From John Mark Reynolds on Pat Robertson’s statement that Haiti is under a curse for making a pact with the devil. Besides being historically inaccurate (it seems), Reynolds makes a larger point about what is “fitting” (my word not his) to say at certain times. An excerpt:
Robertson has been inhuman in two ways.
First, even if he were right, he has picked a horrid time to pontificate. When my friends is suffering from cancer, even if it is his fault, it is the wrong time to remind him that I told him he should have stopped smoking. It is ugly and useless.
Heal the sick, bury the dead, feed the hungry and then deal with root spiritual causes. Safe to say every nation, and Haiti is surely one, has made philosophical and practical decisions that help cause tragedy. We can talk about that when the people of Haiti have been helped by the Church.
Second, even if his theology were sound, he has stated it in such a way and at such a time that it will be misunderstood and will be mocked. He has pronounced a “truth” that (he must concede) would be hard for our culture to hear in a way and at a time that brings that “truth” into derision.
If Robertson were right in his theology and philosophy, his timing has fed his pearls to swine on a silver platter.
Recently Robertson faced major health problems and rightly asked for our prayers. It would have been wrong to be facile and associate his problems with sin. Robertson should grant the people of Haiti the same treatment that he demanded in the case of his illness.
Compassion, prayer, help, and charity.