How 'bout that ole Pat Robertson. It takes temerity to kick an entire nation when it's down, but that's just what the infamous televangelist did during a Christian Broadcasting Network appearance this week, when he suggested that the earthquake that has killed tens of thousands in Haiti is comeuppance for a centuries-old contract between the Haitian people and Satan.
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people may not want to talk about it," Robertson intoned on The 700 Club program. (So tactful!) "They got together and swore a pact with the Devil. They said, 'We will serve you, if you'll get us free from the French.' True story." (See the video above.) This staggering remark was promptly denounced by Haitians and non-crazy religious folk the world over, and Robertson himself seemed to be backtracking before the day was out.
Nevertheless, this got us thinking: Does California have its own pact with Satan? After all, the state's northern reaches recently suffered a magnitude-6.5 temblor, our budget's in sorry shape, and Robertson hasn't shied away from heaping scorn on the Left Coast's sinful excesses before. Commenting on the state's short-lived legalization of gay marriage in 2008, Robertson compared California to the Biblical metropolis of Sodom, "a city in the ancient days where people were so gross they actually tried to rape angels."
We figured it was best to go straight to the horse's mouth on this one, so we put in a call to Chris Roslan, Robertson's spokesman. Might California's recent earthquake be the result of our libertine cultural politics, or some other past association with the Prince of Darkness? His response: "I don't know. I can e-mail you a statement."
We haven't received that statement yet, but we're guessing it's going to be some boilerplate disavowals of the Haiti remarks. Who knows? Maybe we'll get lucky, and get some exclusive quotes from Pat on California's future as an earthquake-ridden dystopia, ruled by Lord Voldemort himself, where no angel is safe to walk the streets alone.
Then again, even Robertson might have enough sense to guess that no two-thirds majority of the state legislature could ever have agreed to a pact with Satan, no matter how generous its terms.