Why Poor People Support Pat Robertson

In Kmareka tradition of reporting the news before it happens– look for the wingnutisphere to find and circulate quotes from Haitian preachers blaming their congregations for the earthquake.

Religion can be a refuge and a help in a disaster…

Since Tuesday’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake, hundreds of thousands of Haitians have slept out in the streets, singing hymns for comfort and praying in the darkness.

About 80 percent of Haitians are Catholic and 16 percent Protestant, though more than half the population are believed to practice voodoo, a religion with roots in Africa.

Many Haitians have turned to God for an explanation of their impoverished country’s worst catastrophe in living memory, which has killed up to 200,000 people.

Or it can be salt in the wounds…

As desperate believers gathered to pray Sunday across the shattered capital, the Rev. Eric Toussaint told a congregation gathered outside the ruined cathedral that the earthquake “is a sign from God, saying that we must recognize his power. “Haitians, he said, “need to reinvent themselves, to find a new path to God.”

Such as Pat Robertson may rise to favor with the rich, but they get their start taking money from widows and orphans, promising them that God will pay them back with interest and turn His kindly aspect on them. If not, they have only themselves to blame.

How do you make sense of an earthquake that rips apart a city? Is there a reason? Is random chance more frightening and terrible than the corrupt preacher who tells you that you are being punished for your sins?

A poem from 1898 speaks from the depths of despair…

Hap by Thomas Hardy

If but some vengeful god would call to me

From up the sky, and laugh: “Thou suffering thing,

Know that thy sorrow is my ecstasy,

That thy love’s loss is my hate’s profiting!”

Then would I bear it, clench myself, and die,

Steeled by the sense of ire unmerited;

Half-eased in that a Powerfuller than I

Had willed and meted me the tears I shed.

But not so. How arrives it joy lies slain,

And why unblooms the best hope ever sown? —

Crass Casualty obstructs the sun and rain,

And dicing Time for gladness casts a moan. . . .

These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown

Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.

So when you hear some radio jock say that Pat Robertson isn’t so bad because some Haitian hellfire preacher is also lashing the afflicted, remember that we are all human. To be staring into the void in the worst of times, wondering if there is a God– hope that you never find yourself there.

IN RELATED NEWS: Nomi at ‘I Dreamed I Saw Grace P. Last Night’ posts a list of Rush Limbaugh’s corporate sponsors. If you or your church donated to Haitian relief, you might not want to cancel that out by donating to the Limbaugh family fortune.

2 thoughts on “Why Poor People Support Pat Robertson

  1. Nancy,
    Your writing is quite simply a blessing and a gift. All the sponsor information I learned is from the wise and funny blogger, Maryscott O’Connor whose blog address I alas don’t know by heart but will post here ASAP. ” My Left Wing “.
    Many friends have been sharing the 800 # for the 700 club to express their Who Is Cursed? response to Pat Robertson whose name is oddly an inversion of Rob Pattinson ( of Vampire fame). Robert Pattinson is blameless here.

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