by Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
Less than 24 hours after a devastating earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, causing widespread destruction and loss of life, televangelist Pat Robertson checked in with his verdict on the tragedy: Haiti had it coming!
The magnitude 7.0 quake - the most powerful to hit Haiti in a century - struck shortly before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12. It was centered about 10 miles southwest of Haiti's capital and largest city, Port-au-Prince. The quake was powerful enough to be felt strongly in eastern Cuba, more than 200 miles away, witnesses said.
Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive told reporters that "well over 100,000 people" may have died in the national disaster. Water, electricity, and phone service were reported disrupted all over the capital, and many buildings have collapsed, including the UN Relief Agency headquarters and Haiti's Presidential Palace.
On his The 700 Club broadcast, Robertson first suggested that the devastating earthquake might actually be "a blessing in disguise," because it could hasten the modernization of Haiti.
He then launched into this idiosyncratic interpretation of Haitian history:
And you know, Christy, something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, uh, you know, Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.' True story, and so the Devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.' And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they've been cursed by one thing after the other desperately poor. That island is Hispanola is one island. It's cut down the middle. On one side is Haiti on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. Uh, they need to have, and we need to pray for them a great turning to God and out of this tragedy. I'm optimistic something good may come but right now we're helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.
This is not the first time Robertson has attributed natural disasters to God's wrath. He has linked Hurricane Katrina and terrorist attacks to legalized abortion, for example.
"I was reading, yesterday, a book that was very interesting about what God has to say in the Old Testament about those who shed innocent blood. & But have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected in some way?" Robertson said in a September 12, 2005 broadcast of The 700 Club.
On his January 2, 2007 700 Club broadcast, Robertson reported that God had informed him that "mass killings" were to come during 2007, due to a terrorist attack on the United States. He added, "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."
In late 1976, Robertson predicted that the end of the world was coming in November or October 1982.
He ran for the Republican presidential nomination against then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in 1988, but was unsuccessful.
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