January 13, 2010

Pat Robertson: "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 ... 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 the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another."

When so many in Haiti have died or are dying and suffering, how can anyone think this is the time to say such a thing? Does religion give Robertson the gall? I'm not going to ask why a belief in God doesn't frighten people out of such heartlessness. It's too sadly obvious that it does not.

233 comments:

1 – 200 of 233   Newer›   Newest»
rhhardin said...

A deal with the devil plus no property rights.

If they are not the same.

RuyDiaz said...

My opinion, take it as, well, an opinion....

Robertson is mentally unstable. Has been for as long as I've seen him. Religion is the way he expresses it.

vbspurs said...

Lastly, Althouse is letting her latent Obama support show with her wiliness to dive into this mess!

Wait a minute, please. Don't tar and feather all of us religious believers just because this person is an idiot who registers 10.0 in the Moron Scale.

I was thinking about this situation ever since I read the apoplectic linkage on Memeorandum. Not that I fault them for paying attention to this story -- given my previous rah-rah exposition of what is newsworthy or not, I would definitely say Robertson's words are newsworthy.

But why do people give this man, this false preacher of God, who has LONG since been irrevelant in Republican politics, still get the front page coverage that he does?

It's like going up to Rep. Mike Gravel of Alaska or Lyndon Larouche, two men who ran for President and are certifiable kooks, hearing them out and then publishing what they have to say whilst insinuating something about those who share their politics or world view. That's completely misguided.

Meanwhile, the Pope's words or the rabbis of the world offering succour and religious uplifting about this tragedy get drowned out by a nutter?

Maybe I'm naive. But it seems to me that Robertson and his critics need each other. They validate each other's opinions and existence.

And that's the Devil's Game no one mentions.

vbspurs said...

The quote above is wrong. I was replying to the Professor's quote here:

I'm not going to ask why a belief in God doesn't frighten people out of such heartlessness. It's too sadly obvious that it does not.

JAL said...

Pat Robertson will be 80 in a few weeks.

I wish that explained his profoundly offensive statement, but he has said many stupid things over the years.

As a Christian, I would like to point out that most Christians do not believe his claim and give him little credence.

One has to be delusional to think he is privy to a conversation of a body of people and Satan "a long time ago." (C.S. Lewis this man is not.)

vbspurs said...

I'll be controversial now, and say this, though:

Have you noticed how animistic countries or regions tend to have the worst bad luck? I mean, we're talking about REALLY bad mojo.

Haiti. Most of Africa. A lot of Brazil. A lot of Florida (where there is santeria). Louisiana (the one place in the US where voodoo is not uncommon).

If Robertson were a real man of God, or a bonafide theologian, he could've phrased it philosophically and asked if God is displeased when people worship false gods and idols. There are consequences for that, and though modernity is at odds with this mindset (that punishment arises for not following God's laws) had he said it that way, he would've seemed at least moralising, and not a total nutbag.

Lem said...

..people might not want to talk about it.

His instinct was telling him not to go there.. but still he went.

Lem said...

There is also the timing .. they are still picking up the bodies.

Ricardo said...

Something happened a long time ago in America, and the people committed grevious sins. In response, the Lord sent Pat Robertson to America, and tasked him with punishing the nation by forcing them to endure the ridiculousness of his verbal expressions.

RBB said...

I would be described as an evangelical christian, and that statement by him sickens me. The people of Haiti need support, supplies, love, and prayers. He should be leading the latter instead of giving quotes such as these. He is an embarrassment.

Chef Mojo said...

Amazing.

Only a fanatic, evangelical fucktard like Pat Robertson could equate a slave revolt with a deal with the devil.

This guy is truly bent. Obviously he never read William S. Burroughs...

Now some of you may encounter the devil's bargain if you get that far. Any old soul is worth saving at least to a priest, but not every soul is worth buying. So you can take the offer as a compliment. They charge the easy ones first, you know, like money, all the money there is. But who wants to be the richest guy in some cemetery? Not much to spend it on, eh, Gramps? Getting too old to cut the mustard. Have you forgotten something, Gramps? In order to feel something, you have to be there. You have to be 18. You're not 18, you are 78. Old fool sold his soul for a strap-on.

How about an honorable bargain? "You always wanted to become a doctor. Now's your chance. Why, you could have become a great healer and benefit humanity. What's wrong with that?" Just about everything. There are no honorable bargains involving exchange of qualitative merchandise like souls. Just quantitative merchandise like time and money. So piss off, Satan, and don't take me for dumber than I look. As an old junk pusher told me, "Watch whose money you pick up."


So, piss of, Robertson, and don't take me for dumber than I look...

wv: gatess - Gatess of Hell, Pat ole boy. Gatess of hell...

traditionalguy said...

Robertson lost me when he used his religious cred to say he was better than other GOP candidates in the 1988 campaign he ran for President. His "pack with Satan story" sounds like rubbish to me. But his quote was suggesting spiritual war prayers to reverse any such curse, if one exists. Still that seems to blame these Hatians for the effects of what their great, great grandparents may have done or not done. He needs to raise and send actual relief supplies and money first and preach second. Sad.

Joe M. said...

"When the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Matthew 22:34-40.

Bean said...

From the linked article:

a Haitian minister has some of the background to the legend:

"Everywhere you go, from your television screen to the Internet, what you are most likely to find is a reference to a spiritual pact that the fathers of the nation supposedly made with the devil to help them win their freedom from France. As a result of that satanic alliance, as they put it, God has placed a curse on the country some time around its birth, and that divine burden has made it virtually impossible for the vast majority of Haitians to live in peace and prosperity in their land...

The satanic pact allegedly took place at Bois-Caïman near Cap-Haïtien on August 14, 1791 during a meeting organized by several slave leaders ... before launching what would become Haiti’s Independence War.

Still

if Haiti is caught between the Devil and the deep blue sea, Pat Robertson is similarly captured by the power of lore over love.

Jim O said...

Oh, for cryin' out loud, who cares what he says?

Tibore said...

"vbspurs said...
Meanwhile, the Pope's words or the rabbis of the world offering succour and religious uplifting about this tragedy get drowned out by a nutter?"


Thank you! Yes, Robertson says possibly the stupidist thing that could be said about the tragedy, and all people will remember is that a Christian said it. Nevermind that this "Man of God" (<- scare quotes) is completely and totally wrong about his judgement.

He's an idiot. And he certainly does not speak for all Christians.

Big Mike said...

@Jim, not me. Not anybody besides the left wing press.

Kensington said...

Vbspurs:
"Have you noticed how animistic countries or regions tend to have the worst bad luck? I mean, we're talking about REALLY bad mojo."

But does Haiti really qualify as animistic? According to Wikipedia, 96% of Haitians are Christian.

Elliott A said...

How does someone who is clearly a little off figure out how to get people to give him millions? He then created a large broadcasting entity which he sold for many more millions. He founded a university and a law school, along with operation Blessing which does immense good in places like Haiti and sub-Saharan Africa. But he is definitely a little off. I have seen his driver leave him off outside the supermarket and then seen him check out with some salad fixin's and a rotisserie chicken. he can afford his own personal chef, but doesn't have one. he doesn't let someone else pick out the chicken! maybe more of us need to be nuts!

Beth said...

He weighed in with the same crap after our levees broke. It was funny, given the least damaged area was the French Quarter.

Victoria, go with your first response. That next riff was just silly.

kynefski said...

Yes, Robertson says possibly the stupidist thing that could be said about the tragedy, and all people will remember is that a Christian said it.

That is absolutely correct. And unless Christians take the initiative to denounce the morons in their midst, that will happen over and over again.

Which is fine with me.

chuck b. said...

So all group members are tainted by the group's most extreme or insane members. Deal with it.

john said...

This morning Tyler Cohen posted on - Why is Haiti so poor? that alludes to many things Robert's says outright. An altogether much better discussion.

Skyler said...

I went to high school in Virginia Beach and back in the late seventies most of the teachers and a sizable part of the students were in Robertson's 700 Club.

I thought they were idiots back then. My opinion of their evil has not changed.

There are all kinds of christians. Most aren't evil and shouldn't be tarred by the likes of him. The media loves to portray evil monsters like him as representing all Christians for what purpose I can't say. Christianity certainly isn't very nice ideology but most Christians are at least sane.

BobbyBoxty said...

To those professing to be Christians, have you actually read the Old Testament? It seems to me that Robertson's statements match the words of the Old Testament prophets pretty well: stop your idolatry, repent from your sins, and turn back towards God. Shouldn't that be understood implicitly by any Christian?

Lem said...

.. Not anybody besides the left wing press.

I'm not defending Robertson but I bet he gets more flack than the elected official Harry Reid.

Methadras said...

It's terrible what Haitians are going through right now. On the bright side, it appears that the 7.0 magnitude earthquake has only done about $6 worth of damage.

vbspurs said...

But does Haiti really qualify as animistic? According to Wikipedia, 96% of Haitians are Christian.

Sure, and there are many Christian converts in Africa, whilst Brazil is over 90% Roman Catholic too.

Kensington, it's not that it's my personal belief that this is so (more about this below, when I reply to Beth), but I think unless you have lived in a country where animistic religion is prevalent in the culture, a person will never know just how endemic it is.

It affects poor, educated, rich, illiterate. And if many don't believe in macumba/condomblé in Brazil (for example), they are certainly wary of it, and "respect it".

Cheers,
Victoria

Methadras said...

As a Christian, Pat Robertson never spoke for me. Ever. These statements of his are frankly pathetic and I'm pretty damn sure that some, if not a whole lot of people within his organization are cringing right now about it. Let's see if he puts up a Harry Reid-esque non-apology apology about poorly chosen words and all that.

Charlie Martin said...

Since Haiti got its independence in 1804, I guess God was a little behind in His to-do list.

vbspurs said...

Victoria, go with your first response. That next riff was just silly.

Of course it was. I don't believe in it myself, because you'll notice that in my argumentation, I avoided mentioning the very accident-prone and very Christian Greece, Italy, not to mention the world's most unlucky country vis-a-vis natural disasters -- Indonesia, a strict monotheistic Islamic country.

