Saturday, January 16, 2010

Basman on Burston on Robertson

1. (CNN) -- Pat Robertson, the evangelical Christian who once suggested God was punishing Americans with Hurricane Katrina, says a "pact to the devil" brought on the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Officials fear more than 100,000 people have died as a result of Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude
earthquake in Haiti.

Robertson, the host of the "700 Club," blamed the tragedy on something that "happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it."

The Haitians "were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever," Robertson said on his broadcast Wednesday. "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 French.' True story. And so, the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' "

Native Haitians defeated French colonists in 1804 and declared independence.

"You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other." Robertson has previously linked natural disasters and terrorist attacks to legalized abortion in the United States. Soon after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 and wreaking unprecedented devastation on New Orleans, Louisiana, Robertson weighed in with his own theory.

"We have killed over 40 million unborn babies in America,"
Robertson said on his September 12, 2005, broadcast of "700 Club."

"I was reading, yesterday, a book that was very interesting about what God has to say in the Old Testament about those who shed innocent blood. And he [the author] used the term that those who do this, 'the land will vomit you out.' ... But have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected in some way?"

2. A prayer for the people of Haiti
Bradley Burston

On hearing the words of the Reverend Pat Robertson:

A prayer for the people of Haiti,
who, on a good day,
must take heroic measures
just to wake the next,
And who must now find a way
to live through the end of the world:
Lord who speaks in earthquakes Speak now in miracles.
I thank you, that first prayer begins.
Modeh Ani.
The words spoken for the marvel of having woken up alive.
Lord whose relief work is beyond our capabilities
Breathe life today into those buried alive I lie grateful before
You, this King who lives and endures,
for having brought me back this soul inside me,
and with compassion.
Lord who speaks in childbirth,
hear Your children now.
Hear those who have yet to be saved,
Hear those who have been saved
but whose limbs and lives are crushed,
Hear those who pray for those
who can no longer pray for themselves.
Lord who invented the language of love
Teach those who, in Your name,
who, calling themselves men of God,
can find it in their hearts
to speak only blasphemy and cruelty and scorn.
Lord who speaks in apocalypse
Armor the souls of those who call out now in rescue
Lord who has taught us by example the language of loss
Send strength to those who, with their last strength
Now seek nothing more than finding loved ones
Teach Your children by example,
to comprehend the last line of that first prayer:
Your faith is immense

3. me:

What Bradley Burston writes and cites,
reminds me of the old Jewish men
transported in a cattle car,
from what camp I can’t remember,
to their extermination.
They worried they’d die,
such that no one would say Kaddish for them.
So, perhaps under a dispensation,
they said Kaddish for themselves.
My raging thought reading Burston
is as it was
encountering this scene
in an extended meditation on Kaddish.
Rail against such a God; decry him; berate him;
and deliver yourselves of him.

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