Pat Robertson calls for assassination of Hugo Chavez

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We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.

This is the latest from the Nicaragua Contra-supporting, Charles Taylor-supporting founder of the Christian Coalition of America, which calls itself “the largest and most active conservative grassroots political organization in America.”

According to its website, the 700 Club gets a million viewers a day, which isn’t that many, but Robertson’ sphere of influence is much wider than the numbers indicate. The Christian Coalition distributed 70 million voter guides prior to the 2004 election, and it actively lobbies both Congress and the White House. Its main goals appear to be the destruction of women’s rights, the destruction of gay rights, and the further blurring of the line between church and state.

In a 700 Club commentary, Robertson talks about the unpardonable sin (which, for non-Christians, is the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit), and says that the one who has committed it is “the one who has turned against Jesus, reviled Him, and become so depraved that he would claim that God’s spirit is Satan.”

Could someone please give Robertson the offering of a mirror?

Calling for violence has become common among Christian extremists such as Robertson. Jimmy Swaggert said he would kill any gay man who looked at him “that way” (in his dreams). The remark was followed by applause from his congregation. James Dobson advocates the harsh physical punishment of children and brags about beating his dog. Christian extremists picketed Matthew Shephard’s funeral with signs that read AIDS Cures Fags. Women’s health clinics are bombed. In a community twenty miles from my home, a cross was burned in front of a yoga clinic. Christians gave comfort and shelter to Eric Rudolph.

Extremists will always be with us, and they will always have followers. But while Americans are constantly asking mainstream Muslims to please denounce Islamic extremists, no one is asking mainstream Christians to do something about Robertson, Falwell, Dobson, Rudolph, and their ilk.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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