Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti, Hades, And The Ridiculous Robertson


(Jorge Cruz / Associated Press / January 12, 2010)

While most people are pouring out love, compassion and money, and offer services, and governments pledging support and sending rescue workers and other needed professionals and logistics, and others still stunned and gape as it plays of on the television screens in our sitting rooms, at the total calamity in Haiti, after this week’s devastating earthquake. Along came Pat Robertson, televangelist and a public voice for the conservative Christianity in the US and exclaimed on his TV show, the 700 Club, that the earthquake happened because Haiti made a pack with the Devil years ago.


(Juan Barreto AFP / Getty Images / January 14, 2010)

Robertson said: "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, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the Devil said, okay it's a deal." You can watch the video here.


(Photograph by Lisandro Seuro, AFP/Getty Images)

[So Pat, you're saying these photos are God's handiwork?]

Pat, you’re right. Something did happen a long time ago. You either lost your brains or had a temporary lapse of any reasonable feeling of humanity for people in chaos and devastation, caused not by a God punishing the Haitians for being a part of the Devil’s gang, but by a natural phenomenon any school kid can talk to you about. Luckily old Pat is an isolated nutcase case.

A few hours later Robertson retracted his statement and got his knickers even further in a twist when he said he thought he heard the location was Hades. He said: “For the life of me, I thought God was punishing Hades, which does in fact have a pact with the Devil.” This in itself is a weird statement.

I can only presume he is talking about Greek mythology and Hades being the god of the underworld and also the name of his habitation, the place of the dead. So he is mixing mythology with faith and religion with earthquakes and Greek gods with God and fictional places with actual cities and…What the hell was he talking about? And, he also knows for a fact that there was a pack between the Devil and Hades. This man is well informed, no shit about that. Been there, saw it, bought the t-shirt, hey?

Sorry to say this Pat, but you might be suffering from Alzheimer’s. I don’t wish it upon you, but speak to your doctor, have it checked out. It’s a serious disease. In the meantime...


Televangelis Pat Robertson

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The truth is that they did make a pact with the devil.

Now the significance you put on that pact I guess has to do with whether you believe the devil is real or not.

But it is one of Haiti's founding myths.

http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/small_axe/v009/9.2laroche.html

According to Haitian national history, the revolutionary war was launched on the eve of a religious ceremony at a place in the north called Bwa Kayiman (Bois Caiman, in French). At that ceremony on August 14, 1791, an African slave named Boukman sacrificed a pig, and both Kongo and Creole spirits descended to possess the bodies of the participants, encouraging them and fortifying them for the upcoming revolutionary war. Despite deep ambivalence on the part of intellectuals, Catholics, and the moneyed classes, Vodou has always been linked with militarism and the war of independence and, through it, the pride of national sovereignty.

So, yeah if there is a devil, Haiti made a pact with it. Might explain why even though Haiti and the Dominican Republic share the same island, the Dominican Republic has been far more successful.

BluegrassBaobab said...

Anonymous or shall I say Steve, you use the words truth, if and myth in your first 3 sentences. Translated it means fact, maybe and heresay/make-belief/nearly always larger than life, all referring to the same story. Wow!

You're pointing me to a book that discuss the founding MYTHS of the Haitian nation. Myth nevertheless.

In my post I discussed facts. The fact that an earthquake, a natural event occurred. The fact that Pat Robertson said what he said. The only possible doubt of importance I mentioned was that he "might be suffering...", but I also said see a specialist doctor.

If I have to believe one myth (the Haitian one) I have to believe all other myths that are out there too. And they are too numerous to all list here. That's too a tall order to belief.

Pat Robertson create his own gaffes, this is not the first. For such a public figure he seems to have his foot in his mouth more often than not. Go and see his top 10 list of gaffes at Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1953778_1953776,00.html?iid=moreontime

BluegrassBaobab said...

Anonymous, BTW if you want to read a good paper based on science and research on why the Dominican Republic is so far ahead of Haiti go and read this paper: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2007/wp0763.pdf

By 1960 there was not that much difference between these two countries. Its the last 40 years that they moved apart. Way after your mythical pact with the devil during the 19th century.