Pat Robertson: Haiti “Cursed” After “Pact to the Devil” (Video)

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 — the most powerful to hit the country in a century.

As Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said “well over” 100,000 people may have died in the national disaster, Robertson took to the airwaves Wednesday on his show and said that the country has been “cursed by one thing after another” since they “swore a pact to the devil.”

“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about,” Robertson said Tuesday.

Pat Robertson: Haiti “Cursed” After “Pact to the Devil” – Crimesider – CBS News.

“And you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, uh, you know Napoleon the 3rd and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ True story. And so the Devil said, ‘Okay, it’s a deal.’ And, uh, they kicked the French out, you know, with Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by, by one thing after another, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti on the other side is the Dominican Republican. Dominican Republic is, is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etcetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God and out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now we’re helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.”

Shut up, Pat. Either use your ability to help Haiti, or just shut up.

I am so sick and tired of seeing Pat come out and blame natural disasters on the sins of the people in that part of the world:

About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.” (Luke 13:1-5 NLT)

Unless Pat Robertson is better than Jesus Christ, then he needs to shut up.

Post By Joel Watts (10,052 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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109 thoughts on Pat Robertson: Haiti “Cursed” After “Pact to the Devil” (Video)

  1. In my youth, I respected Pat Robertson. Now I just cringe when I see his name in print (or on-screen type). I know that I have made plenty of dumb mistakes and misused speech in ways that reflected poorly on Christ and/or Christianity, but Pat … Pat … this is just hateful. It’s Schadenfreude taken to deplorable extremes (as if you needed to radicalize Schadenfreude to make it deplorable).

    • I hope, that if I ever have a national stage, to use for godly things, especially in a time of crisis such as this.

  2. Isn’t it lucky we have Pat to explain the mind of God for us?

    The call for Pat to shut up having been made and seconded, all in agreement say “Amen”.

  3. It’s so ironic to hear Pat pull this crap every time a natural disaster occurs…( New Orleans…Indonesia…etc) Using his public platform and personality to exact judgement against an entire country…during their tribulation of Biblical perportions is the sh*ttiest and most irresponsible thing a professed believer could EVER DO! What kind of sin would incise God to level an entire country…taking with it the moral people and innocent as well? Paganism? Idolitry? Sexual immorality? Addictions? Perversions? Abuses against women and children? Lack of human compassion? What?What? What?
    Seriously…how do you measure sin? Why does Pat’s God seem so disdainful of the obscenely poor, dark skinned people of the world? Most natural disasters seem especially leveled at them. I can’t imagine how propagating that idea would actually draw people to Christ? I cannot fathom how Pat surmises the people of Haiti are any more lost or wicked that other people groups in other countries through out history…( including Americans) that have never suffered a devistating natural disaster!

  4. Hey what do you think of this. Piper has just released a poem:

    A Poem About Jesus in Haiti

    Jesus in Haiti
    After the Earthquake

    Do you consider safety, or your health,
    A sign from me?
    I am not awed by might, nor struck by wealth,
    Or poverty.

    O, I am struck! And crushed. Buried, I wince,
    And dying, pray,
    A sympathetic Priest in Port-au-Prince,
    Even today.

    But there, in those United States the boot
    Is on my face.
    “Saul, Saul,” I ask, “Why do you persecute
    And not embrace?”

    Your King, I lift my arms to you in peace
    And patient grief;
    And summon now to Haiti enemies
    For my relief.

  5. I’ll be honest … I need to repent of a lot of the things that I’ve been thinking since I first heard about Pat’s ramblings.

  6. If he thinks that about Hati, what about America, I really believe Gods wrath is coming to America.. the whole world…

    • I’ve updated the post with a video. Pat was there a few centuries ago to witness the deal, I reckon.

  7. How can death of thousands of people. some that probably did not know God, be a blessing? He is a stupid man…

    • Indeed, Deb, he surely is and yet, so many will see him as the voice of Christianity. Shame.

  8. I have heard a few ‘Christians’ say the reason generally that there is so much devastation in China and South-East Asia is because the countries don’t believe in Jesus. These people would probably say similar things about Haiti.

