off we go.
One of my favourite films is Donnie Darko, a science fiction film (among other things) about a high school student who, after narrowly escaping death, has visions of a mysterious giant rabbit named Frank who predicts the impending end of the world. The film is also a satirical indictment of both authority figures and the school system.
One of the characters in the film is a gym teacher called Mrs. Farmer. Mrs. Farmer is your archetypical fundie Christian mom, down to her "God Is Awesome" t-shirt. After a vandal floods the high school, she wages a campaign against Graham Greene's short story, "The Destructors," successfully ensuring that it is banned from the English curriculum. She sees the world in stark, black and white terms. There is no neutrality, no middle ground. Mrs. Farmer is also Jim Cunningham's biggest fan.
Jim Cunningham, another character in the film, is a semi-famous motivational speaker. He teaches children that there are two extremes: love and fear. All human emotion is, as Darko puts it, lumped into these two categories. Like Farmer, Cunningham is the goody two shoes type. He is righteous. And there are many parents and kids in the school who sing his praises.
There's just one problem with Cunningham. He's a fraud. We soon learn that Cunningham has a rather disturbing skeleton in his closet. The news quickly spreads and Cunningham is ruined. But there are some, including Mrs. Farmer, who don't buy it. For her, Cunningham has been framed by a conspiracy.
Pat Robertson is a lot like Jim Cunningham. He's a fraud. He has a great act. I'm especially fond of the squinty-eyed prayers on CBN. But, as I've already pointed out, he's quite good at bending the truth. I'd like to believe these instances are the only times he's lied through his teeth. But when you only fess up to something after you've been caught, it's a bit hard to believe.
Worse, as I never tire of pointing out, Robertson is a very wealthy man (He's worth somewhere between $200 million and $1 billion, according to Greg Palast's The Best Democracy Money Can Buy) with some very shady business dealings. Robertson claims, thru his organisation Operation Blessing International, to have spent some $1.2 million bringing aid to refugees in Rwanda. But critics such as Palast counter that the money was really spent bringing heavy equipment for Robertson's African Development Corporation, a diamond mining operation.
Robertson has also failed to mention his $8 million investment in a Liberian gold mine with former dictator Charles Taylor. Taylor had been, at the time of this venture, indicted by the United Nations for war crimes. And, to connect the dots even further, Taylor harbored members of Al Qaeda for a cool $1 million.
This is all very damning stuff. But, like Mrs. Farmer, there are many who don't, and won't, buy these things about Robertson. For them, this is all just a satanic plot created by liberals who are out to destroy Christianity and America. For them, Robertson is innocent. Nothing will change that.