Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, has been hit by a number 7 earthquake. The island that was just beginning to crawl out from beneath the impact of four hurricanes has now been leveled by another natural disaster. It has neither the money nor the infrastructure to cope with such a huge crisis.
It is important to understand that the reasons Haiti has neither the money nor the infrastructure to cope with this disaster has many roots. Like so many desperately poor countries around the world, Haitian sovereignty and resources have often been taken out of Haitian hands and put into the pockets of others, including the United States. The extent of this disaster is not the fault of the Haitian people.
I would like to offer two suggestions to help. The first comes from Pat Robertson and the second from Latin American and Caribbean Community Center.
Below I offer a quote from Pat Robertson, who suggests that when the Haitians revolted against their slave masters to get their freedom in 1804, they made a pact with the devil. And because of seeking their freedom and this pact they have been cursed and that is why the earthquake happened.
“Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it,” Mr Robertson, 80, said yesterday on his Christian Broadcasting Network show, The 700 Club.
Haitians were originally “under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil,” said the former US presidential candidate.
“They said, `We will serve you if you will get us free from the French’. True story. And so the devil said, `OK, it’s a deal’. Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.”
Mr Robertson contrasted Haiti with the neighbouring Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic “is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts etc,” he said. “Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have . . . a great turning to God and out of this tragedy. I’m optimistic good may come.”
I invite folks to let the world know that a Christian response to this disaster is not to make a racist claim that revolting against slavery would have meant making a deal with the devil. That God does not punish anyone, lest of all the poorest amongst us with earthquakes. And that we as Christians have a better solution than blame – we offer love and solidarity which gets me to the second action.
To support our brothers and sisters in Haiti, I recommend checking out Catholic Relief Services, they have good opportunities to help. Another resource is Center for International Disaster Information , it provides links to organizations providing assistance.