Let’s begin with a time warp short story looking back at the year 70 AD from today’s perspective:
The CBS Evening News opened with a shot of Katie Couric sitting at a desk, checking a laptop computer. As the camera zoomed in for a close-up, Couric turned and looked into the camera. Her face lacked its usual toothy smile, noticeable creases appeared under her blue eyes. She was not her usual bouncy self.
“Hi everyone, I’m Katie Couric,” she said. “Well, it’s over. The siege of Jerusalem has finally ended. For more on this tragic story, we go to our CBS Middle East correspondent, Lara Logan. ” Couric pivots to look at a TV monitor, sitting next to the laptop.
A beautiful blond woman, dressed in combat fatigues, appeared on the TV screen. She stood near a demolished wall, holding a microphone. “This is Lara Logan. I’m standing not far from what was the Jewish Temple, the center of Judaism. Earlier today, Roman soldiers under the command of General Titus, stormed the Temple and burned it to the ground.”
She paused as pictures were shown of grisly scenes. Fires burning out of control. Bodies stacked in heaps. Roman soldiers looting and plundering. Other soldiers toppling walls so that not one stone remained atop another.
“Josephus, the Jewish historian, stated that peaceful, unarmed Jewish citizens raised their arms in surrender to the onrushing Roman soldiers, but were butchered anyway. Pregnant woman had stomachs slashed open and their babies ripped out, and then the babies were smashed against walls. Men, women and children of all ages were slaughtered,” said Logan. “All in all, Josephus estimates that the destruction of Jerusalem resulted in 1.1 million people, mainly Jews, being killed or starved to death during the five-month long siege. Another 95,000 Jews were taken captive, to be used as slaves.”
The CBS Evening News switched back to Couric, sitting at her desk. “International leaders today have voiced their disapproval to the barbarity of this slaughter by the Roman soldiers. And at this moment, the U.N. Security Council is voting on a joint resolution, condemning Rome,” she said, looking down at her notes for a moment.
“But one Evangelical leader, Pat Robertson, is taking heat for his remarks about this tragedy,” she said as her eyes narrowed.
Then, a video appeared on the TV screen showing Pat Robertson talking to a young woman on the 700 Club program. “And you know, Christie,” said Robertson, “something happened a long time ago in Israel and the people may not want to talk about it. They were under the heels of the Romans and made a tough decision. And ever since, they have been cursed by one thing or another. They need to have a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I’m optimistic that something good may come. Right now, we are helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.”
Once again, the camera switched back to Couric. “How insensitive and sad for a so-called religious leader to paint Jerusalem and a whole nation as godless and deserving of destruction in one off-the-cuff statement,” she said, shaking her head. Then she added, “But you know, Robertson has a history of controversial statements like this.”
She collected her notes and looked at the camera. “Thanks for joining us and that’s the news for August 1o, 70 AD. Good night.”
So, in this time warp short story, was Pat Robertson insensitive and over the top with his remarks?
(Continued in Part 2)