Free Markets, Free People

Devil-gate

I’m sorry I couldn’t help myself. We put “-gate” with everything else.    And the only reason that I’m spending anymore time on what Pat Robertson said about Haiti is because of the asinine press release put out by his organization today.  It reads, in part:

On today’s The 700 Club, during a segment about the devastation, suffering and humanitarian effort that is needed in Haiti, Dr. Robertson also spoke about Haiti’s history. His comments were based on the widely-discussed 1791 slave rebellion led by Boukman Dutty at Bois Caiman, where the slaves allegedly made a famous pact with the devil in exchange for victory over the French. This history, combined with the horrible state of the country, has led countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries to believe the country is cursed. Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath

Key words emphasized by me.

History isn’t “alleged”. And “scholars” don’t base their conclusions on rumor or allegations. As for “God’s wrath”, sophisticated listeners are quite able to understand when something is implied. While Robertson may not have stated this was a result of God’s wrath, he did state that the pact with the devil was a “true story”.

And speaking of God’s wrath:

RLTW!

~McQ

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8 Responses to Devil-gate

  • I love French wine, like I love the French language. I have sampled every language, French is my favorite. Fantastic language. Especially to curse with. Nom de dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperie de connard d’enculé de ta mère. It’s like wiping your arse with silk. I love it. — Merovingian

    I can see why it took Bois Caiman the need of a mythical “Pact with Satan” to overthrow the French

  • When I saw the YouTube of Robertson making that claim I wondered what the hell, if you’ll pardon the expression, he was talking about. Surely a pact with Satan would have been mentioned in standard historical briefings on Haiti. (Does the CIA Factbook mention it? I’m guessing no.)

    So I did a little Googling and, indeed, there seems to be a story, fairly consistently retold, attached to a very specific date (August 14, 1791) about a pact initiated by a Haitian revolutionary/shaman with certain spirits generally known, apparently, to the world of Voodoo.

    It may be an apocryphal story, and without some sort of definitive historiography that could lend it veracity, it shouldn’t be repeated as fact by Pat Robertson, who has a huge audience that generally takes things he says seriously.

    In a few of the books on the subject at Google I noted that different authors take different positions on the gravity of this pact, which they do take as fact. I didn’t take notes, other than mental, but at least two of the authors were Haitians. One cut to the chase and basically was saying that Voodoo is diabolical. The other Haitian took a more nuanced view and seemed to emphasize that there was a point where Voodoo and Catholicism could have some sort of meeting of purpose.

    I would stress, however, that Voodoo is not something you would want your kids or other close relatives or neighbors too closely involved with. Not being a cultural relativist myself, I could say that this sort of hyper-animism featuring innumerable spirits is the very thing that monotheism gave the world relief from.

    Is it straight-up Satanism? It doesn’t appear to be. More like an confluence of local minor deities/spirits who are consulted on a number of levels, where not all of the consultations are necessarily for the purposes of advancing the Good, as we like to call it from within the Chrystal Palace of Western Rationality (as John Sabotta at least, liked to call it).

    Therefore, I would conclude that if there was such a pact in the first place, if there was indeed a ceremony sealing said pact on August 14, 1791, that it was not a pact directly with Satan but rather with one or more of his midwestern sales representatives.

    • Robertson shows why the religious should proceed slowly.
      I believe it was Falwell (and possibly Robertson) who jumped out just after 9/11

  • Here is why you should never mix politics with religion, If Robertson was “just” a preacher then this is the sort of thing that preachers say all the time. As in a way of a cautionary tale.  There is nothing wrong with pointing out that doing evil will lead to many misfortunes.
    The problem comes because he is also a political figure so everything he says is taken also in a literal light not just a spiritual one.

