Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pat Robertson blames Haiti’s ‘pact with the devil’ for quake

From the Raw Story courtesy of

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal.

And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It is cut down the middle on the one side is Haiti the other is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to god and out of this tragedy I'm optimistic something good may come."


Yeah, and blues man Robert Johnson went down to the cross road and sold his soul to the devil, too.

This is just depressing. I've been trying to figure out for years how to talk to evangelicals and fundamentalists in a rational way about the very real issues associated with insisting that everybody follow Christian rules in a pluralistic society. But how do you talk to people who literally believe that angels and demons constantly surround us, fighting over the fate of our eternal souls?

I mean sure, this is way offensive, and Robertson is a repeat offender, having made similar remarks about 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. But the real problem is that he, and most of his ilk, possess views about the universe that would get them thrown into the loony bin if religion weren't part of the equation. And they're trying as hard as they can to get as many Americans as possible to adopt those views. Thanks to the shoddy schools, it doesn't strike me as being terribly difficult to get people to believe stupid bullshit like this.

I continue to assert that religion, in addition to being various sets of values, norms, and principles about how we live our lives, is also culture, and ought to be respected, if only for that. But lunatics like Robertson make that damned difficult. How the hell do you work with these people?

Maybe humor is the key. People like jokes, even religious people. On the other hand, if I didn't already know what Robertson is about, I'd think this story came from the Onion. Maybe humor isn't the key.