Pat Robertson is shameless. He'll say anything. He'll even advocate blowing up the U.S. State Department.
Interviewing the author of an anti-U.S. State Department book on the "700 Club," Robertson said: "I read your book. When you get through, you say (to yourself), 'If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer.' I mean, you get through this, and you say, 'We've got to blow that thing up.' I mean, is it as bad as you say?"
The author, Joe Mowbray, replied, "It is."
However, according to CNN.com, the author never suggested blowing up the State Department, nicknamed Foggy Bottom.
A book description on Robertson's Christian Broadcast Network Web site said that "one of the biggest obstacles" to winning the war on terrorism is the State Department, which allegedly puts the interests of other nations about the U.S. and benefits "ruthless regimes."
At the end of his interview with Mowbray, Robertson said that in country after country the State Department "destabilized democratic regimes in order to bring in communist regimes."
In July, speaking about civil war in Liberia, Robertson made a similar charge. He accused the State Department of mismanagement and turning foreign nations over to communist thugs.
"We are undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over a country," said Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition. "How dare the president of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country you've got to step down? How can he do that?"
Robertson did not tell his viewers about his gold mining venture in Liberia, which Liberia's former president supported. Freedom Gold Limited, a corporation registered in the Cayman Islands, has Robertson listed as its president.
Liberia's President Charles Taylor did eventually step down and went into exile.
A few days after that, Robertson urged his TV followers to pray that God would remove three justices from the United States Supreme Court.
Leading the studio audience in prayer, Robertson said, "Father, we pray now to be set free from those who would distort the Constitution of the United States, who would discover rights that didn't exist, who would take the religious truth that is in our nation, who would strip our public square of our affirmation of faith in you, and throughout this land the time-honored affirmation of faith in God and Jesus Christ being removed and in its place heathen religions being placed up."
He then asked for miracles and dramatic change related to the Supreme Court.
Within a few months, Robertson has talked about blowing up the State Department, defended one of Africa's most brutal dictators and asked God to remove Supreme Court justices.
Is this the talk of a reasonable, conservative Christian leader? Time will soon tell what his fellow-Christian travelers think.
For far too long, conservative and fundamentalist Christians have maintained a code of silence about Robertson, as well as other wacky team members. They now need to disavow Robertson.
If they cannot, then they should accept as valid the charge of an ethical double-standard. They will criticize as immoral only their ideological enemies, while they are mute about their theological and political buddies. Such behavior is surely a sign of moral relativism, about which they scream at every opportunity.
Aside from the duplicity of conservative and fundamentalist Christians, there is the weirdness of Robertson's blowing-up comment. Before Lent, Robertson launched Operation Prayer Shield to cover Americans from harm. "The chances of somebody with a nuclear device using them against one of our cities or one of our installations is very high," he warned.
Was he confessing a twisted thought harbored in his own heart?
Robert Parham is executive director of the Baptist Center for Ethics and executive editor of EthicsDaily.com.
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