Rev. Pat Robertson often attributes horrific events to God’s wrath as when he explained that the 9-11 attacks and the Katrina disaster were punishments for our sins. Now, Robertson has proclaimed that the earthquake in Haiti was sent by God to punish Haitians for a “pact with the Devil” made to overthrow the French.
Robertson favors that Old Testament God filled with anger and wrathful impulses. On this occasion, in Robertson’s mind, God wanted to kill over 100,000 people because of something that some of their ancestors allegedly did. Makes perfect sense. Here is what the good Reverend said “happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it”:
You know, Christie, something happened a long time ago in Haiti. And the people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third or whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you get us free from the French. True story. And so, the Devil said, Ok, it’s a deal. And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another — desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti on the other is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God, that out of this tragedy, I’m optimistic something good may come, but right now we’re helping the suffering people — and the suffering is unimaginable.
He may be taking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s reference to “Biblical damage” a bit too literally. However, President Obama seem to be offering a rebuttal by promising the Haitians that they “will not be forsaken.”
Native Haitians defeated French colonists in 1804 and declared independence. If only they had stayed virtual slaves under French rule, God would have been pleased and they would have been earthquake free.
This is line in with Robertson’s prior explanations of God’s wrath in terms of killing people in New Orleans and New York as God’s way of “vomiting” us out:
My only question is why we want to spend eternity with God if he is this horrible being filled with rage and wrath who speaks to guys like Pat Robertson? Isn’t God supposed to be better than us? Even my four-year-old does not hope that her classmates are wiped out in earthquakes when she is mad at them. If this were true, God would be in serious need for intense therapy over his anger issues and violent disposition. It is a bit hard to imagine Jesus saying “serve’s em right, Pop, for that stuff that their ancestors did over two hundred years ago.”
By the way, I missed that history lesson about how all of the Haitians swore a pact with the Devil. There are sacrificial and voodoo practices certainly on that island, but I was unaware that the whole revolution was one big Satanic movement.
There is no such “true story” about a nationwide pact with the devil. There were various revolutions by people like Padrejean in 1676 and François Mackandal in 1757. Robertson seems to be referring to Dutty Boukman who helped led the uprising in August 1791. He was a houngan, or Haitian priest, who held a traditional ceremony in which a pig (symbolizing the power of nature) was sacrificed and an oath administered to the fighters to be fearless in battle. However, accounts of his words notably omit Robertson’s alleged pact:
h! Eh! Bomba! Heu! Heu!
Canga, bafio té!
Canga, mouné de lé!
Canga, do ki la!
Canga, do ki la!
We swear to destroy the whites
and all they possess.
Let us die rather than fail
to keep this vow.
Indeed accounts have him referring to God not Satan for some old-fashioned wrathful justice (which would seem to appeal to Robertson:
“The god who created the sun which gives us light, who rouses the waves and rules the storm, though hidden in the clouds, he watches us. He sees all that the white man does. The god of the white man inspires him with crime, but our god calls upon us to do good works. Our god who is good to us orders us to revenge our wrongs. He will direct our arms and aid us. Throw away the symbol of the god of the whites who has so often caused us to weep, and listen to the voice of liberty, which speaks in the hearts of us all.”
For more on this oath, click here.
Of course, even if there was a pact with the Devil, God can really keep a grudge. Over two hundred years later, he kills over one hundred thousand people to teach their long-dead ancestors a lesson. I find that hard to believe, though I am warming to the idea of God sending Pat Robertson to punish us for our sins.