What did it take to get me to break my blogging hiatus? Not the wonderfully entertaining insanity of the Late Night TV shuffling. And not even necessarily the tragedy in Haiti, but one Christian's response to Haiti. I understand that by even talking about this I'm giving Pat Robertson a smidge of publicity, but I also feel like I have to make a couple of things very clear.
First the comments from Robertson. "Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it," he said on Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club." "They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal."
"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 on the other is the Dominican Republic," he said. "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. But right now we are helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable."
Two responses to this.
1) The majority of Christians do not agree with this statement. I can't think of any that I know, and I'd love to say that no other Christian agrees with this, but I also know that a lot of people watch Pat Robertson's show, so there are probably many who do agree with him. But in the majority, Christians think Pat Robertson is wrong about this.
2) Even if he were right, this would not mitigate the need of Christians to act in support of the people of Haiti. That we would have a responsibility to assist in any way possible for the good of the Haitians. It seems that Robertson thinks that way as well, but it doesn't change the fact that I think not only is he wrong in his estimation, but somewhat dangerous as well.
However, even in my disgust for Robertson's comments, I have to remember that God loves him just as much as the grieving mother in Haiti, and that my love for him should not be affected by his unguarded tongue.
A couple of other pieces. One of my Facebook friends posted this about a cause of Haitian poverty. http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/13/haitis-real-deal-wit.html It's well worth the read.
Also, Pat Robertson has issued a clarification on his statement. http://www.patrobertson.com/pressreleases/haiti.asp
And Donald Miller also posted a great and much more eloquent response than mine on his site. http://donmilleris.com/2010/01/13/1513/