The Aug. 25 editorial "Pat Robertson's Gift" complained about the silence of "Mr. Robertson's fellow travelers" regarding his comments calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In a news release, Geoff Tunnicliffe, international director of the World Evangelical Alliance, said that Mr. Robertson "does not speak for evangelical Christians."

Os Guinness of the Trinity Forum said on ABC's "World News Tonight" that "Jesus called for nothing like this, and Pat Robertson sounded more like one of the radical imams."

Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said on CNN, "Pat Robertson was wrong in recommending this. He was wrong in saying it."

Two leading Southern Baptists also have spoken out. Bobby Welch, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, released a statement saying that the convention "does not support or endorse public statements concerning assassinations of persons . . . and neither do I."

And Albert Mohler, dean of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on his Web site, "Now, with so much at stake, Pat Robertson bears responsibility to retract, rethink, repent, and restate his position on this issue."

KNOX THAMES

Fairfax

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There is a local angle to the failure of many conservatives to condemn Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of Hugo Chavez: the silence of Republican candidates in Virginia who have been accepting campaign contributions from Mr. Robertson. Jerry Kilgore, the Republican gubernatorial nominee and former attorney general, received $10,000 from Mr. Robertson this year; so did Robert F. McDonnell, the GOP nominee for attorney general.

If these candidates really want to get tough on crime, they ought to set an example by condemning Mr. Robertson's statement and returning his campaign donations.

BILL BLACK

Washington