John Stewart has a great segment from last week on the religious right's spin on Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of Hugo Chavez [video]. One brilliant section features Rev. Ted Haggard, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who explains Robertson's words away. "I think you have to understand the context of it," he says. "You know his program has a section that's a Christian exhortation and another section where he's a politcal pundit."
See, what you don't understand is: Robertson didn't make his comment during the time of day in which he's a Christian. By the way, very understandable. Have you ever really tried to live your life by what this guy says? After an hour or so, you need some me-time.While some are chagrined that this man of God bore false witness after calling for murder—saying he never directly called for assassination (which he did, directly)—but they shouldn't be. Robertson says he was "misinterpreted," then that his words were "adlibbed" and didn't represent his real feelings, but history shows, the 700 Club honcho has a long track record of less-than-Christlike spoutings. Just a few of the many compiled at Quotable Pat:
• "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist." (The 700 Club, January 14, 1991)
• "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." (Fundraising letter, 1992)
• "I know this is painful for the ladies to hear, but if you get married, you have accepted the headship of a man, your husband. Christ is the head of the household and the husband is the head of the wife, and that's the way it is, period." (Newsletter as quoted by Federal News Service, Sept 11, 1992)
• "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." (The 700 Club, June 8, 1998)
• "Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal- based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history." (1993 interview with Molly Ivins)