Christian television evangelist Pat Robertson and the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have a well-established affinity for the outrageous. This time their mutual embrace of indecency places them in a category all to themselves. As Ariel Sharon lay hospitalized and critically incapacitated by a massive stroke, Robertson, one of America’s best-known religious extremists, and his Iranian counterpart — no slouch when it comes to religious demagoguery — suggested that Israel’s prime minister had it coming. Speaking on his TV show, Robertson said the Bible “makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who ‘divide my land.’ ” Sharon, Robertson asserted, “was dividing God’s land, and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course.” As Robertson was offering up his thoughts about a man fighting for his life, Iran’s president was expressing unrestrained hope that Sharon would simply die.
The American right must continue to disassociate itself from Pat Robertson. The shame isn’t that Robertson is an idiot, but that he has numerous followers.