I know it seems trivial given the scale of the tragedy in Haiti, but Pat Robertson’s remarks about the causes of the earthquake on The 700 Club yesterday are really so remarkably idiotic that I can’t let them go without commenting.
In a repeat of the twisted logic which caused Robertson to blame hurricane Katrina on Ellen Degeneres hosting the Emmy awards and his earlier statements that the attacks of 9/11 were God’s vengeance on homosexuals, Robertson declared that Haiti was hit with this devastating earthquake and has previously suffered years of oppression and poverty primarily because of a pact the Haitian people made with the devil over 300 years ago.
After making his bizarre remarks and receiving criticism in the media for sounding like an absolute lunatic, later in the day Robertson’s staff issued a statement; not apologizing as one would expect, but rather outlining the details of his Deus Irae theory of earthquakes:
“On today’s The 700 Club, during a segment about the devastation, suffering and humanitarian effort that is needed in Haiti, Dr. Robertson also spoke about Haiti’s history. His comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed.”
Presumably those scholars teach at Bob Jones University, Oral Roberts University or Liberty Baptist College in their respective departments of Eschatology, Theurgy and Creation Science.
The scary thing is that there are people who actually listen to Pat Robertson and take what he says seriously. Even with his long history of bizarre statements and repeated claims that the apocalypse is just around the corner, millions watch his show and presumably share his delusion. Many of them even voted for him in the Republican primary a few years ago.
Perhaps we ought to establish a new kind of literacy test for voting. If you take Pat Robertson seriously then you are too crazy or too stupid to be allowed to vote. Why not just turn off The 700 Club and instead of sending money to televangelists, send it to the Red Cross to actually help the people of Haiti. I know you might miss the first American witch trials in 300 years or perhaps a live exorcism, but your mind and your soul will be better for it.Dave Nalle has worked as a magazine editor, a freelance writer, a capitol hill staffer, a game designer and taught college history for many years. He now designs fonts for a living and lives with his family in a small town just outside Austin where he is ex-president of the local Lions Club. He is on the board of the Republican Liberty Caucus and Politics Editor of Blogcritics Magazine. You can find his writings about fonts, art and graphic design at The Scriptorium. He also runs a conspiracy debunking site at IdiotWars.com.