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John Simkin

Christian Fundamentalism and Politics

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quote=Tim Gratz,Aug 23 2005, 06:56 AM]

Mark, I too found the statements attributed to Robertson appalling.

At least he called for the use of the Special Forces and did not suggest subcontracting the hit to the Mafia.

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And using the Special Forces to assassinate a leader is somehow better than using the Mob? As usual Tim, your logic is less than logical. But then again you are on another thread saying that the CIA has "never" assassinated leaders. When you know full well that is not true. So FAR from it.

Dawn

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quote=Tim Gratz,Aug 23 2005, 06:56 AM]

Mark, I too found the statements attributed to Robertson appalling.

At least he called for the use of the Special Forces and did not suggest subcontracting the hit to the Mafia.

[/color]

And using the Special Forces to assassinate a leader is somehow better than using the Mob? As usual Tim, your logic is less than logical. But then again you are on another thread saying that the CIA has "never" assassinated leaders. When you know full well that is not true. So FAR from it.

Dawn

*******************************************************************

But as you already know, my friend. Our Tim G. does serve a good purpose, be it nothing more than tossing more neocon double-speak at us, to ponder and prepare to counter-point. He does keep us on our toes, and at least doesn't stoop to those Dan Akroyd forms of rebuttal, hurled so unmercifully at Jane Curtin on the old SNL shows. "Jane, you insufferable, ignorant slut!"

Thank you Tim G., for being both a gentleman and a scholarly fascist, at least. :)

Ter

P.S. Where are my pictures, Tim? Should I send you film for your camera? :)

Edited by Terry Mauro

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Dawn wrote:

I wonder if any of his 700 club are outraged. This is, after all, the same man who not long ago was asking for prayer that God would "provide" some openings on the Supreme Court. Praying for someone's DEATH.

Dawn, as an attorney you should know that most vacancies on the Supreme Court result from the resignation of an elderly justice, e.g. Sandra Day O'Connor, and not through death. So why not assume that Roberston was praying that Souter , Ginsberg, etc. would resign?

P.S. I hear the government wants to use "eminent domain" to take over your house.

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As you all know, Robertson has now apologized, after first stating he was misinterpreted.

I was going to predict when the issue first started that it would create a firestorm of controversy and he would apologize within a few days.

Christians ought to stand for morality. There are Christian standards for a "just war" that have been discussed and debated on this forum. I am unaware of any moral standards that justify an assassination.

Hard questions can be raised, of course. What if Hitler was enforcing his Final Solution within Germany but was not invading any other coutries? Would his assassination be justified to save millions of Jewish children and adults he was slaughtering? (I am certainly not implying that any such issues apply to Chavez.)Hitler and the Holocaust certainly present an exteme case. What of other dictators who use brutality not for purposes of genocide but to enforce their rule?

I tend to the view that once one attempts to justify an assassination one starts down a slipperly slope. Does it make any difference if it is the affected race or group? One would be hard put, one would think, to condemn a group of Jewish leaders had arranged the death of Hitler in the forties after the extermination camps were operational.

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Christians ought to stand for morality.  There are Christian standards for a "just war" that have been discussed and debated on this forum.  I am unaware of any moral standards that justify an assassination.

The Christian Right have been unable to successfully use the terms of the Just War in defending the invasion of Iraq. This was a pre-emptive strike, all the leading churches have condemned it as an “unjust war”. It is only the Christian Right that have supported this action.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3776

You say it would be immoral to assassinate political leaders like Chavez and Castro. However, covert attempts by the CIA to overthrow these governments has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. Is that morally acceptable? Or does it only become a moral issue if you name the people killed? Pat Robertson made the mistake of saying what was already going on. As Buckley rightly points out, this has made it virtually impossible for the CIA to carry out this task.

It is ironical that after 40 years Castro is only now beginning to really influence politics in Central and Latin America. Just another example of Bush’s disastrous foreign policy.

You might find this interesting to read.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=4827

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John wrote:

You say it would be immoral to assassinate political leaders like Chavez and Castro. However, covert attempts by the CIA to overthrow these governments has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians. Is that morally acceptable? Or does it only become a moral issue if you name the people killed?

It is an interesting question. If I recall correctly, even after the war with Iraq had started, the US was specifically prohibited from targeting Hussein. I think I am correct that traditional rules of war do not allow one of the parties from using its military resources to attempt to target and kill any specific leaders (either government or military) of the other party. It is of course permissible if the leader is killed in a combat situation. It is the targeting of a specific individual for killing that seems objectionable.

Whether the distinction makes logical or moral sense is certainly a good question.

