Bearing False Witness

Forgive me my trespass, Steve Benen of Political Animal, for pasting so much of your post here, and readers, Washington Monthly is the place to go for Steve’s update on what’s happening in politics.

I don’t usually rip off so much of someone else’s writing, but this post concerns Pat Robertson. Pat Robertson is in my opinion an international criminal who uses religion as camouflage for his steady accumulation of personal power. [Kmareka’s legal department says that the First Amendment still allows human beings to have an opinion. I’m so grateful. Thank you, Supremes.]

If Robertson was following Christian morality he might be constrained by the Ten Commandments. Namely, the ninth. The Bible, interestingly, doesn’t say straight out that it’s a sin to tell a lie. God’s Commandment is– ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor’. ‘Bearing false witness’ is perjury. It’s a malicious lie that ruins a life. It’s the provocation that gets someone killed.

It’s the lie that puts a target on an innocent person. It’s the claim that the suspect was running away when he was shot in the back. It’s the false accusation of rape that justifies the lynching. It’s the lie that precipitates a war.

I believe there is a special place in Hell where the 700 Club is the only news playing. Pat Robertson is assuring the faithful that the Devil isn’t such a bad guy. Pat scares them with apocalyptic visions until they decide that the Devil they know is their buddy.

Maybe he calls up the unclean spirits of the slave owners who used lies and propaganda as effectively as the whip. More effectively–because deception requires way less energy than coercion.

So here’s a take on the CBN ‘News’…

THIS WEEK IN GOD…. First up from the God Machine this week is a report from radical TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, which religious right activists and many on the far-right quickly embraced, but which didn’t stand up well to scrutiny.

CBN reported, in an apparent “exclusive,” that five Muslim-American soldiers at Fort Jackson in South Carolina “were arrested just before Christmas and are in custody. The five men were part of the Arabic Translation program at the base.” If true, it’s the kind of development that would likely have broad political and policy consequences. Except, as Marc Ambinder noted, CBN appears to have gotten it wrong.

[T]he Army says it’s not true. No one has been arrested. The National Security Council was not aware of any arrests, a spokesperson said.

Let me express a humble nurse’s opinion of interpreters. We adore them. We are grateful to have them. Our job is hazardous to our patients and our license when we have to grab Marina in Maintenance or the grandchild to interpret. A very good interpreter I worked with told me she was exhausted by the end of the day. I understood, because I was exhausted too. It is very hard work to communicate vital information accurately across language and culture.

Broadcasting lies against hard-working Arabic interpreters, Americans in service no less, who are protecting our country and their fellow service members by facilitating communication– that would be contrary to our national interest and security. Unless you think our national interest is in precipitating total war in the Middle East, and our security is in qualifying for The Rapture.

The Armageddon Agenda is a deeply Un-American fifth column hiding in plain sight. Don’t mess with my interpreters, Pat Robertson, or you’ll hear from me. Whether it’s the professional interpreter, or Marina in Maintenance, or the little grandchild, or an Arab-American in service– you are saving lives. We, on the ground, know what you do and how much you are needed.

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