Monday, February 8, 2010

How Does Pat Robertson Know the Devil Kept His Part of the Deal?

Pat Robertson was universally criticized for his assertion after the earthquake in Haiti that the island republic was suffering the consequences of a deal its founders made with the devil in order to win independence.  Even if it were historical fact (about which I remain skeptical) that the slaves in Haiti performed some Satanic ritual prior to overthrowing their French oppressors at the end of the eighteenth century, I have wondered how does Robertson knows that Satan agreed to help them and how he knows that Satan kept his part of the bargain.  It just does not seem to me to be the kind of fact that can be verified historically.

On the other hand, I can certainly understand why such a story would have appealed to to American slaveholders.  It would have provided a convenient way to reconcile their insistence that Blacks were incapable of directing their own affairs with the fact that the Haitian slaves had successfully overthrown their European masters to establish their won country. No doubt the story also appealed to twentieth century segregationists like the televangelist's father, U.S. Senator Absalom Willis Robertson of Virginia.

While it would be nice to dismiss Robertson as an ignorant old crackpot, I cannot help but recall that he is the founder of Regent University and that 150 of Regent's graduates served in the Bush administration.  No doubt these are the kind of experienced public servants that the Tea Party crowd will turn to should the Republicans retake the White House in 2012.

No comments:

Post a Comment