My point was not that I believe in it, but that Robertson could've gone that route, which can be masqueraded to seem philosophical or observant, and instead went the crazy-ass route instead.

Joe said...

Pat Robertson is a gift that keeps on giving.

vbspurs said...

and all people will remember is that a Christian said it.

They will only remember that because the ones who dessiminate the news are themselves a-religious.

I blame Robertson 100% for his words, and he deserves every bit of grief about this, that he is getting. Fancy saying this when a nation is lying battered and bloodied beyond recognition. It's UNFORGIVEABLE.

But the glee people have to use his words to make a political or anti-religious point personally disgusts me too.

vbspurs said...

OT: I'm going to watch "The Hurt Locker" later. Anyone here watch it already? Thoughts?

knox said...

I avoided mentioning the very accident-prone and very Christian Greece

I saw a show on the Science channel about a Greek cruise ship that hit some rocks and sunk. When it was clear what was happening, the entire crew jumped on the lifeboats, abandoning the passengers.

The entertainment staff, who, if I remember correctly, hailed mostly from South Africa, were the only employees who stayed behind to help save passengers.

Never been there, but my estimation of Greece took a beating after watching that.

knox said...

The Hurt Locker was a bit long, but great overall.

Nothing politically irritating. Very suspenseful. Nail-biting even.

Christopher Johnson said...

This particular very conservative Christian suggested that Pat go and learn what Jeremiah 31:29-30 means. Along with the popular Internet acronym STFU.

knox said...

But the glee people have to use his words to make a political or anti-religious point personally disgusts me too.

Yes, he is so far off the radar, and has been for so long, why would they even bother to quote him otherwise? They might as well call up Jimmy Swaggart and ask for his take on it.

Revenant said...

Labels: God, Haiti, Pat Robertson, Satan, stupid

With the "Pat Robertson" tag already applied, isn't it redundant to add a "stupid" tag?

Morgan said...

A true maniac. I try to see it as humorous, but I do have family that watch :(

It is a tiny group of nuts though.

vbspurs said...

Thanks very much, Knox! I had, of course, followed the buzz but avoided the reviews.

The last Iraq-centric film I watched I do believe was the pedestrian (but oddly enjoyable) The Kingdom with Jamie Foxx.

Ironically, I thought of The Kingdom after hearing of the CIA-snitch terrorist who blew up 7 agents.

(I hope we get a really meaty NYT-type insider write up on that one day).

Thanks again, Knoxy. :)

Quixotic said...

It's a historical fact that, at key points during wars in the past several centuries, the devil has emerged, offering the soon-to-be-defeated a deal.

See, e.g., The Passersby, Twilight Zone, Season 3, Episode 69:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Passersby

geoffrobinson said...

Really simple. Robertson has failed to read Luke 13.

Charlie said...

Pat recites this supposed "pact", and the devil's response, as if he were there.

Analysis: Pat was not there. God does not talk to Pat. If the devil talks to Pat that's his problem.

Conclusion: Pat is a moron.

Charlie

Dogwood said...

But does Haiti really qualify as animistic? According to Wikipedia, 96% of Haitians are Christian.

In many places in Haiti, voodoo and black magic are practiced side by side with Christianity, or the two are blended together into a single worship service/ceremony.

This blending of religion began when the slaves were imported to the island and they were forbidden to practice their native African religions. Forced to adopt the religion of their owners, the slaves began mixing their African religion with Christianity.

Haiti has a very long and dark spiritual history, Robertson was correct in this regard, but he was a doofus for presenting it and discussing it in the way and time that he did.

jag said...

Thousands of US Christians, Catholic and Protestant, travel to Haiti each year to give aid and hope to the poor. Hundreds of Catholic parishes and Protestant churches have established a relationship with a Haitian church. Robertson's stupid comments must not be allowed to overshadow the real Christian attitude toward Haiti.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Mr Robinson has read the legend of Mackandal it seems, and thinks it was real, plus gave him his spin.

vbspurs said...

In many places in Haiti, voodoo and black magic are practiced side by side with Christianity, or the two are blended together into a single worship service/ceremony.

Fidel Castro is said to be a fervent practitioner of santeria. Ask ElCubanitoKC. Whereas some other dictators had right-hand henchmen, he has right-hand Babalaos (voodoo priests).

In fact, most people don't know this outside of Cuban-American society, but it's said that Fidel's Babalao told him that Elian Gonzalez was the reincarnation of Elegua (pron. Eh-leh-wah).

Elegua is the santeria version of Baby Jesus, the visible Catholic incarnation of this story. The idea is centered on Elian being fished out of the sea just before Christmas 2000. But the African orisha Elegua is also the symbol of opening and closing doors, so Fidel was told that if Elian stayed in the USA, Castro would be dead within a few weeks.

That's why he was desperate to get the kid back.

ElcubanitoKC said...

There are stories of Castro being "ordained" in Guinea back in the 1970s.

vbspurs said...

P.S.: The "light-skinned" Mama Doc Duvalier was said to be a "vodou" priestess. She was credited by her husband with keeping them in power. Many vodou practioners under her formed the core of the vicious Tonton Macoute.

jfreddd said...

well,
I consider meself to be a rather poor example of an X'ian, but, nonetheless, one, er, meself. That said, however, I should like to offer a parallel illustration.

In San Francisco, Californicatya, USA, our Fair City, The Object of Desire of All Who Dwell Within, we recall the earthquake of 1906.

Surely [but, without doubt, correctly] Priests and Pastors stated the OBVIOUS, San Francisco--incongruent with Her Namesake--had in fact been "spanked" for being so blatantly wicked [a port and industrial city with no social legislation to protect her People].

To the contrary, wrote a writer for the dominant rag, the San Francisco Call, [very loosely]

"Well, now, if it be true that the Good Lord has in Fact SPANKED San Francisco,
For being So "Frisky"....

How is it then, He burned down all the churches...

But SAVED Hotaling's [the major importer of alcoholic beverages] Whiskey?


How, indeed?

... and me, a religious type, oh, well....

Quixotic said...

I doubt anyone cares, but I posted the wrong episode of The Twilight Zone earlier.

The episode in which a confederate soldier considered whether to use the power of the devil to beat the Yankees was Still Valley (Season 3, Episode 76):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Still_Valley

Earlier I posted an episode in which Lincoln makes an appearance, making it look like I was making an argument that President Lincoln was the devil :-)

vbspurs said...

Wow, Ernie. That I didn't know. I do know that the Angola campaign (Castro's Vietnam) was approved of by his Babalaos...

Teflon said...

There are too many Catholics in Haiti for Pat's liking.

vbspurs said...

Jag wrote:

Thousands of US Christians, Catholic and Protestant, travel to Haiti each year to give aid and hope to the poor. Hundreds of Catholic parishes and Protestant churches have established a relationship with a Haitian church. Robertson's stupid comments must not be allowed to overshadow the real Christian attitude toward Haiti.

This is why I continue to post on Althouse. Because the commenters here are the most sensible, most intelligent of all the blogosphere.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Ah, yeah, that too. When they came down from la Sierra Maestra, they all brought with them their "collares" and "prendas" (the "palero" cauldron of sorts). This is my mother's account.

Maxine Weiss said...

A bit of good news...

"Dead bodies piled on the streets typically don't pose a public health risk."

Tom Crippen said...

"... most people don't know this outside of Cuban-American society ..."

I don't think anybody knows it. But some are crazy enough to believe it.

Thor's Dad said...

I'm an evangelical and even I think Pat's tires came off the rims a long, long time ago.

Freeman Hunt said...

I've been making fun of Robertson for this on Twitter. Lots of that going on here too.

Though I would point out that he is directing relief to Haiti and has already been active there. His statement.

So even if he shouldn't have said it, this isn't a case of saying something like that instead of helping. He is also helping.

Also, if you really believed what he believes, what would be the better time to say it? Some time when nothing about Haiti is in the news, nothing particularly bad is happening, and the statement makes no sense? If he really believes that the Devil is cursing Haiti and causing thousands of people to die and that the horror can only be ended by repentance, then of course he's going to say what he said. He'd be a coward not to.

Not that I'm not laughing at him. Because I am. But only because he's wrong. And because the only people who really care about what he says are people who want to pretend that he's a leader of the right to make the right look bad.

Paddy O. said...

First off, no amount of denouncing Pat Robertson will be enough to either a) get news folks to realize he doesn't speak for Evangelicals, let alone Christians in general and b) to get those who don't like Christians to get over asking people to denounce him.

I think Robertson may have been a faithful leader at some point, but he's long drifted into being a hack corrupted by his own perverse search for power and wealth. He's the Evangelical Jesse Jackson.

Theologically, I think Victoria's wee bit of controversial was probably theologically acceptable, with her added caveat about Greece and such not necessarily being a mark against the comments. In the OT, remember, Israel is never exempt from God's punishment. they are called to walk with God, and when they veered into idolatry for too long, well they got blasted again and again for it. The various power grabs and distractions throughout church history can be seen to have consequences.

Haiti's long connection with voodoo and strong spirituality with a turn away from orthodox Christianity leads to an acknowledgment that negative spirituality has consequences.

But, there's no prophet to say conclusively this is the issue. So, in understanding there are consequences to such infatuation with evil, and willful engagement with very questionable spiritual forces, does not mean that we then have the right to judge, or condemn.

Jesus turned his anger to the religious leaders of his day, after all. He, again and again, showed compassion for those who faced the consequences of evil. He again and again helped the poor, the sick, those caught up in horrendous consequences.

So, however we want to debate the issue of old pacts, or present spiritualities, that doesn't really affect how we are called to respond to disasters like this. We are called to help. To pray for them. To suggest that the power of God can overcome all evil, that pacts with the devil mean nothing in the face of grace. We are called to show light in this present darkness and give good news to those who now are flooded with absolute misery--good news that isn't rhetorical but involves real help, real assistance, real and palpable aid.

I think of Luke 13:1-5 here. Are the Haitians sinners? Yeah. Are we? Yeah. We're all in need of grace, because we all are equals in our pacts and mistakes. If the Haitians somehow "deserved" this because of some pact, so do we all. So does Pat Robertson, and no doubt he'll be reminded of this fact, probably before too long.

