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"The Ten Offenses" - Book Review

  • Jim Cumbee Contributing Writer
  • 2004 2 Feb
  • COMMENTS
"The Ten Offenses" - Book Review

Pat Robertson’s latest book, "The Ten Offenses, Reclaim the Blessings of the Ten Commandments," foretells a pending pox on America.  Using a unique angle, the Ten Commandments, Robertson offers his standard theme – America is going to the dogs.  His argument is rather straightforward:  the Ten Commandments are the foundation of America’s political, social and economic greatness, and once we start removing them from our public spaces, societal disaster is not far behind.

Robertson shows moments of intellectual soundness, such as when he lays out the history of the Mayflower Compact through the development of the First Amendment.  But it doesn’t take Robertson long to leave the classroom for the playground when he begins to kick dirt in the face of the liberal media, public schools, Middle Eastern terrorists and legislative-minded jurists.  At times it seems he can’t help himself.

Robertson is a man of profound insight and intelligence.  His persuasive skills are inarguable, and his worldwide influence renders him a force with whom to be reckoned.  However, much of this is squandered as Robertson resorts to over-simplification and unimaginative hyperbole, such as “the authority of parents has been undermined” or “liberal thinking is about entitlement.”  Well, duh, for this I paid $14.95?  Tell me something I didn’t know.

Worst yet, Robertson’s bromides too often obscure bona fide gems, such as the value of fidelity as we grow older in life, and how the 9th Commandment (“thou shalt not bear false witness”) is violated every day by well-meaning Christians.

"The Ten Offenses" is a redundant example of conservative Christians explaining themselves to themselves. Fans of Robertson will not be disappointed, yet national policy is not likely to be affected by his rally-the-troops predictable dogma.