Inquiring minds want to know. All over Africa, the Lord performs miracles on a regular basis, including healing of the blind and lame—and even resurrections! But here in the U.S.? Not so much. In fact, beyond the quotidian Jesuses in tortillas and tree stumps, I haven’t heard of a good old-fashioned miracle in ages. No Fatimas, no sun spinning and dancing in the sky, no amputees with regrown limbs.
On the Christian Broadcasting Network, Pat Robertson explains why. It’s because Americans are too sophisticated, scientific, and secular. God does miracles only for the “simple and humble” people who live “overseas.” Watch and laugh:
The transcript of Robertson’s words below is taken from a short essay in The Atlantic by Heather Horn, “Why are there so few resurrected corpses in the United States?”
Cause people overseas didn’t go to Ivy League schools! [chuckles] Well, we’re so sophisticated. We think we’ve got everything figured out. We know about evolution, we know about Darwin, we know about all these things that say god isn’t real. We know about all this stuff and if we’ve been in many schools, the more advanced schools, we have been inundated with skepticism and secularism. And overseas they’re simple, humble, you tell them God loves them and they say “okay he loves me.” And you tell them God will do miracles and they say “okay, we believe you.” And that’s what God’s looking for. That’s why they have miracles.
What an incredibly pretentious and condescending piece of tripe! I’d belabor it but, really, attacking Pat Robertson no longer counts as serious criticism of religion. The man is simply addlepated, good for a few laughs but that’s about it. Does any religious person still take him seriously?
In fact, Robertson’s argument is the wrong way round. Presumably God should perform more miracles in the U.S. to convince all those sophisticated nonbelievers of His existence. But Robertson unwittingly gave the real answer to his question in his last three sentences. Credulity.
Heather Horn shows why Robertson’s data are in fact wrong:
I suspect United States is in fact ahead of the African nations in bringing the dead back to life. It’s hard to find a good estimate of how many bodies are resurrected in the U.S. each year, but let’s go with this vastly oversimplified figure: 92,000. 92,000 is the number of people the American Heart Association estimates are saved in the U.S. each year after their hearts or their lungs have stopped moving, i.e. by CPR. Or let’s go with a percentage: 45.3%. That’s the success rate in the bottom-quarter of American hospitals in a 2012 study in restoring circulation to a body whose heart has completely flatlined. 14.5% of the bodies treated managed leave the hospital. And that’s in the hospitals with the lowest performance. Wait till you see American rates for getting the lame to walk and the blind to see.