“NEW YORK (CBS, 1/12/10) Pat Robertson, the American Christian televangelist and host of “The 700 Club,” said that Haitians need to have a ‘great turning to god’ while he was reporting on the devastating 7.0 earthquake that shook the island nation … ‘Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about… They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said “We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.” True story. And so the devil said, “Ok it’s a deal.” And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another.’ ”
Actually, Pat, it was not (Louis) Napoleon III (1852-1870) against whom the Haitian slave revolt took place but the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1798-1815), but when you are making up stuff like you do, what difference do the facts make? Now there was a huge amount of controversy, not about him getting his facts wrong, but about the content of what he said. Now while many including myself regard what he said as an outrageous slander against the Haitian people, another question occurred to me: how does he know? How does he know that in fact the Haitian people made a pact with the devil, whenever they did it, and that because of that pact, made however may years ago, they suffered this horrible earthquake now.
And so I decided to go to the source. I decided to consult a Higher Authority. After all, if doing so is good enough for Pat Robertson, Mayor Nagin of New Orleans, and George Bush (as well as Iran’s President Ahmedinejad), it is good enough for me, I reasoned. (As to which “one true God” any of us is communicating with, mine, of course, is my Him [or Her, as the case may be], not any of theirs.) And so I gave God a ring.
He (and there was a male voice at the other of the line when I called) was not in a particularly good mood. “What is going on down there?” I was asked. “Things are really getting out of hand. I am truly wroth. In fact, to quote myself ‘Vengeance is mine.’ In case you haven’t heard,” the voice intoned, “that is one of the most famous sayings from the Bible, you know, from Hebrews 10:30. I will repeat the quote for you, for it has such a nice ring to it: ‘Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.’ You did have that idiot President running around, taking my name in vain, wreaking all kinds of havoc. I understand that this Robertson guy was one of his strongest supporters, no? The present guy is much smarter, handles your language much better, and his heart seems to be in the right place most of the time. But by choice or entrapment he is following certain of that other guy’s policies, especially in regard of what for lack of a better term is described, as I understand it, as ‘American Imperialism.'”
“Even more important to me is of course the whole global warming/climate change thing. Your species is currently knocking off bunches of the raft of other species that I created way back when (actually a few billions, not 6000, years ago as lunatics like what’s-his-name, oh yes, Robertson, like to proclaim. This is not good, for I value all of my species equally. Let me tell you, if something is not done soon to right the ship, as they say, there is going to be hell to pay down there, and not the kind of hell that Robertson person is talking about. It will be real hell.”
“I don’t do things like control earthquakes and hurricanes and such. I set up the system those billions of years ago, and those things occur naturally. But I, and my consort Mother Nature, we do look after all of our species. If yours continues to do what it is doing to my whole creation, Vengeance will be mine. I will interfere, even though I am loath to do so and do it very infrequently. If you keep going the way you are going, we will make sure that Thou shalt go first, before you have the chance to destroy every single one of our creations.
“We do love you all and hope that you right the ship of Earth, soon. There is a devil about, but he doesn’t interfere in the way that Robertson would have had him do. He actually lines up with people like Robertson and his political ilk to bring more war, more pestilence, more drought, more famine, more destructive climate change, as the result of human activities. In fact, it might interest you to know that Robertson’s close buddy, that Falwell guy, recently appeared at the Pearly Gates. Peter looked him up, took one look at that record of sowing discord, hate and fear whenever and wherever he could, and said, ‘You know, bud, you will be much happier spending the rest of eternity in the other place, where the man in charge does just the same kinds of things you like to do.’ We never heard from him again.”
“And so, my friend,” God said to me, “I’m glad you called. Forget about that false prophet Robertson and all of his kind. I know that you write for BuzzFlash. Yours are the kinds of folks who are going to save all of my creation, if anyone can. So give my very best wishes to all of your friends and colleagues, but do tell them also to redouble their efforts to save the Earth. There is not much time left, and I won’t wait forever if I do in the end have to take drastic action to protect all of my other species that you haven’t managed yet to eliminate.”
And with that, he hung up. So the Robertson thing was good for something. I got to talk to God and He told me and all of my like-minded friends to redouble our efforts to save our species, and the Earth itself.
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor of 30 books. In addition to being a Columnist for BuzzFlash, Dr. Jonas is also a Contributing Author for TPJmagazine; a Featured Writer for Dandelion Salad; a Senior Columnist for The Greanville POST; a Contributor to TheHarderStuff newsletter; a Contributor to The Planetary Movement; and a Contributing Columnist for the Project for the Old American Century, POAC.