I am not sure if I agree with you that, for instance, covert actions by the US to overthrow the Castro regime have resulted in the death of thousands of innocent civilians. I am generally familiar with the reported CIA and US activity against Castro, e.g. Operation Mongoose, but I am not sure those events resulted in thousands of deaths. Which is not to say that I favored the covert secret war against Castro. The sabotage actions approved against Castro in the last few days of the Kennedy Administration certainly seem to meet the defintion of "acts of war" but because the war was "secret" there was no accountability.

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Well, I do like PAT Robertson even though he does ocassionally put his foot in his mouth and he certainly deserves the criticism he is eceivingfor his remark about Chavez. As William F. Buckey pointd out, it makes it so much harder for us to really assassinate Chazev! You know if I was truly conspiracy-minded, I could suggest that Robertson really is a good guy and his remark was intended to do just what it did: make it impossible for the CIA to whack Chavez!

In any event, Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald columnist and So Florida author, set forth his thoughts on Chavez in the July 28 2005 Miami Herald:

First draft of Robertson's fatwa apology

By CARL HIAASEN

Rejected first draft of Rev. Pat Robertson's apology on ``The 700 Club.''

My fellow sinners,

The other night I made a statement about Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez that's been widely misinterpreted by the heathen media and even some of my friends in the ministry.

As you know, Señor Chávez has been going around saying there's a secret American plot to assassinate him. In my broadcast I recommended that ``we really ought to go ahead and do it.''

I admit that was a mistake. I first should've touched base with God. Assassination is a pretty big deal, and it's always a good idea to go through the proper channels.

Many of my colleagues in the evangelical community are upset about what I said, and some have even faxed me copies of the Sixth Commandment, which I re-read last night before The Sopranos came on.

At first glance, the words seem straightforward and crystal clear: Thou shalt not kill.

Yet if you study that phrase closely, I think you'll agree that God could have been a little more specific.

Thou shalt not kill what -- all living things? Come on.

Who amongst us hasn't swatted a mosquito, squashed a cockroach or shot an eight-point buck the day after deer season ended?

My fellow Christians, think about it. If God didn't want us to take the life of any other living creature, would He not have long ago smote Col. Sanders and Burger King -- and what of Truly Nolen, which has remorselessly snuffed billions upon billions of tiny termites?

So we are left to conclude that God is somewhat flexible on the issue of killing; that the premeditated execution of certain life forms doesn't seem to bother Him all that much.

For guidance on this question, look to the Old Testament. If God truly regarded all creatures as equal, He wouldn't have called it a ''plague'' of locusts. He would have called it a pep rally.

And surely the word pestilence wouldn't appear in the Scriptures if God didn't believe in the concept of pests.

Which brings me to President Chávez down in Venezuela. We know that he's a troublemaker who speaks out against the foreign policies of the United States. We know he's a pal of Fidel Castro, that no-good communist dictator. And we know his country's got loads and loads of precious oil.

So why not kill him, I wondered, as one would kill any pest? That's the modest scenario I proposed the other night on this program.

God unblessed America

I had no idea that people would be so upset and surprised. Heck, for years I've been blurting out stuff that sounds ignorant and un-Christian and downright loony.

It was yours truly who declared that the Sept. 11 attack was God ''lifting His protection'' as payback for this country legalizing abortions and banning prayer in the schools.

I was the one who once predicted that God would destroy the Soviet Union with earthquakes and volcanoes. I also took credit for scaring a hurricane away with my prayers and for healing both hernias and hemorrhoids from the pulpit.

Remember back in '87, when my preacher pal Jimmy Swaggart got caught with that hooker in a Louisiana motel? It was me (and only me) who figured out that the whole thing had been set up by the first George Bush, who was vice president at the time.

So it's not like I've never been called crazy before.

Admittedly, I could've handled the Chávez situation better. Before saying one word, I should have waited until God spoke personally to me (which He does every Thursday night, after Will and Grace), and asked Him how He feels about political assassinations.

Confusing commandment

Thumbs up, Lord, or thumbs down? A definitive answer would certainly help clear up some of the confusion about the Sixth Commandment. I mean, really, don't Christians have more important things to worry about?

As a man of faith, I'm proudly and passionately pro-life. Even so, it's hard to believe that when God said ''Thou Shalt Not Kill,'' He literally meant thou shalt not kill.

But, while awaiting His further instructions on this topic, I will contritely withdraw my suggestion that President Chávez be whacked as soon as possible.

