I once thought Pat Robertson was a fairly bright man with an oddly conservative position on many issues. I now think he is completely misguided in the extreme, if not completely foolish.

You can overlook a certain number of silly comments over time but after awhile you have to say Pat Robertson is positively harmful to both the Christian church and the Republican Party. I care very deeply about the first, and very little about the second. His comment on Monday that the US should assassinate ("take out") President Chavez of Venezuela is not only irresponsible, it is positively dangerous for the cause of Christ in Venezuela. It also adds fuel to the fires of misunderstanding and opposition to evangelicals in general. Frankly, people like Robertson require me to regularly tell people that I am not associated with him or his tragic version of conservative Christianity.

Sadly, Robertson went crazy again this week. Hopefully he will soon be so marginalized by serious Christians that this new comment will make him less and less important to the mission of the church. I surely hope so. Since Robertson is regularly called an evangelical he makes it harder and harder for me identify myself as an evangelical in the present context.

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  1. Greg Lindsey August 24, 2005 at 10:36 pm

    You will no doubt be heartened, John, that Reverend Pat Robertson has just issued an apology for advocating Chavez’ assassination, and that Reverend Jesse Jackson has just denounced Reverend Pat Robertson’s actions as “morally reprehensible.” God help us!

  2. Paul Canady August 25, 2005 at 2:43 pm

    Unfortunately, such apologizes, after the fact, seem quite common among “politicians” who have be caught making brainless and quite harmful statements. They do little to undo the damage and sound quite disingenuious. Add to that, how far do you have to sink to be called “morally reprehensible” by Jesse Jackson!

  3. Gene Redlin August 26, 2005 at 8:54 am

    Let’s be sure we differentiate between political incompetance and just cause.
    No one doubts that Chavez is a bad guy. No one really things his elimination in some form would be a bad thing.
    Where I part company with Pat is his propensity to shoot before he thinks. He is first and foremost a political animal and a “Reverend” (whatever that means) second.
    We need him in the arena. I think the running from his pronouncement by otherwise conservative thinking Christians has more to do with man pleasing (the media) and less to do with having core values.
    He is your, our, my brother in Christ. A clumsy fumbling brother. But he has a right, yes an obligation to be a voice in what God called him to.
    We have every right to question his methods and his opinion.
    I for one do NOT question his call. I’m thankful for the fact he rattles our collective Christan cages once in a while to draw a line down the middle to force those who hate taking a position to chose which side they are on.
    I thank God for Pat. So should you. I wish he were’nt such a bull elephant in a china shop but he is. He isn’t going to change.
    This issue (Chavez) now is getting the attention it needs and Pat Robertson wasn’t afraid to put his reputation on the line to make it so. What have you moderates ever done? Huh?
    What prophet who railed against Sidon and Tyre ever got good press?
    I am ashamed of the Christian community’s haste in condeming Pat and siding with the liberal media by distancing themselves from this brother.

  4. K. Darrell August 26, 2005 at 10:00 am

    I have completely mixed feelings on Pat’s comments.
    First, he wasn’t calling for vigilante justice. He’s not calling for a “revolution” of any sort, but is simply acknowledging that this man is a dictator, a tyrant that is a threat to the United States. If this is the case, then our civil magistrates have a responsibility to protect us from our enemies, both foreign and domestic. If he is providing a breeding ground for terrorists, then something needs to be done. Is the answer another all out war? Is there a more expedient means?
    Second, hopefully the pulpits in Venezuela are denouncing this beasts and praying, “Thy kingdom come”, which, as Sam Storms points out, “is to invoke divine judgment on all others.” Does divine judgment not come through ordinary means, including militaries?
    Third, many an evangelical applaud Bohnhoeffer for his plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and we decry the fact that the Church in Germany (and around the globe) didn’t take a strong enough stand against the Nazi’s. Yet, when we do it in our own day, the media decries us and the Church seeks to distance themselves from you.
    Fourth, who really takes this man seriously? He has no influence on our foreign policy and was commenting on the news. The Al Sharptons, Jesse Jacksons, and Pat Robertson are merely kept afloat by our media and our inability to look away. He really is a non-factor in the Church at this point, aside from influencing some “shut ins”. I know no contemporary (about 35 and under) that pays him any attention except when he says something like this and we seek to distance ourselves from him.
    I’m glad that he made Chavez a household name, however. Most Christians didn’t even know Venezuela was under a dictator.

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