Of course I hate to define myself by what I’m not, but I guess there are times it’s warranted. Let me state for the record that the kind of Christian I am NOT, is Pat Robertson’s kind of so-called Christian. Blogdom buzzes. I’m sickened, saddened. When an evangelical leader calls for the assassination of the head of state of a foreign country, what’s his version of the gospel come to? Sheesh. Gustavo Gutierrez to Che Guevara to Pat Robertson. I dunno, maybe Jay Voorhees responds more appropriately than I do. The big question now, I guess, is whether G.W. is going to listen.
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In Past Years...
This would be one of the problems of Christians in the political arena. What Robertson said had nothing to do with him being or not being a Christian. It was merely a worldly pragmatic thought. Now, “worldly pragmatic thoughts” may need to be had or unsavory decisions need to be made in worldly political settings, but as Christians, to me, this is not our job. Too much “conflict of interest.” So, yes, it was ridiculous what he said – but only because he said it in public as a Christian “minister” in a political setting.
Frankly I’m not surprised to hear this coming from the genius who blamed 9/11 on homosexuals.
That being said, I’m sad that the church is going to be getting more bad press because of this goof. There’s enough people in the world who think all christians are “fightin’ fundies”, we don’t need more characterization.
Glad to hear you’re not like Pat, Brother Maynard. Although maybe there’s a bit of Pat in all of us? (That’s a lovely way to put it, actually).
re comment #1 – i happened to be in spain when we bombed lybia back in 85 (or was that 86?),
and i had a woman ask me why we didn’t excommunicate ronald reagan over that.
Alan, can you unpack that a bit for me? It sounds like you’re saying that it’s wrong because he said it in the context and capacity of a Christian minister, but if he were merely a politician it would be simple pragmatism. I don’t know if that’s what you’re saying, and I suspect it’s not, but clarification would be helpful.
I’d rather say that, as a Christian, Pat’s political statements should be condemning this kind of behavior – not advocating for it. That would be the case whether he was a politician or a minister or whoever. Pragmatism is an irrelevant category in this instance, I think.
Hey ScottB – I’ll make clear first of all that I’m quite the anabaptist in my theology about Christians in politics. I simply don’t think it’s a good use of our Kingdom time. I realize this is not the popular position and I’m sure we don’t want to get into that debate here. Anyway, I would not see a Christian in a political setting trying to make fully personal Christian decisions as a thing that needs to happen. I’m not sure it can happen in the context of the world as it is. Worldly governments are what they are. And we are what we are. For me to say that the USA should act like a Christian doesn’t compute for me. I don’t think it can. Anyway, like I said, not trying to convince anyone or get in an argument. That’s just where I’m at – breifly.
Alan – I actually track quite well with the anabaptist approach to politics, and I don’t actually think that’s what I’m questioning in your comment. At the same time, I don’t want to advocate a dualistic approach that relegates faith to simply a private matter – that’s actually somewhat of a gnostic approach. I think there’s a difference between using government as a means of establishing a Godly society and offering a prophetic critique of government policy from the standpoint of Christian belief. Pat, as a follower of Christ, was wrong to say what he said, whether he spoke from the perspective of a Christian minister or a right-wing pundit.
I’m curious to know, though, whether you think there are issues where Christians should critique government policy – your statement about the USA acting like a Christian makes me think you might not.