Hugo Chavez: Pariah, or Prophet?

When the President of Venezuela spoke at the United Nations recently, he referred to the President of the United States, George Bush, as the Devil himself. The comment drew sharp criticism from all corners and all political stripes. And the right wing talking points went out, trying to find ways of connecting Hugo Chavez to the Democrats. But the question has to be asked, could he be right? Or he is a lunatic, a pariah among leaders, a despotic madman with an agenda? Let’s take a look.

First, some definitions of what (or who) the Devil is. The Apostle Paul offers the following: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter, 5:8. The website , when advising readers on how to spot the Anti-Christ, says this “he will perpetuate his cleverest deception upon the American evangelical church.” Also stating, “we must be cautious when a leader comes along who seems to have all the answers-one who is moral, decisive, and charismatic, and above all talks the Christian talk. Bush..’I’m the decider.” the website continues “Watch out when a leader feels called by God to bring peace to the world, solve the sticky problem in the Middle East, and bring Christian values, morals, and bring free market prosperity and democratic self rule to the whole world.” On the website there is also this-“He will be lauded from the pulpits across the land as Christians are caught up in the great patriotic fervor as his armies march against the evil forces of ignorance, intolerance, and Islam.” Now, if that doesn’t sound like a Bush bio-and from a Christian website! I even found another website that attempts to offer proof that George is the evil one- This site breaks it down by the numbers.

So is Chavez pariah, or prophet? Here are some things to think about.
1. The election that put him in power was overseen by many more observers than the one that brought Bush to the White House, and considered to be at least as reliable, if not more.
2. Venezuela didn’t send its army to attack a sovereign nation on completely false premises, killing tens and tens of thousands in the process.
3. And on a side note, Hugo Chavez is working to bring universal health care to all citizens of Venezuela. Under the Presidency of Mr. Bush, the ranks of the uninsured in America continue to grow rapidly.

Myself, I don’t buy into the mythology. I don’t think Bush is the Devil. What is alarming is that a leader of another country said that, and that there were so many who heard it who agree. The comment drew laughter and some applause.

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