On air: Do tragedies like this make you question your beliefs?

Take a look at this video. It’s religious broadcaster Pat Robertson discussing Haiti’s “pact with the devil” and it’s got lots of you talking about God’s place in this tragedy .

This blogger says Robertson is confused with a Voodo ritual, the Bois Caïman Ceremony that in Haitian national mythology initiated the revolution.

There’s no shortage of anger towards Robertson. But the National Post’s editorial believes blaming the inexplicable on divine wrath is nothing new.
‘The Greeks believed earthquakes were the result of a vengeful Poseidon smashing the earth with his trident. ..In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, religious Indonesians thought they’d been punished for straying from the path of true Islam…In the wake of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake, no less a thinker than Voltaire questioned his faith in a benevolent entity, posing theological questions that persist to this day: What kind of God destroys schools alongside prisons, mansions alongside hovels, the good alongside the wicked?….God may have abandoned Haiti. But we shouldn’t.’

The country people are calling the unluckiest in the world also happens to be  hailed as the first independent black state that laid the path to  freedom for other French colonies. Whilst few are questioning Haitian’s unparalleled survival instincts, they are asking why a nation that has had freedom the longest remains the poorest. Neighbouring Dominican Republic is thriving . This article explains it all.

Calls to pray on Twitter and elsewhere have been endless – but do events like this make you want to stop praying? If you’re interested in the Christian take on this, have a read of Haiti – Where was God?

Haitians often joke that the country is 80 percent Catholic and 100 percent voodoo.
“My house is destroyed. My two brothers Patrick and Gregory are dead and we haven’t even found their bodies,” said teenager Francesca. “Now we want to find a house to sleep in. There is no one but the good Lord who can help us.”

What makes people keep faith when tragedy strikes?

‘If God loves people, why does he wipe them out? The devastating tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004, shook the faith of religious people the world over. What kind of God would kill 200,000 people in a single stroke? Why does God let anyone die?’ asks this blogger. Do you ever ask the same questions?

How can belief in a benevolent God be reconciled with natural disaster and personal tragedy?

142 Responses to “On air: Do tragedies like this make you question your beliefs?”

  1. January 14, 2010 at 11:31


    In opinion Pat Robertson is the archtype for self righteous bigotry.

    • 2 patti in cape coral
      January 14, 2010 at 15:51

      Thanks for the link, pdxmike. I think the reporter (I think it was Rachel) expressed very succinctly and respectfully what a lot of us are feeling, hoping that Mr. Robertson’s views are not seen as representative of all Americans.

      • 3 W
        January 14, 2010 at 22:55

        I have faith.

        Our faith gets tested. Do not be shaken. Hold on. Do not lose faith. Everything is passing but GOD’s love is everlasting. If you consider how sinful you are, you would agree that you deserve a lot of punishment which you do not receive. God does not punish us as our deeds deserve, so let us not “decide” what is a punishment and what is not. Let us just try to help. Hold on strong. He knows everything and He is in charge. Please keep this close to your heart. Do not have a view of only the here and now. GOD looks into your tommorrow.
        When I was in an accident a few years ago, I came out of the big bus that I was travelling in that had rolled down the valley and fallen on one of my colleagues and as I sat on the side of the road, crying, I started to sing praises to GOD. I am not saying I am a perfect example, but I want us to hold on to our faith. Do not falter.


  2. 4 Roberto
    January 14, 2010 at 11:33

    RE “” Why does God let anyone die?’ asks this blogger. “”

    —— Could be God gets tired of banal questions.

    Obviously this earthquake a terrible natural disaster and the world is responding with aid, but certainly bad luck could not have struck a more downtrodden lot than the Haitian people.

    Robertson used to have a more positive theology than the simplistic, “By Jove, I’ve been struck by lightning” approach. It is dumbfounding as to why Haitians are so disorganized in what should be one of the crown jewells of God’s creation.

    Voodoo, pacts with the Devil, it all makes explanation and justification easier for some I guess. Perhaps the Haitians can rally to rebuild their country in the image of a benevolent, wise God instead of the thunder and lightning God of Robertson.

  3. 5 Jim R
    January 14, 2010 at 11:39

    Events like these cause great despair and are tests of faith. The comments by Pat Robertson are so ridiculous and offensive that I’m shocked people still listen to him. What would people say if a muslim had made similar comments? I think people would be outraged by the ignorance.

    January 14, 2010 at 12:17

    Tregedies do not lead me to question God. Why it happens is that we think of God like an insurance premium we have taken and wonder why we are denyed our compound interest in security. We are devastated because of our materalistic existence and yet we believe there is more to life than here and now. We are yet to be faced by the tragedies of yore that were visited on the dinosours and the prehistoric man; the world is much safer now even though death is not yet conqured.
    Rev. Robinson is now a rich old cleric in senie years and we should shun his irrevant ideas. He should not forget that it his ilk in their garbs of sophistry that have turned Christianity into an absurd sinking club of hecklers. That has nothing to do with God or religion nor interpretation of tragedy and how to deal with it. In his venom leveled at the helpless, this cleric has forgotten that among those now perished might be some of his followers. Too much education may rob us our humanity. having listened too to some of our good scientists at copenhagen, I can’t agree more with David Thoreau that “the best trees in the forest have since been educated into dry boards”.

  5. 8 Ronald Almeida
    January 14, 2010 at 12:33

    Do tragedies make me question my beliefs?

    Oh yes, they did when my beliefs were immature and ignorant and manipulated by teachers, preachers and other such ignorant creatures. Not anymore. Now I believe only in myself and Mother-Nature. Now I am aware that I am the centre of my universe and nature is just reacting to the times.

  6. 9 piscator
    January 14, 2010 at 12:58

    It doesn’t matter whether God or Gods exist or not, they quite clearly don’t interact with people in any way that we can see. Why God should smite the Haitians just at this time, and not the USA, the atheists, the wrong type of Christians, or anybody else, is an interesting point. It seems to me that foreign intervention, and cold war attitudes are responsible for lots of Haiti’s troubles since WW2.

  7. 10 steve
    January 14, 2010 at 13:09

    Even if everyone did what God wants to do, there would still be plate tectonics and hence earthquakes, vulcanos, etc. The plates move regardless of whether people are following God’s wishes or not.

    • 11 Saut
      January 14, 2010 at 17:51

      steve, when was this event: where “everyone did what God wants to do”? I am sure it has never been done before and therefore we will never know.

  8. 12 Guido, Vienna
    January 14, 2010 at 13:09

    Why do human invent a divine being to explain something they do not understand completely?

    Additionally I think that the views of Pat Robertson contradict the words of the bible as
    – there is only one godlike being, therefore exists no devil
    – Jesus said we should be forgiving and love all humans, why should god be unforgiving and brutal

    • 13 Saut
      January 17, 2010 at 04:51

      Guido, assuming you are 100% correct: “human invent a divine being to explain something they do not understand completely” Then, why are you trying to argue logic and certainty based on the bible and Jesus… things that are from dream fantasies.

  9. January 14, 2010 at 13:10

    I see too many brought up and breast feed on religion who have never thought anything on their own and repeat what they have been brainwashed. When they begin to think they become afraid of their superstitions and fairy tales and use anything to shore back up their unreal world.

  10. 15 Vijay Pillai
    January 14, 2010 at 13:20

    It looks like religious people try to give their own explanation for natural disasters.Even advanced nations living on earthquake prone zones take risk , there is no fool proof building or insfratucture.Even nuclear facilities cannot guarantee a 100% save design, may be 99.9%.If someone come and claim that earth is flat, it may convince uneducated people but will not cut ice with those who are enlightend.
    I would have Billy Graham any day to give sermon,which i went to listen in 1978(?)in singapore national stadium inspite of the fact i am hindu.
    May be some religious people see this as an opportunity to convert some of haiti’s believe in devil to christianty or anything else? Time is for help and save their life and give hope and not question their belief at this point in time of great trauma since natural disasters have affected all kinds of religious people around the world.

  11. 16 Bob in Queensland
    January 14, 2010 at 13:23

    As an atheist, I have no need of a god to explain an natural event. However, it always amazes me that supposed Christians can see god as everything from a loving father figure to a vengeful, cruel despot. One side must have it wrong!

    • 17 Saut
      January 14, 2010 at 17:59

      I have seen this in one of BBC’s blogs.
      Atheism brings decrease in human knowledge.
      Just imagine if all human knowledge including God-knowledge of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc are placed in a “bowl”. An atheist will insist that all God-knowledge is non-sense. Would not this reduce the level of human knowledge in the “bowl”?

  12. 18 scmehta
    January 14, 2010 at 13:31

    No; rather such like tragedies answer and strengthen my belief , that, the forces of the Nature are omnipotent; they make us look diminutive and feel humble & god-fearing.

  13. 19 nana kwarteng
    January 14, 2010 at 13:34

    Do I question my beliefs when tragedy strikes? Sometimes. In the moments just before the tragedy when all is distraught. But then the love of God overtakes the pain and assures me that God knows best. If I trust me Him, I’ll be all right!

  14. January 14, 2010 at 13:55

    God or belief or faith has nothing to do wit natural events, both good and not good.
    According to Indian Philosophy Reality, as distinct from God, is immanent and includes and transcends all things and attributes.World is as is.God has no place in interfering with Nature,WE have attributed Name and Form to God in the vision of ourselves.Were an ass to conceive of God it would conceive Gos as a Super Ass.We make judgments on every action/event and what we , as a majority find is good for us first,then to society,and have ascribed these qualities to Godhood.That’s all.Reality like Gravity or Space and Time is indifferent to our perception.

  15. 21 Phyllis, Naples ,Fl.
    January 14, 2010 at 13:59

    No, tragedies do not let most of the people who believe in God question their beliefs.
    Most Christians believe the Bible’s explanation that the choice of Adam and Eve to accept Satan’s offer brought sin into the world with its attendant travails. These travails are not punishment, but came into the world with Satan when Adam and Eve chose him. Of course Adam and Eve were forgiven when they repented . When we choose God, the travails do not go away, but we are given the strength and the tools to deal with them.

    • 22 Anna
      January 14, 2010 at 19:41

      “we are given the strength and the tools to deal with them.” You really think that the thousands of children who died unimaginably painful deaths, and the thousands now maimed but currently still untreated, really have/had the strength to deal with this.? Your God is unbelievably cruel.

  16. 23 @guykaks
    January 14, 2010 at 14:03

    It is plain and simple..We are God’s Harvest and He can Do whatever He wants with it..Look,you should not be deceived.

  17. 24 patti in cape coral
    January 14, 2010 at 14:05

    I may be ambivalent about God and his/her existence, but there is no question about how I feel about Pat Robertson’s comments. It’s one of the more horrendous theories by several TV evangelists. I seem to recall them saying the same type of thing when Hurricane Katrina hit. I don’t know what else I can say, I’m so angry right now. I remember from bible school being taught that God knows everything, even the thoughts you had when you were in your mother’s belly, down to how many hairs you have on your head. That would mean that God knows us individually, not as a group, so he would not punish the good with the bad, would he? Why am I bothering to put forth an argument? It’s useless. The answer to the question is no, these tragedies do not make me question my beliefs. I believed being good to yourself and your fellow man before this tragedy, and I feel the same after it.

  18. 25 Nigel
    January 14, 2010 at 14:30

    My beliefs are strengthened in times like this since tradgedy brings out the best in most people especially the courage of those affected. It also brings out the worst as we saw with Pat Robinson. The frightening thing is that he is the only one to speak out publicly but his views are shared by millions of fundamentalist Christians in the US who see the indigeneous Voodo religion as dealing with the devil. The reference on BBC radio to the Christian organizations in the US “contributing” aid is fundamentally flawed as it is really an “investment” in “saving souls” and ultimately having a money payback from the conversions certainly to come out of this period of the Haitian people’s vulnerability.

  19. 26 Phyllis, Naples ,Fl.
    January 14, 2010 at 14:37

    Pat Robertson’s comment is nothing new to older people of the Caribbean.

    When I grew up in the West Indies, we were warned that the leaders of Haiti have traditionally dabbled with the matters of Satan (The Devil).
    Hence, there is a curse on Haiti.
    We were to follow the spiritual “straight and narrow “so that we and our country would not be subject to the same fate.
    It is to be noted that the Robertson’s are no strangers to the Caribbean.

  20. January 14, 2010 at 14:45

    I no longer have beliefs to be questioned. I jettisoned virtually all faith-based beliefs a few years back.

  21. 28 fmog
    January 14, 2010 at 15:08

    Typical fundamentalist christian response to this tragedy. Interesting that the christian missionaries have taken the first plane home rather than stay and offer help and solace to those traumatised by this catastrophic event.

  22. January 14, 2010 at 15:15

    Really i will question my beliefs because as a christian, am always sure of God`s divine guidance.Am aware that His thoughts are of good for we the mankind,but in a situation like this He got too many questions to answer.

  23. 30 Peter in jamaica
    January 14, 2010 at 15:15

    I believe in god, maybe not to the exstent that others do but why would enviromental events cause me to question them.
    What I do think though is that it is inappropriate to make such insinuations or statements in the face of such a devastating incident and use it as some sort of recruiting tool to bring more people to ones belief. What they need right now is help so lets give it now and worry about or deal with their souls later. Pat Robertson needs to learn some tact. Shame on him.

  24. January 14, 2010 at 15:25

    Pat Robertson has turned his god into a mass murderer,but that is nothing new.Moses came down the mountain with the ten commandments hot off the press.”Thou shalt not kill”,being one of them.And the first thing he did was to kill two and a half thousand of his own.Moses broke the command,and his god allowed it to be broken.Faith is a bolt hole for the insecure.

  25. 32 John in Salem
    January 14, 2010 at 15:41

    Yes. Hearing Pat Robertson talk about anything makes me question evolution.

  26. 33 Roy, Washington DC
    January 14, 2010 at 15:43

    Please don’t associate all Americans with Pat Robertson. As an American, I was embarrassed to hear comments like that come out of our country. There’s nothing wrong with turning to God in times of crisis, but to claim divine retribution is just plain ignorant.

    There are reports that he made the comments in question because he misheard “Haiti” as “Hades”. I find this difficult to believe, since (depending on your religious views) Hades isn’t even a real place.

  27. 34 Vijay Pillai
    January 14, 2010 at 15:48

    Take heart where angel rush to help, not just americans and europeans, many nations ,where are the chinese? is it not in their interest to help or not much resoruces there th exploit? Wherever there is confilic whether in iraq or afganistan or ceylon or sudan,is it the chinese take the risk to establish contacts and contracts afterwards?

  28. 35 Ibrahim in UK
    January 14, 2010 at 15:59

    I cannot begin to imagine what people suffering in this tragedy are going through or the despair that they are feeling. I pray for their suffering to be eased and their lives to be lifted from despair. For them, this is a much more difficult question right now because they are going through the tragedy.
    For the rest, I think it will depend on the beliefs.
    If the beliefs are that the purpose of life is to live the longest, or be the richest, or have many children, cars, houses etc then anything that reduces these will be seen as a test to beliefs.
    If the beliefs are that the purpose of life is to pursue a good life and seek a closer relationship with God, then anything that happens, big or small, good or bad will improve that relationship and strengthen the beliefs.

  29. 36 Mesi
    January 14, 2010 at 16:02

    Not at all, such events strengthen more my faith, show and conform me as an outsider from the targic event the true nature of an individual, of society, and the role of people in general.

    I have almost lost my father a month ago, a true ordeal to see a loved one pass, or almost pass, having to live with the fact that you cannot help.

    But, when one comes out of a difficult or tragic period one is far stronger, one is more, due to the suffering too, one has developed as a person, as a personality, as a human.

    • 37 Anna
      January 14, 2010 at 19:53

      I don’t think the thousands of innocent children painfully killed in this tragedy will be stronger or have “developed as a person, as a personality, as a human”

  30. January 14, 2010 at 16:07

    I believe in my experiences. That said, I’ve had some very powerful “supernatural” experiences. I let my experiences and my ever-evolving awareness of how the universe works shape how I interpret events. I’m probably more Buddhist than anything else, as a result, and I see disasters like these for what they are: excruciating events that call for the rise of human compassion.

    We love you, Haiti. We will not let you suffer more than you have to.

  31. 39 dan
    January 14, 2010 at 16:18

    If evolution brought forth a Pat Robertson then Evolution must by definition be a discredited theory.

    The earthquake in Haiti or wherever are certainly tragedies but they are events of NATURE not God.
    If one believes that God caused earthquakes then they must believe the corollary as well… but they don’t.
    What happened in Haiti restores my faith as I see humans helping one another and aid from distant sources starting to pour in.

    • 40 TomK in Mpls
      January 14, 2010 at 18:21

      Evolution sees far more failures than successes. Darwin’s theory is expressed as survival of the fittest. I prefer, too stupid to live when applying it to people.

  32. 41 Peter Gizzi UK
    January 14, 2010 at 16:24

    Like Bob in Queensland I too am an atheist. This earthquake is part of The Earth’s continuing evolution. We all face natural disaster from time to time. That this religious bigot could speak so cruely of those suffering such devatation leaves me speechless( on line anyway).

  33. 42 alan loughlin
    January 14, 2010 at 16:28

    there is no god benign or otherwise, if you want to believe in god or father christmas, the tooth fairy, or cinderella as real well go ahead and kid yourselves, but please don´’t count me in, the sooner people realize that the whole religion thing is just a con, a way to control people, and take their money the better, how anyone can have faith in paedophile priests, and a church hierarchy that bribes victims and witnesses, or causes millions of deaths in africa by their prophesying is all beyond me, a secular, atheist, humanist, call it what you want type of world would be much safer, fairer and altogether better place to live.