  9. I cant believe I’m posting this, when I dont really like Pat Robertson. I will probably be beaten up for my unpopular view, but here goes…

    I dont think we know for certain why God allows things like this to happen (or causes these sorts of things to happen depending on the situation and how one understands sovereignty & ordaining things to occur), as it can be for so many reasons. But if we read the Bible, we can point to examples where God has destroyed individuals, families, cities, and nations. We know that God has wiped cities and nations out before for sin. But we also know that sometime things happen because of humans’ choices and actions, sometime so God can show mercy, sometime so people can find Him, and who knows why else.

    If I recall, Pat’s ministry was going to send relief, so that’s good that he was not ignoring physical needs, right? But should he ignore spiritual ones?

    Personally, I dont think Pat is wrong to have wondered if it was because of the pact. In fact, I sometines wonder that sort of thing when bad things happen to a people (including to me) and I ask God why did this or that happen (was it discipline, rebuke, guidance, so I could be tested, to help me grow, etc). But I do think its presumptuous to definitively state it was, unless he has info I don’t. Of course, he could be correct why bad thing happen to that side of the island and not the other country on that island, but we’re too PC to consider it or say so. I certainly think he could be a bit more tactful with his timing of a call to repent. But having known a few Hatians and one Hatian pastor, I do agree the people of that nation needs God. Of course the sme is true of everyone. The question is, when is it apprpriate to call people to repentance? Jonah did it. Isaiah and Jeremiah did it. Seems to me, a lot of the Old Testament is God using people to call people to repent. As a matter of fact a lot of the New Testament is callimg people to repent also.

    We dont know for sure if the pact (or other sin) is why the earthquake happened, but it is within the realm of possibilities, given Biblical history. We DO know the people of Haiti need God. We also know no one goes to hwaven without faith in Christ.

    So would some one please explain why its wrong for people to remind us of our sins and to suggest that our sins might be why bad things happen to us, and to issue a call for repentance, in hopes that we might go to heaven?

    • Wb, here are some thoughts, in no certain order:

      ‘Our sins’ are individual now, not national. For the earthquake to hit men, women, and children, and call it a wrath of God against sin would be to judge them.

      The ‘pact with the devil’ is a colonial reason for slavery. For more on the ‘pact’ see here:

      The satanic pact allegedly took place at Bois-Caïman near Cap-Haïtien on August 14, 1791 during a meeting organized by several slave leaders, under [Dutty] Boukman’s leadership, before launching what would become Haiti’s Independence War. This brutal period lasted 13 years until the last survivors of the French expeditionary forces, dispatched to Saint-Domingue with the sole purpose to re-establish slavery, were allowed by Dessalines to leave the island and return to Napoleon. Those who made it safely to France wrote and reported about the utmost bravery and supreme courage of Haiti’s indigenous army.

      Obviously, the idea that Haiti was dedicated to Satan prior to its independence is a very serious and profound statement with potentially grave consequences for its people in terms of how they are perceived by others or how the whole nation is understood outside its borders. One would agree that such a strong affirmation should be based on solid historical and scriptural ground. But, although the satanic pact idea is by far the most popular explanation for Haiti’s birth as a free nation, especially among Christian missionaries and some Haitian Church leaders, it is nothing more than a fantasist opinion that ultimately dissipates upon close examination.

      Pat said ‘It’s a true story.’ Really? Based on what? The defeated Catholic French trying to reclaim dignity and attempting to shun the Haitians by creating a myth? Further, considering that it is often attributed to voodoo, does that then make voodoo powerful? Hardly. Not only does Pat make stupid statements, but he lies now.

      Further, considering the examples which Christ gave us in the New Testament, when the relationship between God and humanity changed, we know that sometimes, things just happen, as I quoted above. Further, according to John 9, sometimes, things happen to showcase the power of God. What was the power of God in John 9? It was compassion on the weak, healing, and the spreading of the Gospel.

      Also, we know that a similar earthquake happened 240 years ago, and that the capitol city of Haiti sits on a fault line. Further, the island is mountainous. Given the fact that the earthquake happened 10 miles off the coast, no, the Dominican Republic would not feel it.

      Isaiah and Jeremiah were talking to the People of God – Israel/The Church. Jonah was sent to the Gentiles, but he was sent.

