Pat Robertson Issues Fatwa Calling for Assassination of Hugo Chavez
"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"
"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but 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 ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop"
None of that struck me as particularly Christian.Baptists of yesteryear pointed out, the separation of church and state exists as much to protect religion from the corrupting effect of secular politics as it does to protect the state from religious intolerance and sectarian quibbles. If religion is yoked to politics, when people get disgusted with politics, people get disgusted with religion, too. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned from the much less religiously active Europeans, with their history of official, state-sponsored religions.
To be fair to the Baptists, although Pat Robertson is an ordained Southern Baptist minister, his theology is more Pentecostal. (Which, in turn, isn't fair to some Pentecostals either.)
And where these two kinds of government[civil and ecclesiastical], and the weapons which belong to them, are well distinguished, and improved according to the true nature and end of their institution, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued; of which the Holy Ghost gave early and plain warnings.
Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty (1773).
Update: Pat Robertson says he was "misinterpreted by the AP" but his words "if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it" seem pretty unambiguous.
C'mon, Pat, be a man. If you're right, stick to your guns. If you're wrong, apologize. We're not yet to the point where the words of the powerful can always be rewritten; you're on video on your own show!
I was going to be juvenile and link to a Fishbone song about lying, but I found one that fits Pat better. (And it's just as juvenile.)