Pat Robertson and His Haiti Remark


I wasn't surprised by Pat Robertson's comments on Haiti considering that similarly he had concurred with a statement that America was being judged for abortion and homosexuals during 9/11. But I won't bother talking about his character (because he speaks for himself) but rather his words because they reflect the sentiment of many Americans. This is a bit of a continuation of "American Christianity"

I believe that the story Robertson references about Haiti asking Satan to lead them out of slavery is myth that was another attempt to degrade Africans through religion, such as the tale that Blacks are cursed for being the descendants of Ham was designed to do. The idea has been propagated to discredit the Haitians for their achievement of being the only slaves successful of taking their land back through a revolt in history. Instead of giving the Haiti's the credit they deserve for their courage and determination, the West would rather believe that it was Satan who just gave the Haitians their freedom. Dr. Jean R. Gelin describes how this developed here
Haitian pastor Frantz Lacombe identified a ‘dependence mentality’ in the leadership of the Haitian church, which resulted from the way the Christian faith was brought to the country, historically and through various denominations. Apparently, this unfortunate manner of thinking, which tends to emulate the worldview and culture of North American and European Christian missionaries, has permeated the general philosophy of the Haitian church on many levels, including church planting, church management, music and even missionary activities.

In that context, I would not be surprised if the satanic pact idea (followed by the divine curse message) was put together first by foreign missionaries and later on picked up by local leaders. On the other hand, it is equally possible that some Haitian church leaders developed the idea on their own using a theological framework borrowed from those same missionaries who subsequently propagated the message around the world. Either way, because of this message, Haiti has been portrayed as the country born out of Satan’s benevolence and goodwill toward mankind. Shouldn’t such a fantastic idea be tested for its historic validity and theological soundness? I invite you to take with me a closer and possibly different look at the available records.

He continues to describe where this idea came from in parts two and three of his message. But in any case, Robertson's actions also illustrate that, besides being racially charged, American Christianity is often too ignorant of its own its own history and beliefs. I get tired of hearing about how America is being or is going to be judged because of abortion and homosexuality. Today being a Christian means little more than checking off "I'm against abortion" and "I'm against homosexuality," even though, as Greg Boyd says, "Yet, while we have at most six verses in the Bible that mention homosexuality, we have around 3,000 passages that address greed, gluttony and the need to care for the poor. Not only this, but if there are any sins American Christians are most guilty of, they’re greed, gluttony and apathy toward the poor. And if there are any sins that demonstrably kill people, it’s these ones. Yet Christians go after gays . Why? One can’t help but suspect it might be because it’s one sin they can feel self-righteous in condemning." Besides that, for so many American Christians, sin in America began with Roe vs Wade and the gay and lesbian movements, but what before that? Instead of saying that American is being judged for those sins, why don't they ever take into account the centuries of injustices of Africans, Native Americans, and immigrants at the hands of America. If they are so sure that God is angry at this country for sin, why don't they think His memory extends to those hundreds of years of horror? Why don't they think God is judging America for it's adoration of money or neglect of the sick and poor? They assume that God doesn't care about those matters because they do not matter to them.
Finally, before making statements that God is judging anyone, they should take in account what He Himself said on the matter, verses that they so easily forget.

1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5, New King James Version)

Scientist Are Working to Cure Our Hair

I recently read on Essence that an Australian scientist is working to develop a pill that will make curly hair straight. This isn't new, however. Five years ago, ABC reported that L'Oreal researchers are creating a pill that will do the same. Apparently, these pills could replace relaxers and flat irons one day, but as Tia Williams pointed out, as scientist isolate the gene that makes our curly, it may eventually be removed altogether.

Our efforts to integrate diversity in our culture are being counteracted by this type of "progress." Why should we face the stigma our natural hair has when it is becoming increasingly easier just to chemically alter it in order to forget that we weren't born with what the world labels a genetic mistake. Instead of teaching society to embrace genetic diversity, we will jump at the chance to consume a product that brings us closer to the European standard. To make matters worse, as more of us transform ourselves to look European, we support the fear and ridicule of natural hair, reducing it to nothing more than being something foreign or a relic of the 70s. In fact, it practically is already. For example, why is it okay for white people to wear huge afro wigs in an effort to look clownish when it is offensive for them to go in blackface to look silly or pull their eyes mocking Asians. Blacks have no problem allowing them to mock our hair because we continuously try to separate ourselves from it. The uniqueness, respect, and beauty of our natural hair will continue fade as producers make products to match our cravings for straight hair.

Another consequence of this our powerful urge to assimilate and conform is a uniform dull world (sort of like the extreme society that is painted in "Eye of the Beholder"). As skin lighteners, hair straighteners, and surgical procedures bring cultures around the globe closer to a single ideal, encouraging us to lose appreciation for racial diversity, we create a world where everyone has similar features. How beautiful would the world be if it lacked its variety?




On a side note, this article from Essence reminded me of the Coil Review's excellent commercial:


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