Before I belabor the obvious, let me first say that the hearts, sympathies and best wishes of secular America go out to the good people of Haiti as they struggle through this difficult time. We sincerely hope the emergency workers and medical teams can stem the tide of suffering soon. (Go here to help.)
Now, if you haven’t already seen this, watch it now before I proceed. Pat Robertson’s foot-in-mouth disease .
My question is, at what point do Pat Robertson’s handlers duct-tape him to a chair and let someone else run the Cirque du 700 Club? The guy is clearly a few bricks shy of a load.
Oh, that’s right… there are lots of people out there who actually believe Pat’s little parable about the Devil and the CCHFPNDS (the Council of Colonial Haitians Formed for the Purpose of Negotiating Deals with Satan.) Disappointing, isn’t it?
I’ll Take Haitian History for $400, Alex…
Ok, first let’s start with the easy stuff. Haiti officially became independent from France in 1804, over 4 years before the birth of Napoleon III and over 48 years before N3 took office. So Pat, not only were the Haitians not under his heel, he didn’t even have a heel yet. So right off the bat, Pat’s little history lesson is way off.
A Blessing In (a very good) Disguise
When Pat asked if all the destruction might be a blessing in disguise, I wished for a moment that his house would fall down just to see if he’d feel blessed after such an event. That probably won’t happen, so I’ll spell it out.
Pat, having buildings crush and maim thousands and thousands of human beings is never a blessing. Countries can be rebuilt and improved before suffering massive loss of life. If I can figure that out, God should be able to.
Vengeance is Mine Sayeth…
By the way, at least 9 out of 10 Haitians call themselves Christian these days, and none of them participated in Pat’s alleged “pact with the devil” 200 years ago. Why would God punish so many of his own believers in 2010? That’s a hell of a way to make a point.
Now let’s talk a bit about this pact with the devil Pat spoke of. It’s not so unbelievable if you just close your eyes…
Imagine if you will a group of Haitians (whom Pat simply refers to as “they”) who somehow became the consensus representatives of all the islanders who wanted the French gone. They might have been chosen for their shrewd negotiating skills, their connections to populations throughout the island, or by height. We don’t know, but apparently Pat thinks they had the power to speak and act on behalf of the entire native population.
With the imprimatur of the whole island, this group then met somewhere – possibly a known hangout of the devil – and… what… stood around with toothpicks in their mouths trying to look tough until the Prince of Darkness happened to hoof by?
Satan’s not such a bad guy if he helps us with the French…
Deal or… Deal
Alright, so Big Red eventually shows up in a dark alley packing heat and whispers out of the side of his mouth to one of the Representatives of Rebellion:
Satan: “Say chum, you look like someone who can use a little help getting some frogs to swim back to their lily pad.”
RoR: “What if we are?”
Satan: “I might be able to help. But it’ll cost ya, see.”
RoR: “We don’t have very much money, sir. How much are we talking about – for complete independence I mean?”
Satan: “You get half the island, savvy, but your neighbors will always live better than you. When you rebels die, I’ll torment all your immortal souls for eternity, then I’ll plague the island with hurricanes, poverty, disease, political instability and corruption for the next 2 centuries, then level the place in 2010 with a devastating earthquake. But you’ll all be dead and in hell by then, so don’t worry about it.”
RoR: “It’s a Deal!”
…And most of the French died of yellow fever and the Haitians all lived happily ever after…
True story? Really, Pat?
Well… not really.
And this is the man who had the ear of presidents?