responding…

Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond, but here goes,

If one such as Robertson believes that a Jewish Israel is dictated by God, then his vision of the future would be one free of appeasement. But more importantly, why do you use extremism in that manner? Isn’t all religion extreme.

Brian called me on a major fallacy in my original post, namely, my failure to properly use the modifier “extreme.” The term “extreme” itself doesn’t carry any sort of connotation, it describes something as being to the farthest (or at least a very high) degree. So it would have been correct to refer to “violent Islamic extremism” or “violent Christian extremism” or “irrational extremism” in order to sufficiently create the grounds for a moral judgment to be made. I should know better. Point to Brian on this one, there is nothing wrong with “extreme” Islam or “extreme” Christianity–what’s more “extreme” than dying for the world’s sins?

Calling Robertson’s view of the future “free of appeasement” leaves out a lot of details, however. It is a true statement; Israel could very well choose to not practice appeasement. That is the political state it would be in. But this does nothing to account for the quality of life in that state, or the stability of that state, or the progress towards better diplomacy in a volatile region. Perhaps Robertson accounted for these things, perhaps he didn’t, but the fact of the matter is that the head of the state of Israel does have to account for them, as do leaders of the United States, European Union, United Nations, and any other state or organization for whom the region’s political condition has any sort of impact.

Certain members of the religious right may be wrong at times. But to compare them to Islamic fundamentalists is off base.

Why? Is it inherently impossible for Christian fundamentalists to sometimes (notice sometimes) express similarities in method, rhetoric, and ideology to Islamic fundamentalists? Pat Robertson has, on multiple cited occasions, used his religious ideology as justification for violent acts committed upon those with whom he politically disagrees (Yitzhak Rabin) and as justification for misfortune befalling one with whom he politically disagrees (Ariel Sharon). Further, while not using religion as part of the reasoning, he personally advocated the assassination of a foreign head of state (Hugo Chavez), doing so on his religiously-themed news commentary show. Is it not fair to say that his argumentation might, as I stated earlier, demonstrate rhetorical and methodical similarities to the argumentations of some Islamic fundamentalists?

At any rate, I guess that one should expect more of a man of the faith. I firmly believe that one who preaches the creed of Christ should be expected to extol and exemplify reason, compassion, and peace as did Christ himself. Pat Robertson, at least in my estimation, did not do so in the case of Ariel Sharon and has a history of the same conduct. There are those who listen to him and follow him, and those who may not but are like-minded. This is what I find, a few days later and with a few days of objective thought on the matter, so disconcerting and disappointing about the whole episode.

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