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.