Please help the Haitian people. Give in any way you can.
Photo Credit: American Red Cross
I had a very visceral reaction to Pat Robertson‘s mini-diatribe on his 700 Club TV show. Normally, I don’t have a problem with 700 Club because it’s good that we still have the freedom to allow religiously-themed news content on the air. I would not wish to silence free speech because of my disagreement with someone’s poor choices of words. Pat Robertson chose his words poorly today.
“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about. They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third 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 prince.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘Ok it’s a deal.’ And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another.”
Pat, that’s just plain despicable to say. You should know better. Haiti is a largely Christian country, with Roman Catholicism professed by 80% of Haitians. Protestants make up about 16% of the population. You are putting yourself in God’s judgment seat with your statements.
God is not judging the people of Haiti.
God is judging the world by our response to their plight.
How will God judge you?
First, read your Bible…particularly the part about the Good Samaritan. Which are you in the story: The Priest or the Levite?
Then, read this excerpt from the Book of Mormon, substituting the martyrdom theme with yesterday’s disaster:
8 And they brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they should be cast into the fire; and they also brought forth their records which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be burned and destroyed by fire.
9 And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of martyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire.
10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.
11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.
Finally, read this excerpt where a righteous king named Benjamin warns people against turning away from the poor and afflicted:
16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.
21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.
22 And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
23 I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.
What you said was absolutely indefensible. Had you been listening to the Spirit of God when you said it, you would not have hesitated while speaking as you did. You would have ceased speaking, or spoken only in favor of coming to their aid, and reserved your own judgment, for it was not given of you from God to say such things about these dying and injured majority Christian Haitians.
You chose to act upon the wrong impulse.
All of that said, I believe that you are a good man. Repent before God. Then, issue an apology retracting what you said about these, “the least of these [Christ’s] brethren” being at fault for circumstances utterly beyond their control.
- Haiti News Roundup (slog.thestranger.com)
- American Red Cross Haiti Relief: How To Help Haiti Victims, Where To Submit Donations (huffingtonpost.com)
- You can Twitter your help to Haiti (cnn.com)
- Twitter mobilizes Haiti aid efforts (money.cnn.com)
- Robertson blames Haitians (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Pat Robertson Cites Haiti’s Earthquake As What Happens When You ‘Swear A Pact To The Devil’ (thinkprogress.org)
- Pat Robertson: Haiti ‘Cursed’ By ‘Pact To The Devil’ (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Pat Robertson On Earthquake In Haiti: They Made A Pact With The Devil! (trueslant.com)
- Pat Robertson Says Haitians Brought Earthquake on Themselves (trueslant.com)
- How You Can Help the Earthquake Victims (abcnews.go.com)
- Wyclef Jean’s Tweeting for Haiti Galvanizes Web (abcnews.go.com)
- Pat Robertson: Haiti Earthquake Because Of “Pact At The Devil” (alan.com)
- Archbishop of Port-au-Prince dies in Haiti quake (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Red Cross: Up to 3 million affected by Haiti quake (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Thousands Dead in Haitian Earthquake (sfist.com)