Columbia, MO – The Neo-Christian Right and Neo-Conservative/Libertarians should be embarrassed. It seems two of their leaders have a major case of Foot-in-Mouth Disease.
Less than 24 hours after the devastating 7.0 earthquake in Port-Au-Prince Haiti, Pat Robinson said something that should make every person on this planet quake in their shoes – Haiti experienced the earthquake because the Haitian people, all of them, made a deal with the Devil. And from Robinson’s mouth to the pixels on your screen, “True story.”
How does the good Reverend know this? Was he on the island of Hispaniola in the early 1800s? Did he get an email from God or Lucifer giving him, and him alone, details? Does Robinson have a 800 number directly to the Christian Heaven Information and Historical Center, calling it daily? Can it be a direct line to God?
Robinson had also claimed that New Orleans was a city of sin and that God brought Hurricane Katrina to its doors as punishment. His God, evidently, is a loving, forgiving and peaceful god, that is until you cross Him… or Her.
Additionally, Robinson has no idea of the history of this small nation. The island of Hispaniola, on which Haiti occupies the western third, was the “New World” landmass discovered by Christopher Columbus, the Italian kid (whose mother may have been Jewish) working for Spain. Spain gave the island to the French in 1697 as part of a treaty.
The slaves on the island revolted in 1791. Becoming a republic in 1804 happened under Napoleon I’s reign. The Republic of Haiti bought its “independence” in 1825 from France for a mere 150 million francs. The revolt had nothing to do with Napoleon II, III or IV as Robinson claimed. II was a baby and never in power in France. III received the 150 million francs. IV was not yet born.
In 1970, I was in Haiti during the elections for president (read “Language Limits the Means to Equality” for details). I saw a very religious people who believe in Christ and the Catholic Church. Though some saw the practice of Voodoo as an extension of their Catholicism, they were and are good people who have suffered hardships unknown in the United States for at least 150 years.
Haitian suffering came under the hands of Dr. François “Papa Doc” Duvalier and eventually his son, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. Suffering came from nature. God had nothing to do with this earthquake.
I have read other comments concerning the Reverend Robinson. Many are angry, hailing from the left and right political wings, from the orthodox believers and from atheists. Those who agree with the Reverend, mostly neo-conservative Christians, believe that their leaders can do no wrong.
Should the 700 Club stop all association with the Reverend Pat Robinson? Using the words of former governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, “You betcha.”
Do we need to question the motivation of Robinson’s asking for fund for Haitian relief efforts? “You betcha.”
Should God sever his communication with Robinson? “You betcha.”
Do Robinson’s comments have you thinking about becoming a Theist or Atheist? That is up to you, but do I hear a resounding “You Betcha!”
Next on Ink and Voice – Rush Limbaugh’s continuing affliction with Foot in Mouth disease.
Post-script – A friend sent the following to me after reading this commentary. It is the second letter which I found “interesting.” A letter to Pat from Lucifer… http://www.startribune.com/opinion/letters/81595442.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DUqEiaDUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU