So how often does your priest, rabbi, clergyman, etc call for somoene to be assassinated? If you're a card-carrying member of the Christian Coalition, the answer to that question is "occasionally". That word, of course, lacks a pejorative sting. But the fact that the answer isn't "never" is ridiculous enough to preclude arguments about scale.

Furthermore, how often does your clergyman lecture you on politics? I'm an admittedly lapsed religious practicioner, but after 18 years of Catholic education I can't remember one instance of a Priest ever standing up and delivering a homily about the Supreme Court, the inheritance tax, or whacking a world leader. Why? Well I always thought the reason for this was obvious – we don't go to church to get lectured on current affairs, and religious groups are tax-exempt, non-profit, non-partisan organizations for whom engaging in political advocacy is illegal and inappropriate.

"Apparently I am an elected official of some kind."

Yes, Pat Robertson (who entertains me less than James Dobson simply because he's bat-shit insane as opposed to calculating and rational) is calling for the United States to make haste to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Quoth the rocket scientist:

  • "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war."
  • "(He is) a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us badly."
  • "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 strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
  • One of my favorite people in this world is very religious and often says that the media loves making Christian leaders look stupid. In reality, the only thing that makes them look stupid is accurately quoting them. To claim that the media is framing them is just another weak variant of the "I got a bad grade because the professor hates me/because I'm black/etc" excuse.

    The media didn't make James Dobson tell his followers that SpongeBob SquarePants is subliminal gay propaganda. The media didn't make all these tools anoint themselves as physicians and constitutional scholars overnight during the Terri Schiavo ordeal. And the media didn't do anything to Pat Robertson today that Pat Robertson didn't do to himself.

    If these religious nutjobs have suddenly decided that they're political figures and sources of public policy information, then they (and their followers, even the ones who don't buy most of what the Robertsons and Dobsons say) have to deal with the fucking consequences.

    If Robertson (and Dobson, and Reed, and Falwell) appoined themselves de facto advisors to the Republican Party, then welcome to the jungle. Don't start bitching now. "Oh, the media's making fun of me." That's politics, and you chose to make yourself a part of it. If you don't like it, stick to religion. After all, that's what you tell the IRS your organizations do, right?

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    1. Samantha Says:

      Yeah, I almost choked on my bagel this morning when I heard that on the radio. I love the bit about it being "cheaper than starting a war." So these are the options Rev. Robertson perceives? Assassination or war? WWJD, Pat, WWJD?

    2. J. Dryden Says:

      Sigh. Pat, Pat, Pat…But should we be shocked? I still like to think fondly of Falwell and Robertson clapping each other on the back after 9/11, claiming that it pretty much proved that they'd been right about how God was going to smite this country for letting itself be taken over by gays, lesbians, and pagans. It was always that last one that got to me. Pagans? Pagans?! You know, I live in the center of all that is ridiculously counter-cultural (it's the southern part of a coastal state that starts with a "C")–and I've NEVER EVER met a pagan. Certainly, I fail to notice that they've achieved prominence as a major voting bloc. (Although Pat DOES view Hallowe'en as a Satanic/pagan holiday, so maybe he was talking about the powerful pumpkin and cut-out ghost lobbyists. Hmm.) Seems with this latest ploy that Pat's in favor of rendering unto God what is Caesar's…he must have read a dyslexic version of the Good Book…

    3. J Ahlgren Says:

      The thing that is most scary to me about this is that on many of the polls in regard to this incident, only 80% or so of the respondents think Robertson is out of line. The fact that he still has that many supporters (esp. after his "Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands,
      kill their children, practice witchcraft…. " rant a few years back) scares the living shit out of me. Thank goodness our nation is out destroying the religous extremists of the Middle East.

    4. Ed Says:

      I've been claiming for almost a year now that the most frightening thing I've ever seen in politics is that Alan Keyes got 27% of the vote.

      He did everything except dress in a purple robe, behead a goat, and start speaking in tongues. And yet 1,390,000 people (in Illinois, mind you – not Alabama or something similar) voted for him.

    5. Samantha Says:

      Yeah, but, we're destroying religious extremists in the middle east because they disagree with our homegrown religious extremists. That's not so reassuring to me.

    6. Ed Says:

      And let's not forget Jim "I'm 100% Out of My Fucking Mind" Bunning winning his Senate re-election race in KY. Granted, I feel slightly better about that one because he only won by a hair…..