Pat Robertson and the Eclipse

A doomsday quick-fix prophet on TV last night was holding forth on how the solar eclipse would muck up our lives based on our zodiac signs. After he had told us just how bad it would get, a godman sitting next to him asked us to place a pot and add things in it according to the level of muckery, recite some verses a given number of times and then maybe we would be saved.

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:

  1. We keep away genuine interest and believe everything in nature can have dire consequences.
  2. 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.


  1. Muslims are also superstitious but only you cant see it!!Nothing wrong with predictions if you read them in daily life.For earthquakes also people do pujas coz there is godly connection.God created nature.

  2. FV,
    The question u raised is indeed disturbing and far reaching effects since children are watching it...
    i just read about a PIL...to ban all astrologers and quakes or at least giving a warning that such predictions have gone wrong in the past....hope courts give him a fair hearing...
    what about the government? why should it allow unsubstantiated practices be aired on national tv..or why should they not put a big warning before the programme?
    i bet whatever the future these astrologers predicted 100 years back never came true.. in fact they had no clue....
    they are just using inherent fears of ignorant human mind of course with indirect sanction of THE GOVT.

  3. FV
    My heart goes out out to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy. I am sad that I am sitting in a cosey room and there're those with out any roof upon their heads.
    I was watching a little girl whose leg was stuck under rubbles and they were trying to release her leg and also thinking of amputing her leg.....I was crying with the little cute girl's suffering. Thank God , they successfully freed her with her leg.

    I am confused about all these tragedies and human miseries...


  4. Anon:

    If god created everything and decides to destroy then has s/he appointed any middlemen/women to predict these?

    Of course, Muslims are also superstitious. They are like everyone else, except for the horns they wear sometimes or you imagine them wearing!


    I am most disturbed about the effect on children. The government will hardly be of any assistance because most of our ministers are paying tribute and falling at the feet of astrologers; important events are decided on the basis of how the stars are moving etc.

    The rationalists, unfortunately, get too pugnacious in their 'challenge' and it becomes a silly fight. At the individual level, I think people can do what they want, but there has to be some level of temperance in public discourse. The media probably makes a lot of money with these shows.


    Just feeling with depth is something, and believe me this too is lacking in society. We cannot stop living and living the way we do. As I told someone, even a person in Haiti who must have got a food packet or been brought out of the debris would smile.

    Life is full of confusions and chaos and we each seek order in our own way.

  5. fv
    I just saw that 11 year old little cute girl died due to injuries who they released from the rubbles yesterday. That gave me more heartache....I thanked God yesterday for releasing her with her leg and right now I am questioning why she died?



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