The Christian response is not to condemn Haiti in the midst of their horrible suffering. The Christian response is to pray for them, to reach out to them in their suffering, to do what we can in practical ways.

vbspurs said...

When they came down from la Sierra Maestra, they all brought with them their "collares" and "prendas".

Como no, and Che went to tirar las cartas with Camilo. ;)

ElcubanitoKC said...

I any case, Robertson is, as always, making a fool of himself.

WV: womok

vbspurs said...

You know, I think Freeman might be my favourite commenter here. She never fails to make points ignored by others, in the most common-sensical way imaginable.

Lem said...

Truth be told.. a pact with the devil to beat an empire is nothing to be ashamed off ;)

ElcubanitoKC said...

Hahaha, Vics, probably!

wv: incit

Lawgiver said...

Actually, Pat is confusing the devil with one of the lesser demons, Jeremy. Jeremy DID make a pact with some Haitians a few years ago but it involved tea bagging in exchange for a Dirty Sanchez and they weren't really Haitians anyway, they were vacationing Canadians.

The Crack Emcee said...

Stop with the phony outrage, people, it's tired.

Pat Robertson is doing what any good evangelical does - evangelizing - and, from where he stands, what he says is true: Haiti worships the Devil. If y'all want to get mad at something, get mad that such idiocy as the idea of "The Devil" still exists in the modern world. And sorry, Tg, but those of you who are Christian are as much to blame for this "offense" as he is - y'all keep it going when you ought to know better.

As far as Haiti being Christian, they mix it with voodoo just as Americans are mixing it, now, with NewAge, so, please, stop kidding yourselves: Again - you're all guilty for not abandoning delusional thinking in the modern era. You torture atheists with it, daily, without a word of remorse for the offense, anger, and despair you bring to our lives by insisting such delusions must - must - be a part of our existence (instead of the education we received in schools and critical thinking skills we all should have gotten) and then wondering why society, including Haitian society, can't think it's way out of a paper bag. I'll say it again: most of the problems America is suffering from, right now, are because of a lack of critical thinking skills and a reliance on pie-in-the-sky delusional thinking. People worshiping Oprah - when she's been clearly spouting BS and helping others sell wolf tickets - is the best example I can think of, of how far over the cliff this society has gone. Why so few can, or will, admit it confuses the hell out of me.

Keep in mind, I'm not dissing the values of Christianity - just the belief system - as I do all belief systems. We know better now. There's no man in the sky - we've been to the moon and are now on Mars. There never was a Jesus - he's just part of the world's oldest urban legend. I'll also say water ain't medicine, the stars don't control our destiny, we can't control events with merely our thoughts, and (for the Hippies that brought the U.S. to it's present state of disrepair) nobody could levitate the Pentagon. You're lost, y'all.

Fill in the rest for yourselves.

Oh, and Methadras wins the thread.

Dogwood said...

If he really believes that the Devil is cursing Haiti and causing thousands of people to die and that the horror can only be ended by repentance, then of course he's going to say what he said. He'd be a coward not to.

Personally, if I were in his shoes, I would have used the opportunity to discuss Haiti's history of spiritual darkness then segued into a discussion on how the tragedy provides Christians around the world a chance to share their faith and minister to the people of Haiti through gifts of finances, relief supplies, and participation on mission trips.

Even though his ministry is helping provide relief, his comment that this is God's punishment for Haiti's spiritual wandering distracts from the good he is doing and could do.

Just because you believe something doesn't mean you have to vocalize every single belief that pops into your head.

I just wonder how much more effective Robertson could be if his statements were less fire & brimstone and a bit more compassionate and diplomatic.

vbspurs said...

Chef Mojo quoted William S. Burroughs:

Old fool sold his soul for a strap-on.

The things you miss when you skim the comments!

The Crack Emcee said...

"Just because you believe something doesn't mean you have to vocalize every single belief that pops into your head."

Or, even better, intelligent people could decide to abandon the concept of beliefs altogether, thus sparing us all the asinine things people say in their service.

Whoa! Now there's an idea,...

somefeller said...

Nice to see all these conservatives here saying that they dislike Pat Robertson and claim he is irrelevant to GOP politics. The former may be true, but the latter certainly isn't. For example, Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice was a key player in getting Bush appointees on the federal courts, not to mention Robertson's central role in organizing the Christian Coalition and other organizations that have built up to social conservative movement in this country. Yeah, he's just irrelevant, a creation of the liberal media, nothing to see here. Nonsense.

And Rush Limbaugh certainly was his charming self regarding the tragedy in Haiti, wasn't he?

keith said...

I'm curious, since the overall tone of the comments here seem to suggest that Robertson is irrelevant. At least shrinking in importance in terms of a "christian voice", which I agree with.

What are the thoughts of, what I consider, an equally distasteful display of insensitivity, with an added touch of political oppurtunism in using a tradegy to advance a vitriolic partisan agenda like what is on display here and here.

I know this blog, and many of its commenters hold a favorable view of this guy. So maybe some of you can tell me how this isn't just as bad or worse than what Robertson said. For the life of me, I can't figure out why the disdain for Obama can't take a backseat, if only for a brief moment, in talking about an event such as this. And before the, "liberals hate Bush, did the same thing" response that I know is coming. I would just like to point out that I don't recall anybody from the left, with equal stature and platform, denouncing or using the response to the tsunami as an excuse to bash Bush. Which would have been equally abhorrent to me.

Instugator said...

Actually Ann, Pat Robertson has the same problem as the Pharisee mentioned in Luke 18:10-14. "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Mr robertson seems to be too preoccupied with the sins of others than with his own. This action alone disqualifies him from reasonable commentary.

Stew

somefeller said...

Yeah, and "built up to" should have been "built up the" in the prior comment. Same point.

PJ said...

If you think Pat is out of his gourd...again...join this facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Never-Ending-Horror-of-Pat-Robertson-makes-me-writhe/279716970534?ref=nf

Eli Blake said...

Meanwhile is it any worse that Rush claiming that Obama is sending aid to Haiti to help himself with 'dark-skinned people?'

Maybe we should just focus on helping the people who died, maybe even as many as a million according to some reports (which would be easily a record death toll for any earthquake, anywhere.)

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Genuis, Pat! You take a tragedy so terrible that people all over can't do anything but shed tears for the lost lives and the immense suffering, and you turn it into publicity (and donations!) for your already-super-comfy media mega-empire. Absolute fucking genius!

And let's see how many of the conservative crusty white men in our political leadership class are going to denounce you this time. Actually I'm sure that a few of them will, but they need to run the numbers first and make sure the denunciation isn't going to have a material impact on their bottom line.

You gotta love American Christianity! Ca-Ching!!!

Cedarford said...

Dumb gaffe by Robertson. Compounded by absolutely lousy sense of timing.
It may be correct to say the fact that your neighbor keeled over dead was not surprising given his low willpower, slovenly obesity, and cigarette smoking - but absolutely inapproppriate to say it out loud to his friends and family gathered for the wake.

With Robertson, he is also wrong to attribute it to direct action by Jesus because Haiti is more "Christian" than 151 of 181 countries. It presumes that Jesus takes direct action to "punish" people by disasters - and good Christians as opposed to the "bad sort" of Haitian Christians will escape disaster and family tragedy.

He IS correct in Haiti being "cursed" - (if not by God - by an inferior people and culture and governance. And by overpopulation.) Move the Haitians to Singapore and swap them with Singaporeans to Haiti and in 10 years everyone knows what the result would be. Swapped location of the new "Asian hellhole" and the flourishing new "gem of the Caribbean".

The "curse" of Haiti is hard to ignore. It was once the richest place in the Caribbean. It now is one of the most overpopulated nations on the planet, in a Malthusian trap. (poverty breeds more people which breeds more poverty) It is one of 9 nations, the others being in Africa, that is on permanent life support and would see it's 9 million population collapse but for all the free stuff it gets from gov'ts and NGOs.
Corrupt, with an unskilled and dysfunctional ill-educated population. It is Zimbabwe - not after 20 years of human devolution, but 200 years..

It is indeed driven by a animistic religion that lies beneath the surface of it's Christianity - and which justified breach of many Christian norms.

Many are expecting mobs, mass looting, and mass violence after the the immediate shock of the disaster impact is assimilated. Other black populations in St Gibert, Kingstown, Somalia, New Orleans reacted self-destructively after their initial hurricane or drought disasters.
Port au Prince behaved better it's 1st post-disaster day than New Orleans/black neighborhoods in Mississippi the day of Katrina - but Haitian elites interviewed believe an awful security situation is coming. And CNN was saying gunshots were heard all over the city as twilight fell today.

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

I squeezed my eyes real tight and asked God what's up with Pat Robinson and God said he's not sure anymore.

‹puzzlement›
My family is always asking each other on facebook to pray for things -- to find a job, to do well on a new job, to pass a nursing exam, on behalf of a child of a friend of a friend, to see someone's mother safely through a standard surgery. They are total God-botherers. But no requests for or statements about praying for Haiti. Nothing. Nada. Rien. As if the event didn't register on their consciousness. I came close to asking them tonight about this oversight, if it was too big for them or what, but they're already mad at me for being a jerk.
‹/puzzlement›

vbspurs said...

I'm not dissing the values of Christianity - just the belief system - as I do all belief systems.

I am getting worried about you, Crack.

It seems that to cure the world of illogical thinking, you would take away all irrational belief systems like religion because they cloud the human mind (and worst of all, if I understood what you have been getting at in a few threads, it eventually devolves from the mildly positive behaviour tied to respectable belief systems like Christianity to outright bunkum like New Age thinking: for you, an unforgiveable descent into lunacy).

So basically you're Jeremy Bentham and nothing is new about that way of thinking. It leads to sterile decision-making, and IMHO, doesn't work.

