Pat Robertson, probably just human

For those sleeping in for the past two days, Pat Robertson made a very grievous comment that called for the assassination of the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Since then, Robertson has publicly apologized for what he said [but NOT after he first tried to deny what "taking him out" meant], and that is commendable, especially after he tried to skirt the issue. Apologizing after you try to hide it is always harder, but he was a man and did it.

I usually don't post about political happenings and such, but I thought this reflected well on leadership within the religious ranks. In this case, Robertson isn't just any old leader, he's a powerful voice for Evangelicals and, like him or not, he has a huge sphere of influence. Many take what Pat says as gospel truth, even comments like this latest fiasco. I openly wonder how much good it's doing to have super-leaders like Pat Robertson, Brian McLaren, Mark Driscoll, Tony Campolo, and Eugene Peterson. No matter the affiliation, the problems are still the same.

As soon as someone becomes a super-leader, they lose the right to be human and make mistakes. When Pat Robertson makes these comments, it doesn't compare to the ramifications if I make those exact same comments. And it's because Pat Robertson is a super-leader who "represents" people [although not officially] and their ideas, concerns, and political positions. The argument could be made that his power gives him that responsibility and burden, and I agree with that to a point, but I'm questioning the basic concept of a super-leader. Do we even need them? Are they doing more harm than good?

We end up celebrating those that can keep the cleanest reputation, not those who are willing to seek the truth, even if they have to look dumb doing it. Our system of elected officials promotes it, many systems to calling people to lead ministries promote it, and even I promote it. If all I have to say is, "Man, Pat Robertson is such a jerk, that guy should be kicked off the air and lose all of his power," then I'm promoting the system that put Robertson there in the first place. We've got to take a hard look at our concept of super-leaders and even what we expect of leaders in general. If we just expect them to be civil and keep their reputations clean [no matter the cost], then we must partially accept the blame for how they were chosen.


Lafe said...

I concur with everything that you said...

At first I just wanted to think that he was a big fat jerk and needs to keep his trap shut, but then I remembered that he is just a sinner like me. I say stupid things all the time, mine just aren't nationally televised.

Also the stupid things I say aren't usually taken seriously.

jnthn said...

i will *try* and assume that pat robertson made the apoligized because of genuine realization of his wrong doing and not as so many public figures do, in apoligizing for something because of an outcry of the public. either way it is important for us to not take everything a leader, be it spiritual or not, says as truth without critical thought on our part.