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Location: Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Doing my part to irritate Republicans, fundamentalists, bigots and other lower life forms.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Theocratic slimeball gets in touch with his 'inner-terrorist'

Fatwa is a word used in Islamic countries to describe a legal opinion or decree handed down by an Islamic religious leader. In America, where we (at least for now) have a wall separating the functions of government from those of religion, we have no fatwas. Or maybe we do. The difference is that here they don't carry the force of law as they do in Islamic country.

Consider this taken from an Associated Press report:

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called on Monday for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a "terrific danger" to the United States.

Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former presidential candidate, said on "The 700 Club" it was the United States' duty to stop Chavez from making Venezuela a "launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Most Americans have grown so accustomed to Robertson's rantings that they are likely to dismiss even his most outlandish pronouncements. After all, Robertson has made some doozies over the past few decades.

"We have enough votes to run the country. And when the people say, 'We've had enough,' we are going to take over," he said at an April 1980 "Washington for Jesus" rally, apparently not caring that he was treading close to advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government and replacing a democracy with a theocracy.

Just don't accuse him of trying to eliminate the separation of church and state. Robertson has made comments about that as well. "There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore," he told the American Center for Law and Justice in November 1993 (apparently choosing to ignore the line in the First Amendment about Congress making no law to respecting an establishment of religion.

And what brief compendium of Robertson's ravings would be complete without gems like these:

"If the widespread practice of homosexuality will bring about the destruction of your nation, if it will bring about terrorist bombs, if it'll bring about earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor, it isn't necessarily something we ought to open our arms to." (from his Aug. 6, 1998 "The 700 Club" program)

"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians." (from a 1992 fundraising letter)

"The public education movement has also been an anti-Christian movement... We can change education in America if you put Christian principles in and Christian pedagogy in. In three years, you would totally revolutionize education in America." (from his Sept. 27, 1992, "The 700 Club" program)

On and on and on it goes, culminating (at least for now) with Robertson's advocacy of assassinating Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Understandably, Venezuela's government is miffed that Robertson would call for the elimination of its leader. (Quite possibly America's covert intelligence community is royally pissed, too, since it's highly possible that they may have been plotting just such an assassination for the pre-Castro Chavez.)

Perhaps the best articulation of Venezuela's response to Robertson's "Christian fatwa" was this from the AP story:

Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said Venezuela was studying its legal options, adding that how Washington responds to Robertson's comments would put its anti-terrorism policy to the test.

"The ball is in the U.S. court, after this criminal statement by a citizen of that country," Rangel told reporters. "It's huge hypocrisy to maintain this discourse against terrorism and at the same time, in the heart of that country, there are entirely terrorist statements like those."

Indeed the ball is in the U.S.'s court now and Rangel rightly points to the hypocrisy of BushCo going after terrorism abroad while ignoring it within the U.S. borders. If Bush really wants to the rest of the world to believe that his Middle Eastern occupation is against terrorism and not Islam, he'll frogmarch Robertson right out of the country and into the waiting arms of Venezuelan authorities. Let Bush show the world that America is as serious about terrorists within its own borders as it is when the terrorist has darker skin and an accent.

And as for Robertson, Venezuela can toss him in a cell where cellmates Juan and Pedro can take turns with his pasty, sagging, wrinkled ass and then put him against a wall in front of a firing squad. Seems to me that if he's half the Christian he claims to be, he'll welcome a chance to die a martyr's death for what he believes in.