You know by now that less than 24 hours after a massive earthquake destroyed Haiti’s capitol city Port-au-Prince, Pat Robertson took to the airwaves to declare the nation cursed a result of a so-called “pact with the Devil.” In a piece entitled, “Robertson Making his own Deal with the Devil,” syndicated columnist Rev. Byron Williams, also a member of our African American Ministers In Action, examines Religious Right leaders such as Robertson and the late Jerry Falwell’s impulse to declare natural disasters as God’s punishment:
It is always problematic when any type of religious discourse offers definitive answers to the complexities of the human condition.
The so-called deal with the Devil that Robertson refers is the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804). If we momentarily suspend reality by granting Robertson’s words a scintilla of legitimacy, is he suggesting the only way Haitians could act on the most basic instinct humans possess, which is the freedom guaranteed by self-determination, was to enter into agreement with Satan?
This leaves us to conclude that God was siding with the French and their desires to occupy and enslave a foreign land.
It is this type of Neanderthal thinking as it relates to theology that justified Manifest Destiny, The Trail of Tears, African American chattel slavery, as well of other atrocities under the pseudonym progress.
And instead of distancing themselves from Robertson, some on the Right are sticking by him. From our statement: “Guess Who's Coming to the McDonnell Inauguration:”
When Bob McDonnell is sworn into office as governor tomorrow, one of his most steadfast supporters will be there too: Religious Right leader Pat Robertson, fresh off of his recent comments about Haiti. Rather than being a fringe element, Robertson's presence will be a vivid illustration of how the Religious Right movement remains deeply influential in today's GOP
The Southern Baptist Convention’s Albert Mohler even went a step further and declared that God does hate Haiti.
As for me, I’m inclined to agree with Rev. Byron Williams’ conclusion:
I’m quite certain it was a sudden release of energy from the Earth’s crust creating seismic waves in 2010 that had more to do with the earthquake in Haiti than some alleged satanic pact in 1791.