Christian Broadcasting Network host Pat Robertson suggested to viewers on Monday that Buddhism was like a “disease” and that a Christian could get “infected” if their coworkers practiced it.
“I work in an environment where all of my coworkers are Buddhists,” a viewer named Tina explained in an email. “They talk about Buddhism all day long and try to preach to me. It didn’t matter much to be before, but since I recommitted myself to Jesus a year ago, it has started to bother me a lot.”
Robertson replied by noting that “healthy” people might not contract a “mild contagion.”
“But if you put yourself in the middle of a hospital ward where everybody has the disease except you, sooner or later, you will be infected by it,” the TV preacher warned. “If you’re in the middle of hundreds and hundreds of people who believe that way, you’ve got an uphill fight.”
“And I think your best thing at that point is to withdraw with dignity,” Robertson said. “Get out of that environment because they’re going to get to you before you get to them.”
Tina notes in her email that she’s trying to convert her Buddhist colleagues, but that she gets “offended” by their responses, and that when she “argues” with them they get offended.
Robertson’s analogy is rather offensive, but his advice—that this woman is in the wrong work environment—may be sound, given that there’s so much “being offended” going on.