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  • Religious Politics

       August 24, 2005

    Just currently there is a nice juicy story proving that Pat Robertson earned the title Idiotarian. He suggested the United States break its own laws and assassinate the leader of another country. He's now backpedaling desperately but nobody's buying. Fox News reported that Jesse Jackson is going to go smooth it over. As a Christian, I am particularly offended when fellow Christians act like asshats. It makes all of us look bad. The 700 Club notwithstanding, in the last twenty years I have never met a Christian who likes and admires Robertson. I acknowledge that such people must exist, because Robertson has managed to build an empire starting with what was apparently a genuine ministry and now is a political advocacy group. Jackson never was a religious leader. He dropped out of the Chicago Theological Seminary during his first year and was given an honorary degree years later when his Congressman son was on the board. He was ordained as a Baptist minister right after MLK was assassinated even though he did not meet the qualifications (a 2+ year process, submitting to the authority of the church, etc.) and has never had a church of his own. His title of Reverend is a ridiculous affectation intended to further his political career. James Dobson is certainly heading into Robertson territory, if he is not there already. I seldom listen to his radio show so I donít know what heís up to lately. Iíll give Dobson and even Robertson the benefit of the doubt and say that they are sincere people who honestly want to do good for this country and the world. And to show that I really do wish them well, Iíll give them a little tip:

    You canít be both a religious leader and a political leader. Each of those professions requires your full attention and dedication to succeed. You can start with one, and switch to the other, but it is simply not possible to do both simultaneously. Stop trying. Iím not suggesting that a person canít be a political leader with strong religious convictions, or that a religious leader canít hold strong political convictions, and act on those convictions. But you should not use one platform to promote the other. You cannot do justice to leadership positions in both arenas, and you harm Christianity when you try. If you sincerely want Christianity to change the world, work on your ministry. Jesus did not lobby the Roman Empire or present a political agenda or have talking points. He educated people in the faith, served the poor, and sacrificed himself for others. Thereís no need for you to be crucified Ė and acting like an asshat so the media can crucify you doesnít count anyway Ė but you can certainly sacrifice your desire for publicity and go about your business educating people in the faith and serving the poor. The world would be a better place if you did.

    Posted by Laura Curtis at August 24, 2005 01:59 PM

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    #  August 24th, 2005 5:34 PM      Daddy
    Asshattery WOULD be nice if somebody popped Chavez.

    That's why I don't call myself a Christian. I don't mind wishing bad on people who NEED to be slapped upside the head.  
    #  August 24th, 2005 5:52 PM      BrianH
    I'd rather let him make a complete mess of his country's economy and industrial structure. It'll provide yet another example of the failure of socialism.

    If someone popped him, the nutballs would hold him up as an example of "it might have been great if only the evil US hadn't interfered". But we'll probably get that anyway....  
    #  August 24th, 2005 11:13 PM      Yolo_Cowboy
    I posted on this today, Pat Robertson and the televangelists do more harm then good when they put on their "pundit" hats.

    I believe that asshats is an apt description.  
    #  August 25th, 2005 12:15 AM      Laura
    This is refreshing - something resembling an actual apology, instead of an "I'm sorry if your feelings were hurt" faux apology.

    Is it right to call for assassination? 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.

    He still spends way too much time defending what he said, but really, that's the closest I've seen to a real apology from a political figure in a long time.  



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