Thursday, January 14, 2010

The World According to Pat Robertson

When I was growing up, I'd often see TV listings for "The 700 Club".  I always assumed it was a financial show (something like the "Fortune 500"), though my father never watched it on during dinner as we did with "Wall Street Week in Review".  It wasn't until college when I connected "The 700 Club" with some of the strange sentences coming out of Pat Robertson's mouth.

The only time I ever think of Pat Robertson is when I hear him say something unbelievably hateful.  I would think this would be a TERRIBLE situation for someone to be in who prides himself on being a "man of God", but it doesn't really bother him.


This week, Haiti suffered a catastrophic earthquake.  At least 100,00 are feared dead, the presidential palace collapsed, and the directors of the U.N. mission and the archbishop were crushed to death.

And, just when nobody was paying any attention to Pat Robertson, he went ahead and said that Haiti deserved this because they had made a pact with the Devil.  They...did?  I don't remember hearing about that on Headline News... did they put out a press release?

Actually, they didn't.  Because, according to Robertson, this happened quite a while ago.  During French occupation, which Robertson describes as under "Napoleon the Third and whatever".  Actually it was Napoleon the One, with Haiti emerging as a nation after kicking the French out in 1804.  And the Devil seems to be a little powerless (and giving ideas to the French, too), because the French came back in 1824, and only recognized an independent Haiti after the Haitians agreed to pay 150 million francs to the French for the value of the slaves the French had lost (the slaves being the newly-independent Haitians themselves.  Sweet deal, right?). 

So Robertson is saying that apparently there was some infernal intervention on behalf of the Haitians.  Most of the French troops died of dysentery and yellow fever, so maybe the Devil devilishly decided to fill a tropical island with tropical diseases that the natives had developed resistance to.  Devilish!  But the Haitians should have known better because just a few short days
years
decades
centuries later, God exacts his judgment!  He smites the poorest nation in the western hemisphere with a massive earthquake.  That'll learn 'em.

Of course, the god Pat Robertson worships may have had the message diluted after all this time.  I mean, all the people who might have been around to ask the Devil for help in 1800 are long dead.  LONG dead.  It's kinda like when dog-training manuals tell you to make sure to smack the dog with the newspaper while he's in the act of peeing on the sofa.  If you do it three days later when he's quietly eating chow, he'll get the wrong idea.

Good thing Pat Robertson is here to tell us that what God REALLY means is punishment for that stuff that probably didn't happen 200 years ago.  But we don't want to hear it: oh, no.  Which makes Robertson like Cassandra.

If Cassandra were a vile little man-corpse whose moral compass only points towards smug.

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