Tuesday, August 23, 2005

And here's to you, Mr. Robertson

“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."

“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 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.”

Yup, that was Pat Robertson, “Christian,” calling on the
US to murder Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Of course, this is not the first time Robertson’s remarks sounded a little… well… un-Christian. After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Robertson made the following “analysis” of its cause:

“We have allowed rampant secularism and occult, et cetera, to be broadcast on television. We have permitted somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 to 40 million unborn babies to be slaughtered in our society. We have a Court that has essentially stuck its finger in God's eye and said, 'We're going to legislate you out of the schools, we're going to take your Commandments from off the courthouse steps in various states, we're not going to let little children read the Commandments of God, we're not going to let the Bible be read -- no prayer in our schools.' We have insulted God at the highest levels of our government. And, then we say 'why does this happen?' Well, why its happening is that God Almighty is lifting His protection from us.”

And last month, during an ABC interview, Robertson ignited a firestorm with his response to a question about whether activist judges were more of a threat to America than terrorists.
“If they look over the course of 100 years, I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings.”

Of course, his divinely inspired message of God’s wrath is not limited to foreign leaders and civilians, but also State Department officials. In October 2003, Robertson, criticizing the State Department during an interview on "The 700 Club," said "maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off on Foggy Bottom to shake things up," referring to the nickname for the department's headquarters in Washington.

Robertson also made waves among admirers when
he told CNN that during a meeting with President Bush prior to the invasion of Iraq, the president told him he did not believe there would be casualties. Bush, of course, denies this, and Robertson continues to insist on it, making either the President or Robertson a liar.

It would be tempting to look upon Robertson as someone on the “fringe,” one of those byproducts of living in a free society with Constitutional protections on speech (Robertson actually once said that he never read the Constitution, by the way). But this would be wrong. Robertson is perhaps the most recognized American evangelicals since Billy Graham, and widely respected in the evangelical and political community, appearing on magazine covers (such as Time) and meeting with presidents. Aside from receiving the an award in 2000 for being a “Yale University Most Distinguished Alumnus,” Robertson is also an honorary citizen of numerous of states (including Alabama, South Carolina, and Louisiana, where he is also an honorary council member in the city of New Orleans). Add to this his 1988 Republican presidential run and the success of the Christian Broadcasting Network, which he founded and chairs, and it seems pretty clear that a lot of people really, really like this guy.

According to his own web-page, his mission plan is pretty simple: “I want to be part of God's plan of what He is doing on earth, and I want to bring Him glory.”

But Robertson’s message is not always consistent. In 2001, many
Christians were flabbergasted at his apparent justification of forced abortions in China, and his believe that the US should not interfere with it, even if he “disagrees” with the practice. “They've got 1.2 billion people,” he said, “and they don't know what to do. If every family over there was allowed to have three or four children, the population would be completely unsustainable… So, I think that right now they're doing what they have to do. I don't agree with the forced abortion, but I don't think the United States needs to interfere with what they're doing internally in this regard.”

Robertson’s immense popularity is a shame on this country, and gives Christians everywhere a bad name. I don’t doubt that he genuinely believes that God endorses his words and actions, but do people really believe that Jesus supports the murder of innocent civilians, or the association of political leaders? I don’t recall him making such proclamations when He was here on earth, living under the repressive boot of the Roman Empire. I am however reminded of something He DID say however, in Matthew 7:15-23 that is perhaps a bit more telling:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."


Roger said...

Don't forget:
"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."
-- Pat Robertson, interview with Molly Ivins, 1993.

Lee said...

Robertson has always presented himself as a sort of Christian news anchor. As a child in the South in the 1980s, I remember seeing the "700 Club" and thinking it aimed to mimic serious news programs, with a Christian slant. I suppose this is why fundamentalists love Robertson so much -- they see him as "objective" Christian news.

But of course, his statements like the one above are simply beyond the pale. It gives you some inkling how fundies see the world, when Robertson delivers such quotes with no apparent repercussions.

MidlandNDFan said...

Don't forget Robertson told his 700 club weirdos to pray for more vacancies on the Supreme Court.

montana urban legend said...

I was not aware of that, midlandndfan - I think it would qualify as one of those comments that is too ludicrous for any reaction other than uncontrollable laughter...