Pat Robertson is a funny guy. Not funny-ha ha. Funny in a head-scratching sort of way. Like, what are we to make of his recent comments that Haiti brought that earthquake on itself by making a pact with the devil more than 200 years ago? This is the kind of thing you expect to hear from the guy on the next barstool who’s on his third double.
Pat Robertson is a funny guy. Not funny-ha ha. Funny in a head-scratching sort of way.
Like, what are we to make of his recent comments that Haiti brought that earthquake on itself by making a pact with the devil more than 200 years ago? This is the kind of thing you expect to hear from the guy on the next barstool who’s on his third double, rather than from a former presidential candidate who is head of several corporations and host of a nationwide television broadcast.
In fact, my first thought upon hearing that Robertson had made the claim on his program, “The 700 Club,” was, “‘The 700 Club’ is still on?” I’d thought it had been left back in the 1980s, along with Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s “PTL Club” and the Rev. Gene Scott’s late-night homilies/fund drives. (I’m sure you can find these on YouTube, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
Disasters always seem to bring out a certain abandonment of sensibility in Pat Robertson. He once claimed to have changed the course of a hurricane bearing down on his Virginia Beach ministry and corporate headquarters. He suggested Orlando, Fla., might be in for hurricanes, tornadoes and even meteors after the city hosted a gay pride festival.
Don’t laugh, Dover, Pa. — he warned you that, “if there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God; you just rejected him from your city,” after voters turned out school board members who had instituted an intelligent-design policy.
But it is in the aftermath of disasters that the good reverend is at his worst. There he was on television, just days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, agreeing with Jerry Falwell that the ACLU was to blame. Of Hurricane Katrina, then-Supreme Court nominee John Roberts “can, maybe, you know, be thankful that a tragedy has brought him some good,” because the changed mood in the country would inhibit tough Senate questioning.
And now, the Haiti earthquake, or, as Robertson referred to it, the “blessing in disguise.” It was, he suggested, the result of a deal with the devil to gain freedom from French rule. It cursed the poor Haitians (as opposed to the bordering Dominican Republic, which, Robertson points out, is going great guns).
As I say, Robertson is not funny-ha ha. But I’ll tell you who is: Lily Coyle of Minneapolis. A reader passed along her take on Robertson’s comments. I won’t reprint the entire letter because A) there may be copyright issues and B) she’s much funnier than I am. But here’s an excerpt:
“Dear Pat Robertson,
I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. ...
But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. ...
If I had a thing going with Haiti, there’d be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox — that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. ...
You’re doing great work, Pat, and I don’t want to clip your wings — just, come on, you’re making me look bad.
You can read the entire letter at www.startribune.com/opinion/letters/81595442.html.
Unlike Pat Robertson, it’s funny-ha ha.
Contact Messenger Post Managing Editor Kevin Frisch at (585) 394-0770, ext. 257, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is the opinion of the writer and not of the newspaper.