A Televangelist’s Call for Murder

Pat Robertson , a well known televangelist and long time emcee of the TV show 700 Club , former presidential aspirant, recently caused a worldwide furor by calling over public television the assassination of Hugo Chavez , president of Venezuela. Chavez, a paratrooper turned president and the proletarian’s ultimate hero in his country had been a thorn on the side of America with his harsh anti- American rhetoric and unholy alliances with Cuba and Iran, both mortal enemies of the U.S. A staunch critic of U.S. foreign policy, Chavez had gone to the extent of personally sponsoring a satellite based TV program designed to spread anti-American propaganda in the South American continent. Chavez had ostensibly appointed himself as the unofficial defender of South America from the threats of U.S. interventionism and imperialism. The U.S. is clearly not pleased with Chavez’s antics, who has evolved from the role of fly in the ointment to a pest, nuisance of the highest degree prompting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to call him a “negative” influence to U.S. interests.

Robertson’s beef with Chavez stemmed from the latter’s recent meeting with Fidel Castro in Cuba and Chavez’s comment on the possibility of halting Venezuelan oil supply to the U.S. which accounts to 15% of all U.S. oil imports. With the escalating gas prices at the pumps, American consumers will most certainly feel the added financial sting should the Venezuelan embargo diminish the oil supply. Robertson’s call for the assassination of Chavez, comparing him to the likes of Bin Laden or Sadam Hussain was premised upon achieving some economy of scale, to avert the spending of some $200 billion should the U.S. wage war and invade Venezuela to topple Chavez. Robertson tossed his assassination proposal over the airwaves with such ease and conviction that one would wonder if the show was a political commentary where politically sensitive comments are hurled left and right with reckless abandon. Robertson clearly meant what he said and he had been known for quoting disparaging statements about homosexuals, alleging at one point that the Hitler’s Nazi organization were composed of racists and homosexuals. In the aftermath of his controversial statement about Chavez, the head of the U.S. Evangelical churches promptly went on damage control mode by declaring that Robertson’s comments were based on his personal convictions, not necessarily reflecting the position of Evangelical Christians.

Does Chavez have the tools to duke it out with America or is he simply a barrio loco wanting to show off and ruffle America’s feathers ? Chavez is certainly not in the same league with Sadam Hussain in terms of notoriety nor is he associated with terrorist groups that have murdered or out to murder Americans. For Robertson to suggest outright assassination or covert operations to destroy Chavez was injudicious and injurious to his reputation as a pastor, evangelist and broker of peace. Such attitude reflects the common dilemma with religiously brainwashed people whose obsession with their beliefs cause them to be arrogant and aberrantly judgmental with people who cannot not conform to their standards and expectations. It also typifies America’s superiority complex and the unshakeable faith in God and country which has deep roots from evangelical Christianity, the religion of its founding fathers – the belief that the country is favored by God and surrounded by evil and the extermination of evil is necessary to fulfill God’s war over evil and to protect the land that God has so graciously provided out of his providential love. The American sense of patriotism, unwaivering and almost fanatical, is in a nutshell an expression of this belief.

The repercussions of Robertson’s abhorrent and reprehensible comments to his reputation and political aspirations remain to be seen. Many people, Evangelical Christians included are aghast and upset by his irresponsible action. Would people continue to trust him as he closes his eyes, clasps the hands of his colleague and prays to God for divine intervention over public television? Would they not remember that he is the same man that had called for the murder of another person?

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59 Responses

  1. Watch out. Robertson might be the next president! Imagine Bro. Eddie Villanueva or Mike Velarde suggesting assasination on TV it will be the end of their ministry.

  2. I thought that upon watching too much 700 Club in the past( to help me sleep when dead hours came), I have already seen everything about Mr. Pat Robertson. But this recent tirade of his, calling for the “taking out” of Pres. Chavez, surprised me to no end.

    Could this be extremism in the Christian form?

    I surely hoped that Mr. Robertson was just jesting here otherwise, he would be more detrimental to many of his followers than being beneficial spiritually.

  3. Many people thought Robertson spoke his mind and probably forgot that he was in front of public television. I asked an evangelical Christian what he thought of Robertson’s comments and he replied that he thought it was stupid and did nothing but endanger American lives! Some people can’t read between the lines you see. He can’t even discern that the man who represents his faith, a renowned leader and a pastor was suggesting something totally abominable and atrocious.

  4. Robertson has apologized so lets get this behind us. but i agree, it was tragic.

  5. that is irresponsible… why do such irresponsibility then ask pardon that easy? i think he knows the consequences of his action but thinking he will be forgiven easily, he dived into the decision of going into the personality assault of Chavez. they always think they could get away…

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  15. Agree Bing. Not too sure if the apology was able to eliminate the damage. I mean people are certainly willing to forgive but could they easily forget?

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