Television evangelist and Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson has enthusiastically placed his support behind Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani for the presidency. The question is, how could Robertson overlook Giuliani's decidedly anti-evangelical positions on abortion and gay rights?
Has hatred and fear of Hillary Clinton so blinded our principles that even our evangelical leaders are willing to compromise them? That certainly seems to be the case here. Although Robertson emphasized Giuliani's perceived strength on national security issues in his endorsement and did not mention social issues, Giuliani is not the only candidate who projects a tough image on foreign policy. The old warhorse himself, John McCain, is an unapologetic proponent of the troop surge in Iraq, even though that position has cost him dearly with his former sycophants in the "mainstream" media.
It's certainly tempting to follow Robertson's lead on this one. Unlike Dr. James Dobson, who is on record saying he cannot in good faith support any of the current crop of Republican candidates, Robertson's position is that we need to back a winning horse even if we don't like how he smells. But how can anyone be so sure of the argument that Rudy has the best chance to beat Hillary? In the only other chance he had to run against her, he pulled out of the race for personal and health reasons. Otherwise, if his supporters were right, he might now be the junior senator from New York and Hillary would seething on the sidelines.
Unfortunately, the big media dogs will be woofing about divisions in the evangelical community, given the clear differences between leaders such as Robertson and Dobson. That cannot be helpful to the eventual Republican candidate, whomever that may be. And the reality is that even with no media coverage, the division is becoming clear and harmful as conservative Christians argue winning on expediency versus losing on principle. Those who support Rudy will say, what good are your principles once Hillary is sitting in the White House?
Pat Robertson has done many admirable things in his ministry over the years. Unfortunately, he's had a disturbing habit recently of making provocative statements with apparently little aforethought. We are left to wonder if his Giuliani endorsement, before the first primary is even held, is one of those rash moments.