The earthquake disaster that hit (and is still hitting) Haiti is obviously a horrible, horrible thing to happen. Port-au-Prince is wrecked, the government is in shambles, the dead are stacked in the streets, and the hospitals are hopelessly overwhelmed. (What remains of them.) It would be unthinkable to kick these people now, when circumstance has already brought them so low.
Or is it?
While you or I would never stoop to such obscene behavior, the lord our god has chosen men of sterner fiber for the carrying of his message. (May we bask in his forgiveness.) Enter one of my favorite representatives here on earth of the true divine perfection, Pat Robertson. Now Pat talks to god. We know this because Pat knows things only god could know. For instance, Papa Pat refers in the quote below to a certain event that occurred in Haiti in or slightly before 1791. Now I looked, and there is no actual history on this, no eyewitness accounts, no first person records, and no evidence of any kind. Only a singular man who believes he talks to god could know for certain.
But I’ll let Pat tell you about this in his own words.
“It may be a blessing in disguise. … Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. Haitians were originally under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it’s a deal. Ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other.” –Pat Robertson, on the earthquake in Haiti that destroyed the capital and killed tens of thousands of people, Jan. 13, 2010.”
Isn’t that amazing? I think it might have sounded a little more convincing if god had let Pat know that Haiti successfully revolted from France under Napoleon the First, and not the Third… but I guess god can’t be expected to keep track of everything. But you know it makes so much more sense that this horrible catastrophe is Haiti’s own fault! Why, that being the case, we don’t even have to feel bad about it! Thought you should send money for relief the way the whole friggin’ world pitched in to help us when Katrina hit? Fuggedaboudit. If you have a nice TV, that means god loves you more, and you don’t have to do anything to help anyone.
Update: Here is an excerpt from Maggie Koerth-Baker on Boingboing.net, concerning the real reasons for Haiti’s poor fortunes.
Summary: Haiti was forced to pay France for its freedom. When they couldn’t afford the ransom, France (and other countries, including the United States) helpfully offered high-interest loans. By 1900, 80% of Haiti’s annual budget went to paying off its “reparation” debt. They didn’t make the last payment until 1947. Just 10 years later, dictator François Duvalier took over the country and promptly bankrupted it, taking out more high-interest loans to pay for his corrupt lifestyle. The Duvalier family, with the blind-eye financial assistance of Western countries, killed 10s of thousands of Haitians, until the Haitian people overthrew them in 1986. Today, Haiti is still paying off the debt of an oppressive dictator no one would help them get rid of for 30 years.
The rest of the world refuses to forgive this debt.
So, in a way, maybe Robertson is right. Haiti is caught in a deal with the devil, and the devil is us.
BTW, as promised, I am including a blurb here about mine and Lena’s efforts at weight loss. So far so good. We are about two weeks into our endeavor and I have already lost to my 10% mark. (I think Lena’s somewhere between 5% and 10.) We’re exercising every morning and while Lena is in charge of enforcing bed times so we wake up refreshed and energized, I am in charge of making us good things to eat. Lots of greens, veggies, fruits, nuts and grains, fish and some chicken. I’ve been combing the websites of some of my favorite chefs to find fun and delicious recipes, and so far we’ve managed not to feel deprived. (Something that has often been our downfall in the past.)
Well that’s the what for now, I’ll check in again with you next week!