So Pat Robertson has said his piece regarding this earthquake in Haiti. Apparently, it was their own fault for being such bad people, and God is punishing them, like he punished America for hedonism with 9/11. And once again, his word is being taken by many as the "Christian" stance on the matter.
And I think I can see why. There were two striking comments made over on atheistrev.com regarding this guy, and they're worth attention.
First: "Pat Robertson has a long history of making this sort of claim, most of which have only contributed to his influence and resulted in little blowback from mainstream Christians."
And second: "I understand that many Christians are reluctant to admit that Pat Robertson and others like him speak for them, but this does not change the fact that he does indeed speak for them."
The thing is, both of these statements are completely true. Which is a problem. Why do comments like his receive such little blowback? Of all the Christians I know, not one of them agrees with Robertson on the "reasons" for this earthquake. At best, they do try to take the stance that "he doesn't speak for us".
But he does. He is speaking for us, whether we like it or not, whether we agree with him or not. He makes these statements under the banner of the faith we profess. And we are, for all intents and purposes, powerless to stop him. So then, what do we do?
If you can't stop someone from speaking for you, then start speaking more loudly for yourself. And it will take more than a reactionary "No, I don't agree with Pat Robertson". If we do not share his stance on Haiti, then what stance do we take?
It seems to have gone unnoticed by the world that churches everywhere are calling madly for donations and support to go directly to relief efforts in Haiti (of note is ACT International). And yet somehow, one man's comments have constituted "the Christian stance".
We would do well to ignore Robertson and spend more time just helping. The authentic Christian stance should not be "Pat Robertson is an idiot" (though that may well be true). The Christian stance ought instead to be "Hustle with the help, because a lot of people in Haiti are suffering".
Do what you can.