In a press release sent to major news agencies today, the leadership of Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice responded to Pat Robertson's (700 Club) call for the US government to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice
Palo Alto, California
August 23, 2005
Contact: Diana Gibson 650-322-6991 or Craig Wiesner 415-586-1416
DATELINE: PALO ALTO
The leadership of Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice (MVPJ), an interfaith group based in Palo Alto, CA, met on Tuesday August 23rd and strongly denounced the Rev. Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of Venezuela's democratically elected president, Hugo
Chavez. MVPJ joins the National Council of Churches in calling Pat Robertson's comments on his nationally televised program "appalling to the point of disbelief."
For a religious leader and member of the clergy to dismiss a pillar of all major religions, the value of every human life and our creator's commandment not to commit murder, demonstrates that an extremist and dangerous ideology is at work. Mr. Robertsonís remarks contradict the fundamental core of Jesusí teachings and fall outside the bounds of even the broadest circle of the Christian tradition. Such an ideology must be and will be condemned and rejected by people of faith across America.
Condemnation of Mr. Robertson's rhetoric is not enough. Such a time demands more concrete action. We at MVPJ also call on the President of the United States to publicly renounce the use of assassination and uphold Executive Orders 11905 and 12333, which prohibit any person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States government from engaging in or conspiring to engage in assassination. Because the President has the power to set aside those Executive Orders through what's known as a secret "Presidential Finding" and order an assassination, we further call on the United States Congress to pass legislation prohibiting anyone employed by or working on behalf of the United States government from engaging in or conspiring to engage in an assassination.
As people from many faith traditions, we believe that even from bad some good can come. Mr. Robertson's immoral call to violence can be the beginning of the end of United Statesí presidents having to ponder whether assassination is an appropriate means to a political end. The United States should end the ambiguity and join the world community in clearly and absolutely prohibiting assassination once and for all.
About Multifaith Voices for Peace And Justice (MVPJ)
MVPJ comes together from more than 36 diverse faith communities and traditions to put our convictions into action by saying NO to war and YES to peace and justice. Additional information about our organization and actions can be found at www.multifaithpeace.org