Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Jesus Built My Socialism

by Conrad Spencer

I am a Christian, though these days I'm more likely to claim secular humanism. With the idiocy of intelligent design, jihadist anti-abortionists, and fanatic self-righteousness that define American Christianity today, it becomes so easy--as Peter discovered--to deny your faith, several times over.

And that's before you consider Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of a democratically-elected world leader.

I'm no expert in Venezuelan politics or the life and career of Hugo Chavez. The final word on President Chavez won't be written for some time. He's portrayed by some as a tyrant, best friends with Fidel Castro. The U.S. press easily banters about the moniker "dictator". To others, he's a populist, socialist reformer, defending the Venezuelan poor from the evils of globalization. The truth likely lies somewhere in between. President Chavez is well-liked by his country's poor and adamantly disliked by Dick Cheney and Pat Robertson, so he probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Even if the accusations of tyranny are overblown, there is one thing President Chavez shares with a recently overthown dictator--his country lies atop some of the richest oil fields in the world. Rather than turn over oil reserves to international oil companies, Chavez--an admitted socialist--has kept the oil and used the profits to benefit the poor of his country. A constant critic of the Bush administration, Chavez has even been shopping for places other than the US to sell Venezuelan crude.

Mr. Robertson claims President Chavez should be assassinated for turning his country into "a launching pad for Communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent."

In mentioning Muslim extremism, it's almost as if he got Venezuela and Saudi Arabia confused, but the oil-exporting country exporting Muslim suicide bombers is actually a friend and ally of the United States, and the Bush administration.

Chavez's major failing seems to be that he kept the greedy hands of U.S. companies out of Venezuela's oil and instead gave oil profits to the poor. This hardly seems a capital offense, or even un-Christian.

Though many will question the Christian basis of Mr. Robertson's comments, at least we know he's been reading his Bible. There's a guy in there who goes around saying things like:

If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

And we all know what happened to that guy.

There's one verse Pat Robertson may have missed though,

Thou shalt not kill.


At 5:59 PM, Blogger Monica said...

I was looking at the Okie Blog Awards because I have a friend who's nominated (although this Texan isn't allowed to vote)...:)

I was just listening to the news about the Pat Robertson thing...and I love how you wrote it up. Good post!


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