Ken Connor

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5 ESV)

In the aftermath of what analysts are calling the worst natural disaster ever to strike the western hemisphere, the American people have responded with an immense outpouring of generosity and support.  Dozens of entities?most notably the U.S. military, the American Red Cross, and countless other organizations dedicated to providing essential disaster relief?have sprung into action.  In the same way that Americans came together after the devastating tsunami of 2004 and the terror attacks of 2001, the people of Haiti are witnessing firsthand what we as a nation can do when united by a single purpose and a common vision.

Unfortunately, the messages of hope and goodwill coming from America in the past two weeks have been marred by the ill-considered and inappropriate remarks of Christian televangelist Pat Robertson.  Two days after the earthquake struck, Robertson declared on his show, The 700 Club, that the earthquake (and Haiti’s destitution in general) is the manifestation of God’s punishment for a pact that the Haitian people made with Satan in 1791 in order to drive the French colonial presence from their land.

Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution

Not surprisingly, these comments have sparked outrage in many quarters.  Why?in the face of unimaginable suffering, sorrow, and misery?would Robertson have decided that now is a good time to suggest, in essence, that the Haitian nation “had it coming?”  Why would he imagine that he, or any other person, is qualified to make such a judgment?

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.