Pat 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:
… “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.”

I pretty much said everything that I had to say on this topic in my blog post Don’t Make Me Apologize for Idiots. Just change the names appropriately. The problem is that Pat Robertson still has money and a forum and is seen by some as relevant. Just because he has a loud voice does not necessarily mean that he speaks for very many. However, the unfortunate reality is that he does speak for entirely too many. Waning influence and the need to be in the national spotlight often combine to make people say outrageous things. Hate speech needs to be shouted down no matter who does the speaking. But rather than just belabor this point, I will refer you to the blog of Jay Voorhees:

Dear Pat,

I haven’t paid too much attention to you in recent years. I have known that our politic differ. I have know that our theology differs too. Frankly, I found you cartoonish at times, and so I simply chose to keep my blood pressure down and not pay you too much attention.

…Now I’m not quite sure what I think about Mr. Chavez. But I do know that assasination is not usually endorsed in that Bible that you like to hit folks upside the head with. Oh yes, I know about the “eye for an eye” passage and all those justifications for capital punishment, but this seems to me to fall outside the realm of justice and more into the realm of forcing our vision of the world down someone elses throat. Frankly, I don’t see how your words and thoughts connect with Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount at all.

Mr. Chavez may be condoning things that are dangerous to our interests. Mr Chavez may be effecting an oil policy that will indeed hurt us and our investment portfolios (well actually, I’m a country preacher so I don’t have any investments, so make that your portfolio). However, that doesn’t give us the right to kill him.

One other thing. Let up on the communism thing, okay? Communism is dead. It died with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union. Mentioning communism these days just makes you look foolish and out of touch. On the other hand, religious extremism of all kinds, be it Muslim or Christian, that calls for others to die should be attacked.

It’s why I’m writing this letter, after all.

I’m praying for you. I hope that you will pray for me.

Jay

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