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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Robertson's Comments

Marvin Olasky takes on Pat Robertson and critics who equate his suggestion to assassinate Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez as something indicative of the beliefs of Christianity or "the Christian right". Robertson, writes Olasky, was incorrect in his Biblical history as well as Christian canon:

Hugo Chavez is an evil tyrant, but so were many Roman emperors -- and Paul told Romans to "bless those who persecute you. ... Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all." Last time I looked, "assassin" was not on the general list of honorable callings. Wartime is different, but last time I looked, we weren't at war with Venezuela.

Olasky reminds us that:

Muslim clerics have done more than talk -- their fatwa followers have murdered intellectuals such as Faraj Foda, Hussein Muruwwa, Mahmoud Taha and Al-Sadeq Al-Nayhoum, and U.S. reporters have largely ignored that.

There is a reason that reporters play up the Robertson quote while showing amnesia towards the actual deaths by fatwa. There is the need, on the one hand, for the liberal press to criticize Christianity, an over-riding standard of Western thought, while denying that Islam is the common theology and identity of today's terrorists.

The Robertsons may lead large groups within the Christian community as ministers but their political message has not led their flock to commit murder. The Third Commandment states:

'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

As a former liberal, I always held religious leaders to the highest standards of behavior. When a religious leader showed himself human by saying or doing something improper, I was the first to yell "Gotcha!". I now realize we are all fallible people who should strive for the Judeo-Christian epitome but be ready to atone for our inevitable failings. Mr. Robertson must recognize that his position will allow his enemies to hold his religion to task for his irresponsible comments. Christianity deserves better.

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