Recent comments by Man of God Pat Robertson suggesting that the United States assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez mark a new low in the descent of our nations self-anointed Christian leaders into apostasy and sin.
While Chavez is no saintno head of state is a sainthe clearly has the mandate of the majority of Venezuelans. By all accounts, the populace grew sick of being governed in accord with the Washington Consensus, a Kapital über alles approach to economics that has enriched the upper class while further impoverishing everyone else, resulting in the sad spectacle of an oil-rich nation full of appalling and increasing poverty, all in the name of growth that benefits the few (especially New York bankers) to the detriment of the many. Robertsons demand that Chavez be deposed is also historically ignorant, as two previous attempts to sweep him from office ended in failure in the face of massive popular opposition.
Of course, Robertsons Jesus doesnt much resemble the author of the Sermon on the Mount. Indeed, the historical Jesus, who urged a young rich man to sell all he owned, and give to the poor (Matt 19:24) and who preached that the last shall be first (Matt 19:30) was a bit of a communist himself. The leaders of American evangelical Christianity realize that a message of generosity and humility wouldnt go over well in their exurban heartland (so lovingly described by their Jewish ally David Brooks) of crush-the-little-guy SUVs and opulent megachurches replete with gyms and jacuzzis, all subsidized by tax exemptions. So their Jesus is a darkie-killin, fag-baitin, child-beatin WWF figure, a son of a bitch rather than the Son of Man. In their perverted equation of God = power = machismo = capitalism = American imperialism, our latter-day Pharisees have really created a new and strange ideology and labeled it Christian. Their favorite Bible verses come from Mosaic law and Pauls more misogynistic and homophobic letters, seldom from the words of a loving and forgiving Savior.
Of course, Chavezs cozying up to the tyrant Castro simply because the latter is Americas most reliable enemy in the hemisphere is not a positive development for anyone concerned. But deposing Chavezas if it hadnt been attempted twice, with bad resultswould simply further embitter South Americans against the United States, a nation that earned considerable respect in the southern continent during the Clinton years but (after the rape of Argentina by New York banks, the crushing of the Haitian people under the boots of U.S. Marines, and the success of Lulas Brazilian government despite the predictions by American economists of financial ruin) is now perceived as selfish, racist, imperialist, and a greater danger than Castro. When 200 million souls in our own hemisphere are ready to cry out, ¡Fidel sí! ¡Bush no! it is clear that Bush and his petro-cronies have lost far more in the Americas than they could ever gain in the Arab world were the Iraq project to somehow magically succeed.
And oil is what its all about. Chavezs real heresy is socialism. And I use heresy advisedly: The same perverted ideology that enshrines the U.S. as Gods Shining City on the Hill demonizes anyone who dares to spread around the oil wealth so that the poor might, say, get an education or medical care. Saddam (before the Iran war), Qaddafi, Chavezall have sinned and fallen short of the glory of Exxon by allowing their populace to gain from oil revenues rather than making sure the money went to a handful of plutocrats who can hire guards to keep out the dark-skinned, undeserving rabble. You know, the way they do it in that shining city free of sin: Houston.
In recent years, amid widespread contempt even for friendly and similar countries such as France, a triumphalist ideology has been growing among Americans who, for the most part, have never visited Canada or Mexico, let alone Europe or South America. According to this view, Americans are superior to the rest of the world in every way: economically (despite our inability to live without massive borrowing), politically (despite our crooked elections), intellectually (despite our culture of tabloid ignorance), physically (despite our disgusting obesity), and militarily (despite our inability to defeat bands of ragtag guerrillas). If you dare to suggest another country might do things better, you are attacked as unpatriotic, regardless of the truth of the case. Its a Master Race myth butunlike the WWII Germans, who were at least willing to stake their own blood and fortunes on the success of Hitlers perverted dreamAmericans want to rule the world without pausing in their orgy of consumption (including consumption of Venezuelas oil) or putting their own corpulent butts on the front line. Indeed, many in Iraq who wear Old Glory on their sleeves are Latin Americans who will be granted citizenship upon completing their tourif they survive.
Jesus told us how to discern false prophets: Know them by their fruits (Matt 7:16). The fruits of Robertsons ideology are division, hatred, misery, and death. While its up to God to judge this media potentatewho has spent his career storing up treasures upon this earth (Matt 6:19)no one who follows him deserves the name Christian. The fish stuck on the back of their SUVs are starting to stink.
Leaves of Oak © MMV Lindsey D. Eck. All rights reserved.
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