Tuesday, August 23, 2005

"Take Him Out"?

Fortunately, the U.S. State Department has taken a tough stand, calling the comments "inappropriate." (Yes, you may have detected some sarcasm.) But why aren't conservative Christians lining up to repudiate what Pat Robertson said yesterday?

In case you weren't watching "The 700 Club" on the Christian Broadcast Network yesterday, Robertson said the following about Venezuelan president 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," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Predictably, Venezuela has reacted angrily. Robertson's comments make the United States look bad and they complicate diplomatic efforts to keep Venezuela's oil flowing to the United States rather than to China. (In 2004, Venezuela--at 1.3 million barrels per day--was the fourth leading supplier of U.S. crude oil imports.) But worse, Robert's comments make Christianity look bad. The failure of those in the Religious Right to repudiate Robertson's remarks lends further support to the view that their concerns are ideological rather than religious.