Human beings would rather die, than not have a belief system. Consider that the equivalent of the monkey going for the woolen wire skeleton of his mama monkey, instead of the corner with the food on which to live.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Pat Robertson is partially correct as regards the history. What is often called the "pact with the devil" was in reality a Petwo Voodoo cult service led by Dutty Boukman on 14 August 1791 at Bois Caiman. This was a week before the usually-given date for the beginning of the revolution, and there were significant incidents of "spirit possession" and "prophecy," along with a great deal of "black magic."

Assuming (for discussion) that it was indeed a "pact with the devil," Robertson's connection of that pact to the earthquake is absolutely miserable theology.

The Devil is a non-corporeal created being, along with all the other angels, roughly one-third of whom rebelled against God. The key theological elements are:

a) The Devil's irrefutable status as a created being -- Created beings are not omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), or omnipresent (present everywhere). The Devil's power and knowledge are limited.

b) The Devil's irrefutable status as a non-corporeal being -- Only corporeal (embodied) beings can interact with the physical world. The Devil couldn't cause an earthquake, even if he wanted to do. Nor can he cause flat tires, illness, crashed hard-drives and any of the other silly things occasionally ascribed to him by people who ought to know better.

The great irony of the Haitian Revolution was that many free blacks were quite wealthy and sided with the whites. The whites had been attempting independence from France, but not an abolition of slavery. In this effort the free black were common allies, and it was not uncommon that they were even harsher with their slaves than were the whites.

The Revolution, however, spun out of control and became a slave revolt, by no means the first. The poor whites ("petits-blancs") were thus in a terrible situation, exploited by the wealthy of both races, yet hated by poor blacks, both free and slave.

There is much more, for it is an interesting but profoundly tragic history. Robertson, however, compounded his unfortunate ignorance of that history with a stunning error of theology.

"Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." Paraphrase of Proverbs 17:28

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@keith- Limbaugh is a drug addict! He's an entertainer with well-known and honest taste for the fruit of capitalism, and likely for a cadre of high-priced whores too. Hypocrisy: None.

Robertson is in the same line of work (except for maybe not the drugs and whores, or maybe so). He's an entertainer who enjoys the fruits of capitalism. But he also claims to speak in the name of God. In fact, he claims to know the world of God and the Devil so well that he knows all about this deal Haiti made with the devil! What hubris! What hypocrisy!

The Crack Emcee said...

"For the life of me, I can't figure out why the disdain for Obama can't take a backseat, if only for a brief moment, in talking about an event such as this. And before the, 'liberals hate Bush, did the same thing' response that I know is coming. I would just like to point out that I don't recall anybody from the left, with equal stature and platform, denouncing or using the response to the tsunami as an excuse to bash Bush. Which would have been equally abhorrent to me."

First, you know the response that's coming because, without remorse, liberals did it and then capitalized on it by electing this socialist to run our country. Fuck Pat Robertson, what the left did (and has done, such as losing Vietnam) was a bigger "sin" than anything Pat has done in his lifetime and they'll never admit any of it, much less apologize for it. Nobody on the left had to comment on the tsunami for their BS beliefs and actions to be abhorrent - this ain't no comparison of apples to apples, but a betrayal of your nation and it's values - and liberals are G-U-I-L-T-Y.

Liberals are experts at turning the best of intentions into perversions and then hiding from condemnation of what they have done. They will lie. They will dissemble. They will make excuses. They will do anything but face the facts of their lives. They are "The Devil".

This very post you made, while trying to sound reasonable, is nothing more than an attack on conservatives and serves to make my point: you can't help yourselves. You're liars of the highest order, and traitors to your country.

I started off yesterday, here, tooting my own horn for being right - saying my take on things is "sterling" - but, by the end of the day, I found myself saying I was mistaken about this, and I was sorry about that, and you know what? THAT'S WHY MY TAKE ON THINGS IS FUCKING STERLING!

An honest man must know to accept his faults, admit his mistakes, and reset his mind to default. That's where integrity lies. Liberals have NEVER done that. They will drag us all down into the gutter before they will EVER admit what they've done to the rest of us and our society. They are scum-sucking liars who deserve to be chased from decent society with pitch forks and flaming torches.

The election of Barack Obama is just the cherry on top of the cupcake of shit they've been serving to America, and the western world, for decades.

If this offends anyone, or it seems a bit over-the-top, I'm sorry but such a passive-aggressive liberal attack deserves - and has always deserved - to receive the full brunt of whatever the fuck conservatives can give them in return. Honestly:

I spit on you.

somefeller said...

Crack Emcee, just because you got cuckolded isn't a reason to be bitter to everyone out there.

The Crack Emcee said...

Vbspurs,

"Human beings would rather die, than not have a belief system."

So you're calling me inhuman now?

See what I mean? You can't help but insult with this shit. At least I'm open about it. Y'all will say the most stupid shit - in the service of the most stupid shit - and feel superior as you say it. Face facts:

I am an atheist. I live without any belief system. So it is done by humans. To deny it is a delusion.

You should know better without me telling you so:

It's obvious.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Chip Ahoy-

May I offer a suggestion? Something like this perhaps:

Dear Family- I have been struck by the terrible consequences of the earthquake that have occurred in Haiti. In the face of such destruction and death, especially in a country so much poorer than our own, the trivialities of life seem unimportant. I'm going to offer prayers for those affected. Although I don't usually talk about prayers with you, I hope you will see the horror in this tragedy and offer your prayers too.

I'm sure your family can fill in the blanks themselves.

EDH said...

Didn't you see the black woman next to Robertson nodding her head in appoval.

Like Harry Reid and Obama, that means everything's cool.

narciso said...

Robertson's idiocy, is hard to take, today of all days, but 9/11 and the Asian tsunami beside.

The Kingdom which is a bit "CSI Riyadh" was as I found out from Bob Baer, was based on real events, the bombings of 2003, and 2004. It shows rather clearly who the enemy is, particularly when the visit the neigborhood of Suweidi, where a lethal weapon like confrontation insues. They really do hate us there with a red hot passion, so maybe we should depend on them, just a little less, just saying.

c3 said...

"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"

"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."


And so with that sentiment I would pray that Christians do the work of God in Haiti by bringing aid and comfort.

The Crack Emcee said...

Somefeller,

At least I've got an excuse for being how I am - I'm also an foster child, with no family, raised in the ghetto, who's life was destroyed by adultry, quackery, and a triple murder - what's yours?

Please, tell me what extreme hardship has infected your life that would cause such a fine, upstanding, moral and compassionate human being as yourself to become the equilivent of masturbation gone wrong?

Yea, I thought so. You're just scum.

peter hoh said...

I wonder if Brit Hume has any advice for Robertson.

vbspurs said...

So you're calling me inhuman now?

To quote Stewie from Family Guy, "whuuuuuut?". ;)

Crack, you're about as inhuman as my left ventricle!

You know, I am one of those believers who, in the very back of my mind, is willing to admit that maybe there is no God. Maybe I am wrong.

But I have yet to meet an atheist who is willing to admit that he could well be wrong, too.

Anyhoo, I'm off to bed, night Crack, guys!

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

wv: grams. I'll have a dime-bag.

Oligonicella said...

vbspurs --

"Human beings would rather die, than not have a belief system."

No. Some human beings would. Of course, that depends on how loosely you are defining 'belief system'.

wv: credo - How appropriate.

Night2night said...

An old man with some funny views for a Christian. I could recount some responses attributed to Christianity's founder in the synoptic gospels, but this isn't the time or place for it. For some folks the most offensive sins are those that belong to others. Their own sins, not as bad.

Lem said...

I wonder if Brit Hume has any advice for Robertson.

LOL

vbspurs said...

Oligo, I wasn't talking religion, believe me. A belief system can be anything, as the history of man has proven.

Oligonicella said...

vbspurs --

"You know, I am one of those believers who, in the very back of my mind, is willing to admit that maybe there is no God."

So you're actually an agnostic?

vbspurs said...

wv: ourosy. I am?

This one: rearers! Where IS Titus?

Oligonicella said...

vbspurs --

"Oligo, I wasn't talking religion, believe me. A belief system can be anything, as the history of man has proven."

OK. That makes your statement meaningless.

somefeller said...

I have no excuses because I have nothing to excuse, Crack Emcee. The fact that you have the need to make excuses for yourself is your problem, and an opportunity for amusement for the rest of us. Ha ha and good night.

Stephen Snell said...

There is a distinction to be made here for all the moral equivalence clowns: Robertson is a clotpole who SAID something deeply offensive and idiotic, yes,

BUT

he, AFAIK, hasn't sent anyone to blow up innocents in Port Au Prince, New Orleans, NYC, or anywhere else.

Regardless, to paraphrase Animal House:

"How does it feel to be infidels, Haitians?"

"How does it feel to be an a@@hole, Robertson?"

I survived the Northridge quake and thank the Deity for building codes. It was incredibly frightening.

Prayers to Haiti.

wv: chwdbuti chow da booty?

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

So you're actually an agnostic?

No, oddly enough for a very conceited girl, I have an inner core of humility about God-driven religion that hey, maybe, I could be wrong. Belief in God as the end all be all of existence has always seemed to me to be more humility-driven than thinking, as atheists do, that we humans are it.

As I mentioned previously in another thread, to me, the greatest intellectual coup de foudre of all time was the Hebrews' sudden comprehension of an unknowable, singular God.

Religion may be bunk, but God isn't.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

Somefeller,

Please. Nobody says such a thing without there being a streak of cruelty in their heart. You and I both know cuckolding is one of the worst things for a man - or even a woman - to endure (see Elizabeth Edwards) so for you to throw it out there - when I've never said one word to you - reveals, at the very least, you're a heartless bastard.

And then you run. Making you a coward as well.

Say what you want - you can't hurt me:

I'll always be a better man than you.

SteveR said...

I'm glad I don't use the same translation of the Bible Pat uses. His seems to be missing the part where Jesus comes in.

vbspurs said...

OK. That makes your statement meaningless.

Not if you're a Red Sox supporter.

(Hey Lem!)

Well, me off. :)

keith said...

Damn Crack, uh, thanks for the spit...

