Heeere's Pat!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

LOOK OUT, JAY Leno and David Letterman: Pat Robertson is at it again. The television evangelist and former Republican presidential candidate has a way of coming up with some real thigh-slappers. This one must have the people of Dover, Pa., rolling in the aisles. On Thursday Mr. Robertson said on his daily television show, "The 700 Club," that because all eight Dover school board members up for reelection on Tuesday were voted out of office after trying to impose "intelligent design" on high school students as an alternative to the theory of evolution, God is not going to show up if there's a disaster in Dover. They'd voted God out of the city, Mr. Robertson said. How Mr. Robertson managed to deliver that line with a straight face is beyond us. But we suppose that when you have his comedic touch, anything's possible.

In truth, Mr. Robertson's sense of humor is a bit off for our taste. Yes, the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Christian Coalition does have pretty good timing, and his delivery isn't bad. What does strike us as odd, however, is that while making something funny at another person's expense is a well-known trait of comedy, Mr. Robertson's choices of God and the citizens of Dover as the butts of his joke seems a little over the top.

After all, what took place at the ballot box in Dover had nothing to do with the acceptance or rejection of a deity. Candidates on the ballot happened to be school board members who ordered a statement read in school informing students that the theory of evolution is not established fact and that intelligent design is an alternative theory that students can pursue through reading a book. Dover citizens, hearing that, decided to vote the school board out of office. God, as far as we know, was not on the ballot.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company