I started this blog because I left Boston to live and work in London for a while, and I wanted to stay in touch with family and friends. I'm back now, but still have plenty of opinions on world news, politics, the media and the absolute craziness that comes from dealing with people. Bring it.

12 January 2006

No Jesusland for Robertson

Pat Robertson's commentary on Sharon's stroke being "retribution" has cost him his Christian theme park in Israel. Even his "apology" isn't helping him, though. Earlier this year, Robertson announced plans to build an evangelical Christian destination in Northern Israel, encompassing many sites historically linked to Jesus's life. And Israel was going to donate the land and the infrastructure, anticipating up to $1.5B additional in tourism revenues each year.

The whole thing felt wrong then, and it feels even more wrong now. I mean, it's not like Robertson doesn't think Israelis aren't going to be consumed in hellfire like the rest of the sinners when JC comes back. And while the Israeli government is unwilling to proceed with Robertson, they do want to go ahead with "other investors."

Now, I know that Israel is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. And I get that during the intifada, Christian Pilgrims kept the tourism industry going when American Jews were afraid to travel there. (Although I would argue most real Christian Pilgrims who visit these sites would prefer to see them as they are, rather than featuring a Loaves and Fishes Foodcourt)

Does the government of Israel never learn? The people behind big evangelical projects like this don't give a shit about Israel, except in the ways that its existence helps drive their own agenda, or allows them to talk about prophecies. Robertson was just crazy enough to show it. His replacements in this scheme won't make the mistake of tipping their hands like he did.


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