Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Welcome To My World

Let's all put on our imagination caps for a moment, shall we?

What if you were pre-judged by the vast majority of people based on the behavior of one of your high school classmates... say, the pot-smoking loser who got the nods in History class every other day. How about if the person you were lumped together with was the guy in your fraternity whose major was carving notches in his bedpost?

Not fair, right?

Welcome to my world. Well, for those of us who claim to be evangelical Christians, our world.

And once again, one of our number has served himself (and by extension, us) up to the MSM (mainstream media) with an extended observation about the wisdom of the U.S. rubbing out the leader of another country. Thank you, Pat Robertson.

Of course, I found out this morning by cranking up the computer and seeing the article header/tease on msn.com... TV Preacher: Kill Chavez

. Sigh.

So, let's make this clear. I'm not commenting on the content of his remarks... just the frustrating reality that I get tarred & feathered with the same brush as this guy because evangelicals are "all alike" - kind of like the old joke about white people being unable to tell folks of other ethnicity apart because they "all look alike." The faults not with the people of color (or, in this case, the believers in Christ), it's the maddening inability of the general public to see the differences.

I'll crawl down off my high horse now.


Coldfoot said...

His comments sounded logical to me. Don't read the reporters opinion of what he said, read what he said.

On the news source you cited the reporter cited no fewer than 4 different sources before he quoted Robertson. One of those sources was the guy who should be assassinated and he had no comment. Instead of reporting that Chavez had "no comment" the reporter extensively quoted an 18 word statement that translated into "no comment" (BTW, that comment was solicited from Chavez while he was in Cuba visiting his mentor, Castro). At the time he is extensively quoting Chavez, the reporter implies that Robertson said something terrible and controversial without reporting what was said.

A real reporter would have lead with the disputed comments, then cited other's opinions later in the piece. The only reason to write the article in the manner presented is to cast Robertson's common sense comments into a bad light.

Here's Roberson's comments, "it's the United States’ duty to stop Chavez from making Venezuela a 'launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism... 'You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it,' Robertson said. 'It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war," as reported by your news source.

That is common sense. Don't distance yourself from those comments. There are 10 (count them, 10) paragraphs of anti-Roberson rhetoric on your news source before they get to his comments. That is irresponsible reporting.

Might I suggest you find a less biased news source.

After all that might I add that I have been enjoying your blog ever since I found it. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I understand your point about being "lumped" in the same category of other Christians that give Christianity a bad name. It's a shame that we have to put up with it. However, I'd also have to agree with what coldfoot said. The news media greatly distorts just about anything evangelicals say or do. You really have to read between the lines with anything reported in the mainstream press these days.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I misread something... how is it common sense to want to assassinate a foreign leader?

Coldfoot said...

You would have sounded less Pollyanna-ish and more intellectual if you had pointed out that Chavez had been democratically elected.

If you are claiming I am wrong, come up with a counter argument. Don't lob grenades from the balcony.

I will respond with an equally ill-thought out rejoinder. The world would be a better place if both Castro and his protégé, Chavez, were assassinated.

In neither instance is it the job of the US gov't to do so, but if one political party had the balls to call for his assassination, they would get my vote.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

OK, kids... enough already. Take it outside.

My original post clearly stated (and I quote):

"So, let's make this clear. I'm not commenting on the content of his remarks... "

Go & do likewise. (Luke 10:37, as I misapply Scripture at this early hour.)

Unknown said...

I agree that it is frustrating when you get lumped together with someone else just because you share the same "label." (And for the record, Robertson's comments were beyond idiotic. If you really wanted to assassinate someone, you don't talk about it in public when the rest of the world is already sort of angry at you. This guy ran for PRESIDENT, don't forget!)

But part of the problem is that most of the Christian community (yourself being an exception) refuses to hold these preachers to task. Whether they find it blasephemous to retort a Man of God, or if they are just blind politically, the reason that the MSM lumps all Christian political groups together is because of their lockstep unanimity in matters of politics.

I find the same problem when Islamic leaders refuse to condemn Islamic terror attacks. If you want to distance yourself from that stereotype, say something!

Moderate Christian silence is almost as big a problem as Reactionary Christian loud-mouthery and bigotry. If centrist Christian leaders would cast out the quote-unquote "Christian" hatemongers, maybe the MSM wouldn't lump all of you together anymore.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. On balance, if the MSM uses Pat Robertson as the poster boy for Evangelical Christianity, who benefits - the right or the left?

I ask this question after having seen on a Sunday news show, to my shock, an obviously left wing Evangelical - and apparently a pretty big shot in the movement. He was making several arguments, including the point that Jesus, and the Bible generally, mention the importance of charity FAR more than tangential issues such as homosexuality. Yet, it is homosexuality that seems to be the greater rallying cry for politically oriented Christians.

So which would critics of the MSM media prefer? To play UP the rantings of a Pat Robertson - thereby giving these views an airing - at the cost of making evangelicals look foolish - or to play DOWN guys like him, and instead play UP the voices of left wing evangelicals? If Robertson were relegated to the dustheap and left wing evangelicals were given the spotlight, would folks feel as though they were being treated more fairly?