On Tragedy

PAT ROBERTSON: And, you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. 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.”

And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti; on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, et cetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now, we’re helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable.

KRISTI WATTS (co-host): Absolutely, Pat.

Pat doesn’t come out and say it explicitly, but anyone who is familiar with Pat’s theological musings on natural disasters in the recent past should be able to read between the lines: God caused this earthquake to happen as an expression of judgment (or God allowed Satan to cause it. Six of one, half-dozen of the other, if you ask me).

Here’s my question for you, Pat, and any others who agree with you: If this earthquake was God’s judgment, shouldn’t the appropriate, Christian response be to let the Haitian people experience that judgment? I mean, how do we know that they’ll get God’s message if we intervene? How do we know they will learn the lesson God is trying to teach them unless they feel the pain and experience the suffering that they have earned?

It is my sincere hope that the absurdity of the conclusion makes the absurdity of the proposition patently obvious.

What happened in Haiti is a horrible tragedy that demands a response of love and compassion. Let any other response be anathema.

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