More than words

Pat Robertson's loose lips may be the least of his vices.


Aaron Kinney
August 25, 2005 2:03AM (UTC)

Salon editorial fellow Aaron Kinney offers one more look at Christian leader Pat Robertson.

It's hard to keep up with Pat Robertson. On Monday, he called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Early in the day Wednesday, he denied that he'd done so. And then, later Wednesday, he admitted that he had and said he was wrong to have done it. "Is it right to call for assassination?" Robertson said in a written statement. "No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."

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It's nice that Robertson has apologized. Calling for the assassination of a foreign political leader just doesn't follow in the tradition of Jesus Christ, unless Robertson has a Biblical supplement we're unaware of. But Robertson's advocation of violence is just one of the moral contradictions that have come from the mouth of the man who founded the Christian Coalition. Robertson's outrageous comments over the years are legendary: He has proclaimed that liberal judges are a greater threat to America than Islamic terrorists and declared Scotland a "rather dark land" in which homosexuality is treated too leniently.

But not enough attention is paid to the actions behind the words. Greg Palast has documented some of Robertson's more unsavory dealings, including his diamond mining ventures in Africa, where he apparently did business with brutal dictators Mobuto Sese Seku of Zaire and Charles Taylor of Liberia, both of whom make former military strongman Chavez a pacifist by comparison. For Palast's take on the Robertson imbroglio, go here and here. To get the cold sweats, consider that Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice has been an influential player in pushing for John Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court.


Aaron Kinney

Aaron Kinney is a writer in San Francisco. He has a blog.

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