The Rev. Pat Robertson turned heads with his appearance on The 700 Club on Wednesday when he blamed Haitian history for Tuesday’s devastating earthquake. In short, Robertson claimed that the quake was divine retribution for a pact with the devil that was sworn long ago, a statement he was audacious enough to make while the 800 number for disaster relief scrolled at the bottom of the broadcast.
“And you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, you know, Napoleon the Third and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘O.K., it’s a deal.’ “
So what was Robertson referring to? The theory that Haiti is a nation built on a pact with the devil has circulated on a number of websites, each tracing back to an apocryphal tale of Haitian voodoo priests sacrificing a pig and drinking its blood in 1791 in order to secure Satan’s aid in expelling the French occupation. In return, the priests are said to have promised Haiti to Satan for the next 200 years. The French were soon beat back, and in 1804, Haiti became an independent nation. But even if you believe the story (something many historians doubt), Satan’s lease on the tiny island nation should have expired in 1991.
(Video at TIME link)
From ASSOCIATED CONTENT:
Pat Robertson is using the Haitian earthquake to further his own agenda. Today Pat Robertson claimed that the Haiti earthquake could be a “blessing in disguise”, and that the reason the earthquake happened was because of a “pact with the devil” that they entered more than 200 years ago.
Pat Robertson took to the 700 Club to talk about why the earthquake in Haiti was the fault of the people who live there, and went way too far with his political and religious beliefs. Even the co-host of the show didn’t seem to know what to say when he went off on a tangent about the people of Haiti, and he basically stated that they deserved what happened to them in not so many words.
The link between the devil and the West African vodou practices that were absolved into Haitian culture often becomes warped into an argument that fits the agenda of people like Pat Robertson. Even a spokesperson for Robertson commented later in the day that it was an “alleged pact with the devil”, taking some of the wind out of Robertson’s statements. Pat Robertson has for a long time used his pulpit as a way to link what is going on around the world to people committing sins, and he even blamed the September 11 attacks on the lack of prayer in schools. It isn’t a surprise that he would attack the people of Haiti in their time of need, but maybe he should be a little more forgiving and accepting of other cultures instead of condemning them.
In case anyone is interested in donating to the earthquake victims, I hope you will consider Shelter Box. I found out about it at Daily Kos and just made a small contribution. A shelter box costs $1000, and this is what it contains (from the website):
The standard Shelterbox weighs 110 lbs. and has approximate dimensions 2’3″ x 1’4″ x 11″. They are sealed and banded for transit and security. Box contents vary depending on the nature of the disaster requiring their use.
Boxes Are sometimes packed with two 10-person tents in them, (to the exclusion of some smaller items, to maximize shelter capacity. Some of the selected Box items that are available for inclusion in the Box are:
The entire contents of a Shelterbox.
Click here for an enlarged & detailed view.
• One 49 gallon box (The Shelterbox) initially the container for delivery of the materials listed below. Once delivered, can be used as water tank, food store, cot, table, etc.
• One ten-person tent, including two fabric interior privacy partitions, outer fly-sheet and repair kit. These tents are considered ‘winter suitable’ by international relief standards.
• Vinyl insulated sleeping mats and lightweight thermal blankets. More compact than sleeping bags, these mats and blankets have multiple uses. The blanket can also be fashioned to catch water, as a tarp, etc. while the mat also serves as a ground ‘table’ for meals, or tent rugs.
• One pack of 180 water purification tablets or a water purification kit; and one 5 gallon flat-pack water container (Each tablet will purify a full container of water providing 1,800 gallons of clean drinking water which should be sufficient for a family of ten for up to three months).
• Two 2.1 gallon, collapsible, plastic water carriers.
• One collapsible trenching shovel
• Rope, 164 foot
• Repellant-treated mosquito netting
• Ten PVC Ponchos/ ten HD plastic bags
• Tool kit in canvas bag: hachet, jack-knife, screwdriver, hammer, hoe head etc.
• Multi-fueled cook stove
• Eating utensils: enamel plates/cups
• Children’s activity kit-simple school supplies, stickers and coloring book
The contents are under continuous review. A small stock of wind-up radios (short-wave and FM) has been obtained to substitute a sleeping bag in every tenth box should such a requirement arise.
For shipping purposes, a large container (40 feet) can accommodate up to 240 Shelterboxes, smaller containers would typically be half the size and quantities. The purpose of Shelter Box USA, Inc. is to provide victims of disaster with shelter, by supporting the efforts of the Shelter Box Trust.