It was appalling to watch this on prime time. Would children, who ought to look on such phenomena with a sense of wonder, be instilled with information? I would deem this x-rated because it affects the mind. Instead of seeing it as a natural happening and seeing it through at least some scientific prism, they are fed this rubbish.
There are two aspects to this:
- We keep away genuine interest and believe everything in nature can have dire consequences.
- The way it is projected, only one belief system was being promoted. I do not know whether Muslims and Christians have strong superstitions about these matters. There are ‘practical’ things I recall, which may or may not have any scientific basis. It is disturbing to see religion being pushed in this manner.
This brings me to Pat Robertson’s ‘Haiti deserved the earthquake because of its pact with the devil’. He obviously does not know about quakes in Los Angeles and how buildings are specifically designed to avoid tremors.
It is disgusting to see an island that was occupied by force by the United States, had several coups, became a slave to the French, and survived it all despite still dealing with debilitating poverty as some victim of voodoo.
Commentators have talked about racist overtones. Haiti, unlike good little black slaves, threw off imperialist shackles. If it was doomed, it was going to be on its own terms. Now the world, especially the big superpowers, cannot stand the idea of such obstinate self-respect on the part of people who are not supposed to be anything but dust underfoot. No ready theories are available, so the best one to pull out is the one with god. God has got to be White, so Haiti is in cahoots with the devil.
The logical question would be: If god is kind and all that, then why would s/he cause this destruction? If the devil is a real opponent of god, then why would the devil let it happen without putting up a brave fight?
What about natural disasters elsewhere? What about man-made calamities that we bring upon our fellow citizens, not to speak about other nations? What god or devil pacts are these about?
Meanwhile, Haiti’s hospitals have been destroyed and thousands are dying. It is an ongoing tragedy that needs to be addressed. Pop evangelism won’t get Haiti anywhere.
It would be easy to dismiss Pat Robertson, but he is not the problem. He is reflecting a problem that we have in some measure as societies on the brink of mental instability. You and I may not buy his thesis immediately, but it will register as something that someone believes. And this man has a huge following. He is dangerous because he thinks he is on god’s side.
At least the eclipse has the good sense to get off the sun after a while.