Salon interviews Andrew Apter about Pat Robertson embroglio
One of the most callous reactions to the Haiti disaster thus far has come from televangelist Pat Robertson, who told viewers of his Christian Broadcasting Network on Wednesday morning that he knew the real reason for the quake: The country's long-standing pact with Satan....
But is it a true story? We spoke with Andrew Apter, professor of history and anthopology at UCLA, about Haiti's voodoo traditions, the ignorance behind the evangelical community's distortions and the real cause of suffering in the third-world country.
Is there any truth to what Pat Robertson is saying?
Of course not! Haitians are Christians. Pat Robertson's language is the reductio ad absurdum of the Christian right. It's so absurd it's almost funny. This notion of a pact with the devil is basically an echo of an old colonial response to the successes of the 1790s Haitian revolution....
This is hate speech. It's saying these people are damned. It's a frequent theme among some Christians that Haiti is being punished for this supposed pact with extreme poverty and humanitarian crises. Tragically, many evangelical Christians in Haiti may actually, in their own extreme confusion and suffering and desperation, believe that God is punishing them....
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