I'm not sure what you found so passive-aggresive in my comment. Must have been the voice in your head as you read it. I thought I was pretty straight forward in my distaste of Rush's comments, unmasked by any "liberal" attempt to mind-fuck you while simultaneously absolving myself of the failure of Vietnam ?!?!?

I promise next time to use plenty of CAPITALIZATION and exclamation marks to free you of angst, and to free myself of your spit...

geez

edutcher said...

Oligonicella said...

vbspurs --

"Human beings would rather die, than not have a belief system."

No. Some human beings would. Of course, that depends on how loosely you are defining 'belief system'.


vbspurs said...

Oligo, I wasn't talking religion, believe me. A belief system can be anything, as the history of man has proven.

Have to disagree with both of you. I think most people need and want to know that there is something beyond themselves that gives continuity and order to life as well as their lives. And, yes, that is religion of one sort or another. And, yes, a lot of very intelligent people believe that way. Only the "brights" are vain enough to think they have a corner on intelligence.

OTOH, there's somefeller, the faux folksy Lefty sage doing the Alinsky thing, trying to tar every Catholic, Jew, and Protestant with Robertson's brush.

Teflon said...

There are too many Catholics in Haiti for Pat's liking.

Sad to say, he probably feels the same way about the USA, also.

somefeller said...

Please. Nobody says such a thing without there being a streak of cruelty in their heart. You and I both know cuckolding is one of the worst things for a man - or even a woman - to endure (see Elizabeth Edwards) so for you to throw it out there - when I've never said one word to you - reveals, at the very least, you're a heartless bastard. And then you run. Making you a coward as well. Say what you want - you can't hurt me: I'll always be a better man than you.

Of course I have a streak of cruelty in me. Everyone does. Some of us call it Original Sin, others just call it the way it is. But hey, if you want to dish it out, prepare to take it, and I only give others the treatment they give to others. If you wanted kid gloves, you should have chosen your words more carefully.

In any case, I need to get to bed, since I have to help provide some benefits to this economy tomorrow and need a little rest. And as far as the better man thing goes, well, whatever makes you able to sleep better at night.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Religion may be bunk, but God isn't."

Sorry, Vic, but once you say that the burden of proof is on you. And, if you can't provide it, then it's time to reset your thinking.

Facts is facts.

Quaestor said...

So the devil brought the earthquake to Haiti? As a conservative and an atheist I must say that whenever Pat Robertson appears in the news I have to gird myself because the old bigot is bound to say something outrageous. He never disappoints, does he?

Why is Haiti so poor, and why is its poverty so resilient? Haiti is a veritable sinkhole of foreign aid and non-governmental development projects, yet grinding poverty is the norm for the majority of Haitians, and has been since colonial times. Part of the explanation is geography, but Haiti's manifold troubles are so deeply ingrained, so mutually reinforcing that if some mad social scientist tried to deliberately engineer a nation state with permanent self-sustaining poverty he could hardly have done a more thorough job of f*ing up a national economy than the Haitians have done for themselves.

The 1791 slave revolt which set the stage for Haitian independence did not lead to anything like freedom and liberty as Americans understand it. The vast majority continued to work the sugarcane fields, not as chattel slaves as under Spanish and French, but as share croppers or wage laborers who toiled for the benefit of elite. Since independence Haitian history has been a litany of domestic despotism and foreign military interventions.

Here's a not entirely facetious suggestion: There are only 10 million Haitian. Suppose each of the UN member nations agrees to take a share of those 10 millions on a prorata basis as immigrants. Then when Haiti is fully depopulated the UN adopts it as a nature preserve. I can't see how the Haitians could be any worse off dispersed around the world than than they are now crowded on their semi-island hellhole.

somefeller said...

OTOH, there's somefeller, the faux folksy Lefty sage doing the Alinsky thing, trying to tar every Catholic, Jew, and Protestant with Robertson's brush.

Nope. I didn't say anything about Catholics, Jews, Protestants or any other theists. In fact, I'd say that Pat Robertson is an embarrassment to all those groups (particularly those of us who call themselves Christians), and any other set of theists. I simply pointed out the stupidity of people who claim that Robertson is some character who has nothing to do with conservatism as its currently practiced in this country and who is irrelevant to contemporary GOP politics. And I'm not that folksy, I just grew up here in Texas (as did my ancestors for a couple of centuries) and this is how I am. Do a seance to chat with Molly Ivins if this bugs you.

For what it's worth, the first email I got for helping Haiti came from a Republican activist friend whose kid did missionary work there. Here's a suggestion - don't be a Rush Limbaugh type, and pitch in a bit for the Red Cross or someone else doing some good there.

Lem said...

(Hey Lem!)

Well, me off.
:)

You got it love.. see ya later.

Beth said...

Victoria,

We just put on Hurt Locker - so far, much tension.

Beth said...

They are total God-botherers.

Chip, what a great description.

Cedarford said...

"Here's a not entirely facetious suggestion: There are only 10 million Haitian. Suppose each of the UN member nations agrees to take a share of those 10 millions on a prorata basis as immigrants. Then when Haiti is fully depopulated the UN adopts it as a nature preserve. I can't see how the Haitians could be any worse off dispersed around the world than than they are now crowded on their semi-island hellhole."

Not a bad idea. Though I will say the US and Canada have taken more than our share already - while the practice in Cuba, Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas is immediate deportation of any of them arriving as unwanted.

The other problem is the Haitians have also created a massive environmental disaster. Deforested, eroded mountains, leaching piles of pollutants getting in the water, the sea in the Haitian economic zone basically strip-mined of sea life.

To make it a nature preserve would mean (A)Bringing pieces of nature back, since there isn't that much natural left by the overpopulated nationals (B)Decades of time to restore the place.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Of course I have a streak of cruelty in me. Everyone does."

Bullshit. Some people, like you, are just scuzzy cheap shot artists - others fight back. You have no excuse, except you're scum.

"if you want to dish it out, prepare to take it"

Oh, I'm taking it just fine - and I know who you are now, never noticed your punk ass before - you wanna play with me? Bring it on: I'll shit on your grave.

"I only give others the treatment they give to others."

Bullshit. Cuckolding is someone else's act of evil, so why bring it up to the person it happened to? There's no point but to prove you're piece of shit. Mission accomplished.

"In any case, I need to get to bed, since I have to help provide some benefits to this economy tomorrow and need a little rest."

Yea, unfortunately, a piece of trash such as yourself can't provide any good to society, so doing something for the economy will have to do.

'And as far as the better man thing goes, well, whatever makes you able to sleep better at night."

Knowing I'm going to stomp all over your every word, from now on, will make me rest very easy indeed. Goodnight, dickhead.

We will meet again,...

bagoh20 said...

He's an ass, and he's not running for any office. His followers have a problem - not the rest of us.

WV: "biliggle": like "assault and battery" or "pimping and pandering"

Methadras said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Vbspurs,

"Human beings would rather die, than not have a belief system."

So you're calling me inhuman now?

See what I mean? You can't help but insult with this shit. At least I'm open about it. Y'all will say the most stupid shit - in the service of the most stupid shit - and feel superior as you say it. Face facts:

I am an atheist. I live without any belief system. So it is done by humans. To deny it is a delusion.

You should know better without me telling you so:

It's obvious.


So you don't like Stuff What People Like.com? What the hell?

On a side note, even Fox Maulder wanted to believe.

The Crack Emcee said...

Fox Mulder was a pussy.

JAL said...

JFH You gotta love American Christianity! Ca-Ching!!!

Classic logic error.

The Ca-Ching!!! is the number of Christian missionaries and aid workers (and there are other secular aid workers) who go to one of the worst places on earth to establish orphanages, schools, hospitals and clinics.

Watching Nightline it is interesting to see the number of Christian workers ("Ca-Ching!!!")who are skyping and facebooking about the situation there. Some of their buildings are gone. Some of them may be gone too. Their families back here haven't heard from them.

They aren't there because it is a cool place for holiday.

Ca-Ching!!!

Here's an idiot for you.

Methadras said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Fox Mulder was a pussy.


I just thought he was passive aggressive.

Tahl said...

I've been out.


When Mount Pinatubo blew up in the Philippines the evangelicals there said that it was because Corezon Aquino (if my memory serves) had dedicated the country to the Virgin Mary. This, of course, wouldn't occur to evangelicals in the US, but in the Philippines such things are very real.

The Negritos in the mountains insisted that Mt. Pinatubo blew because they'd been stingy on sacrifices to the mountain and were making do with chickens instead of pigs.

The people's communist army, PI version, and other assorted loonies said it was the US military that did it, somehow.

Frankly, I think that outrage at Robertson's remark shows a severe lack of sophistication in understanding other cultures, in this case, cultures of faith.

Robertson is frequently a moron and I'll be the first to admit it but it is also true that he and his organization aggressively work to help people in these developing nations. Judging by my experience in the Philippines, believers in Haiti are highly unlikely to find his suggestion outrageous the way we comfortable North Americans do. In fact, in all likelihood Robertson heard it *first* from believers in Haiti themselves.

Also, this imputation of spiritual or supernatural causes of a disaster like an earthquake or devastating volcano is really the mildest form. Compared to other superstitious activities and beliefs it's practically innocuous. At least it doesn't require killing someone born a twin or who has been accused of making your privates shrivel.

I think that a lot of people who feel themselves quite worldly have absolutely no idea how insulated their life is from the reality most people in that world experience.

The people in the Philippines could argue if it was the dedication to the Virgin, chicken instead of pig blood, or a US military conspiracy, and the only ones who would be outraged by the suggestion would be sanitized Westerners.

Lem said...

We are up to 125 comments (not counting Cedafords) and nobody has mentioned Sarah Palin.

This is an outrage!

The Crack Emcee said...

Tahl,

So true. Even worse - and this is, kinda, what I was getting at - we make very little contribution to their lives and welfare because most, here, suffer from the same outrageous manner of thinking. As Victoria said, they refuse to give it up, claiming life would be nothing without it - instead of the fact they're actually cheapening this life by claiming it can't be worth anything without the imposition of a supernatural influence. (What - that latest picture from Mars not mind-blowing enough for you? Where's God in that? He ain't. It's real life.)

