When I was a little kid, there were only three TV channels in my country (No cable TV by that time!). Two of them had some kind of Christian TV program everyday. One of them was The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast
, a show that was brought into discredit after it was revealed that Swaggart had been consorting with a prostitute
, more scandalous since he himself unleashed fire against rival TV evangelist Rev Jim Bakker a few months before for committing adultery with minister and secretary Jessica Hahn. The other show was The 700 Club
, now under fire after Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez
: “If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war”. The day after, he said he didn’t say that
: “I was misinterpreted. I never said assassination”.
While I don’t support what Chavez is doing in Venezuela (although apparently his approval rating
is around 70% over there), I have to be on his side now, for I condemn murder as a Political Tactic. What’s more, American Government apparently
shares my view: “This is not the policy of the United States Government", Sate Department spokesman Sean McCormack said
, "we do not share his views” (i.e. Robertson's). Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, having said that political assassination was illegal, added
: “Private citizens say all kinds of things, all of the time”. As if the words of such a prominent figure as Robertson were of no consequence!!!
The Venezuelan ambassador to the United States stated: "Mr. Robertson has been one of this president's staunchest allies. His statement demands the strongest condemnation by the White House". Don’t you think the same demand would be made by the American Government if any public person anywhere in the world would ask for the killing of Bush? Or of any American Citizen, for that matter? Why is it called terrorism
if an Arab on a Mosque asks for the killing of Americans, but not in the case of Robertson? That’s the same question that asks Arab News on a recent editorial
The ignoring of the ambassador demand invites accusations of hypocrisy and double standards at a time when America should be trying to mend its international reputation.
By the way, neither The Jimmy Swaggart Telecast nor The 700 Club are aired on Peru now.