  34. 43 Linda from Italy
    January 14, 2010 at 16:37

    The problem with these fundamentalist monotheistic religions is that they are totalitarian in nature, they seek to dominate people, subjugating them in all areas particularly their social and sexual relationships, and even more particularly when it comes to casting women as the fount of all temptation, sin and evil.
    This is especially ironic for Christianity since Jesus’ message, as I read it at least, is of love and tolerance, something many Muslims like to claim for their too, but their own fundamentalists don’t bear this out either. The likes of Robertson and his evangelic cronies have to fall back on the Old Testament and the wrathful vengeful God prone to smiting anyone he takes against – seems like a pretty petty and all too human attitude to me, hardly worthy of some omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being. The Sermon on the Mount doesn’t seem to get a look in.
    Only through creating this personality for their God can these religious despots hope to keep the faithful fearful, exercising their own lust for power and lining their pockets at the same time.

  35. 44 Krzysztof
    January 14, 2010 at 16:42

    No, not at all.
    I don;t think that this is God’s wish, if you like, to see how we can cope with such disasters. Yep, that is right word. Disaster, natural disaster. So God has nothing to do with it. Moreover, such situations may make us more close to our relatives and to the God, himself.

  36. 45 Robyn Lexington, KY USA
    January 14, 2010 at 16:43

    Pat Robinson has to be the bigest idiot to open his mouth. I do not question my faith in God because I do not believe he makes tragedies happen. I believe he gives us the tools to deal with them. The Haiti disaster is the result of the earths movements. The people there did not bring this on themselves. People like Pat Robinson spread lies that in my opinion have more to do with racism than any truths. I can’t believe this guy is still on TV. Christians have their share of idiots just like any other religions. My heart and donations go out to the Haiti people at this time.

  37. January 14, 2010 at 16:47

    No I will never question my faith. When we talk of faith, it is defined as something that does not have a logical proof and anybody who questions his or her faith because of disastrous tragedies like that one in Haiti is not a strong believer. Instead, he or she is conditioning God yet God is beyond our understanding. God has endowed human beings with brains which it is supposed to use to prevent such disasters. To question our faith or blame God is useless and meaningless and it will never help. What can help is for the world to work hard as whole entity to prevent such tragedies. Otherwise, God is a neutral body which needs a neutral approach not to put our eggs in baskets to depend on God entirely for all our needs.

  38. 47 audre
    January 14, 2010 at 16:48

    Pat Robertson is a poor deluded man… more to be pitied than anything. Can the same be said for his followers? It boggles the mind!

  39. 48 Maina
    January 14, 2010 at 17:01

    Isn’t Pat Robertson the same clown who publicly called for the assasination of Hugo Chaves for nor matching to the US foreign policy tune? Chaves by the way is a devout Christian. Ignore this cartoon & concentrate on the matter at hand, rescuing the people trapped under the ruble.

  40. 49 steve/oregon
    January 14, 2010 at 17:01

    Disasters like this just prove again that science is real god is just a flying spagetti monster that does not exsist.

  41. 50 Daniel, Spain
    January 14, 2010 at 17:04

    I never undertood why christians (being myself brought up as one) face death as a tragedy. An atheist thinks of it as the end of existence and therefore a tragedy, but a true believer should know that god is waiting our souls after we leave this miserable world.
    And as for all non-believers, and everyone in general, don’t you know human kind and every single living creature on earth has been suffering all sorts of natural catastrophes since the beggining of times? This is not new! I think there is something very wrong with the way our society deals with natural disasters, illness, death, or also personal failure in love, carreer and life… This is a long debate, but to put in a nutshell I´ll just say the obvious: pain is part of life, should make us stronger and better individuals, should get the better of us and strengthen our values as society by helping eachother. The sooner we learn that everything could change for the worse right now, the more prepared we shall be to survive and not worry about questioning any beliefs.

  42. 51 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    January 14, 2010 at 17:13

    As a non-theist, I have no faith to lose. Like Steve and Bob in Q, I understand that earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis and such are natural occurences the mechanics of which have no need of a diety to explain them.

    What I DO believe in is Occam’s Razor, which states that the simplest answer is usually the correct one. Tectonic plates move and earthquakes happen. Let’s skip the theology and just roll up our sleeves and get to work to help the Haitian people through this latest natural disaster.

  43. 52 Russ, CA, USA
    January 14, 2010 at 17:15

    Natural disasters don’t test my faith in God, but they do test my faith in my fellow man and my fellow man always comes through in the end…amen!

  44. 53 Gary Paudler
    January 14, 2010 at 17:15

    My faith is absolute and steadfast. God wants Pat Robertson to have your money, verily yea, amen. As long as God is out there running everything, Robertson has no responsibility for personal action or even compassion or empathy; why bother? God’s got it all under control. Rest easy, suckers, there’s nothing you can do. You might suffer horribly at the hands of cynical greedheads but paradise awaits, all you have to do is die after making plenty of children to keep the labor market depressed and insecure and spending all your money – not one penny less – struggling to make a life for your family.

  45. 54 Andrew in Australia
    January 14, 2010 at 17:30

    Basic facts are.. earthquakes occur, plenty of evidence as to why it happens, buildings fall down (mostly due to bad construction in such areas) and people die – inevitable when so many live in prone areas. Is this an act of God or is He just watching once His natural creation has behaved as physics dictates it should?

    Is God testing you? Do you lose your faith? If you survived, then He is testing you, He wants to see you rise above it. If you died, then He reaped your soul and you’re in a better place. For those very religiously inclined there is always some way to excuse what happened. And to remove from your mind any possibility that you must take responsibility or accept that the world is not a game but a dangerous place where ignoring your place in it can be bad for you. Better to put that off onto some other ‘thing’ than to realise sometimes you have no control at all.

    Ultimately whether you have any faith or none at all, don’t ignore reality and imagine some being or someone else will help you. Do what you can when you can and if there is help, then all the better. Faith or not, put into action your faith in yourself.

  46. 55 Tom in the U.S.A.
    January 14, 2010 at 17:40

    Pat Robertson is a clown. Thankfully, most Americans just laugh off what he says. Also, I am thankful he was never elected to public office. He tried once, but failed miserably. That said, he does have a right to free speech. And so do I: Pat Robertson, you are a clown!

