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Patwa gets his mouth slapped, part II

Now it's personal. The latest from the Beeb on Patwa Robertson is that the Powers that Be are not amused with him and his big mouth...

Israel is pulling out of a $50 million deal with US TV evangelist Pat Robertson after he said Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution.

Tourism Ministry spokesman Ido Hartuv said Israel would not sign a contract with Mr Robertson to build a biblical theme park by the Sea of Galilee.

Mr Robertson suggested on his popular TV show the stroke was a punishment for Israel's withdrawal from Gaza.

His remarks were condemned by the US government and American Jewish groups.

Mr Robertson was leading a group of evangelical Christians hoping to build the Galilee World Heritage Park.

The centre was expected to cover nearly 35 acres (14 hectares) north-east of the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus is believed to have delivered the Sermon on the Mount.

It would have had a park, an auditorium, a Holy Land exhibition, outdoor amphitheatres, information centre and a media studio.

The Israeli government had tentatively agreed to provide land and infrastructure for the centre in the hope of generating millions of dollars from tourism.

But relations soured when Mr Robertson said God wanted Israel to be whole and undivided and had therefore punished Mr Sharon for Israel's pull-out from the Gaza Strip last year.

"You read the Bible: This is my land, and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he's going to carve it up and give it away, God says no, this is mine," he said last week.

Mr Hartuv said his government was furious with Mr Robertson's remarks.

"We were due to sign a contract in the near future with Mr Roberson for the construction of a new Christian heritage centre in the Galilee," he told the AFP news agency.

"We, as the State of Israel, cannot accept what he said and we will not do any business with him or with anyone else who agrees with his view."

Mind you, it's not a complete boot-out of the fundies and freaks from the Land of Unholy Squabbling just yet, but it's a good start.

People like Prattling Pat give Christianity a bad name, and there are many reasons why. In his own case, the sins are legion. Consider his association with strong-armed dictators: unlike Hugo Chavez, who is democratically elected and popular and thus, no dictator (and therefore, a major target for Patwa's death threats), Patwa's pals include a couple of the real thing: Charles Taylor, the blood-diamond butcher of Liberia, and Efrain Rios Montt, the fundamentalist racist butcher of Guatemala.

Oh, but Bina, you say--that's different! They were Christians!

Well, so's Hugo Chavez. Actually, he's a better Christian than any of them. Didn't stop Patwa from calling for his head, did it? (Frankly, I'm sure it's because he's a better Christian--a real one, in any event, which they are not--that prompted the fatwa from Patwa.) Chavez truly believes in being his brother's keeper, not his brother's robber, murderer and oppressor. Or, in the case of Israel, his brother's exploitive annoyance.

Just a little something to keep in mind, Patwa, should you ever decide to stop trying to make a buck off your hypocritical facsimile of religion, and actually get into the REAL thing.