That mouthpiece of the Christian right, the one and only Pat Robertson never ceases to amaze me.
Every time I think ol' Pat has reached the pinnacle of stupidity, he proves me wrong by opening his mouth and spewing something even more ludicrous and ignorant than ever before.
The American Christian televangelist and host of "The 700 Club," said that Haitians need to have a "great turning to god" while he was reporting on the devastating 7.0 earthquake that shook the island nation — the most powerful to hit the country in a century. Robertson implied that the devastation may be a "blessing in disguise".
As Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said "well over" 100,000 people may have died in the natural disaster, Robertson took to the airwaves Wednesday on his show and said that the country has been "cursed by one thing after another" since they "swore a pact to the devil.":
Robertson is infamous for such inflammatory statements. And not surprisingly, the reaction to the controversial pastor's comments has been harsh.
"It never ceases to amaze that in times of amazing human suffering somebody says something that could be so utterly stupid," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at his daily press briefing today.
David Waters, editor of the Washington Post's "On Faith" online column, said the time has come for Roberston to stop.
"Considering the massive death, destruction and misery in Haiti, it is shameful for anyone - but especially a so-called minister of the gospel - to suggest that God or the poor people of Haiti had anything to do with it," Waters wrote.
Rev. Paul Raushenbush, the religion editor for the Huffington Post, gave Robertson a harsher directive: "Go to Hell, Pat Robertson - and the sooner the better," he wrote. "Your 'theological' nonsense is revolting. Don't speak for Haiti, and don't speak for God. Haiti is suffering a catastrophe and you offer silliness at best, and racism at the worst."
Robertson's comments appear to stem from a part of Haitian mythology.
Haiti became the first black republic to declare its independence in 1804, after a prolonged fight. It is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has been plagued by political violence - a history some explain with religious mythology, according to one Haitian-American minister. Minister Jean R. Gelin writes that, as the story goes, a satanic pact took place on Aug. 14, 1791, during a meeting of slave leaders planning to launch their war for independence.
Haiti's rough history includes more concrete factors which from the beginning have contributed to its unstable state. For instance, Haiti was forced to pay France 90 million francs - a huge sum - over the course of decades under the Royal Ordinance of 1825, in which French King Charles X demanded restitution for the loss of France's colony in exchange for diplomatic recognition. The country was long oppressed by dictators and corrupt leaders.
This is not the first time the former Republican presidential candidate has made controversial comments in the wake of disasters.
He has linked Hurricane Katrina and terrorist attacks to legalized abortion.
"I was reading, yesterday, a book that was very interesting about what God has to say in the Old Testament about those who shed innocent blood…But have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected in some way?" Robertson said in a September 12, 2005 broadcast of "The 700 Club," soon after Hurricane Katrina.
How is it even possible that this man still has followers? I'm beginning to get the impression that the vast majority of the Christian Right may be just as batshit-crazy as ol' Pat is. Pat Robertson’s cult of personality has grown to the point where he serves not only as spiritual leader to his flock, but as newsreader and advice columnist as well. He’s particularly entertaining in his role as advice columnist, because the people who send him questions are just as crazy as he is. One sent in this question:
"I have always been curious about yoga. What is the Christian view of this form of exercise? Does it really have its origins in evil?"
Pat's answer to this question made me laugh until my stomach hurt:
Robertson’s theology is actually closer to pre-reformation Catholicism than to either the Lutheran or Calvinist traditions. He seems to think that rituals and icons are more important than what is in a believer’s heart. Medieval theologians believed that a person might be redeemed by having contact with a sliver from the bone of a saint, but would be damned if he were tricked into praying over the bone of a dog instead. Robertson’s fear of accidentally praying to the wrong god follows this ancient, irrational way of thinking.
Has mainstream America already forgotten ol' Pat's predictions for the year 2007?
How about ol' Pat's take on martial arts?
I suppose it's a good thing Chuck Norris is there to save the ghetto, right?
Since this has turned into a rant, how about:
Pat on Diplomacy
In an August, 22, 2005 taping of "700 Club," Robertson said if Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez "thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don’t think any oil shipments will stop… We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability."
Pat on Women
"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians," Pat Robertson wrote in a 1992 Iowa fundraising letter, according to the Washington Post.
Pat on Peace in Israel
On the "700 Club" in Jan. 2006, Robertson suggested Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was given a debilitating stroke because he was trying to make peace with the Palestinians and give them land. "He was dividing God's land and I would say woe unto any Prime Minister of Israel who takes a similar course…God says 'this land belongs to me. You'd better leave it alone.'"
Pat on Hurricane Katrina
After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Robertson suggested that God was angry over abortion. "I was reading… a book that was very interesting about what God has to say in the Old Testament about those who shed innocent blood… Have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected?"
Pat on 9/11
Two days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Pat Robertson had fellow televangelist Jerry Falwell on his "700 Club" program. Robertson agreed with Falwell when Falwell said God allowed the attacks because of moral decay - specifically the ACLU, abortionists, feminists and gays.
Pat on Pride Weekend In Orlando
"I don't think I would be waving those gay pride flags in God's face if I was Orlando, Florida. It will bring about earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor."
Pat on Presbyterians
"Presbyterians are the spirit of the Antichrist"
Pat on Church and State
"There is no such thing as separation of Church and State in the Constitution. It's a lie of the left."
Pat on Keeping The Black Man In His Place
"I think 'one man, one vote' would not be wise in South Africa. There needs to be some kind of protection for the minority which the white people represent."
Pat on Assassinating Duly Elected Leaders of Other Countries
"We have the ability to take him (Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez) out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability."
Pat's 2010 Predictions
At the start of 2010, the Associated Baptist Press said Robertson shared God's predictions for the year and said he wouldn't bless America because of abortion, homosexuality and prayer. "Fifty million babies slaughtered," God allegedly complained to him. "You can't have legislation that is anti-God. You can't foster in your midst things that I call an abomination… If you do, sooner or later judgment's going to come."
Enough already Pat.
See you tomorrow.