Anyway, Tahl, one of the most chilling books I ever read (I wish I could remember the name) was about a guy growing up in Africa, and explaining the beliefs and what people did to serve them. Chopping up kids for magic potions, burning witches, that kind of thing. Just wild shit.

The fact we can't even get people to think logically, or use common sense, or whatever you want to call it, to stop doing this in "The New World" can, on occasion, be very, very depressing.

The Crack Emcee said...

Lem,

LOL!

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@JAL-

Is Pat Robertson "in one of the worst places on earth to establish orphanages, schools, hospitals and clinics"?

Nope! He's on the 700 Club asking for money with a light-skinned hottie nodding her head at his side. (What more does he get from that hottie?)

Wasn't it just last week that Rick Warren was demanding money from his good Christian followers so he wouldn't have to shudder his luxurious mega-church?

That's worth two cha-chings: Cha-Ching!!! Cha-Ching!!!

Kev said...

Or, even better, intelligent people could decide to abandon the concept of beliefs altogether, thus sparing us all the asinine things people say in their service.

Crack, it almost sounds like you're evangelizing for atheism. ;-)

Synova said...

And my daughter was on my account again.

Synova said...

Tahl, I mean. That was me.

bagoh20 said...

I'm agnostic; it's like being Switzerland.

Lem said...

And my daughter was on my account again.
Tahl, I mean. That was me
.

ah.. Disney allready did that bit Synova ;)

(please Dont tell anybody I saw it)

Methadras said...

JAL said...

JFH You gotta love American Christianity! Ca-Ching!!!

Classic logic error.

The Ca-Ching!!! is the number of Christian missionaries and aid workers (and there are other secular aid workers) who go to one of the worst places on earth to establish orphanages, schools, hospitals and clinics.

Watching Nightline it is interesting to see the number of Christian workers ("Ca-Ching!!!")who are skyping and facebooking about the situation there. Some of their buildings are gone. Some of them may be gone too. Their families back here haven't heard from them.

They aren't there because it is a cool place for holiday.

Ca-Ching!!!

Here's an idiot for you.


I'm just going to say this because at this current moment, my daughter has a good friend who's mother was probably in one of those orphanages. For all of the time and money these people put in into volunteering at this 8th world shit holes, you would think these people would get the clue that, "Hey, these people are here to help us by trying to give us money, help us learn read and write so we can become better people and stand on our own two feet and make our country and communities a better place." But nope. They never learn. They will always be the treadmarks of humanity and basically are used as a prop for how wondrous, caring, and giving Christians are. Jesus would be pissed. Oh yes, you are helping thy neighbor, but if you keep giving him the fish instead of teaching him how, then what's the point.

These people are mired in misery, they either choose to be this way or don't know any different and if they don't know any different then whatever help or assistance that rest of the western world wants to give to these people should carry a disclaimer that it won't do shit. Africa is a complete fucking write-off. The only reason we even bother with that cesspool is to assure that endangered species don't disappear. No one gives a fuck about the Africans. Again, another prop for how the cool, rich people are so giving of their time and energy. Yeah, really warms the cockles of their hearts and all of that, right? It's nonsense.

We are a giving nation, no doubt, but at some point in time we have to step back and go, "Hey, have you learned anything yet?" and if the answer is a resounding no in actions rather than words, then we as a country need to be honest enough to go, "Well, thanks for wasting our time. Bye."

Methadras said...

Tahl said...

Judging by my experience in the Philippines, believers in Haiti are highly unlikely to find his suggestion outrageous the way we comfortable North Americans do.


The answer is obvious. They are mostly a nation of crime ridden illiterates who can't even spell their own names. Religion or being a believer has nothing to do with it. It's about trying to uplift a nation from the stone age to at least an eastern bloc country or Mississippi.

LoafingOaf said...
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LoafingOaf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synova said...

Crack, I think that evangelicals who are the most exposed to the extent and immediacy of belief in some of these places through contact with missionaries tend to see Christianity as a cure, as a mitigation on our superstitious tendencies and freedom from spiritual bondage.

Yes, it's true that people get on fine without belief in the supernatural, but often enough something else is invented to replace it. New Age is an excellent example. (Or horrific example, if you prefer.) A lot of the animistic stuff and witch-craft and what not is so quaint and authentically primitive that it's pretty much only the Christians and, yes, Islam probably, that are willing to see the evil in any of it at all.

New Age, too.

I think I was a teenager when I thought it most likely that New Age was a reaction to a Christianity that was insipid and unspiritual. That was when it all first started getting a lot of attention. And the whole "it's true for you" thing and multiculturalism took strong hold and no religion was better than any other religion and if you thought different than that you were a terrible person.

But neither religions nor cultures are equal. Pretending they are is contributing to some pretty nasty and destructive and even down right evil in the world.

LoafingOaf said...

Don't believe what some of these Religious Right types in these comments sections say in the wake of Robertson's latest sick and twisted comments. I'm glad they're embarrassed about Robertson's latest evil and crazed comments, but Pat Robertson is a very powerful and influencial man in the Religious Right.

My God, the Bush administration hired 150 graduates from Pat Robertson's Regent University, the most influencial of whom were from Regent's crappy law school.

See here:

The title of the course was Constitutional Law, but the subject was sin. Before any casebooks were opened, a student led his classmates in a 10-minute devotional talk, completed with "amens," about the need to preserve their Christian values.

"Sin is so appealing because it's easy and because it's fun," the law student warned.

Regent University School of Law, founded by televangelist Pat Robertson to provide "Christian leadership to change the world," has worked hard in its two-decade history to upgrade its reputation, fighting past years when a majority of its graduates couldn't pass the bar exam and leading up to recent victories over Ivy League teams in national law student competitions.

But even in its darker days, Regent has had no better friend than the Bush administration. Graduates of the law school have been among the most influential of the more than 150 Regent University alumni hired to federal government positions since President Bush took office in 2001....

That article goes on to talk about one of Alberto Gonzalez's top aids, Monica Goodling, who was involved in that scandal over the firing of U.S. attorneys.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, asked at a hearing: "Should we be concerned with the experience level of the people who are making these highly significant decisions?"

No, we're not supposed to be concerned. They went to a Good Christian law school where they spent their Con Law class periods in prayers, so we know they're right for the jobs.

Just as we weren't supposed to be concerned that Sarah Palin ran for Vice President despite not knowing a damn thing about anything (she didn't even know the difference between North Korea and South Korea!). Sarah Palin is a Good Christian, so God will make her a wonderful VP and then President.

And: "It used to be that high-level DOJ jobs were generally reserved for the best of the legal profession," wrote a contributor to The New Republic website . ". . . That a recent graduate of one of the very worst (and sketchiest) law schools with virtually no relevant experience could ascend to this position is a sure sign that there is something seriously wrong at the DOJ."

Yes, something seriously wrong. The Christianists were taking it over.

David said...

Of course Pat Robertson's charity, Operation Blessing, has already rushed enough soy-enriched rice to Haiti, working with a Haitian HIV/AIDS group, to feed hundreds of thousands of Haitians, and OBI continues to pour people, food and money into the relief efforts.

In other words, he's done more actual good for more actual Haitians than any of you have.

LoafingOaf said...

vbspurs:But why do people give this man, this false preacher of God, who has LONG since been irrevelant in Republican politics, still get the front page coverage that he does?

Because he's not irrelevant. The Republican presidential candidates sought his endorsement in 2007, and when Rudy Guiliani won it it sparked comment across the Religious Right circles.

When he gave Rudy the endorsement, Rudy happily and publicly accepted it in person, shaking Robertson's hand. Because, you see, Rudy felt he had to suck up to religious freaks like Pat Robertson to try and save his campaign in the GOP.

SOme of you Republicans strike me as liars. You know very well that there's this deranged Christianist Conservative element that has taken over much of the GOP's base, but you wanna keep the craziness in your party hidden from the rest of America.

LoafingOaf said...

Pat Robertson is not irrelevant to Republican presidential candidates, and when he makes his endorsements, popular Religious Right pundits like Ann Coulter take it seriously.

Please stop lying, and clean up your party. You guys almost subjected America to a Sarah Palin vice presidency. We've had enough of the Religious Right telling us we shouldn't worry about them, okay.

Synova said...

Perhaps the real point, Oaf, was that the religious right is not as mindlessly hateful as you prefer to think.

I wasn't aware that Robertson endorsed Giuliani. By no stretch of the imagination is Giuliani a social conservative. Doesn't that make the endorsement impossible, Oaf?

Or is it just that the left insists on shunning and isolating anyone who isn't in total agreement on every point and can not conceive of Giuliani failing to leap back screaming "Get away from me you god bothering pervert!" instead of smiling and shaking his hand?

LoafingOaf said...

David: Of course Pat Robertson's charity, Operation Blessing, has already rushed enough soy-enriched rice to Haiti, working with a Haitian HIV/AIDS group, to feed hundreds of thousands of Haitians, and OBI continues to pour people, food and money into the relief efforts.

In other words, he's done more actual good for more actual Haitians than any of you have.


No, think the representatives we elected in Washington are doing more with our tax dollars than anyone else, despite Rush Limbaugh's mockery of those efforts today.

Hey, remember this about commie Hugo Chavez: President Chavez won many friends in America with his plans to ship cheap heating oil to low-income people in New York and Massachusetts.

Ah, I guess commies ain't so bad? Chavez did more to help those poor Americans than David did!

Fred4Pres said...

I am not sure who is worse, these guys or Robertson

I hate dogpiling on Christians, but jeez lousie, Robertson likes to walk down the street where Fred Phelps lives.

amba said...

Reportedly, what the earthquake victims were mostly doing, besides screaming and trying to free one another from the rubble, was praying and singing. To God.

evan's monocle said...

Hey, remember this: President Chavez won many friends in America with his plans to ship cheap heating oil to low-income people in New York and Massachusetts.

But not friends in his own country:

The government has forced draconian electricity rationing on certain sectors, which could make matters worse for an economy already racked by recession. Critics say the socialist government is trying to snuff out capitalist-driven sectors with the rationing, while allowing government-favored industries in good standing to continue with business as as usual.

