Haiti’s ‘Curse’ a Reason to Help?

First of all, everyone ought to know that Pat Robertson (whose show I don’t watch) says some pretty dumb things: when Ariel Sharon suffered a debilitating stroke in 2006, for instance, Robertson said it was God’s retribution for Israel ceding land to the Palestinians. The newest claim of his with which everyone’s being quick to register sharp disagreement and umbrage: that Haiti’s been under a curse because of a Vodou (‘Voodoo’) oath that adherents of what later became the independence movement swore in 1791 (‘to the devil’, says Robertson) to serve the island’s spirits (loa) for two hundred years if the spirits would help them kick out the French.

The best factual case that can be made for this affecting Haiti to this day would be the following: after the oath to which the participants drank the blood of the pig sacrificed, Haiti finally declared its independence from France on 1 January 1804, which would be the start of two hundred years; in May of 2003, shortly before the end of those two hundred years, President Aristide issued a decree fully recognizing Vodou, extending the nefarious effect of the oath beyond 2004.

While I can’t call the Port-au-Prince earthquake a ‘blessing in disguise’ (Robertson’s words), I do have another point to make. If you believe Pat Robertson’s statements, this should rather make you help more than make you just sit in condemnation of Haiti. If you believe Haiti’s oppressed in the bondage of evil spirits to whom the nation’s been dedicated, this should motivate you all the more to pray for Haiti to be freed from her suffering and blessed with peace. (I suppose my interpretation stresses the Christus Victor aspect more than the penal substitution aspect of Haiti’s salvation from its bondage to the elemental spirits.) It need not be an excuse to do nothing.

Pray for Haiti. Get your church involved in giving through an organization like World Relief or Partners with Haiti. Et lux perpetua luceat eis in Haiti.

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