It was, I suppose, inevitable that other Christians would finally begin defending the stupid and insulting comments by Marion “Pat” Robertson about the earthquake in Haiti, which I blogged about already. Other Christians cannot, apparently, simply let the man’s stupidity and ignorance go. Because he is a Christian and because he’s being criticized, they feel compelled to defend the asshat. This item comes from the Associated Baptist Press (WebCite cached article):

As several religious leaders criticized Pat Robertson’s comments blaming Haiti’s massive Jan. 12 earthquake on a pact supposedly made by its people with the devil, one came out to defend him.

Gary Cass, chairman and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, issued a statement saying that while Robertson’s comments made him an “easy target” for criticism, they are essentially theologically sound.

Cass believes the criticism Patty has been getting has nothing to do with the ignorant or hurtful nature of what he said, but merely because it made them uncomfortable:

Cass suggested one reason Robertson’s message is so unpopular is that it forces people to face the spiritual dimension of their lives.

“As long as everything is going well we live as if we are never going to die,” he said. “Then crisis hits and death slaps us in the face. Rather than humbling ourselves and searching our hearts like the Pilgrims did, we lash out at God and anyone who dares insinuate Him into our lives.”

Cass goes on to explain how Robertson is correct:

“A simple reading of the Bible shows how God uses natural disasters to further his purposes,” Cass said. “Earthquakes, floods, famine, locusts, etc. they’re all there, but man hates it. Rather than humbly acknowledging that God’s ways are not our ways, man rails against and accuses God. The last thing they will do is cry out for his mercy in Jesus Christ.”

On top of that, another, better-known theologian cited in this article, Albert Mohler, did criticize Robertson for saying what he said, but at the same time insisted his remarks were nevertheless sound, as ABP goes on to report:

A Southern Baptist scholar faulted Robertson for “over-claiming” the meaning of a single event, but also affirmed his theology.

“Do I believe that God punishes nations?” Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on his daily radio program Jan. 13 “You bet, the same way I know that judgment falls upon individuals.” …

Mohler said Robertson “is absolutely correct in speaking about the sinfulness of the people of Haiti.”

Almost unbelievably, Mohler goes on about Haiti’s “dark” nature:

“There is no doubt that Haiti is a very dark place, where voodoo and all kinds of idolatry and all kinds of dark magic, all kinds of enslaving forms of religious belief are very prevalent,” Mohler said. “It is a dark place. It has been a dark place for a long time. The poverty there is not just because the nation started off as a rather impoverished nation, but because of the behavior pattern, beliefs, that have led to a society that has been virtually ungovernable for much of its history and really has embraced so much darkness.”

While this sounds obviously racist … and I have no idea how racist Mohler might be … he turns and tries to justify this statement by generalizing what he said:

However, he said, Robertson could have said the same thing about every human in every country. “All of us are sinners,” Mohler said. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Apparently this statement justifies Mohler condemning just about any nation for just about any kind of immorality. Logically this means, of course, that Haiti is no better or worse than any other nation. In other words, his condemnation of Haiti as “a dark place” is basically meaningless, since every country is “a dark place.”

If anyone by now believes the Religious Right and its various proponents … of whom Cass (a protegé of the late militant dominionist D. James Kennedy) and Mohler (president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which over the years has educated much of the R.R.) are high-ranking members … have anything even remotely valid to say, they’re as delusional and insane as the rest of the R.R..

Lastly, by continuing to insist that Haiti is under a “curse,” based on an old legend that has never been verified, this makes both Cass and Mohler members of my “lying liars for Jesus” club.

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