Alex said...

Sorry but I just can't get worked up about this. Since when are Haiti our dear friends?

Alex said...

LoafingOaf - you are just bad.

Methadras said...

LoafingOaf said...

You guys almost subjected America to a Sarah Palin vice presidency.


Awww man, just when things were going so well. Thread failure. Non-sequitorial Sarah Palin reference.

Methadras said...

LoafingOaf said...

Hey, remember this about commie Hugo Chavez: President Chavez won many friends in America with his plans to ship cheap heating oil to low-income people in New York and Massachusetts.

Ah, I guess commies ain't so bad? Chavez did more to help those poor Americans than David did!


It must really fucking suck to be such a leftist tool for you. Doesn't it? So that wonderful Chavez PR stunt of giving away 100 gallons of heating oil for free, but first before sitting on his hands until he was strong-armed into actually doing it, while guys like Ted Kennedy praised Chavez for being an upstanding citizen for the needy all over the world. Seriously? So what does being a Democrat fluffer feel like?

The Crack Emcee said...

Synova,

What one believes doesn't matter. Believing is bullshit. Actually thinking is what matters.

I guess I have to pull this out one more time because it's definitely not getting through yet.

The Crack Emcee said...

Oaf,

'SOme of you Republicans strike me as liars. You know very well that there's this deranged Christianist Conservative element that has taken over much of the GOP's base, but you wanna keep the craziness in your party hidden from the rest of America."

Bullshit. 80% of this country is Christian, so it's you who are the outsider, not them. Nothing is "hidden" - that's a lie you tell yourself to feel superior or suggest there's something evil going on. The evil is on your side and your lies, and your willingness to lie, are the proof.

I am an atheist - hardcore by anyone's standards - and even I know that much.

Synova said...

Crack, you're insisting on perfection or nothing.

People aren't perfect. They are real and they are flawed. They will be flawed even without belief. Only look at officially atheist nations or officially atheist social experiments. The problems and the misery and the stupid doesn't go away.

If people "grow out of" faith and belief maybe they'll get different results. So far we don't have an example of it.

Believing and thinking are not mutually exclusive. All belief systems are not equal. Some of them actually do (or at least used to) actively promote reason and scholarship. The Christianity I grew up with promoted self-control, reason, resistance to outside authority (including the authority of the church), the notion of not "respecting persons" - meaning, again, not to give up your own responsibility to another person, "spiritual leader" or otherwise, and the insistence that grace alone saved you, entirely undeserved, and that adding to the Book by claiming to speak for God apart from Scripture was one of the worst sins a person could commit.

I do see what you see, but I also see people as they are and they are creative beyond measure when seeking meaning, no actual god need apply. I don't think it's entirely because people are silly or even just not that smart. I think it's also because we need and try to see patterns and strive to figure out why any given thing is the way it is. I think that this gives us language and gives us agriculture and science and gives us untold variations on religion and supernatural explanations and gives us conspiracy nut-cases who are, yes, claiming Haiti was hit by a secret weapon that was tested first a few days ago in California.

I think that seeing the danger of a flood and feeling that the solution is to stop the rain misses untold connections between the rain and life itself.

Revenant said...

While I agree that Pat Robertson is (a) insane and (b) evil (although no more so than the lefties that LoafingOaf worships), his claim that God is responsible for the deaths of those people isn't really that far off from what any Christian believes.

Robertson is claiming, or at least implying, that God is punishing the people of Haiti. The mainstream Christian position is that God is *capable* of doing anything, but, for reasons inscrutable to mere mortal minds, does not deign to prevent people from dying horribly at the hands of the natural forces He created, even though He, by definition, could.

Basically, the nicest thing you can say about God in a situation like this is that He doesn't actually exist. That's really His only good excuse. :)

Synova said...

Or we could all be Na'vi, Rev. Would a just God create the Na'vi?

I think I'd rather have fallen humanity.

Revenant said...

Or we could all be Na'vi, Rev. Would a just God create the Na'vi?

A just god would have taken James Cameron into His heavenly kingdom about five minutes before the end of "The Abyss". :)

Palladian said...

"Awww man, just when things were going so well. Thread failure. Non-sequitorial Sarah Palin reference."

He's obsessed with her. He's been obsessed with her since he first saw her and it's only gotten worse. You could probably count on two hands the number of comments he's made in the last year and a half that haven't been about Sarah Palin.

He can't count those comments, however, as both of his hands are occupied. He's using one hand to choke the chicken and the other to beat himself about the body with a metal ruler, all while standing before The Wall of Destiny, which is what he calls one of the walls in his basement where he's affixed every photograph ever published of Palin.

Sad, really. Actually, disturbing! But not as sad and disturbing as when he slips into the "costume".

Methadras said...

I clicked. I lol'ed. I'm dead.

careen said...

I saw the video. My take was that he wasn't so much self-righteous as just old and nuttily nattering on as sometimes old people will once they've lost their self-censorship mechanism.

Lynne said...

I question who actually made a pacat with the Devil-

Robertson or the Haitians.

rhhardin said...

God has always been extremely vindictive.

Paul Zrimsek said...

LoafingOaf : Sarah Palin :: Crack Emcee : New Age.

or:

LoafingOaf : Sarah Palin :: Lonewacko : himself.

Pogo said...

The only curse to be found is a corrupt archaic anti-capitalist government based on authoritarianism and theft by the state.

All the Devil need do is convince a few leaders that rule by-the-few-for-the-few is best, and the rest follows.

An omen for the US, that will be ignored in the same way the post-Katrina lessons have been ignored.

Brian Welker said...

Dear Pat,

You're not helping.

Love,

God

section9 said...

Okey Dokey, since this IS a threadjack, let's try this for a Thought Experiment:

Loafing Oaf : Sarah Palin :: "The Beat Generation" (Kerouac/Ginsberg/et al):__________________ (fill in the blank).

Discuss!

AllenS said...

The devil is in the details. Always has been, always will be.

Richard Bartholomew said...

Robertson's statement reflects a neo-Pentecostal belief about Haiti that has been around for some years. I have some background on my blog

MadisonMan said...

His pants are on the ground.

Synova said...

Sarah Palin was on Glenn Beck for a whole hour.

Synova said...

"The only curse to be found [in Haiti] is a corrupt archaic anti-capitalist government based on authoritarianism and theft by the state."

But who is to say the two aren't related?

This is the question we aren't allowed to ask, isn't it? We're not allowed to ask if the remnants of a religion and the influence on the people's ideas about the world contribute to the social environment. It wouldn't be tolerant and good multi-culti to go to the streets and tell people to give up their guilty secrets and their fears of spirits and turn wholly to God. That makes you a hater. Right?

So are we even allowed to ask how religion and superstition might interact with the culture, even though it practically defines culture in most places?

We aren't even allowed to ask if the culture aside from religion does those things.

It's important to be tolerant you know.

vbspurs said...

Crack Em wrote:

Sorry, Vic, but once you say that the burden of proof is on you. And, if you can't provide it, then it's time to reset your thinking.

It's difficult to wade back into such a weighty topic, so early in the morning. But then, it would be difficult at any time, especially since I'm no Aquinas or Augustine or Teresa d'Avila.

It's also difficult to answer you in terms you would accept, Crack, and I think that is the greatest problem with atheism as I see it -- you wish me to prove something that may not exist. Yet equally you can not disprove something which may.

It's an intellectual impasse of the heighest proportions, and no amount of trumpeting "facts is facts" will solidify your position.

I can tell you this. I cannot improve on the corollary given the Cartesian assertion of:

Cogito, ergo sum. Dubito, ergo deus est.

(I doubt, therefore God is)

Why would humans not have been given the complete understanding of the world, if there were no God? What's the big mystery? Why do we need to go through the hoops of learning and acquiring wisdom, if there weren't a purpose and need for it all?

Although, frankly, of all the God arguments, the prime mover one is the one which most puckers my lips in agreement. Everything has something which gets the ball rolling. From earth to a slug. I claim the same rights to a creator that a slug has.

Cheers,
Victoria

Opus One Media said...

not to mention the satanic devil that now in habits pat robertson.....

t-man said...

OTOH -

Hillary! has described the damage in Haiti as "biblical." Doesn't that imply that God had a hand in it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hey hdhouse, inhabits is one word.

Hey you by chance didn't do the marketing work for Coakley's Massachusetts banner did ya?

k*thy said...

Doesn't that imply that God had a hand in it?

Perhaps to unite us, connect us and inspire us.

William said...

I'll go along with Robertson to this extent: if, like the animists, you worship your ignorance and superstition, bad things happen. I understand that there is a considerable amount of superstition immanent in all religions, but, for God's sake, Christianity is more benificient for its believers than santeria. It just is. I suppose now is not the time to make such an observatin, but that's the truth....I would point out to Crack MC that for several generations Marxism was the religion of many atheists. The unwillingness of people like the Webbs, Edmund White, Lincoln Steffens, and on and on to bear honest witness to open horrors dwarves the minor idiocy of Pat Robertson.....Christian values trump and (in some cases) subvert Christian beliefs. Perhaps it would be fairer to judge Robertson by the physical aid that the Evangelicals will extend to Haitians than the to disapproval that accompanies this aid.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Pat Robertson is an embarrassment to Christians and all thinking compassionate people.

If he truly thinks that there is such a thing as a pact with the Devil and that the ancestors of the Haitians created it.....he should be spending all of his time and energy in helping the living Haitians and not condemning them for something over which they have had no control.

Re: Victoria's comment about animism and the percentage of Haitians who are Catholic, there is no contradiction there.

Catholicism and Christianity can take many different forms influenced by the base culture of the country. Haiti is a culture that comes with an animistic religion that originated in Africa and that still exists in Africa. The synergy between the Catholic Church and the African religious practices creates something totally unique that does contain large elements of animism. A completely different mindset from European Catholicism or European Christianity.

vbspurs said...

We just put on Hurt Locker - so far, much tension.

I'm also enjoying it so far, Miss Beth!

wv: ourgate. When a whole nation is complicit in a scandal.

vbspurs said...

