Imagine this: A political ally or South Korean President Roh Moohyun, who helped garner votes for the left-wing candidate during the most recent presidential election, calls for the assassination of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
The Korean blogosphere would be on fire with condemnation about the left-wing loonies and how extremist Koreans are in their xenophobic fervor. We would probably hear for weeks or months how this is another sign of how crazy and xenophobic Korea really is.
But it wasn't Roh or Korea; it was a supporter of Bush in the United States. A founder of the the Christian Coalition, a major Republican voting bloc. Nevertheless, the condemnation should be just as strong, right?
Reverend Pat Robertson, a former Republican candidate for president and a major vote-booster for President George W. Bush, has called for the assassination of Venezeulan President Hugo Chávez. Chávez is an annoyingly anti-American leftist who I'm sure the White House sees as a pain in the butt, but is this enough for a member of the clergy to call for a political killing?
From the Miami Herald:
Accusing Chávez of turning Venezuela into ''a launching pad for communist influence and Muslim extremism,'' the 75-year-old preacher and former Republican presidential hopeful said it would be cheaper to ''take him out'' now than fight a war against Venezuela later.Every Christian in America should be condemning this man of the cloth for these extremely anti-Christian views. Would Jesus Christ have ever suggest Pilate or Caesar be taken out? Not the Jesus I learned about in church. This sounds more like an Islamist fatwah than a Sunday sermon. "Reverend" Pat Robertson is making a mockery of the faith he professes to follow, and it exemplifies for me exactly what is wrong about the hypocritical Religious Right.
The not-so-reverend Reverend Robertson has apologized, sort of (notice his rationalizations). This was only after he denied actually making the statement. Meanwhile, Venezuela is getting ready to boot Protestant missionaries out of the country.
And as I had hoped, many Christian clergy were quick to condemn this. The president of the National Clergy Council released a statement saying Robertson should "immediately apologize, retract his statement, and clarify what the Bible and Christianity teaches about the permissibility of taking human life outside of law." The Reverend Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals said that he and "most evangelical leaders" would disassociate themselves from such "unfortunate and particularly irresponsible" comments.
The money quote from him:
It complicates circumstances for foreign missionaries and Christian aid workers overseas who are already perceived, wrongly, especially by leftists and other leaders, as collaborators with U.S. intelligence agencies.The Reverend Jesse Jackson called for an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission, just as it did when Janet Jackson's breast was exposed during the 2004 Super Bowl broadcast. "This is even more threatening to hemispheric stability than the flash of a breast on television during a ballgame," he said.