  47. 56 Archibald in Oregon
    January 14, 2010 at 17:42

    Pat Robertson, safe from the perceived “evils” of the world, in his well lit, heated television studio is just another ignorant talking head for fundamentalism. He is also a seriously misguided buffoon.
    It is reactions like his, to tragedies of this magnitude, which make me evermore an atheist. Unfortunately, it is disgustingly common for religious leaders to use mass human tragedy as a platform for invigorating membership. Those who suffer should not be fooled by their hollow promises of deliverance. You have a better chance believing in the humanity of your fellow man/woman and offering the same in kind.

  48. 57 eSCe
    January 14, 2010 at 17:56

    Believe in God and be save . Save from what? Save from fear and learn to accept God ‘s will. I hope when my time come I can accept my tragedy. And the same for my love ones. The worst fear is fear itself. I face death many time but the saving grace is not to be afraid. Tragedies is common but not fearing and accepting is rare. If you are true to God why fear. Have compassion. amen

  49. 58 TomK in Mpls
    January 14, 2010 at 18:23

    Always doubt the motives of those that act and seek attention only in tragedy.

  50. 59 Bert
    January 14, 2010 at 18:24

    I’m surprised by the many outraged posts. Pat Robertson’s “explanation” is absolutely standard funademtalist fare, in any religion. These people can claim they have the answer and have no burden of proof.

    Lucky for us, at least the Pat Robertsons of the world don’t go out and wreak havoc in their God’s stead, as some other fundamentalists like to do. At least, from Pat Robertson, it’s just words.

    Like any business, the real problems are created when the customers are too accepting of the flaws of a product.

  51. January 14, 2010 at 18:24

    Oh my goodness! So many thoughts bombard at once while listening to Pat Robertson, son of one of the early founders of modern US fundamentalism. First, however, let me echo the spirit of those who feel that tragedies are a test of the HUMANITY in each of us… and in my lifetime, humanity has won out over bigotry, fear and over-whelming odds almost every time.

    And now to Pat Robertson (and those who finance and tune-in to his multimillion dollar university and media empire)… one would think you would honor the nation that protects your freedom to practice the religion of your choice. Instead, Pat Robertson is the man who declared that Hugo Chavez (President of Venezuela) ought to be assassinated which not only magnified ill-will toward the US across Latin America, but also increased Chavez’s influence to sell his brand of socialism to his Latin neighbors. Mr. Robertson, you made yourself anti-American when you catered to YOUR interests instead of those of your nation. And as for implying that Haitians deserve God’s wrath, you not only scorn your faith that claims compassion as its mantra, but you also besmirch the hard work and sincere dedication of your country and countrymen to help its neighbor in need.

  52. January 14, 2010 at 18:25

    Salaam gang,
    Well, let me say here 1st that my heart is deeply aching for what’s been happening in Haiti over the past couple of days….My heart-felt prayers and well wishes are being sent to all of you guys during this incredibly difficult time, I do really wish if there were something I-as an ordinary Baghdadi citizen- could do to help you guys out more than praying and well-wishing, I just feel so helpless… Please tell me what I can do to help out, please… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  53. 62 Billy Wachakana
    January 14, 2010 at 18:37

    God says in leviticus 26 that he will destroy his nation when the people fail to repent their sins. the haitians need to look into their past and see where they wronged God so as to prevent disasters like this ones.

    • 63 Rhonda, Portland
      January 15, 2010 at 01:01

      Billy, If, and that is one HUGE if, Leviticus 26 is true, then I think the United States should have suffered ‘The Big One’ a long, long time ago.

  54. 64 Denise in Chicago
    January 14, 2010 at 18:42

    Let’s not give credence to anything uttered by Pat Robertson. Only nutbags actually listen to or support him so we’ll leave that unstable, fringe element to themselves.
    As to whether tragedies test ones beliefs, I don’t actually question my beliefs but I still ask ‘why’. Desperately impoverished people are made to suffer further, devastation and I cannot understand the purpose, though I suspect there is one. Perhaps we’ll all be judged by how we respond to the suffering of our fellow man.

  55. January 14, 2010 at 18:55

    Salaam again gang,
    My faith in Allah-God makes me accept whatever happens to me with a deep sense of satisfaction, my faith in Allah-God makes me overwhelmed with peace even during the hardest of times… Now, does that mean that I never break down, crash, or get depressed ? Of course not, but my faith in Allah-God is what keeps me moving forwards and pushes me to go on with my day to-day life despite everything that’s going on around me… With my love…. Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  56. 66 Kate M.
    January 14, 2010 at 18:58

    It’s very upsetting that people like Pat Robertson are considered a voice for Christians. Not all Christians are as small minded as he is.
    I am a Christian, I do believe in God. I don’t know why these things happen. It does not make me question my faith but question why it happens at all. I pray for their safety because it’s the only way I can help. I have no money to donate and I can’t go to Haiti to volunteer. Even if there is no God I don’t see how positive energy in the form of prayers hurts anything. Wouldn’t it brighten your mood to know that people you have never met are thinking of you and hoping you are safe? It would for me.
    I just really hope it will bring the international community together for a positive cause. Obviously with Pat that did not happen….

    • 67 Rhonda, Portland
      January 15, 2010 at 01:03

      I hope that other Christians will speak out loud and clear against the likes of Pat Robertson. Where are the Rick Warrens and other progressive Christians right now? Pretty silent.

  57. 68 Anthony
    January 14, 2010 at 18:58

    Robertson is an idiot. N. and S. Korea are neighbors, and one is MUCH more prosperous than the other. Pakistan and India are neighbors, and look at them.

    The sad part is, people believe his garbage.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 69 TomK in Mpls
      January 15, 2010 at 20:50

      Have you ever seen a satellite photo of the island that is the Dominican Republic and Haiti? The problems are visible from space. While many others meddled, the people created most of their own problems. They destroyed the ecology for short term wealth. Some will blame their government, but the people are the government.

  58. January 14, 2010 at 18:59

    An Advert on my home page gives a British Red Cross site where I can donate.I am going to open my wallet.If Pat Robertson would open his,instead of his big mouth,he might be considered a member of the human race instead of a religeous backwoods man.