Perhaps it would be fairer to judge Robertson by the physical aid that the Evangelicals will extend to Haitians than the to disapproval that accompanies this aid.

Speaking of judgement, that is the worst thing you can do, as seen by liberals. It's a small wonder that they are not comfortable with religion, specifically ours. Christianity judges people, and condemns them if they misbehave. Next to equality, the lack of judgementalism of life is the most important tenet in liberal thought.

That's why New Age nonsense is so acceptable to many modern Western people. It's spiritual, but doesn't seek to judge or moralise.

A New Age person would've told Haiti to centre their chakras, and oom their way into prosperity.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Slightly OT: Bush was asked by Obama to help out in Haiti (alongside his predecessor).

Bush did a lot for Haiti, although what he did for Africa has no name. Billions of dollars of our tax money in help.

Let's hope that people keep politics out of this decision, and bravo to Obama for thinking of him.

Arturius said...

Billions of dollars of our tax money in help.

I wonder if anyone has actually taken a real subjective look at the connection between the major hellholes on earth and the amount of international 'aid' they receive.

thesconz said...

Interesting, Ann Althouse did not cite the response that her favorite racist gave to the situation:

"They'll use this to boost their credibility with the light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country."

-- Rush Limbaugh

pinkmonkeybird said...

Almost as weird as Robertson's pronouncements, is the regular attention given him by the media.

Thankfully, Althouse blog is a guiding light to civilization and pays no heed.

Jeremy said...

And then there's the fat man...

Well, it didn't take long for conservative firebrand Rush Limbaugh to use the crisis in Haiti to attack President Obama politically. On his radio show yesterday Limbaugh said the earthquake in Haiti will play right into Obama's hands by allowing him to play up his "compassionate" and "humanitarian" credentials, and that the President will use this crisis to "boost his credibility with the black community."

As if that weren't enough, Limbaugh also pivoted off a caller who complained about Obama directing the public to the White House website to find charitable organizations operating in Haiti to promote a conspiracy theory that finding these charities via the White House website puts your money at risk of not reaching Haitians.

Limbaugh also seems to feel we've done enough already for Haiti: "We've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax."

nrn312 said...

Limbaugh also seems to feel we've done enough already for Haiti: "We've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax."

Negro, please.

Kirby Olson said...

Jummping on Robertson is a national sport like jumping on Palin.

Robertson was wrong in his facts, and short-sighted.

He mentions that the revolt of the Haitians happened during the time of Napoleon III, for instance. No, it happened under the first Napoleon. Napoleon captured the rebel leader under the pretenses of wanting to create a peace treaty and abducted him (Toussaint L'Ouverture) and left him to die in a secret French prison in the Jura Mountains.

The French army lost the war in Haiti.

But they managed to enforce an embargo on the country that lasted until the 1850s. Even America joined the embargo so that Haiti was alone, and had no trading partners.

Then a draconian repayment scheme was established by which Haiti would be recognized, but they had to pay back millions and millions and they threatened to default in the 1930s, so that America sent in soldiers to take over the country and enforce the payback scheme.

It's rather sickening when you think that we never paid anything back to the British in spite of our revolt against them.

In this instance, I hope that having Obama as president will lead to a real break for the Haitian people. They deeply deserve it.

Maybe the original leaders did make a pact with Baron Samedi or some voodoo spirit.

But there are also Christian missionaries on the island, and many Haitians are Christian. And I agree with the part where Robertson argues that we should pray for the Haitians.

And I also agree with him that some kind of Christian principles in a place -- following the Ten commandments -- is the basis of any prosperous country.

Jesus is the leaven in the lumpenproletariat.

nrn312 said...

It's a small wonder that [liberals] are not comfortable with religion, specifically ours.

Troll or moron, you decide!

nrn312 said...

And I also agree with him that some kind of Christian principles in a place -- following the Ten commandments -- is the basis of any prosperous country.

Such as Japan.

Invisible Man said...

And I also agree with him that some kind of Christian principles in a place -- following the Ten commandments -- is the basis of any prosperous country.

Yes, your gut (and obviously no facts) must tell you this is true. But the Fins might disagree.

Luke Lea said...

Reminds me of the old Hollywood joke: the devil offers an aspiring film director unlimited success if he will sell him his soul. The director says, "What is the catch?"

Anyway, Haiti is cursed. That much we can agree about. The people don't have enough human capital to administer a modern society. So why don't we see more African-American missionaries over there assisting them in these tasks?

Smilin' Jack said...

I'm not going to ask why a belief in God doesn't frighten people out of such heartlessness.

Why would it? If you believe in God, then He is the heartless one. After all, the quake was, legally, an act of God.

vbspurs said...

Troll or moron, you decide!

No, no, no. YOU DECIDE, we report.

vbspurs said...

I wonder if anyone has actually taken a real subjective look at the connection between the major hellholes on earth and the amount of international 'aid' they receive.

Corruption exists everywhere, in all developed and prosperous countries. But what you haven't seen corruption like it exists in the Third World. It's the kind where you shove people INTO rubble to get more money to filch from the Red Cross.

The Crack Emcee said...

Good morning! Wow, I was expecting to get slammed and it didn't happen - just you and Vic, being all reasonable and shit - but, as Vic said, it's early (and I haven't posted anything to my own blog yet) so I'ma do this - in two parts - and then go for a while:

"Crack, you're insisting on perfection or nothing. People aren't perfect. They are real and they are flawed."

I would rewrite your statement as "Crack, you're insisting on shooting for perfection." You know, trying? I mean, I grew up in the ghetto, seeing things that would make most people's hair stand on end. People I grew up with are still traumatized, as adults, over things that occurred in foster homes we were raised in as children. What do I do with that? Throw my hands in the air and say, "Oh well, that's how people are?" No. Most definitely not. I demand better of all of us, myself included, because I know what it's like to be a child raised where so few set high standards and stuck to them no matter what kind of lunacy others engaged in.

"[People] will be flawed even without belief. Only look at officially atheist nations or officially atheist social experiments. The problems and the misery and the stupid doesn't go away."

You mean like France, where my NewAge ex-wife is from, and who, with her NewAge homeopathic quack, killed three other NewAge people? Or China, with it's Buddhists? Or Russia, where people lock themselves in caves with "prophets" claiming the end times are coming? (My own mother, BTW, fancies herself an "End Times scholar" - we don't speak because she won't stop sending me religious tracts. I met her at the tender age of 40, of course, at her church,...)

Synova, you just said I'm going for perfection, so please don't confuse me with other atheists. I've railed against Sam Harris, called many of the actions of Richard Dawkins stupid, and was greatly disappointed when Christopher Hitchens (probably the brightest of the lot) fell in with "The One". I just had a vicious argument with one of my best friend's last night, offline, defending Christians against his slanders - I am not your typical atheist but one shooting for perfection. The stupidity can, and will, go away but we've got to want it. Even demand it - I don't call my blog The Macho Response for nothing - believers of,...whatever (Islamic terrorism, NewAge, belief in general) have made it abundantly clear they aren't just going to give it up (and, like beta males backing feminism to get laid, that the weak will support them) so push-back will be called for, whether I like it/want it or not.

"If people 'grow out of' faith and belief maybe they'll get different results. So far we don't have an example of it."

Let me be clear - again: Force works. I had belief beat out of me, physically. It started with Christians in foster homes, hitting me if I entertained anything other than a strict allegiance to Jesus. That's one of the main things that got me to thinking and how I learned not to back down unless I'm wrong. And, of course, if wrong, admit it - quick - because harm arises from being too chickenshit to do so. (That's why I'm always on Liberals about an apology for the last 50 years.)

The Crack Emcee said...

Cont'd:

"Believing and thinking are not mutually exclusive. All belief systems are not equal. Some of them actually do (or at least used to) actively promote reason and scholarship."

Of course they do. I've voiced my admiration for the Jews and, right now, my Jewish friends (the ones who consoled me after the murders) are berating me to back to college and finish - which I will - but we also have a lot of discussions of Jewish mysticism that start with them saying, "O.K., I know this is going to sound weird,..." And it is. Sometimes creepy, even. Trying to wrap my head around how anyone can go from telling me to go to college to trying to interpret my dreams is maddening.

"I don't think it's entirely because people are silly or even just not that smart. I think it's also because we need and try to see patterns and strive to figure out why any given thing is the way it is."

I agree, kinda, but still lean to the "people are stupid" side (because we know so much: more on that in a minute:) How about a pattern of no pattern? Can anybody else entertain that? We've gotten to the point where we're learning to map out a splash of water - something previously thought to have no pattern. Why this insistence that, without God, life is without meaning, awe, and wonder? Any photo from the Hubble telescope, or Mars, should be enough to extinguish that idea, but still it persists, like nobody just say what we all just saw. It's crazy, and silly, and stupid.

"I think that seeing the danger of a flood and feeling that the solution is to stop the rain misses untold connections between the rain and life itself."

With all due respect, that's what believers don't get. I said I'd address what we know, so here it is:

I just got up, haven't left the house. But, in order to function, I've already had to engage with my cell phone, my computer, my microwave oven, and even shit we take for granted, like walking on the carpet to use the toilet in this house someone built. All of this is the result of what we know. Accumulated knowledge. It gets even more complex, and the amount of knowledge just gets blown even more way out, if I decide to drive my car, or catch a bus somewhere. I am acutely aware of this at all times and want to know as much of it as I can - we all should - and, while I am as strict an atheist as they come, that includes listening to TraditionalGuy and reading the Bible passages he asks me to because the man seems really thoughtful. Other atheists would laugh at him. They're fools.

And that's how I'm different.

Whew! That goodness Victoria is easier:

"Crack,...I think,...the greatest problem with atheism as I see it -- you wish me to prove something that may not exist. Yet equally you can not disprove something which may."

Vic, the burden of proof is always on the believer. We already live in a world without a god.

The Crack Emcee said...

thesconz,

"Interesting, Ann Althouse did not cite the response that her favorite racist gave to the situation:

'They'll use this to boost their credibility with the light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country.'

-- Rush Limbaugh"


My man (or woman) you do not understand satire.

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