TV preacher Pat Robertson told his “700 Club” viewers Jan. 13 that a horrific earthquake that struck Haiti Jan. 12 is the country’s own fault because the Caribbean island nation has made a pact with Satan.
Haitians, Robertson said, “swore a pact to the devil” in order to become free of French domination.
“They were under the heel of the French – you know, Napoleon III and whatever,” Robertson asserted. “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 prince.’ 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. They’re desperately poor.”
Robertson added that the Dominican Republic, which shares the same island with Haiti, is prosperous while Haiti remains poor.
The devastating quake, measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale, claimed tens of thousands of lives and left countless people homeless. In Washington, President Barack Obama immediately announced that the United States will lead relief efforts, and aid poured in from all over the world.
Robertson added that the people of Haiti need “a great turning to God.” If this happens, he added, “Out of this tragedy, I’m optimistic something good may come.”
Earlier in the segment, Robertson opined that the fact that so many buildings had collapsed in Haiti may be a “blessing in disguise” because it would spark a “massive rebuilding of the country.”
Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, condemned the remarks.
“Robertson’s callous comments show grotesque insensitivity to the plight of the hundreds of thousands of victims, their families and the nation of Haiti,” Lynn said. “I remain amazed that American political leaders continue to kowtow to Robertson when he spouts extremist rhetoric such as this.”
In other news about Robertson, the TV evangelist says 2010 looks like it might be a tough year for America.
God is not pleased with the direction of the nation, Robertson told his “700 Club” audience Jan. 4, adding that we’re under a “cloud” and will also be plagued with an economic collapse.
Robertson says he meets with God every Jan. 1 to get a vision of how the upcoming year will shake out. The news is often not good.
“What he is telling me, and I believe is right, is that there is a cloud over this nation now,” Roberson said. “There’s a cloud of God’s wrath over America.”
Robertson added that God is angry over legal abortion, gay rights and the expulsion of religion from government institutions.
“Fifty million babies slaughtered – it exceeds the slaughters of antiquity,” he said. “How can we pray for his blessing when we have that going on and when we have courts that have ruled repeatedly against him? We have the Bible taken from the schools. We have taken prayer from the children, and now we have perversion that God calls an abomination. We have legitimized and given a constitutional standing by the court.”
Robertson admitted that he “didn’t get a lot of specifics from the Lord” but seemed to believe that the general prognosis was not positive.
On the economy, Robertson was more specific.
“This country will be ultimately bankrupt,” he said. “It’s just a question of how soon. We’re beginning that. That’s the one thing I can say for certain that is happening. It’s a dangerous thing. It’s going to hurt America very badly.”
Robertson did not mention that his past predictions have often failed. Most famously, in 1980 the Virginia Beach broadcaster predicted nothing less than the end of the world. As Robertson saw it, God would unleash “the Great Tribulation” followed by an invasion of Israel by Russia.
In 2005, Robertson said God told him that President George W. Bush was going to have a great year. In fact, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans that August, and the administration’s anemic response seriously hampered Bush.
In 2007, Robertson was certain that an unspecified domestic incident of “mass killing” would occur, affecting “possibly millions of people, [and] major cities.”
Despite the grim prognosis for 2010, Robertson is pleased about one thing: The new governor of Virginia, Robert McDonnell, is an ally of his.
McDonnell, who won election in November in a landslide, graduated from Robertson’s Regent University. During the campaign, McDonnell’s graduate thesis briefly became a campaign issue.
In the thesis, McDonnell described working women and feminists as “detrimental” to the family and argued for government policies favoring married couples over “cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators.” He even described a 1972 Supreme Court case legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples as “illogical.”
McDonnell sought to distance himself from both the document and Robertson during the campaign but is now making amends. Robertson met with McDonnell in Richmond on election night and was invited to his Jan. 16 inauguration.
On election night, Robertson, who had donated $35,000 to McDonnell’s campaign, lauded his race.
“Our motto at Regent is ‘Christian leadership to Change the World,’ and this is the way we do it,” Robertson said. “The good thing about Bob is he stayed on message, never wavered and he didn’t let his opponent take him off message.