      To sum up, in the New Testament, we are told about a change in God’s relationship with Humanity, and given several rebukes to not seek some mysterious meaning of why bad things happen. We are told not to judge. Further, we know that this has happened before. We also know that the pact is urban myth, but Pat is lying. ‘It’s a true story.’

      His ‘calls to repentance’ is repeating a racist tale and playing God. Hardly what I would think of as Christian.

      • Polycarp, I have just posted your last comment as a blog post on my blog. Sorry I never asked in advance its just that I had to do it and I have to rush out now and didn’t have time to ask.

      • AS I mentioned in a different post. There are historians who seem to think a vodon religious ceremony DID occur http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/history/revolution/caiman.htm

        Each of us have ALWAYS been responsible for our own sins, individually. Go back and look at Sodom and Gomorrah – God looked for righteous people and told the one he found to leave. God does not change. People have always looked to trust in God. Before Christ came, God’s people were looking forward to a savior, and after He came, we look both backward to when HE came and forward to His return. We are still each responsible for our own sins, just as the sons of Eli were. But while we are each responsible for our own sins, sometimes the sins of the fathers are visited to the third and fourth generation – meaning that our forefathers’ sins can affect us. What our forefathers have done in turn can cause us to sin.

        I can’t believe I’m actually defending Pat Robertson, but if he believes the story of the pact (and there are still historians who find it credible), then Pat did not lie.

        And just because people of different color are involved does not make something or someone racist. Even if the story of Bois Caiman is false, that does not make it racist, but more likely it would considered a tale to make the loosers of the revolution more able to accept the loss (since the power of satan had been involved). But I find it strange that if it IS false, that the people who were in the process of throwing religion out from their country and changing their own government (France – the French Revolution occured 1789-1799) would then claim satan had been involved in them getting kicked out of a country (Haiti).

        I said in my own comment that we dont always know why God does or allows things. Sometimes its to show mercy, and sometimes His glory, but sometimes its because of sin.

        I dont think its playing God to be a prophet when you are called to be a prophet, and I dont think you really think so either. And I’d be willing to bet you have no idea if Pat is called as a prophet or not, even if you doubt it. I know a prophet is never popular. And that is certainly the case with Pat Roberton :) – people either love him or hate him.

        I find it amazing everyone was OK with Brit Hume telling Tiger Woods to turn to God, but when Pat Robertson says the same thing, people get all righteous about it. Yes, people have and are dying, but this does not make it wrong to speak out and tell people to repent and turn to God.

        • Wb, their is a difference between Britt and Pat. In Pat’s case, he is saying that God has potentially killed anywhere from 50k to 500k people because of a myth.

          Could you show me where that bit about the third and fourth generation is still in force? I mean, God told Ezekiel that it wasn’t:

          Then another message came to me from the LORD:

          “Why do you quote this proverb concerning the land of Israel: ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste’? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, you will not quote this proverb anymore in Israel. For all people are mine to judge– both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die. (Eze 18:1-4 NLT)

          If we are to believe the bible, then Pat Robertson is wrong. Pat Robertson is no prophet, and that, I do know.

          • From a Time.com article:

            The theory that Haiti is a nation built on a pact with the devil has circulated on a number of websites, each tracing back to an apocryphal tale of Haitian voodoo priests sacrificing a pig and drinking its blood in 1791 in order to secure Satan’s aid in expelling the French occupation. In return, the priests are said to have promised Haiti to Satan for the next 200 years. The French were soon beat back, and in 1804, Haiti became an independent nation. But even if you believe the story (something many historians doubt), Satan’s lease on the tiny island nation should have expired in 1991.

            Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1953504,00.html?xid=rss-topstories#ixzz0cZ286frJ

          • Its not considered to be a myth by non-revisionists.

            Careful which Bible version you read, because visiting the iniquity of the fathers to the third and fourth generation does not necessarily mean punish them for it. Exodus 20:5; Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9.

            And Ezekiel (Ezekiel 18:4; Ezekiel 18:20) was repeating what Moses had already said in Deuteronomy 24:16, “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.”

            God has used donkeys as a prophets, and you know for a fact that God did not tell Pat to tell people to repent? I don’t think so.

          • How do you know God hasn’t told me that Pat isn’t a prophet? We are too measure prophets by the word of God. He fails.