  59. 71 roboturkey
    January 14, 2010 at 19:11

    (listening in Vancouver WA on OPB)

    As a US Christian I am appalled at Pat Robertson’s remarks. As a student of history I am shocked at his ignorance.

    The challenge is to look deeper, react compassionately, and work to releive suffering through whatever we can do.

    I have no idea where divine forces are in this. I don’t think that anyone can arrogantly determine what “God wanted” in this. A natural disaster from shifting plate techtonics blasting apart a poorly built city seems like a “natural” as opposed to “supernatural” cause.

    The devastation in Haiti challenges my faith. The unfathomable trail of misery to the survivors in Port Au Prince is motivation to prayer and questioning. All I can say is God bless the people of Haiti and help them in this time of trouble.

  60. January 14, 2010 at 19:12

    Unfortunately Pat Robertson is talking through his hat. His comments are unhelpful and do not have any foundation at all. .Rather than paying attention to his very unwise comments, one should concentrate on what this natural tragedy has unleashed. The human suffering in Haiti is so tragic that everything should be done to alleviate the suffering of the survivors

  61. 73 Alan in Arizona
    January 14, 2010 at 19:15

    We give thanks to our God(s) for the good blessings.
    We blame Satan for the bad things!
    Then we get angry with God for letting the bad things happen.

    After years of various religious rhetoric being blared at me, I’ve come to feel that there is only life.

    After losing my mother and mother-in-law to cancer, watching tsunami’s devastate a country in moments, putting up with politicians forcing young soldiers to fight and die for no good reason. Then more disasters and now a quake ravaging a poor country already ruined by it’s leaders! Yes my faith is rock to the core.

    There is only life and what it brings. I feel like this world is more of an experiment for some kids science project than some Higher Beings Creation that they lovingly care for!

  62. 74 Mike, New york
    January 14, 2010 at 19:18

    Perhaps Haitians should stop their occult practices.. Perhaps this was just a warning.. We are all praying for all Haitans.. May the lord be with you at this hour

  63. 75 steve
    January 14, 2010 at 19:19

    Having faith and believing won’t help the tens of thousands of people who died from this earthquake. They were given a challenge they couldn’t surmount, and they are now dead as a consequence.

    It’s like when you hear a story about a horrible bus accident, where 99 people die, and 1 survived, and the survivor says it is a miracle that they survived, that God must have protected them. But what about the 99 other people who did die? If there were a miracle, NOBODY would have died.

    • 76 Ronald Almeida
      January 16, 2010 at 10:23

      Prayers do work, not because of god but because of the power of human thought and good intention that science does not have the knowledge nor the instruments to measure today. Not to speak of the sketicism connected.

  64. 77 Phyllis, Naples ,Fl.
    January 14, 2010 at 19:21

    The President of Haiti has said that most of his Government have not been heard from yet. The UN has lost a lot of its members. It is being difficult to coordinate any thing.
    I was just watching Sanjay Gupta of CNN – a neurosurgeon, helping a baby on the ground.
    This is all overwhelming

  65. 78 jens
    January 14, 2010 at 19:21

    god must really dislike poor people living 3rd world countries, since he regularly picks on them. even in better off places it is the poor, such as the 9th ward in NO, who suffer the most.

    alternativly there is no god……

    • 79 TomK in Mpls
      January 15, 2010 at 20:56

      3rd worlders can not afford to build and plan for events like this. As for the 9th Ward in NO, the poorest people buy the cheapest land. There was a reason this land was cheap. If you look at problems with a clear and open mind, these things always makes sense.

  66. 80 patti in cape coral
    January 14, 2010 at 19:22

    I also think faith is a wonderful thing, but if there is a God, we are his arms and his legs, so he cannot be good and do anything for us until we do it for ourselves and our fellow man. Sometimes I am afraid that faith in God will turn into inaction and waiting for God to do it for us, instead of action.

  67. 81 margaret
    January 14, 2010 at 19:23

    It’s a terrible tragedy. This issue came up after the Tsunami a few years ago that killed a quarter of a million people. Some religious leaders at that time were interviewed and basically all the fundamentalists (irrespective of religion) said it was God’s will that all these people be destroyed; the more reasonable religious people (irrespective of religion) did not believe it was God’s will. Pat Robertson is a fundamentalist. I would rather believe that we are on a geologically active planet with weather; than that God is in the business of mass murder of human beings on a whim.

    • 82 Barry
      January 14, 2010 at 19:55

      I think you should realized that people like Pat Robertson are being more intellectually honest than people like you that make excuses for an “omnipotent loving god” killing 100,000 people.

      Either there is a god that controls everything and killed these people – or he doesn’t exist. Everything else is just equivocation, and excuses.

  68. 83 Marlon, Trinidad
    January 14, 2010 at 19:25

    What is the reason GOD would punish Haiti alone for their atrocities? GOD is a forgiving being. This is 2010 and we need to look at this logically, earthquakes are caused mainly by the shifting of plates and this is the main reason for this earthquake occurring. Haiti is on that line and it was just that time for them to shift.

  69. 84 Barry
    January 14, 2010 at 19:27

    If this isn’t proof that there isn’t an omnipotent, loving god – I really don’t know what is!

    Face it – all we have is the here, now and the laws of physics….it’s sad to hear people make excuses for why “god” allowed this horrific tragic to happen.

    God didn’t “let this happen”….because god DOESN’T EXIST…PERIOD!!!

  70. 85 Mr. Kawakubo {PORTLAND}
    January 14, 2010 at 19:30

    If you believe god actually blesses people, then it isn’t a stretch to say that god punishes people. However, ridiculous I might think Mr. Robertson’s views are, they are no different from the odd reality of most religious views. Mr. Robertson’s statement is a perfect reflection or mirror of what each and every religious person feels, in one way or another, about the way the world works.

  71. 86 Tom D Ford
    January 14, 2010 at 19:30

    Let’s remind ourselves that Christianity was/is the Religion that was used to enslave the Haitians originally. It looks to me like these guests on WHYS today are still under the influence of that religion of enslavement. Apparently they still believe that they somehow “deserve” to be treated like the former slaves were, to suffer horrible punishments by a revengeful “God”.

    The Haitians freed themselves from slavery but they still have not freed themselves from the religion that was used to enslave them.

  72. 88 Alex in Canada
    January 14, 2010 at 19:31

    I am a Christian. That does not mean I believe every natural disaster is an act of God. The fact is, Haiti sits on a fault line. This earthquake has been a long time coming. The same thing will happen in California and there will be the same debate over whether it’s God’s judgement or not.

    This does not challenge my faith.

  73. 89 Jeff
    January 14, 2010 at 19:32

    Most of us in the United States are mortified at the thought that people across the world will think that Pat Robertson’s words will be seen as representing the “American” perspective, or even the “Christian” one.

    I think that many in America should step back and recognize the parallels between their reaction to Pat Robertson’s comments and the statements and actions of al Qaeda — al Qaeda’s actions and comments are no more representative of the views and attitudes of most Muslims than are Pat Robertson’s comments representative of the views and opinion of most Americans or Christians.

    Jeff, Ohio, USA

  74. 90 Julia in Portland
    January 14, 2010 at 19:34

    I’m always amazed at how many people think that natural disasters, diseases and other events are tied somehow to a god in any form.

    I think this reaction is more of a human nature to try to ‘blame’ something for events that we don’t understand or can’t fathom.

    I had a person tell me once that the cancer I had was somehow a punishment for something I must have done in my past (this person didn’t really even know me). I explained that it is science and not spirituality that explains disease. It blew me away that anyone would speak to me about such a thing while I was in the midst of cancer treatments.

    My heart goes out to the people of Haiti.

  75. 91 Greg
    January 14, 2010 at 19:35

    I sent an email on this but i thought it might be better to comment here.

    It is strangely convenient to be able to just say “we cannot understand Gods purpose”. I am no longer an evangelical however I have an extensive background in that area. My understanding of this comment is that if we are unable to understand God and his “purpose” or “plan”. How unjust is it to mete out Capitol punishment for things that people are not able to understand.

  76. 92 Mr Brown in California (earthquake country)
    January 14, 2010 at 19:38

    I find my Haitian brothers & sisters faith in this 2000 year old middle eastern religion laughable & embarrassing. Much of the confusion some of them are
    having trying to reconcile this tragedy with they’re faith is because it make no sense to begin with. God didn’t make this earthquake happen -plate tectonics did. If we spent as much time with understanding our natural world as we do with blind faith & superstitions we might be better off.

    Mr Brown
    California (earthquake country)

  77. 93 Fred in Portland.
    January 14, 2010 at 19:38

    As a veteran of the U.S. Military I feel ashamed when someone like Pat Robertson uses his rights of free speech to spread hate and bigotry.

    I’d like to know what Mr. Robertson’s stance is on Thomas Jefferson’s bible? According to the New Testement that’s an act worthy of damnation and it was committed by one of the “Founding Fathers” of the U.S.

    It wasn’t an “Act of God” or any other Gods what happened in Haiti, it’s just geology.

  78. January 14, 2010 at 19:39

    The Archbishop of the Catholic church in Haiti is dead, the beautiful cathedral is gone, the convent of the sisters of St. Margaret is destroyed, the house of the Episcopal bishop is in ruins. Pat Robertson’s comments about God punishing Haiti are ludicrous, otherwise God needs to take better aim.

  79. 95 Chuck
    January 14, 2010 at 19:39

    God is not to blame here, in the scriptures it states that the Devil is “the king of the world”. Now, we have to understand one thing and one thing only. God promises us a better world in the coming future but for now, we are “prisoners” in Satan’s world. After the death of Jesus Christ, God has not chosen a country over another, he is an imparcial God and will continue to do so. To think otherwise, is contractory to what God did for us when he gave his only son to the world.

    I know in our American Currency our money states “In God We Trust”…so if we trust God, lets abide by the scriptures, not blame God for anything bad that happends in the world or in our life, and most importantly, focus on helping out the people in Haiti. That should be our main and only concern at this point.

  80. 96 David
    January 14, 2010 at 19:40

    The bible tells us that God may allow certain things to inorder to prove your faith and the people who are blaming him at the are failing miscerably.my hear is with haitian people.(david from tanzania)

    January 14, 2010 at 19:41

    Pat Robertson said that the deal with the devil was made when Haitians got rid of the people who enslaved them.
    That is what he says they are being punished for.
    This is horribly offensive and dangerous.

  82. 98 mark
    January 14, 2010 at 19:41

    ros, its ok to ask if people still hold on to their faith at a time like this, but to ask a reverend if its a punishment from god is totally out of line at this time ..

    even worse was his answer of maybe, or could be .. does ho know it 2010???

    i really feel it was highly irresponsible of you to ask such a fundamentalist question, particularly with the haitian people in the group you are talking to

    do better the world is listening


    brisbane australia

  83. 99 Julia in Portland
    January 14, 2010 at 19:42

    These events never effect my spiritual beliefs. They are disasters that occur.

    We live on an ever changing planet, things are going to happen.

    I live in a city that is likely, due to fault lines and plate action, to have the same type of quake at some time. If Pat Robertson is correct in his thought process, then all of us ‘hedonistic’ folks in Portland are on God’s big list of revenge. That is absolutely ridiculous.

  84. 100 Tom D Ford
    January 14, 2010 at 19:44

    “Do natural disasters test your faith?”


    Although I do not believe in some “supernatural being”, I still do have faith in People like Lubna in Baghdad who dedicate themselves and educate and train themselves to help people as a Medical Doctor.

    I have faith in scientists and engineers who study natural phenomena and then design buildings to withstand and to protect People from natural disasters.

    I have faith in the people who help to dig out and rescue people like the people of Haiti.

    I have faith that most people care about other people and are willing to do what they can to help out their fellow human beings.

    To paraphrase the NRA:

    “God doesn’t help People, People help People”.

    I have faith in The People.

