Pat Robertson: bad, Frederick Douglass: good

So, something terrible happened in Haiti and supposed Christian Pat Robertson did what he always does in the case of a terrible tragedy.  He blamed the victims and suggested that God was punishing them for their sins (or their blackness, which may or may not be a sin to Pat Robertson, though I’m leaning towards “may”).  I would be all up in arms about how Pat Robertson is ruining my religion, except it should be pretty obvious that Pat Robertson and I don’t love and serve the same God.  Because the God I love and serve?  That God is on the side of the Haitians.  Even the ones who practice voodoo.  Maybe even especially the ones who practice voodoo, though I wouldn’t be so bold as to make that kind of statement.  Unlike ol Pat, I still have a healthy fear about making claims about what God says or whose side God is on.  Anyway, the God I love and serve is the God who hears the cry of the oppressed, who listens to those who suffer, who comforts those who mourn. So that’s why I’m pretty sure there’s no way Pat and I refer to the same person when we’re talking about God.

But in reading about Pat Robertson’s latest bout of hate speech, I came across this post by Adam Serwer of The American Prospect.  And I loved this quote he included by Frederick Douglass so much that I knew I had to include it here:

Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest, possible difference–so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels.

It kind of reminds me of what Ghandi said about loving Christ but not so much Christians. It’s people like Pat Robertson that give Frederick Douglass and Ghandi reasons to say things like that.

Today, Jon and I made a donation to World Vision, through whom we sponsor two children, to go toward Haitian earthquake relief (friends not comfortable making a donation to such an expressly Christian organization might consider Partners in Health instead). Today I am praying for everyone affected by the earthquake. Today I am sorry that anyone would dare use the name of God to cause even further hurt to hurting people.

Updated to include: there is actually plenty of evidence that the “deal with the devil” Pat Robertson was referring to didn’t even happen. Or at least, it wasn’t a deal with the devil at all.

4 Replies to “Pat Robertson: bad, Frederick Douglass: good”

  1. It’s unbelievable that that man feels so comfortable spewing his hate. I mean, it’s bad enough that he is going on and on about how these people are “cursed” because of their supposed satanic ways but said evidence of their satanic pact with the devil is a SLAVE UPRISING?? Really??? REALLY???? I mean…is he saying slavery isn’t an affront to god in and of itself? I kinda feel like that’s what he’s saying. Which is just. Barf.


  2. This quote explains Pat’s problem, and why some Christians make me want to hide under a rock…..

    “Why cant we see peoples needs instead of the results of their sin?” -TF Tenney


  3. I like that one, Aaron. It just baffles me that Pat Robertson seems to forget that God called Israel out of Egypt and slavery even though they had a tendency to make golden calves and worship them. There are no prerequisites for God’s freedom. In fact, I seem to remember something Jesus said about God blessing even those who don’t “deserve it,” something about the rain falling on the unrighteous and the righteous. It would be a much more powerful testimony to say that even *if* (and I’m not sure it’s true) some Haitians thought they were making a deal with the devil to get freedom from slavery, the one who delivered them was none other than the God of the Universe. To say, look how you have already been blessed and delivered. It would be even more powerful for this to be coming from people actively working to further bless Haiti, like those providing care there (World Vision, Partners in Health) even before the earthquake. It reminds me of something Rob Bell wrote about missionaries– we shouldn’t think of ourselves as “taking God” anywhere. We need to go there and point out where God already IS, where God is already at work, because rest assured, God is at work for renewal and blessing even before a missionary ever arrives, and will still be at work for renewal and blessing even after they are gone.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: