Limbaugh and Robertson should be ashamed of themselves
15 Jan 2010 UPDATES: I have included a few updates to this story in the comments for this story
Yesterday came the awful news of a devastating 7.0 earthquake in Haiti, which has so far claimed the lives of over 50,000 people, according to their President, Rene Preval, with many more missing under the rubble. Hitting so close to the capital of Port-au-Prince, not only were homes affected but infrastructure, including the complete ruin of the Presidential building and the UN headquarters.
Within hours many countries pledged humanitarian support, with trained rescue teams making their way from the UK, US and other places. The Red Cross actioned a donation line to allow people to give money. The damages will run into billions and that is without counting the human costs.
So many people from around the world have pledged a donation and most are showing sympathy in news comments. However it can not be said that everyone feels an ounce of sympathy.
In the past 24 hours, two noteable right wing pundits have tried to politicize or shift blame for the earthquake. (And if you want to hear/watch either of these I have linked to some videos of interest which you find at the foot of this blog post)
First, Reverend Pat Robertson, an Evangelical Christian, who has in the past tried to run for President of the United States, while campaigning on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s 700 Club for donations, suggested that Haiti was getting what was coming to it, for making a pact with the Devil:
“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”
Let me let you digest that for a second. Yes, Pat Robertson suggested that Haiti were somehow responsible for this tragedy because they made a “pact with the devil”. And then let me ask you, PAT, this. So you think that Haiti made a “pact with the devil” to get rid of their slave masters? Are you advocating slavery? Are you that desperate you would suggest that?
Now Pat has a “history” of saying things about disaster; in 2005 he suggested that New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina because of terrorism and abortion, and in 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist act, he suggested:
“We have sinned against Almighty God, at the highest level of our government, we’ve stuck our finger in your eye. The Supreme Court has insulted you over and over again, Lord. They’ve taken your Bible away from the schools. They’ve forbidden little children to pray. They’ve taken the knowledge of God as best they can, and organizations have come into court to take the knowledge of God out of the public square of America.”
But Robertson’s history in putting his foot well and truly in it, does little to devalue what a cretinous example of the human race he is. Most people, the majority of, have been touched by this and most people are thinking nothing more than sympathy towards these people. But not Robertson. Yet again he shows that there are some people in the right, and who claim to be Christian, that should be castigated for his comments. Yes, yes I know, free speech and all that, but is this what people meant by free speech? The right to spew hatred when others are bleeding to death, or dying or pulling their children from the rubble of a building caused by a natural disaster?
Thank god also for people like Andy Borowitz who can take people like Robertson down in one great satirical swipe:
Just hours after saying that God was punishing Haiti for making a “pact with the Devil,” televangelist Pat Robertson retracted the statement, telling TV viewers, “Haiti? I thought they said ‘Hades.'”
Rev. Robertson said that he had heard the report of the earthquake on the radio and had misinterpreted its location: “For the life of me, I thought God was punishing Hades, which does in fact have a pact with the Devil.”
Apologizing for his “goof,” the televangelist told his TV audience, “Golly – people must’ve thought I was being an insensitive asshole.”
Robertson “claims” to speak for God, thank God, I have seen so many Christians washing their hands of this man. But then again, I have seen some posts on news forums which have tried to excuse Robertson’s words. As Michael Rowe of the Huffington Post asks:
Perhaps in the aftermath of yet another grotesque pronouncement from this man who claims to speak for God, while blaming victims of a natural horror for their own misery, it might be time for America to take a long, hard look at the multi-billion dollar religion industry (which is largely tax-exempt) and ask itself if it still wants to invest people like Pat Robertson and his evangelical corporation with anything but jaundice.
It’s too much to expect Robertson’s millions and millions of followers to share the outrage we feel over his comments about Haiti. It’s too much to expect them to immediately cease funding his enterprise and send their money instead to an aid organization. Imagine the many millions of dollars for Haitian aid that would generate.
It’s too much to expect them to recall what their own Bible says about false prophets, or to see Robertson in the context of Isaiah 29:13: The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”
And people wonder why, when men like this are allowed to continue running their vile mouths and keep being given a forum such as the 700 Club to do so, why, people are turning their back on religion? Let me say this – Robertson represents no Christian faith I want to be a part of. But neither does he represent a vast majority of good honest Christians.
And when you thought there could be no one as vile as Pat Robertson, in jumps right wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who, predictably sees Haiti as a chance to start another rally cry against President Obama. What a surprise Rush politicizes Haiti!
Speaking on his January 13 show, he suggested that Obama would use the Haiti disaster:
“This will play right into Obama’s hands. He’s humanitarian, compassionate. They’ll use this to burnish their, shall we say, “credibility” with the black community — in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It’s made-to-order for them. That’s why he couldn’t wait to get out there, could not wait to get out there.”
He also used his show to try and discourage people from donating:
“We’ve already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.”
He did not stop there. Rush went on:
“Now, I want you to remember, it took him three days to respond to the Christmas Day Fruit of Kaboom Bomber, three days. And when he came out after those three days, he was clearly irritated that he had to do it. He didn’t want to do it. He comes out here in less than 24 hours to speak about Haiti”.
I mean what the hell – bringing the Detroit attempt into this too! As if he couldn’t get any lower in his heartlessness. Reality check Rush – a) what is so wrong with offering aid? It’s more that Bush did after Katrina and if you want to get dirty and b) use the Detroit attempt let me remind you – BUSH TOOK SIX DAYS to respond the the Richard Reid shoe bomber attempt.
Oh and to use race – your bigoted ignorance clearly shines though Rush – well done, sir. Well done, you truly are the lowest form of human life.
By the way this is not the first time Rush has been so critical of Haiti. In 2009 he reacted with just as much spite when President Bill Clinton was made UN Special Envoy to Haiti:
“I’m just gonna tell you, if I was named envoy to Haiti, I’d quit government. Envoy to Haiti? You can’t even pick up a prostitute down there without genuine fear of AIDS.”
The NYDaily called him “classless” for attacking Haiti – classless is a mild way of putting it.
We all know Rush won’t let anything go without being able to spin it into some insult against Obama. Everything is his fault according to Rush. And the sad thing is some people are happy to believe him and allow him to run his mouth so much that they would rather let him get away with such hatred than call him up on it. As a Liberal I am often told that I should be able to criticize Obama if I feel he does something wrong – which I do, but there is a time and a place for things and this is not one of them. I mean, recently Rush was “rushed” to hospital after experiencing chest pains and despite my absolutley hatred of this guy, I went onto a new blog and chastized someone who tried to politicize it.
As I said, time and place. But then there really is no place for this level of hatred. All it shows is how desperate some are to take a swipe at Obama.
It shows why many feel that right wing politics have become saturated by spit and nastiness.
There is no place for remarks from both Robertson and Limbaugh. None. To use this as a way to take a swipe at a political “enemy” or somehow try to justify the death of hundred’s of thousands, is unforgivable and shows in some people there is little one can grasp at and call humanity.
By the way if anyone wants to show either of these two what for, do it in the way that will hurt these two cretins the most – DONATE:
By Youtube User C0ct0pusPrime
Haitian ambassador shames Pat Robertson on the Rachel Maddow show
By Youtube User The Young Turk on Rush’s Haiti remarks