Christian radical Pat Robertson provoked outrage last week when he called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo ChÃ¡vez. The Bush administration, who seems to have close ties with Robertson has since been trying to distance itself from the TV evangelist by playing down the statement but has thus far, failed to renounce it publicly.
This lack of action by the US Federal government has prompted calls from Mr. ChÃ¡vez for the extradition of Robertson to Venezuela, where he would be tried as a terrorist. The Rev. Jesse Jackson offered support for the for Venezuelan President on Sunday, saying a recent call for his assassination was a criminal act.
His government would take legal action against Pat Robertson, stressing that “to call for the assassination of a head of state is an act of terrorism.”
Robertson is known for throwing out corrosive, Christian fundamentalist propoganda. For instance, in 2003, he earned the disdain of the State Department after suggesting:
“Maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off … to shake things up” in US diplomacy.
In 2001, as America reeled from the September 11 attacks, Robertson got into trouble after agreeing with comments by Christian right sidekick Jerry Falwell that
“America’s tolerance for lesbians, gays and abortionists had drawn God’s wrath.”
Earlier this year, he angrily commented on the ABC News “This Week” show.:
“I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that’s held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings”
Personally, I believe that he should be extradited. This is clearly a person that is out of control, and so blinded by the irrationalities of the religious right that he is beyond the sway of reasoned argument.
I’m also excited to see how Bush dances around this fire. Given his clear ties with Robertson, I have no doubt that he will be reluctant to act, however, should ChÃ¡vez Formally seek extradition, Bushâ€™s hand will be forced, and he will have to either defend Robertson or renounce him. Given Bushâ€™s past allegiance to the Bin Laden family despite Osamaâ€™s acts of terrorism against the US, I have every reason to believe Bush will go to the end of the Earth to defend Robertson.