Oh, well, if it’s biblical…

I was glad, or at least relieved, to see evangelical leaders–including even Al Mohler–roundly denounced Pat Robertson’s remarks about assassinating Hugo Chavez. And Christian charity also requires me to acknowledge that, after some curious backpedalling (in which Robertson seemed to become a deconstructionist as he waxed eloquent about the dissemination of meaning around the phrase “take out,” as if the meaning of the word “assassination” was determined by reader-response!), Roberts has now apologized for his comment (though not to Chavez).

However, there’s another gem in this news cycle. Marvin Olansky, editor of World magazine (favored periodical of evangelicals devoted to America’s civil religion), while criticizing Robertson, also suggested that “Biblically, assassination may be used in times of war, last time I looked we were not at war with Venezuela.”

I have not the least doubt that Olansky has “chapter-and-verse” to support this notion, but I’m honestly trying to imagine the hermeneutical framework and biblical theology that could make such a claim possible.