  • Love the motivational poster.  :-)
     
    I want to confess something to you here.    It has to do with that poster.     After 9-11, I don’t even remember if it was Robertson or someone else, made the remark that this was judgment on the United States for tolerating sin.    My thought, even then, was…  it may well be judgment, but why assume it is judgment on us?    Maybe it’s because I saw consequences stretching out into the future and had no doubt that *we* would not be facing the worst of it.    Rather than say, no, this isn’t the wrath of God, I wondered if it *was*.    I wondered it it was judgment on Islam for turning away from redemption to a perverted “works” system that resulted in all of the bad things we could see…  the stifling of women, the economy, and freedom.
     
    Certainly the God of the Old Testament used nations in this way.   And that has little to do with some implied favor to the US, unless we want to argue that Babylon was favored by God.
     
    In one sense it’s not supernatural at all.    It’s natural consequences.    God, in His scriptures, might tell us what to do or not do in order to avoid those consequences, but when people go against those warnings is it Wrath?    Is it God deciding to stomp someone for not listening to warnings, or is it just the consequences that would have happened in any case, warning or not?    Is it God’s Wrath washing over a nation like righteous fire in the form of U.S. Army Rangers?     Maybe, in a sense, it is.
     
    Is an earthquake the Wrath of God on a nation that holds on to a particular cultural reality, and that includes religious traditions and the impacts on social norms that are inescapable?    The earthquake isn’t, but what about the level of destruction and horror resulting from it?
     
    How much of Haiti’s History and present superstition play into the poverty there?    Why is their government so corrupt?    If there is a “curse” has it been brought forward.
     
    And here’s another question for you.    How much of the world will be *cursed* because people have embraced modern anti-Christian notions of tolerance and multi-culturalism?     Christianity is constantly being denounced (or watered out) for the intolerance of saying that there is right and wrong and it’s important to be right, that there is Truth and all else if falsehood.    How dare they!    All religions are equal and all cultures are equal.   There is no right and wrong only “true for you” and anyone who says differently is hateful and horrible.
     
    Will it be the Wrath of God for rejecting his message of new life and redemption when bad things happen?
     
    Or will it be the natural consequences, the *curse*, of our new religion of tolerance, of refusing to even allow the question of how historical beliefs and habits of thought and cultural norms might really f*ck up life for people in another culture.
     
    We aren’t *allowed* to judge culture or even suggest that one is better than another, and certainly not to be so utterly hateful as to suggest that someone elses religion is destructive.
     
    And lets take this past religion and past culture…  are we even really allowed to say that one economic system is better than another?    More *moral* than others?     Isn’t it getting that way a little bit?   Someone advocating liberal markets in developing nations (the evil neo-liberalism) or capitalism is portrayed as evil because they “don’t care about people.”    Do we let ourselves get labeled intolerant or uncaring because of it and back off?
     
    I don’t think I’m getting too far afield here.   For all that someone can be counted on to insist that scripture promotes government largess or communism, it really doesn’t.   It promotes personal industry and self-reliance with charity.    It condemns sloth.    It condemns theft.   It condemns those that take charity they aren’t entitled to or don’t need.   It condemns those that find excuses for not caring for elderly parents.    And each person is accountable to God, even if no one else knows what they have done or saw their dishonesty.    Each person is powerful and capable, no matter how poor, because they have direct personal access to God.
     
    These *religious* attitudes have *economic* consequences to a culture.
     
    Will our abandonment, as a nation, of the idea that there is Truth and that some cultures and some systems really are better than others, result in a curse causing human suffering and horror?
     
    As we watch Hugo Chavez fiddle his country into flames…   are we watching the wrath of God?
     
    Maybe we are.

  • I believe I heard Robertson say in the video that this alledged pact with the devil occurred during the reign of Napoleon III. So much for his knowledge of history.

    Somewhere there are some marine Korean war vets who don’t realize how lucky they were that this bonehead was not their platoon leader.

  • Hmmm… indigenous natives oppressed by cruel white men turn to mysticism and successfully drive away imperialist conquerors.  Sounds like the sequel to AVATAR.