Monday, August 29, 2005

And Just Why Does Robertson Want to Off Chavez?

And Just Why Does Robertson Want to Off Chavez?

Pat Robertson's recent call for the assassination of Hugo Chavez was not simply bizarre or unbecoming for a man of the cloth. It also made clear that the ideology of at least a part of the Christian right has little to do with Christianity -- or religion, for that matter.

After all, what is it about Chavez that Robertson finds so objectionable?
The head of the Christian Broadcasting Network did not claim that Chavez violated or threatened any core Christian values; nor that Chavez was destroying family values, in Venezuela or elsewhere. And Robertson's concern was certainly not about democracy since Chavez was duly elected (unlike the military officers whose coup attempt against Chavez was praised by Robertson).

Indeed, Robertson's words made clear that Chavez should be disposed of because of his anticapitalist views and his resistance to American domination of the western hemisphere. (By the way, someone should tell Robertson that the Monroe doctrine was aimed at European powers, not at indigenous Latin American radicals.) And also, of course, because Venezuela has alot of oil, which we might need.

To advocate removing a foreign leader (even peaceably) for such reasons expresses a crude political and economic agenda, not a moral one: Robertson's statement vibrated with Cold War hostility to the political left, while also voicing the fantasy that the left is somehow allied to Islamic fundamentalism and terrorists. Is this what the Christian right is becoming -- very right and not very Christian?