Jan 13, 2010

Pat Robertson on Haiti's Pact with the Devil

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

I've been cataloging a number of recent, arrogant, public pronouncements, offered in the name of Christianity. More to come on that, but Pat Robertson's latest hateful outburst requires a stand alone post.

In the aftermath of this horrific tragedy in Haiti, one which may have caused as many as 100,000 deaths, Pat Robertson is, once again, blaming the victims, and citing their sinful nature. What's the problem in Haiti? A pact with the devil, according to Robertson. Citing no source for the information -- perhaps God has been bending his ear again -- he announces that Haiti turned to Satan, in hopes of ending the tyranny of French Imperialsm. He's not so certain about what French leader was oppressing the Haitians, but he's quite certain about the whole deal with the devil thing.

"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."

In Pat Robertson's world view, it's God's curse that's causing Haiti's poverty, oppression, and what most of us call a natural disaster. Proof? The Dominican Republic: No pact with the devil and today a thriving resort area. Haiti: Pact with the devil and today under a pile of rubble. So there ya go.

This is what we call the just world fallacy. Bad things just don't happen to good people. They only happen to the bad people, so when bad things happen, we should always look to see what they've done wrong, and know that as long as we stay in God's good books, nothing bad will happen to us. Versions can be found in our underlying cultural belief that poverty is a result of moral failure, The Secret (wherein our positive thoughts bring positive experiences and our negative thoughts bring negative experiences), and the belief that causes many women to find for the defendent in rape cases. The just world fallacy allows people an illusion of safety in an uncertain world, but I just call it blame the victim idiocy.

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