With liberal reporters since 9/11 frequently equating conservative Christians with Quran-thumping Muslims, WORLD has tried to delineate the real differences (see "Osama bin Ashcroft," April 27, 2002). For example, Islam initially expanded through the slaughter of opponents, but Christianity grew through the martyrdom of believers. Muslim extremists issued fatwas against their enemies, but the apostle Paul taught Christians in Rome, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink."
Islam initially expanded because the prophet Muhammad brought a vision of a just society that appealed to the poor and the powerless. In any case, even if it was late coming, Christianity certainly got with the whole slaughter-of-opponents program in a hurry, and with great enthusiasm and inventiveness.
Matt Yglesias is pretty much right on Byron York, though I really think that Robertson is more influential among conservative evangelicals, if not conservative elites, than Yglesias seems to. As York notes, The 700 Club has a larger primetime audience than either CNN or MSNBC. A lot of people get their news from The 700 Club, which means essentially that Pat Robertson is defining their reality.
It's got to be depressing for Robertson that the message which the conservative punditry seem to have rallied around most is that he is irrelevant, and thus the Right shouldn't be held responsible for what he says. Maybe Robertson can cohost a new reality show with Ward Churchill, where they both run around Washington dressed like albatrosses.
And this is absolutely right: Chavez used to be a star. Pat Robertson just made him a superstar. What I want to know is: exactly what multimillion dollar investments of Pat's is Chavez threatening?