Responding to Pat Robertson

In watching the unfolding disaster in Haiti, it's amazing that somewhere so close to the United States could go through such a disaster. For some, it's bound to make us wonder if we could face the same thing here. Especially since the Charleston metropolitian area is seismic ground zero for the eastern half of the United States, with the grim calamity of the Great Charleston Quake of the late 1800s as proof of what could happen.

A lot of us hope and pray that it's not as bad as it seems, but when even the Presidential palace and Parliament building have collapsed, the dead includes people as prominent as the nation's Catholic Archbishop, it's hard to imagine that it's not going to be as bad as initial reports are suggesting. In addition to the massive loss of life, the nation of Haiti may have, for all practical purposes, ceased to exist as a functioning nation or society for the forseeable future. This will likely have major long-lasting consequences for those in Haiti, as well as through the rest of the region.

Then we get Pat Robertson, who blamed gay and lesbian Americans as one of the reasons for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, offers his own thoughts about what happened and why. According to CNN:

Robertson, the host of the "700 Club," blamed the tragedy on something that "happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it."

The Haitians "were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever," Robertson said on his broadcast Wednesday. "And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.' True story. And so, the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' "

As someone who was raised Baptist, but later crossed over to become Catholic, I respect Protestants. including Evangelicals and Fundamentialists, even if I have come to see faith a little differently. I have no doubt that many are as puzzled as I am about what was said.

I have to thank a friend of mine for sharing a blog posting that looks at what was said, and expresses his own view of faith. Part of it stood out, as it is some of how my faith works for me:

Faith in Christ, for me, is similar. It’s intimate. I’m more comfortable giving quiet prayers, intimate prayers. Often alone, in fact. I speak of faith the way I speak of personal matters. Of course there is a time for proclamations, but that’s the key, isn’t it? There’s a time. And a prayer isn’t a proclamation, it’s a prayer! It’s sometimes annoying to hear a prayer that is actually a sermon disguised as a prayer. I always picture God standing there listening, confused, asking the guy praying whether he was talking to Him or somebody else.

These seem to be good things to keep in mind. As we head into the weekend, let us keep the people of Haiti - and each other - in our thoughts and prayers, private, personal, and otherwise.

7 Response to "Responding to Pat Robertson"

  1. Calhoun Fawls 15/1/10 07:43
    Wasn't it Christ himself, who in Matthew 6 urged us to pray in private so our Father would hear us?

    As for Robertson, perhaps he fails to grasp the concept of the new covenant created by the life and crucifixion of Christ. God does not go around striking down those people in life who forsake him anymore. It is hard to get Robertson's logic. God loves us so much he will forgive us of all sins if we embrace Him, yet God punishes people for something done in the 1800s?
  2. west_rhino 15/1/10 09:01
    I'd appreciate Pat's research that is the foundation of his remarks. OTOH, one has to ask why NYC, San Francisco and Lost Angeles are dodging Sodom's fate, if indeed Haiti is a sign of the wrath of Jehovah.

    Between, Daniel, Isaiah and the Revelation (to John), there will be catastrophes and signs as the end comes... how should His people respond? I don't see Hamas, Hizbolla, Al Queida or the Islamic Imperial Iranian junta moving to help infidels from their deep coffers.
  3. Nettie 15/1/10 12:53
    the earthquake was so devastating because Haiti was so unstable even before it. how do you rebuild a country with no extant infrastructure?
  4. mg 15/1/10 16:22
    We should all pray for Haiti
  5. Anonymous 16/1/10 16:40
    Earl--prayers,donations,voluntering time are all worth while actions we can take for the people of Haiti. If ever there was a time for the goverments and the people to come together this should be it.

    As far as Pat Robertson is concerned, sometimes you have to wonder was he even thinking before he made such a statement or did he just open his mouth and say some outlandish dribble just to create controversy?...teg
  6. Anonymous 20/1/10 23:31
    "I speak of faith the way I speak of personal matters." - really? that's a shame. I'm pretty sure Christ did not call us to have a private faith. While yes there are times we need to pray quietly and in private; our faith should certainly NOT be private. There's no argument for that in scripture.

    Also, Pat NEVER came out and said that God caused this. Was it suggested? yes. But he never said that it was the reason for the quake. We really need to be careful when we start saying what God does and does not do. It very well may have been and very well may not have been caused by Him. But that's not our call.
  7. Earl Capps 21/1/10 00:27
    23.31, if you take things out of context, it's easy to miss the part of that quote that says "Of course there is a time for proclamations, but that’s the key, isn’t it? There’s a time."

    Likewise, if you come to my home, my office, or read this blog regularly, you will know that my faith is far from private.

    I watched too many people who wave their faith around like a banner turn out to be far less virtuous than those whose faith is more low-key and private. I prefer to take the low road of faith. It may not be the most audacious path to take, but it still gets me where I'm going

    It's getting there that really matters most.

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