13 comments on “Ragamuffins!

  1. I am so tired of people giving Pat Robertson a microphone. Even before we were Catholic, he was a pitiful embarrassment. Sigh. Apparently nobody’s told him that children are a heritage, and the only thing we can take with us from this earth. I pity him.


    • I think he is deliberately provocative because he knows he is irrelevant. Very sad to see – and he has always been strongly anti-catholic. Thanks for commenting!

      • You might be right, Greg. I did not realize just how much anti-catholic bigotry there is in evangelical Christianity until I became a Catholic. I certainly didn’t join the Church to make friends and influence people, that’s for sure, hahaha…but God is faithful, and continues to use the lack of a comfort zone for His own glory in so many ways.


    • Most of the people in Appalachia are not Catholic, so where does the “anti-Catholic ” thing come from? While I don’t usually agree with Pat R, I do think he has a point about family size. Is it responsible to keep bringing children into the world if you can’t afford to feed them? Of course, as Christians we should do all we can for “the least of these”‘ and large families are not the “cause” of poverty, but I don’t understand continually having more children when you can’t care for the ones you have. This is a problem in inner cities as well as Appalachia Of course, the rich should not be the only ones to have children, but I do believe a little reasonable restraint is not “unChristian” and certainly could not hurt.

      • Thanks for reading and for your comment.

        I understand your points, and we agree to an extent. Let’s consider an analogy: if a man wearing expensive clothes walks at night through a crime-ridden section of town and gets mugged and killed – what purpose does questioning his judgement serve? Does his risky decision make the crime less heinous? Does it make the criminal less guilty? What if we are the scenario is a woman and the crime is rape? She shouldn’t have been in that alley at night – but what message are we sending by focusing on that instead of on the reprehensible crime committed against her?

        In our case, the crime is viewing children as commodities. The crime is calling them “ragamuffins” and diminishing their humanity, transferring the sins of their parents onto them. The crime is equating wealth with worth. If it is irresponsible to bring children into material poverty, I would argue it is more irresponsible to bring children into spiritual poverty – I would prefer a million of Robertson’s “ragamuffins” to a handful of children borne to elites that look down upon the poor as subhuman.

  2. Sometimes you just have to “man up.” Sometimes, “manning up” means apologizing for being stunningly, amazingly, incredibly stupid.

    Pat Robertson just has to apologize for his offensively stupid and amazingly idiotic remarks this past week.

    On the 700 Club program on July 31, Pat Robertson spoke about poverty and contraception. He touted the importance of birth control to population control as an important affect of humanity. Ben Johnson, at LifeSiteNews has reported:
    On today’s episode of the 700 Club, a woman asked whether the use of birth control is sinful, something about which Catholics and Protestants disagree.

    When Robertson’s co-host, Wendy Griffith, said not all families could afford to have multiple children, Robertson replied, “That’s the big problem, especially in Appalachia. They don’t know about birth control. They just keep having babies.”
    “You see a string of all these little ragamuffins, and not enough food to eat and so on,” he said, “and it’s desperate poverty.”

    “I’d say yes, birth control is absolutely an important thing for people to use,” he added, saying contraception “is a very important part of humanity.”
    Robertson said that “birth control in the Protestant churches has always been permitted,” because they “feel that the care and rearing of children is a tremendous obligation.”

    Robertson heartlessly concludes that contraception had an approvable value in the moral hierarchy. But why? Well, and there’s not polishing this immoral apple of thought: because contraception can suppress the number of Appalachian ragamuffins. Robertson’s comments reveal a chasmic distance between the heart of Robertson and the heart of God.

    It wants noting, as well, that Robertson’s assertions are flawed for other reasons.

    First, the “Protestant” Church has not always, or uniformly, approved of contraception.

    Second, Natural Family Planning is not a violation of the Old Testament. It certainly does not replicate the sin of Onan. Nor does it equate with the levitical prohibition on sexual relations during menstruation, as Robertson implied.

    Robertson’s remarks are triply offensive. First, for their historic dishonesty — the Protestant Church has not always approved of birth control (unless “always” is limited to mean “as long as Pat has been around.” Second, for their mischaracterization of Natural Family Planning — baselessly portraying Natural Family Planning as some sort of Catholic plot to drive men and women into a lifetime of mentrual intercourse. Third, for their heartless inhumanity — making out the sons and daughters of impoverished Appalachia as drags and anchors on their families.

    That last offense and sin strikes harder and cries louder: it is so distant from the love of Christ, who rebuked His own disciples and warned them, “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Indeed, Robertson seems to have drunk a very old elixir of Malthusian kool aid. For me, when malthusians burp their crap onto the social stage, I find no more soothing salve than a short passage of Dickens that eviscerates their heartless spiel:

    “Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.”

    “I see a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.”

    “No, no,” said Scrooge. “Oh, no, kind Spirit! say he will be spared.”

    “If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

    Scrooge hung his head to hear his wn words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

    “Man,” said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”

    Scrooge bent before the Ghost’s rebuke, and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground.

    It remains to be seen whether Robertson will have the humility to “bend before the Ghost’s rebuke, and trembling cast his eyes upon the ground.”

  3. What irritates me the most is that many would see Robertson’s remarks and indict all Christians as having his ridiculous viewpoint as expressed in this situation. Or, that somehow HE is the anointed representative of ALL OF CHRISTIANITY, and speaks for everyone. I would challenge him to back up his statements with Scripture, knowing FULL WELL that he can’t.

    It’s important that people realize that just because someone is declared or recognized as a “leader in the Christian movement”, it does NOT mean that every word which proceeds from their lips is of God. Sadly, and we see it in many of these “major” religious figures, they grow into an overdeveloped sense of self worth…. After all, they (like the rest of us) are still FALLIBLE human beings.

    Frankly, it’s a lesson for ALL Christians: we do NOT follow men; we, to the best of our abilities follow Christ. It’s my major beef with the majority of “organized religions”: they tend to have evolved away from the scriptures and toward the doctrine of men.

    And, while I am COMPLETELY with Busted Boomer on this one in that Robertson should issue and apology, the damage he’s done to some is likely not to be recovered from.

    Reminds me of the Scripture in Matthew 15:11 (NIV): “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

    • As always you speak wisdom. We must always follow the light of God’s truth, and be cautious in following men. As you say, all men suffer the same weaknesses and temptations that fill our own hearts, and though leaders can point toward the light, we must never mistake them for The Light. I cringe with you when I think of how many will use Robertson’s words as an excuse to turn away from God, or as reason to not listen to the call within their own hearts. I give Mr. Robertson the benefit of the doubt that his intentions were not as cruel as his words, but they do offer us a glimpse into the bigger societal shifts in thinking toward children and marriage, and toward the poor. We must feverishly resist the cost-benefit analysis view of kids, for this is the humanist perspective that leads quickly to eugenics and worse.

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