However, nothing prevents me from using my well-known power of prayer to steer a fearsome Cat-5 hurricane toward this godless evil-doer, or to at least afflict him with a really uncomfortable hemorrhoid.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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What is interesting is that Chavez is demonised so much by the American "Christian" Right like Robertson not on moral grounds but rather because he seeks to improve the lot of the poor in his own country. To do so effectively puts him on a collision course with free market global capitalists. One might have thought that gentle soul Jesus Christ might have approved of the meek at least inheriting something of the earth but apparently instead he was a staunch follower of grasping capitalism ;)

Chavez is a threat to the capitalist right in the States because he exposes the inhuman inegalitarianism of global capitalism and seeks to do something about it.

Apparently if you believe in land reform and wealth distribution within your own country you deserve to be taken out by the CIA.... it is indeed a strange, dangerous and perplexing world order we live in under the "protection" of dear old Uncle Sam.

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What is interesting is that Chavez is demonised so much by the  American "Christian" Right like Robertson not on moral grounds but rather because he seeks to improve the lot of the poor in his own country. To do so effectively puts him on a collision course with free market global capitalists. One might have thought that gentle soul Jesus Christ might have approved of the meek at least inheriting something of the earth but apparently instead he was a staunch follower of grasping capitalism ;)

Chavez is a threat to the capitalist right in the States because he exposes the inhuman inegalitarianism of global capitalism and seeks to do something about it.

Apparently if you believe in land reform and wealth distribution within your own country you deserve to be taken out by the CIA.... it is indeed a strange, dangerous and perplexing world order we live in under the "protection" of dear old Uncle Sam.

Mugabe also believes in land reform, Chávez leads a bloc of radicalism in South America which is potentially hostile to the United States.

Ireland offers a successful precedent for the transfer of land to the people. There is no profit in chaos, psychic revenge & wrecking are a poor diet.

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Chávez leads a bloc of radicalism in South America which is potentially hostile to the United States. 

I think you mean 'potentially hostile to capitalism' don't you?

Let us please have the intelligence to distinguish between peoples and systems. I am sure for instance that Snr Chavez would suport the working class of the USA wholeheartedly.

Moreover Chavez is no Mugabe and it is an attempt at an easy cheap political point by you to suggest that he is. Do you have any evidence for your implied slur??

Incidentally do you believe that it is acceptable for the American capitalist elite to organise the assasination of the legtimate leaders of States who may hold challenging views?

If so do you also believe that such a course of action could be regarded as consistent with a Christian viewpoint?

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Chávez leads a bloc of radicalism in South America which is potentially hostile to the United States. 

I think you mean 'potentially hostile to capitalism' don't you?

Let us please have the intelligence to distinguish between peoples and systems. I am sure for instance that Snr Chavez would suport the working class of the USA wholeheartedly.

Moreover Chavez is no Mugabe and it is an attempt at an easy cheap political point by you to suggest that he is. Do you have any evidence for your implied slur??

Incidentally do you believe that it is acceptable for the American capitalist elite to organise the assasination of the legtimate leaders of States who may hold challenging views?

If so do you also believe that such a course of action could be regarded as consistent with a Christian viewpoint?

He is hostile to private property and religion when it is not allied to his regime. He is overtly anti-American in the broader sense.

Conservatives in the US are more concerned with the Arab world, the Middle East, Iran and North Korea. Communism is not the enemy.

The people of the United States will pay the going rate for oil, they don't need a cut-price friendship with Chavez or anybody else.

South American countries with policies favourable to US economic interests will be looked upon with a glad eye by President Bush.

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Chávez leads a bloc of radicalism in South America which is potentially hostile to the United States.

Beacuse he has pointed out (alleged) efforts by this country's CIA to assassinate him?

I believe that means that it is the US that is "hostile" to Chavez, from where I sit.

Dawn

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But, while awaiting His further instructions on this topic, I will contritely withdraw my suggestion that President Chávez be whacked as soon as possible.

However, nothing prevents me from using my well-known power of prayer to steer a fearsome Cat-5 hurricane toward this godless evil-doer, or to at least afflict him with a really uncomfortable hemorrhoid.

Do you think God is trying to tell Pat Robinson something with sending Hurricane Katrina to the United States?

Do Christian Fundamentalist agree with George Bush about global warming?

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John wrote:

Do you think God is trying to tell Pat Robinson something with sending Hurricane Katrina to the United States?

Well it is presumptuous to attempt to judge God but the only thing we know for sure is that Katrina made a bee-line for that den of iniquity New Orleans, appropriately named "The Big Easy".

An aside: We had 75 mph winds in Key West on Friday and it was the wettest August day in Key West history, but no major damage.

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