Pat Robertson's "Haiti Curse" -- More from Anthea Butler

Anthea Butler -- like me a graduate of Fuller Seminary, and an expert in Pentecostalism -- has offered a first take on Pat Robertson's embarrassing and dangerous remarks (to watch him, click here.)   Writing for Religion Dispatches, she offers some context that is helpful, for Pat is continuing a long held Euro-centric view of reality that undermines the Gospel and the church's efforts to be a truly healing presence in the world.

Anthea writes:

This narrative of radicalized supremacy and good old ignorance that permeates certain sectors of Pentecostalism and Charismatic movements is masked in statements like Robertson's. To the faithful, it sounds like truth: after all, look at all the missionaries there, trying to save the poor black benighted souls of those people. Never mind the fact that Haiti has been a Catholic stronghold, or that missionaries from various groups have been on the island for generations. And yes, people practice Vodun, but so what? In a disaster, help should not be predicated upon what a person's belief system is. As President Obama said in his remarks on Haiti, "Finally, let me just say that this is a time when we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share." In disastrous times, doctrinal purity is not at issue. Those in need want help. The evidence: news reports of cries, prayers, and hymns singing throughout the night. But that sounds like devil worshippers to Pat.

Indeed, let us remember at this moment our common humanity and reach out to those in need.  Blaming the victim in order to warrant evangelistic efforts is simply, in my mind, contrary to the gospel.


Pastor -- in all honesty -- you truly called it when you mentioned that his view was Eurocentric! I am African-American, and remain disgusted that people like Robertson, Limbaugh and the like live a life of carefree luxury, while so many others suffer. I wondered the same thing when I looked at GW Bush's oblivious handling of the Katrina disaster. In the last few years of my life, I have come to the conclusion that God either can't do anything about it, or just doesn't care. That, or he plays favorites. This was my initial attraction to process theology. I tend to believe that men like Robertson and Limbaugh will live life to its fullest here, while the truly innocent suffer. Maybe THEN -- and only then -- God will exert his goodness.
Anonymous said…
First.. I will WHOLE HEARTEDLY agree that Robertson's comment were WAY out of line. I was so angry when I saw that comment and watched them, especially while I a was waiting word on a missionary friend of mine was missing in Haiti. (he was found alive!!)
But be careful Bob with your words here.. to call him a "nut case" is almost as bad. Should we as Christians insult each other when we disagree? Is that really a Christian exercise? You risk getting wrapped up in the same vortex.
There are plenty of ill formed ideas on why bad things happen. The author of The Secret blamed the Tsunami on a centralized area of people with "negative thoughts". SERIOUSLY? That is the same vein as Robertson.. from a "new age" religion.
While Mervin quotes every liberal "molitave cocktail" of names, we must ALL be careful about trying to define why something happened. You have to think of Job and are we his friends offering the "bad advice" about why bad things happened and now waiting for God's revelation?

Anonymous said…
I sure God has a special place for Pat. He's our voodoo king. Really, doesn't he seem like a dead soul?

Chuck, I'm happy your friend is safe. My boss is vacationing in the Dominican Republic now. Same Island, didn't even feel it?!

I've spent a good amount of time working with kids and teachers in a school and helped open a library in Dominica. Very poor, but the people of the Caribbean are very inspiring and beautiful. David Mc
Jerry said…
If you're wondering where his comment came from. If you look into Haitian history, there’s a story about a Voodoo priest whose death led to the final slave revolt that resulted in Haitian independence. Pretty interesting. Good info below
John said…

I know that I am disappointed that moderate mainstream imams and leaders in the Muslim faith fail to publicly call Muslim extremest to account for false teachings, especially those teachings which distort and discredit the principles of Islam and which cause non-Muslims to view Islam and its believers with hostility and mistrust.

So when a Christian extremest broadcasts teachings which "distort and discredit the principles" of Christianity, I feel that all Christians are duty bound to speak the truth and call out the preachers of malicious distortion so that the world is not deceived and does not begin to accept ugly distortions from Christian deceivers.

Pat Robertson needs to be lambasted for his evil teachings whenever they come to light.

"All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Randy R Cox said…
Do you guys not believe in curses or just Pat Robertson.

Curse or not, the Haitians jumped right in there to save themselves, working with bare hands as that was about all they had to work with.

With that kind of character, they will do well after this event passes. That character is a blessing.
Anonymous said…
When I listen to the stupid words that tumble out of the mouth of
Christian's and their hero Pat Robertson...then I'm Glad I'm NOT ONE.

Last week it was Bret Hume telling Woods he needed to convert to Christianity to save his marriage

Now it's Pat Robertson telling Haitians they are getting punished by God.

What kind of God do these kooks have, anyway?
Anonymous said…
I fear you missed my point. I completely agree we call the Robertson's to account. Whenever someone preaches a word contrary to the Bible, (conservative or liberal) than I feel we are compelled to speak out. I just think we need to real careful of the "nut job" titles and other insults as we just end up throwing the same type of mud. Granted, name calling is the standard MO nowadays, but doesn't make it right.


Whether or not it is ok to call Pat a nut job, I'm really at a loss at what to call him. He does this time and again and he keeps the money coming in.

Maybe John is right -- this man is evil. He may be a Christian, but his views do not represent mine. I find them distorted, dangerous, and contrary to the gospel.
Christ taught us that "by their fruits you shall know them" (Mt 7:20). By Pat Robertson's fruits, we can see him for who he really is: an arrogant, narrow-minded, un-Christian bigot.

We Christians NEED to speak up in opposition to the hateful rhetoric he spews. I have just written a full blog post on the matter at my blog, and invite you to read it.
Anonymous said…
Well, Pat still sounds like a Voodo king to me. He walks the walk and talks the talk. He's not totally Christian in my book. Case closed. (I don't mean to put voodo in a bad light- no curses please). David Mc
John said…
Just to be clear, I did not call him evil, I called his teachings in this regard evil.


Thanks for the clarification -- you are right!

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