Now here's the official backpeddling from Robertson's PR team:
His comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This famous history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed.
From wikipedia (under Boukman Dutty)
And ever up-to-date wikipedia:On 22 August 1791, Boukman presided in the role of houngan (priest) together with an African-born priestess and conducted a ceremony at the Bois Caïman and prophesied that the slaves Jean François, Biassou spiritual power of the forest and the ancestors, was sacrificed, an oath was taken, and , and Jeannot would be leaders of a slave revolt that would free the slaves of Saint-Domingue. A pig, which symbolized the wild, free, and untamableBoukman and the priestess exhorted the listeners to fight bravely against their oppressors. Days later the Haitian Revolution began.
Soon after the uprising began, French authorities captured Boukman and executed him by beheading. The French then publicly displayed Boukman's head in an attempt to dispel the aura of invincibility that Boukman had cultivated. However it remained strong, and their attempt failed.
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the ceremony over which Boukman presided was called a "pact with the devil," responsible for a "curse" on the country, by Pat Robertson, host of The 700 Club on the Christian Broadcasting Network. Various prominent, mainline Christian voices have criticized Robertson's remarks on the Haiti crisis as untimely, insensitive, and not representative of Christian thought on the issue.
- Dr. Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas
"He must have misspoken."But we need to get on the path of helping people right now. God loves the people of Haiti. He hasn't turned his back on Haiti."
- Franklin Graham
These were, of course, shining examples of pots calling the kettle black. Suffice it to say, however, that Robertson's little anecdote was received by other professionals as being in poor taste. Some even think that he's possessed by Satan:
[Dr. Winell] “Demons need a host, and they can jump from one person to another,” she explained. “We know this because Jesus cast demons out of a possessed man and into a herd of pigs. The pigs drowned themselves, the same kind of self-destructive behavior we are seeing in Mr. Robertson. It is possible that he was infected at or around the funeral of Dr. Jerry Falwell. In hindsight we can see that Dr. Falwell was possessed by a similar—possibly the same-- demon.”
And to give Rev./Dr./Broadcaster Robertson his due, there were some supporters:
- Gary Cass, Christian Anti-Defamation Commission
Does God hate Haiti? God hates sin, and will punish both individual sinners and nations ... The earthquake in Haiti, like every other earthly disaster, reminds us that creation groans under the weight of sin and the judgment of God ... In other words, the earthquake reminds us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only real message of hope.
- Albert Mohler, the Southern Baptist Convention
Another question lies in the context of which his "philanthropy" is placed: is he really just a benevolent but senile old man? This is getting to be his milieu-du jour. He may not like it, but the public is becoming increasingly annoyed at his utterings and mutterings. When you mention his name, eyes roll and people get that What-the-hell-is-that-old-coot-up-to-now? look. "Did he leg press an elephant this time?" "Which town is going to get a fearsome meteor shower because someone hung a gay rainbow flag in front of their home?" "What did God tell him this time? Any good bets on the fifth at the racetrack?" And at the end of each instance, Robertson seems oblivious to the contempt at which he is held. Senility can create an alternate reality for some people.
In the past, Robertson has hidden behind God and His Bible to cover embarrassments. Will he hide behind Scripture ... or a diminished mental capacity? If he does either, he's a coward of the first order. The man is not senile. He is not frail. He is not a "religious fanatic." He shouldn't be hiding behind a dogma so righteous and rigid it would deflect the slings and arrows of the strongest detractors merely by being Holy Scripture. The man is guilty of arrogance, maliciousness and, most of all, stupidity. But not senility.
It always has.
It's amazing that people are just realizing it.
Below is a segment of The 700 Club in which Pat Robertson tells viewers that 40,000 college professors are "communists" some of them are "murderers". He thinks they "beat up" students while brainwashing them.