Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why won't God leave Haiti alone?

Update: A running Haiti news aggregate here.

For those of you who don't know, my wife and I are closely connected to an orphanage in Haiti. We have friends who have adopted there and who now work on the board of a non-profit which is dedicated to Haiti outreach. Mike is headed in-country on Friday to assess damage done to the orphanage and probably a local church we visited while we were there last time. You can do pay-pal donations at the links.

My wife is speaking with the headmaster of her school today to hopefully begin another relationship with the orphanage, we'll see how that pans out.

So far, it appears none of the children in the orphanage were hurt, praise God, but I worry the real tragedy is yet to come. Haiti is always on the edge; this might send it over.

The question is why. Of course there's always the Pat Robertson explanation. Intrepid journalist Russell Goldman comments:
When American televangelist Pat Robertson on Wednesday attributed the earthquake to the Haitian people's "pact to the devil," it shined a light on the hostility some foreign Christians have aimed at the country's religious traditions.
Ah the condescension we faithful must endure on the back of Pat Robertson.

There they go again. The backwoods retards and their sky fairy. Ha! How quaint--and normally tolerable. But, in the midst of this crisis how dare they look for cosmic significance in world events? Haven't they heard of science? Plate tectonics? I can't believe I live in the same country as these idiots.

Dear Russell Goldman, I have no idea what to make of Pat Robertson's comments. I don't know what God was doing or not doing with respect to this catastrophe. But I do know that it ain't "foreign Christians" who have spun this "pact with the devil" explanation from whole cloth--it's the Haitians. Yes, Russell, after grueling days of watching my friends build a classroom for Haitian orphans in 100+ degree heat, I was treated to theological diatribes--no, rants--not once, not twice, but three times detailing the hundred year pact with the devil and the misery that has resulted. This came not from the sonorous white missionary (who didn't exist), nor even from the humble Haitian pastor who looked after the children. No Russell, this came from the son of an ex-voodoo priestess who actively participated in periodic renewals of said agreement.

Mr. Goldman. Sir. I have no doubt that the mad religious delusions of Pat Robertson and his ilk send apoplectic shivers down your neural pathways, commanding your fingers to ravage the laptop in the digital equivalent of sackcloth and ashes. And I thank you for having the tremendous journalistic courage it takes to pile on to an outspoken televangelist amidst this oppressive culture of Christianism. But please, Sir, could you find it somewhere within your tolerance, your empathy, your unswerving liberal leanings to spare the poor Haitians? Surely they should be respected enough to have their own beliefs? Their own explanations? Shouldn't they?