With unmistakable clarity and an apparent lack of self-consciousness, Robertson simply called for an assassination, presumably to be undertaken by U.S. military forces in violation of U.S. law.Now why was I wrong when Dr. Mohler's point harmonizes with my earlier statements on this topic? Because there was no Christian backlash against Roberston's heartless, mindless, useless comments.
In so doing he gave the Venezuelan leader a propaganda gold mine, embarrassed the Bush administration, and left millions of viewers perplexed and troubled. More importantly, he brought shame to the cause of Christ. This is the kind of outrageous statement that makes evangelism all the more difficult. Missing from the entire context is the Christian understanding that violence can never be blessed as a good, but may only be employed under circumstances that would justify the limited use of lethal force in order to prevent even greater violence. Our witness to the Gospel is inevitably and deeply harmed when a recognized Christian leader casually recommends the assassination of a world leader.
Dr. Mohler spoke out in no uncertain terms; RedState.org handed Roberston his head; the national Clergy Council asked him to apologize; Steve Camp awarded him a "Lifetime Loser". Eschaton asks how many commandments Robertson can break in one week. Somebody name "Mark Daniels" has a good bit. As I look around, that's really it.
Hugh Hewitt -- Mr. "in not of" who gets thousands of hits per day -- has no opinion on his blog about Robertson's insidious remarks. Brian Maloney -- filling in for Michelle Malkin -- says that we should just ignore ol' Pat who is "an opinionated, somewhat influential television host". Challies: no mention. Evangelical Outpost: Nothing. LaShawn Barber: no matches found. JollyBlogger: nada e pues nada.
Don't talk to me about evangelical co-belligerence when someone like Robertson is let off scott-free by a 24/7 blogosphere of Christians when he says something as morally fatuous as he said on Monday. Yes, fine: he "apologized" (if you can call it that -- it's like saying, "well, it's my TV station, and without any regard to what I actually said, I meant that we should really just give him the 'angry eyebrows'"). The point is not that he could be shamed into retraction but that he ought not to have said this thing in the first place.
Let's keep that in mind, kids, the next time some Islamic cleric hiding in the Pakistani mountains sends a video tape to Al-Gezira calling for the death of Americans for their moral crimes against Muslim society: maybe the Muslim world just can't be bothered to denounce the ravings of a sad old man who has lost most of his influence -- even if what he is saying is so politically and morally repugnant that they secretly would like to see him go away forever.