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National Editorials & Columns

Pat Robertson, me and those ‘demonic games’ I play

Pat Robertson denied my repeated attempts to interview him last week. For the sake of Robertson that’s probably the smartest decision he has made in awhile.

Robertson, host of the 700 Club and amateur George W. Bush look-alike, took to the airwaves recently and chastised the non-believers and heathens of the world. This wasn’t exactly breaking news; that’s all the guy ever does.

How can he do that? I’m not sure, possibly because he is perfect and without sin — and this entitles in some way to cast stones. (That’s John 8:7.)

So what has me so upset that I actually called Robertson a George W. Bush look-alike? That’s a great question. With ferocity of a carnival barker the religious host diagnosed what’s troubling the youth of today. It’s those “demonic games” kids are playing these days, don’t ‘cha know. Fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, he said.

First off, is this still 1978? Are we still blaming the popular role-playing game D&D? Quick, somebody give me a Judas Priest record and play it backward for me.

Second, I’ve played these so-called “demonic games” (I affectionately refer to them as nerd games) for 20 years and they have made me smarter, more socially adept, open-minded and understanding of culture and world view. Not to mention that I’ve met some of the best friends I’ll ever have through these “demonic games.”

Lastly, and in the interest of full disclosure, I’m a Christian. I know, right? Your mind is blown.

Robertson blamed said “demonic games” for everything from anorexia and bulimia to teen suicide. The former Southern Baptist minister doesn’t strike me as a person who has taken the time to read the Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook. He has developed an opinion on subject matter he is clearly not familiar with. It would be like an atheist making broad accusations about Christianity without having ever read the Bible. In my neighborhood we have a name for someone who does that: a hypocrite.

Let me enlighten you to a few facts about these demonic, nerd games. Girls aren’t traditionally known for playing them, and those that do aren’t anywhere close to bulimic or anorexic. Boys do play them but rarely suffer from anorexia or bulimia.

It seems like I can’t go a week without hearing some overzealous zealot or media talking head telling me something is evil, demonic or bad for my cholesterol.

Robertson seems to be cut from the same cloth as his predecessor, Rev. Jerry Falwell. Remember that guy? He all but declared the Teletubbies the spawn of Satan. To this day there has not been a single report of Tinky-Winky-induced homicides or mass suicides. Time makes fools of us all.

Robertson’s charge is as loony as it is ludicrous. I can’t sit idly by clutching my magical long sword and necklace of invulnerability — my dice in one hand and a Mountain Dew in the other — and keep my mouth shut about it.

Roll for combat initiative, Robertson, because you just failed your saving throw against reality.

I’ve played “demonic games” for a majority of my life, and it’s been a blast. I’ve played the personas of everything from power-hungry vampires to Earth-saving werewolves bent on destroying evil forces and everything in between, bound only by my own curiosity and imagination.

I’m a 33-year-old guy, gainfully employed, no criminal record, happily married and well-balanced. I’m not a heathen, and I’m certainly no demon worshipper.

I can think of much worse activities teens (or adults) could be doing instead of sitting around a table, eating pizza and rolling dice as they play a make-believe game on a Friday night.

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