Robertson makes comment about Haitian catastrophe similar to what he said about the 9/11 attack
says Haiti “swore a pact to the Devil,” and “they Have been cursed.” Similarly, at the time of the 9/11 attack, he said that America had removed itself from God’s protection by its embrace of various sins. (Or was it Jerry Falwell who said that?)
The video is at Breitbart.
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Re the title of this entry, “On this one, VFR’s philosophy is … We report, you decide”:
I tend to ignore the religious foundation of your political views because, in the end, you get the practical matters right so often. But come on, this is going too far. You’re considering Pat Robertson and his delusions as reasonable. The man is a psycho and many of his views are similarly characterized.
But that’s the exact opposite of what I said. My title is a take-off on the slogan of Fox News Channel. I meant to say that, like Fox News, I was just reporting the story, and not expressing an opinion on it. It was my way of saying, “I’m not going near this with a ten foot pole.”
However, I see that the title doesn’t work. Any irony is inappropriate here. I’m removing the title and replacing it by a straightforward factual one one.
In fairness to Rev. Robertson, he spoke about Haiti’s curse at least 10 -15 years ago, long before this annihilation by earthquake.
He said this led to Haiti being the poorest country in the Hemisphere, as well as its proportional murder capital.
On today’s Thom Hartman show I heard the left-wing equivalent of Pat Robertson’s statement delivered by Max Blumenthal—that the International Republican Institute was responsible for installing the recent Haitian government, which drove the country into extreme poverty and caused many rural people to flood into Port-au-Prince, and therefore the Republicans, corporations, and capitalism are responsible for the casualties and destruction caused by the quake. Thought you might find that amusing.
Daniel B. writes:
While you yourself are not wading into this particular quagmire (and with good reason) perhaps you might be interested in hearing what others have to say. Thomas Rogers at salon.com writes,
Part of the revolution mythology is that one of the revolution leaders sacrificed a pig in Bois Caimin in a voodoo ceremony and made a contract with Petwo [Haitian voodoo spirits]. It may or may not be true, but to call that a pact with the devil is a gross misrepresentation of what voodoo is. It’s about anything but the devil. He’s imposing an evangelical religious order on a much more sophisticated practice, and he’s turning it into a cheap invocation of Satanism. This is hate speech. It’s saying these people are damned. It’s a frequent theme among some Christians that Haiti is being punished for this supposed pact with extreme poverty and humanitarian crises.
I found his remark stating that Pat Robertson is ” imposing an evangelical religious order on a much more sophisticated practice” rather intriuguing. It is interesting to see how the ethereal liberal positions himself as the referee in intra-religious debates. Specifically, as demonstrated in this instance, only the liberal is allowed to act like he possesses absolute knowledge (that there is no God) since by banning the Christian from commenting on voodoo he denies the Christian the ability truly to live his faith by denouncing the demonic.
That being said, Robertson acted like a callous fool.
It does seem as though Robertson is a favorite whipping boy for many who superficially take what he says and run with it attempting to make him out as crazy and not worth listening to on anything. For many it is an attack on Christianity or Evangelicals as much as anything. He has done a lot of good through the years for a lot of people. His biblical views are very straightforward and good theology, something that cannot be said for half the churches any more, and particularly those of the people who love to attack him.
In this case, he did not make up the idea of a curse, voodoo is still taken very seriously there, their society is in total disarray, before any earthquake, and it is not a stretch to place at least some of the blame on their poor spiritual state, pact with the Devil or not. Though nominally most of them are apparently Catholic it would seem that the impact of the Church there has been minimal. On the same island the Dominican Republic is a normally functioning society. As to the earthquake itself, I don’t think Robertson is saying that God acted to cause the earthquake as a direct hit to Haiti due to their supposed pact with Satan. But assuming there was some sort of pact, that it was made only by their leaders at that time, not every citizen would need to be in on it, but it would have sent them on a path leading to the point that they did not develop normally, did not have proper building codes, were in disarray in many ways through the years and left in poverty and chaos.
Christians will debate both sides of whether God would ever act through the use of nature to punish any given nation as was done in the Old Testament at times. In any case, it isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility, and one reason might be to shock such a nation into action, to change, if God in his infinite wisdom knew that without such change even worse problems and deaths would occur in the future than would be caused by the act of nature at this time. But arguments such as a “good” God would never do such a thing really miss the point, should God have targeted a completely healthy society instead, why would that be fair? Some go so far as to suggest that God should stop any earthquake since people will get hurt. Whatever the truth is, we really won’t know for sure in this life, but the dismissive treatment that Robertson gets really proves that most people are just not interested in really taking biblical issues and how God might be interacting with man in our day very seriously at all. To most people God is just some sort of self-help guru where they can turn if they feel they need to feel better. The idea that God is the creator of the world and is anything but a nice old grandfatherly type who pats everyone on the head is gone from our society. The reaction to Robertson’s measured comment proves that.
Kidist Paulos Asrat writes:
I was debating whether to touch this with a “ten foot pole,” but I’ll go ahead anyway.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 14, 2010 10:16 AM | Send
When I was writing the article on “Precious,” I kept wondering why blacks in America (and for the most part in Canada), seemed to have had functioning and stable lives pre-I guess the real cut-off date is in the late 1950s. I think it is because they were not involved in iniquities. Poor blacks now, with their dependence on subsidies, and rich blacks like Oprah and the film director (Daniels), have all decided that they are owed something. And they will take that “something” any which way. So an awful film like “Precious” gets Oprah as Executive Producer, who thinks that Precious (the character) is a heroine simply because she exists in this “terrible” world which short-changes her.
The brave and vocal American Evangelicals often dare to broach difficult and taboo subjects. No one speaks as frankly as they do. Pat Robertson has simply provided one way out of the mess these nations and peoples are mired in.
Pact with the devil is one way to analyse it.