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Friday Demonstration Against Pat Robertson's "Christian Broadcasting Company"
CHRISTIAN LEADERS AND MEMBERS OF THE FAITH COMMUNITY TO CONDUCT PUBLIC VIGIL AND PRESS CONFERENCE DEMANDING FCC INVESTIGATION OF CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK AND PAT ROBERTSON'S CALL FOR THE ASSASSINATION OF DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED LEADER AND INSIST THAT ROBERTSON AND CBN APOLOGIZE DIRECTLY TO PRESIDENT CHAVEZ AND VENEZUELAN PEOPLE.
For more information, please contact Diane Shamis 845-661-3754
Place: CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK News Offices, 1919 M St. N.W. (corner of 20th Street), Washington, D.C. Date: Friday, August 26, 2005 Time: 1:00 P.M.
Reverend Yearwood, leader of the Hip Hop Caucus, and other members of the faith community, outraged by the call for the assasination of President Hugo Chavez by Pat Robertson, are still demanding an FCC investigation into the right-wing Christian broadcaster's comments on his Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). Reverend Yearwood and other members of this coalition of conscience are asking Americans of all faiths to e-mail, call and write to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to demand an inquiry into whether the license of CBN should be suspended or revoked, and/or fines imposed for these obscene and offensive remarks, calling for the murder of a democratically elected leader.
"You can't unring a bell. Children have already heard these comments in the 'hood. These young people have seen Reverend Robertson talk about God and a Christian life and then call for murder. It confuses them. It makes it harder for clergy in urban communities to address the egregious problems of violence there. Once you issue the call to murder, under the guise of Christian ministry - its effect is felt, the impact is made," Reverend Yearwood stresses.
Reverend Yearwood further points out that an apology should be made directly by Robertson to Chavez, whose life he emperiled and to the Venezuelan people, whose democratic will he disprespected.
"The comments made by Reverend Pat Robertson are shocking and appalling. No Christian should ever call for the assassination of a human being no matter what their stance. Rev. Robertson has turned the Christian Broadcasting Network into the Criminal Broadcasting Network. And the popular saying that appears on wristbands distributed by CBN, "WWJD" - that is "What Would Jesus Do" should now be "WWJA": "Who Would Jesus Assasinate." By his comments, Rev. Robertson is showing that the Christian right is neither Christian nor right and we're asking that he apologize now," states Reverend Yearwood.
Moreover, Reverend Yearwood and other members of the faith community are calling for an investigation into whether, as a result of Robertson's remarks his FCC license should be revoked or suspended, or fines imposed upon against him and CBN. Certainly, Robertson's call for the murder of a democractically elected leader is both more obscene and offensive than the bearing of Janet Jackson's breast. Ms. Jackson's upper body exposure at a halftime show during the 2004 televised Super Bowl led to much controversy and the leveling of heavy fines. Reverend Yearwood points out that in the case of Janet Jackson, her apology for "wardrobe failure" did not exonerate her from investigtion or enable her or the networks which aired her gaffe to escape penalties.
Rev. Yearwood is convening a coalition of clergy and laity concerned about the Christian Broadcasting Network and Robertson in particular, who promote a political agenda propelled by fear not faith, under the guise of Christian ministry.
Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, National Coordinator, Clergy and Laity Concerned about Iraq, who has worked to form a coalition of ministers and faith leaders committee to the power of peace and process of nonviolent political protest states, "The comments by Rev. Robertson are unbecoming of a clergyman and betray the heart of the gospel. These comments are an indication of this sad moment in America in which the religious right continues to cheapen the life and legacy of Jesus."
Pat Robertson, founder and chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network was the leader of the Christian Coalition, a group which bolstered the 2000 Presidential campaign of George Bush and has provided consistently staunch support for his 2004 Presidential election and his administration's policies. On his August 22 "700 Club Show" broadcast daily on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) which airs in 22 nations to over one million viewers, Pat Robertson called for the assasination of democratically elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, delivering this message:
"If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war...We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability."
Reverend Lennox Yearwood, leader of the Hip Hop Caucus, calls upon all Christian leaders, other members of the faith community and all Americans to denounce the message and the mission of Pat Robinson. In calling for the assassination of a democractically elected leader, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Robertson has engaged in promoting,not attacking terrorism. He is advocating unlawful and unequivocally immoral actions in direct opposition to the essence of Christian doctrine and as well as the Commandment:"Thou Shalt Not Kill."
The press conference is a action supported by the Hip Hop Caucus, Clergy and Laity Concerned About Iraq, United for Peace and Justice, and the other members of UP (United Progressives) for Democracy coalition, Code Pink, Progressive Democrats of America, the Liberty Tree Foundation, Global Exchange and others.