Not a Christian

Pat Robertson, host of "The 700 Club," is not a Christian. No man who publicly advocates cold-blooded murder for political reasons can claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Robertson did that on his television show, saying it would be cheaper to murder the president of Venezuela than to overthrow him with a war.

The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is a frequent critic of President George Bush and the United States. He is also democratically elected. It’s funny how many people in the American elite who profess to advocate democracy tend to change their minds when the results of democracy don’t suit them. Nowhere is it written that a free and democratic election will produce a leader whom we like. That should be obvious from the outcomes of our elections. Sometimes we like the winner, and sometimes we don’t. The essence of a democratic society, however, is that when we don’t like the winner, we put up with him until the next election.

For a long time, I’ve not believed that Robertson is a Christian. I have this old-fashioned idea that rich preachers are incompatible with Christianity. If you don’t already know this, most of the televangelists spend an inordinate amount of their time and efforts fundraising and living in the lap of luxury. I assume darn few of them will squeeze through that eye of the needle that Christ spoke of in regard to a rich man getting into heaven.

Robertson is a politician who uses Christianity as a source of income and as a cover for his political goals. What business is it of Robertson who the president of Venezuela is, or what he thinks of our president? Lots of world leaders don’t like George Bush. It doesn’t seem to bother Bush; why should it bother Robertson?

Venezuela, despite its oil wealth, is a very poor country. The bane of most Latin American countries is that the wealth is held by a few families while the bulk of the population is poor. Chavez seems to want to do a better job of redistribution of the country’s income. That’s such a tough job that he doesn’t need any grief from us.

I suspect the CIA was slyly involved in the move to oust Chavez a year or so ago, and if true, he has a right to be irked. One of the sins of imperial America is that we are always meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, usually with bad results. If you think the CIA has a bad record in finding weapons of mass destruction, let me tell you, it has an even worse record of picking leaders of foreign countries. Some of the murderers the CIA helped put into power are easily candidates for the Hall of Infamy.

But to get back to Mr. Robertson, his followers now have a clear choice: Are they going to follow the teachings of Christ or the teachings of Robertson? The two are incompatible. Some people are skillful at reading the Bible out of context, but you won’t find one word in the New Testament, which is the Christian Bible, that advocates murder for any reason. No one can be a Christian and a booster of political assassination, too.

Unlike many people in the political wars, I don’t condemn what the left calls the Christian Right. Most of these people are just plain Christians, and in these decadent times, simple Christian morality is certainly deemed to be an "extremist" position by the debauched secularists. To be honest, humble, faithful to one’s spouse and respectful of human life certainly strikes the far left as being "out of the mainstream," which is exactly where decent people want to be when the mainstream connects the toilet to the cesspool.

Nevertheless, Christians should publicly disavow people like Robertson who bring the religion into disrepute. Christ lived in the Roman Empire and never advocated its reform or overthrow. His message was, "See to your own soul." The idea of involving Christianity in political wars, assassinations or as allies of Zionism or any other "ism" is heresy. Christianity is about the next world, not this one.

Charley Reese [send him mail] has been a journalist for 49 years. Write to Charley Reese at P.O. Box 2446, Orlando, FL 32802.