            Try Jeremiah 32.19.

            The same God who “recompenses the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children,” is immediately after set forth as “giving to every man according to his ways” (Jeremiah 32:18, Jeremiah 32:19). In the same law (Exodus 20:5) which “visited the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” (where the explanation is added, “of them that hate me,” that is, the children hating God, as well as their fathers: the former being too likely to follow their parents, sin going down with cumulative force from parent to child), we find (Deut 24:16), “the fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither the children for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

            What kind of ‘g’od would hold people accountable for something that they simply did not do more than 200 years later? If a supposed pact was made by a group of voodoo priests, did all Haitians vote on it? Did they all take a blood oath? Further, considering that it took them over a decade to win, and even in that, they still lost, what does it say about that pact?

            Further, you are still not dealing with the words of Christ and seem to be accepting myth as actual history without evidence except more folklore. Christ told people like Pat not to worry about the why’s but to deal with the individual souls. Is Pat God? Does he know this? He is making a judgment call and condemning Haiti based on what?

            You call what actual historians are doing as revisionist, based on what? Is that unbias and fair, or should we take cultural stories as fact? Was Romulus and Remus raised by wolves? Or is calling that a legend revisionist history?

          • I still cannot wrap my mind around the fact that you accept so easily the myth of this and condemn anyone, even those who have research the tale, as ‘revisionist.’ There is a myth about a cleric who sold his soul to the devil but was redeemed by the Virgin Mary. Is this history?

            Further, where in the bible does a pact with the devil gain ground? Is the devil the father of all lies? And yet, this time, he told the truth? Pat seems to be giving the devil a lot of power here – especially when the Bible says that God sets up kingdoms.

          • This was a Vodou ceremony and the following text is normally attributed to its leader, Boukman:

            The god who created the earth; who created the sun that gives us light. The god who holds up the ocean; who makes the thunder roar. Our God who has ears to hear. You who are hidden in the clouds; who watch us from where you are. You see all that the white has made us suffer. The white man’s god asks him to commit crimes. But the god within us wants to do good. Our god, who is so good, so just, He orders us to revenge our wrongs. It’s He who will direct our arms and bring us the victory. It’s He who will assist us. We all should throw away the image of the white men’s god who is so pitiless. Listen to the voice for liberty that speaks in all our hearts.

          • Yes, we can keep throwing quotes around.

            from a discussion of historians of Haiti ( http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/history/revolution/caiman.htm ):
            ===
            Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique stated:

            Memory of the Bois Caiman is vivid amongst the population who remembers the exact points where events took place. Here is a song, for instance, one 84 year-old was able to sing for us; he holds it from his grand-father: “Revni lwa yo, Sanble lwa yo, Nan Bwa Kayiman nou ye, Nou tande fizi tire Apre Bondye, Se nou sa l ki chaf la ye, Apre Bondye, Se nou chaf, Nan Bwa Kayiman a”

            Analyzing primary source documents (10 of them!), one finds quite clearly that there were two assemblies, the first a few days before the second one. It appears this was due to an “accident” (precipitation of a few? misunderstanding?). The fact is that fire was set to a plantation in the Limbe region (Habitation Chabaud) which provoked interrogations by the authorities. Those arrested clearly indicated that there was a meeting at the Bois Caiman where it was decided to put fire to the colony and massacre all colonialists. (Please note these reports date of 17 Aug. 1791, preceding the Dalmas testimony). Roume, the Civil Commissioner, in his 1792 report, showed that every Sunday the slaves met to prepare the insurrection.

            ===
            Daniel Simidor

            Let us start with the accepted fact that some 200 delegates from the Plaine du Nord plantations met on August 14 and decided on a general slave uprising, for which no date was agreed upon. The Acul and Limbé blacks were short on patience; the gang on the Gallifet estate jumped the gun on the night of Aug. 17 or Aug. 20, and botched up their attempt to set the place on fire. Those captured confessed of a plot to kill all the whites. The Limbé whites decided to take their captives to the Cape to convince the Governor of the urgency of the situation. But before they could safely make their way there, the insurrection exploded with the force of a wild prairie fire. Boukman fearing that the plot was unraveling, had called his followers to the Caiman woods, on the night of the 22nd, and improvised a ceremony that was partly political agitation and partly blood rite.

