Back in the day, the comment Pat Robertson made yesterday would have infuriated me. Robertson essentially blamed the devastation that took place in Haiti on the idea that, generations ago, people in Haiti sold their souls to the Devil and are now paying for it. I’m reminded of a similar comment made in a debate on CNN, in which yet another religious figure blamed the devastation in New Orleans following Katrina on the debauchery that took place in that town.
Luckily, or perhaps providentially, Tony Campolo was also on the show and pointed out that the French Quarter was fine, that it was low-income minorities who were devastated, and then asked his fellow guest point blank whether God was angry with low-income minorities. The other guest really didn’t know what to say. Any answer would have painted him a loon.
Regardless, Robertson’s comments further divide people of faith from, well, people of faith. I don’t want to debate the theological ramifications of Robertson’s statements, I only want to point out some perspectives that ease my anger, and instead, cause me to pity him. I consider this a more mature response than I would have had a few years ago. Here are a few perspectives that, hopefully, will keep you from throwing a stapler through a wall:
• Many controlling personalities are drawn to the idea of a severe, vengeance-oriented God. ...
• Another truth that gives me a more grounded perspective on Pat Robertson is that he really doesn’t represent most conservatives. ...
• I’ve also found that the more I trust in Christ’s redemption to be sufficient, the less overtly religious I am. ...
An appropriate response to Haiti:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in..”
An appropriate response to Pat Robertson:
“You seem angry and tired. Christ loves you. He is not impressed with your religious posturing. He really loves you. You don’t have to hide behind anything anymore. The good news really is that good.”
Donald Miller is a speaker and author of A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and Blue Like Jazz (both Nelson). This article originally appeared on his blog. Reprinted with permission.