Ok, so I know I’m a little late with this one. I’m not a news hound so I often miss out on what’s happening in the world. But the other night I was up late and I happened to catch a bit of ABC’s Nightline. I turned on the TV as Journalist Ted Koppel was interviewing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Together they were discussing Evangelist Rev. Pat Robertson’s call for the assassination of Chavez. In case you haven’t heard about this (Like I hadn’t until recently) this is how it goes…
“On August 23 Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested on-air that American operatives assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to stop his country from becoming "a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism. ‘We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability,’ Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network's "The 700 Club." ‘We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator,” he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
Hmm…. Does this sound wrong to anyone else out there? I know that I for one don’t really want to be part of a faith that will call for the assassination of another child of God. Now I’m sure that Chavez isn’t the most saintly person out there. Rev. Robertson calls him a ”Strong-arm Dictator” However, before we go and assassinate world leaders I think that we should look at both sides. I’ve copied and pasted a bit of the transcript from the interview that I saw. Just before this segment Ted Koppel asked Chavez to describe himself. One of the words he used was a revolutionary, so Koppel is asking Chavez about that,
“-KOPPEL: A revolutionary has to be in revolt against something. What are you revolting against?
-- CHAVEZ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR):I've been in revolt for years against ignominy, against injustice, against inequality, against immorality, against the exploitation of human beings.
One of the greatest rebels, who I really admire: Christ. He was a rebel. He ended up being crucified. He was a great rebel. He rebelled against the established power that subjugated. That is what rebellion is; it's rebellion out of love for human beings. In truth, that is the cause, the cause of love: love for every human being, for every women, for every child, for every man, for every brother.
I believe you to be a brother. I don't see you as above or below. I don't feel superior or inferior to you. We're on an equal basis. Your cameraman, your photograph are equal. The men and women who are seeing you, who are seeing us are equal. They're true brothers.”
Now I am sitting in my living room thinking to myself, now there is a man who understands the message of Christ. To be a Christian means to stand against injustices and to stand for love. Many of the prophets wrote in the Old Testament that God’s judgement would fall on the people BECAUSE they neglected the care for widows and orphans. God’s judgement would fall because they refused to revolt against, “Ignominy, against injustice, against inequality, against immorality, against the exploitation of human beings (Chavez).” Instead the people of Israel went with the flow and followed the example of the nations around them. Much like we are doing today in America.
Now I freely admit that I am not an expert in politics. And I know very little about Rev. Robertson and even less about Hugo Chavez. But from what I HAVE seen has made me sick with embarrassment for those of us who are Christians in America. The fact that I could be associated with a man like Robertson makes me shudder. To make matters worse this isn’t the first time Robertson has made Christians look like a bunch of hate filled redneck idiots.
Which brings me back to Chavez. “It's rebellion out of love for human beings. In truth, that is the cause, the cause of love: love for every human being, for every women, for every child, for every man, for every brother.” Now those are words that I can stand along side of. That is a cause that I can stand for. Those are words that if spoken from a pulpit would have me saying AMEN!…or at least I’d say amen if I was in a more charismatic church. But Chavez inspires me to do more for the cause of justice and to make more of a stand for the cause of human rights. So along with Billy Idol I’ll raise my Rebel Yell and say let’s stand together and work for the cause Chavez speaks of, let us revolt against exploitation, injustice, and immorality. Let’s revolt against the status quo. Sources: The Associated Press and ABC Nightline