I spent some time today skimming the commentary in the mainstream media and the blogosphere regarding Pat Robertson's assassination advice. After reading the reactions (which were almost entirely negative), the following thoughts came to my mind:
1) Lots of Christians (at least the ones who blog) just don't have much use for Pat Robertson. They don't like that he is seen as as an evangelical spokesman and many of them wish he would just go away.
2) It's quite true that the media uses statements like his to tar and feather all conservative Christians as hatemongers.
3) Assassination actually has a long (if not noble) history, and Pat Robertson is hardly the first person to call for offing some despised leader.
4) And it does have its uses. Just to suppose for a moment, would we object if someone had assassinated Osama bin Laden on September 10? Or would that have been too late? Or would it have made any difference?
5) That's part of the problem with assassination, especially in the absence of a declaration of war. If you cut of the head of the hydra, you may simply spawn a hundred others.
6) I have a friend who worked for years in the national security arena. For obvious reasons, he won't say much about what he did, but I do know this much from talking to him. If you're going to assassinate someone, you don't announce it on television. You go and do it, and make it look like an accident, or like some political rival did it. You don't talk about it. You do it or you don't do it.
7) Pat Robertson apologized today and said he was speaking out of frustration. That's certainly understandable, but if you going to be a secret agent, you can't do things like that. We're going to have to take back his secret decoder ring.
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