          • I can take you to South Louisiana and rehearse Evangeline for you, and know it like I lived it, but it isn’t true and to say that, isn’t revisionist history. I can take you to Native American sites and rehearse their myths, but again, not true. I can talk about Betsy Ross and the flag she made, but… You get the point.

          • oh, and just because there are some historians who think the story is not true does not mean it is or is not. And just becuase there are other historians who think the story is true does not mean it is or is not. I have no idea if it is. I really dont care. The validity of the story and indeed the events of the story make NO difference in my life what so ever. I dont care if it happened.

            My only point was that Pat believed it happened (and at least some historians agree). So he did not lie.

          • Oh. And just because some historians say the story happend and others say it did not happen has no bearing on whether it did or not, just whether certain people think it did. That was hundreds of years ago. I have no idea if it happened – I just know some think it happened and others think it did not. It has no impact on my life whether it did or not. And I really dont care if it happened or not.

            My point is simply that Pat thought it happened, so he did not lie.

            You are harsh with Pat, and in some cases I think your treatment is unfounded. He has enough reasons to not be likeable, we dont need to add to them with accusations that are not accurate.

          • huh. basically the same comment got posted twice. sorry. delete either one, or leave them – makes me no never mind. :)

          • I’m not condemning anyone. I’m saying if God has told him to speak out and tell people to repent, then he should.

            My previous point is that “visiting the sins…” does not necessarily mean punishing – it means that what we do affects our children. Take a look at any family who has a history of doing anything we consider bad. If the parents do it, it is likely the children will also, sometimes to a lesser degree. Eventually, someone down the family line will break the habit/teaching/sin.

          • Lets get this straight. I.do.not.like.Pat.Robertson.

            But, to my knowledge, “if I heard God right” does not say “God said”. Maybe its a standard idsclaimer and maybe he simply realizes he could be wrong. *shrug* that’s not making aprophecy, its issuing a warning of what might be.

  10. I notice that Pat Robertson never condemns the rich people who die regularly in Los Angeles in fires, floods, and mudslides. Is that because LA, as a bastion of traditional Christian morality, is beyond reproach?

    • Joe H, I think he HAS said those folks need to repent. Its just he got ignored. But if I’m wrong about him, then he should say they need to repent.

  11. I totally LOVE Donald Millers take on the Pat Robertson ordeal at his blog here: http://donmilleris.com/2010/01/13/1513/
    And don’t miss his subsequent rebuttle to the lamea*** attempt Pat’s spokes person is doing on his behalf for ‘damage’ control. This amounts to the typical response by many Christians who get busted…which is to NOT come right out and say I blew it…and I apologize…what I said was flippant, arrogant, hurtful and especially damaging in the face of such human suffering. Instead to continue spinning the idea that Pat was pretty much misunderstood by the majority of the entire world…holy crap Buddist Tyger Woods modeled a more repentant contrite spirit in his national appology for peets sake.

  12. I’m laughing at my self in this discussion. I simply can not beleive I’m having it. I dont like the man… I really dont.

  13. I am deeply saddened by Pat Robertson’s comments, he obviously believes that anyone outside his very scary fundemental evangelicalism needs God.

    Really it is Pat Robertson who needs to repent.

    I read an extremely apt comment earlier, from Ghandi…

    ”I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

  14. I think everybody who has a blog has covered Pat Robertson’s INSANE statement. What Pat Robertson does not seem to understand is God has never struck before speaking first. Just look at all the instances in the Old Testament and you will see that God first speaks and then strikes. He doesn’t strike and then sits back and let us fumble around trying to figure out what happened. Right now, we are in the age of grace. Despite the age of grace, natural disasters happen. It is a result of sin affecting all of creation — all of it. Sometimes it strikes California, sometimes it strikes somewhere else but it is not God’s had of judgment coming down — at least not yet. God’s had will come down again some day but we have been warned and told what to expect. That can be found in the book of Revelation.

    Lastly, Pat Robertson is speaking as “thus sayeth the Lord.” Fortunately for Pat Robertson, he is not living in the theocratic days of Israel. If he was, then he would be subject to the death penalty speaking on behalf of Lord falsely.

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