Friday, January 15, 2010

I left my hate in Haiti

Along with food, water, shelter and medical care, most of the population of Haiti has lost access to mass communication. Thus they were spared the following:

And you know Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, uh you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True Story. And so the Devil said "OK, it's a deal." And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. That island is Hispaniola is one island. It's cut down the middle. On one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc.. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. Uh, they need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God and out of this tragedy. I'm optimistic something good may come.

This indecently stupid and ignorant blather, from Marion "Pat" Robertson of course, has been all over the intertubes and has drawn criticism even from other right-wingers. At first I was bemused (my fallback position in this century) to hear apparent support for the French, even if this founder of an accredited "university" can't tell one Napoleon from another. A moment's thought brought clarity: Haiti is a Catholic country, and to Robertson, Catholics are worse than atheists, worse than Voodoo, worse even than the secular feminist lesbians who forced God to endorse the destruction of the World Trade Center. "A pact to the Devil?" Don't you mean the pope?

Unfortunately, everyone in the rest of the world, including the thousands of Haitians resident in the United States, had to hear or read this garbage. For the less spiritually inclined, there was Jabba the Rush insisting that the earthquake and its victims were nothing but a public relations opportunity for Barack Obama, who responded to the horror with unseemly promptness because -- wait for it -- most Haitians are black. (At least he didn't cite the Crips and the Bloods, but that could just reflect a lack of good "looting" footage.) Obama, of course, needs to shore up his popularity among African-Americans, who are responding to the phat beats of Michael Steele in ever-increasing numbers. I confess I felt a bit queasy when he asked George W. "Katrina" Bush to help head up the American relief effort, but Bill Clinton will be around to do the heavy lifting.

Charities, celebrities, public figures and thousands of individuals have already raised millions of dollars for relief. Countries from Venezuela to Japan are stepping up. And from the obscenely rich, non-tax-paying Robertson, not even a case of the "energy supplements" he peddles to his feeble-minded flock. Just smugness and bad history and prayers, and another opportunity to promote his medieval worldview.

It is time to tax the religion industry.