Tuesday, August 23, 2005

You Will Know They Are Christians...

by their love.

In recent years, the Religious Reich has moved from attempting to legislate sexual matters to attempting to control the court system. Now, one of their leaders has entered the arena of foreign policy.

Pat Robertson, televangelist and former presidential candidate, spoke on such an issue on his program "The 700 Club" on August 22, 2005. Media Matters broke the story early.

Robertson, host of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club and founder of the Christian Coalition of America, called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Robertson: He has destroyed the Venezuelan economy, and he's going to make that a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent.

You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.
[Emphasis added]

I am not suggesting that Rev. Robertson does not have the right under the First Amendment to formulate such an opinion, for surely he does. I am suggesting, however, that such an opinion is hardly consistent with the Christian values he is supposed to promote.

As I recall, the Old Testament contains some crucial language on this: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Some biblical scholars have suggested that what is meant by that is "Thou shalt not murder." It seems to me that whether under a literal reading (which many of the Religious Reich insist on) or under the gloss provided by scholars, Rev. Robertson has broken that commandment, at least 'in his heart.'

In the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth asked his followers to go even further when he said "Love your enemies." I don't see much love in Rev. Robertson's comments. In fact, his suggestion drips with the hatred and chauvinism that led Jesus to cry out against the priestly class of Jerusalem, calling them "Whited Sepulchres," and worse.

I am reminded of something that I ran across on the web while surfing away a spare hour about a month ago. Unfortunately, I don't remember where I saw it, so I can't provide a link. A paraphrase of what struck me so is the following:

No, I don't mind that you're a Christian, but if you are, I just want you to act like one in public.

Rev. Robertson, you might consider abiding by that wise suggestion.


Blogger Elmo said...

Well Pat is good for at least one contaversial statement a year. Nice post, love the title! Pat is a fake Christian...obviously.

12:53 PM  

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