Jeff Foxworthy said that “Southerners are among the smartest people on Earth. Our problem is that we just can’t keep the most ignorant amongst us off the television.” We Christians have the same problem. There are a lot of thoughtful intelligent Christians. We just can’t keep the most ignorant amongst us off the television. Here’s an example.
An absolutely horrible earthquake rocked Haiti today. Preliminary reports indicate that the death toll may be in the hundreds of thousands. For those who don’t know, a well-known, though embarassing, voice of evangelical Christianity chimed in on the disaster. Pat Roberston explained, “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 … 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…’ Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another…” The legend of which Robertson speaks dates back to the 18th century and is of very dubious origin. Even assuming its truth, however, what view of God countenances his raining disaster on hundreds of thousands of people who not only are not parties to such a “pact” but who are even unaware of such a legend? I am offended that Robertson who, in theory, flies the same religious banner I do would hide his apparent personal disdain for those not like him behind the faith that I so cherish. It’s ignorant, it’s offensive and it’s an affront to everything that Christ came to do.
Earlier in the day, I read a thread in which someone compared Robertson with Fred Phelps (the pastor behind godhatesfags.com). I responded that, in some way, Robertson is worse. Phelps simply spouts personal vitriol and bad theology to a limited audience whose size is determined by how slow a news day happens to be. Robertson spouts ignorance in many disciplines — history, theology, sociology, etc. — and is much better funded. What a dangerous combination.
I struggled over whether to write this post. I don’t like making personal attacks on anyone — at least anyone who is identifiable. But what should a thoughtful Christian do? We cannot let something like this simply pass in silence. It’s an offense to the Gospel and yet another pretty good reason for the world, who judges Christianity by the conduct of Christians, not to take Christ’s message seriously.
I’m at a loss for further words…
Praying for Haiti,