In [calling for Chavez' assassination] he gave the Venezuelan leader a propaganda gold mine, embarrassed the Bush administration, and left millions of viewers perplexed and troubled. More importantly, he brought shame to the cause of Christ. This is the kind of outrageous statement that makes evangelism all the more difficult. Missing from the entire context is the Christian understanding that violence can never be blessed as a good, but may only be employed under circumstances that would justify the limited use of lethal force in order to prevent even greater violence. Our witness to the Gospel is inevitably and deeply harmed when a recognized Christian leader casually recommends the assassination of a world leader.When I first read the headline late Monday night (long before the media onslaught of Tuesday), it said "Televangelist calls for assassination of Chavez." I immediately knew it was Pat Robertson before I even read the story. I just knew. Really, the only two possibilities were Robertson and Jerry Falwell, but Jerry tends to shove his foot in his mouth domestically, whereas Pat generally has a much more international foot.
Hugo Chavez is a dangerous and reckless factor on the world scene. His extreme nationalism, combined with Marxism, has led his country directly into conflict with the U.S. and much of the civilized world. He has befriended Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and given support to forces of global anarchy. Credible sources link him to support -- direct or indirect -- of groups involved in terrorism.
Nevertheless, Pat Robertson's comments lacked any indication that he even understood the gravity of his proposal. He has brought embarrassment upon us all.
I believe that Christ is Lord of all, including politics. Because of that, I believe that Christian ministers do have a legitimate role in commenting on political matters. But it sure would be nice every once in a while for these guys to actually embarrass themselves for the sake of the gospel.