Monday, January 18, 2010

Pat Robertson's Service to the World

I expect that everyone has now heard about Pat Robertson's comments about the earthquake in Haiti. If you missed it, he claimed it was a punishment from God for a pact the Haitians made with the Devil to free their country from France.

Here's what he said: "And you know Christy, 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, uh, 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’ll get us free from the French. True story, and so the Devil said OK it’s a deal. And they kicked the French out."

Well, this complete myth about Haitians sacrificing to the Devil supposedly happened in 1791 (and whatever). That's four years before Napoleon III was born (true story), and, if you believe the myth, they gifted the nation to Satan for two hundred years, which means Satan's lease ran out in 1991. (Thanks to Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver for pointing this out on The Bugle.) But why quibble over details when the man's logic is so sound?

I had a little insight about Pat Robertson I'd like to share.

Now, this is no defense of the man, mind you. But I've tried to be charitable and imagine why he might say something so thoroughly awful. And here's my guess. I think Pat Robertson sees a genuine tragedy and wants us to take our minds off it. He's not doing this to gain attention for himself. That would be selfish douchebaggery. No, he sees our pain and wants to help us. He realizes we feel a sense of helplessness in the face of such horror, and is concerned that we'll blame God. As a man of the cloth, he has to do his part to defend the Big Guy, so he tries to redirect our hatred towards himself.

Pat Robertson's logic, in a nutshell: Hate the giant earthquake that just caused such devastation? Well, maybe I can make you hate me even more.

Remember what he said about 9/11?
Jerry Falwell: "I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the finger in their face and say you helped this happen."
Pat Robertson: "I totally concur, and the problem is we've adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government."

See, it's Pat Robertson logic again (with the help of Jerry Falwell): Think 9/11 was a bad thing? I can try to do worse.

Like I said, I'm not defending the guy. He's essentially said we should worship a God who would cause things like 9/11 and devastating earthquakes. Way to evangelize, Pat.

Still, I give him points for effort. I think 9/11 and the Haitian earthquake are, on balance, worse than Pat Robertson. But you have to admit, he is competitive. It's hard to hate something as abstract as the shifting of tectonic plates. But hating the host of The 700 Club? Easy.

Thanks for replacing my sadness and despair with revulsion and anger. Heckuva' job, Pat.


Anonymous said...

The Devil Sues Pat Robertson for Breach of Contract

Benjamin Gorman said...

That was pitch perfect. I twittered it immediately. Thanks, Anonymous!

Wait... Anonymous... Could it be... Satan?

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