  85. 101 Agyapong Antwi Reynolds, Ghana
    January 14, 2010 at 19:45

    Though it is very unfortunate that the people of Haiti are suffering like this in the full glare of the world, it should in no way give the wrong impression that God is responsible for suffering on Earth. The Bible makes us understand that Satan is the god of the system of this world and his only agenda is to steal, kill and destroy. God gave the dominion of the world to man, but man decided to rebel against such a loving God and allowed the dominion to slip to the hands of Satan. Until the return of Jesus, disasters like this should definately not let us question our faith in God.

  86. 102 Phyllis, Naples ,Fl.
    January 14, 2010 at 19:45

    I am in touch with Trinidad and Tobago. Aid has and is being sent.

  87. 103 Phyllis, Naples ,Fl.
    January 14, 2010 at 19:47

    Aid has and is being sent from Trinidad and Tobago. The Red Cross in T+T is totally mobilised

  88. 104 LG
    January 14, 2010 at 19:49

    I find it incredible that no one is challenging the idea that voodoo practice is devil worship. Why is it that Christians and other religious worshippers believe that if one does not follow their beliefs (Christian, etc) they are atheist, satanists, devil-worshippers or some other evil practice?

  89. 105 Fabrice Louis-Broyld
    January 14, 2010 at 19:49

    I don’t think a tragedy like this is brings about a question of belief – in fact, it has more to do with infrastructure of a pre-19th century city in need of a major upgrade (let’s not forget the fact that the city does fall on a fault line). But I think many Haitians forget their history, culture and identity – the Vodou and Catholic beliefs are very much a part of the nationhood, as could be said for many of the Latin American countries. Despite having relatives in Haiti – some of whom we were able to reach, others we are still trying to contact – Robertson’s statements did not effect me. It was a statement from a man who is completely ignorant of our history. One thing I do know is that, despite the differences of the colors and creeds within Haiti, it is the pride we have in our past – a nation raised on the backs of those who sacrificed their lives for liberty. L’Union Fait La Force!

  90. 106 MilaPDX
    January 14, 2010 at 19:49

    I would not speak to faith, because I think it’s a personal and individual matter. If people find comfort in their god in dealing with this tragedy then they should hold their god close.

    What is of great comfort to me is the US pledging $100 million. If only we could dedicate the billions we spend on war and war machines to helping countries around the world be better prepared for disasters like the earthquake in Haiti.

  91. 107 Sara, Trinidad
    January 14, 2010 at 19:51

    The Trinidad & Tobago Government has pledged US$1 million towards the Haitian disaster and CARICOM are in the process of mobilising their response.

    It’s an opportunity to heal Haiti, things will get much better after this!

  92. 108 Bill Dickens
    January 14, 2010 at 19:51

    God has nothing to do with causing earthquakes or making buildings strong. It’s a simple matter of plate tectonics and rigorous building codes.
    So long as poeple continue to put their faith in supernatural beings and not in human institutions, these disasters will continue to happen.

  93. 109 Thea (US)
    January 14, 2010 at 19:52

    As a Christian, I believe God is watching over us and helping to guide us in our lives, but I do not believe God made this happen because of his own agenda. The earthquake was a natural phenonmenon, not a curse on the earth. This disaster has strengthened my faith by serving as a reminder that prayers and positive thoughts are powerful. I absolutely agree with the woman who said that we need action, not prayers, and I absolutely believe action, in any manner possible, is vital at this time. Do all you can to help, but prayer will help console and heal where action cannot.

  94. January 14, 2010 at 19:55


  95. January 14, 2010 at 20:02

    Ross did a great job of presenting what I’m sure was a very difficult show.

  96. 112 bjay
    January 14, 2010 at 20:05

    January 14, 2010 at 17:24
    The insurmountable suffering Nations.

    We do not need ‘history’ lessons now, although we should.
    The complex dilemma to see such suffering.
    This kind of tragedies always damper ones spirits.
    What will happen with these people when the ‘heavy-equipments’ are gone,
    back to the same old-same old idleness ?
    (I hope the ‘pontificate’ does not just ‘pray’ for these people,
    they got plenty of chips.com)


  97. January 14, 2010 at 20:41

    I do not agree with Pat Robertson and the “pact with the devil” saying. The problem with Haiti has always been bad governance.

  98. 114 Tom D Ford
    January 14, 2010 at 20:51

    @ T (New Zealand)
    January 14, 2010 at 20:02

    “Ross did a great job of presenting what I’m sure was a very difficult show.”

    I agree.

    Ros you have patience with some people that I would not have had patience with. I hope that I can learn some of that patience from your example.

  99. 115 mat hendriks
    January 14, 2010 at 21:04

    God created – Nature
    God created -Human life

    God created, with his love everything we can see, feel and hear.
    He gives us al a soul
    -the spirit to life- without spirit no life.

    When the soul is gone, death come into our life.
    Life on earht comes to an end.
    Our body wil rest in the earth and become “dust”.

    When death comes, the soul wil not -die-, it went on for ever,
    went to eternal life, never ending life.
    This eternal life, our believe tells us, must we deserve in our dayly life,
    on this earth.

    Heaven should be deserved, it is no right for everyone.
    eternal life, is not a matter of God , it is a matter of our selfs.

    The love of God is everywhere;
    we see it in the eyes of our children, our belove-ones.
    Also we see it in nature.

    Nature is always moving, you can see, it in the sea, you can see it in the blowing of the woods.
    Nature has nice sunny days and some rough days.
    Almost everything is possible.

    Sometimes it hurt peoples very badly and unexpected.
    Just as sometimes peoples, hurt each other,
    sometimes many of them.

    but never to punish some-one.

    When a child dies in a war, or in this earth- quake,
    it is in Gods creation, but not on Gods request.
    People often think that God has a hand in these disasters

    Life is given by God.
    By his Love.
    All creations shall know good and bad days-
    that’s life-

    In heaven, will no hard times-no disasters-no illness-
    only warm and tender Love, in the arms of our Creator
    and with all of our belove ones.
    What more we can wish-

  100. 117 robin rattansingh
    January 14, 2010 at 21:07

    Personally I Think this disaster(haiti) was meant to set off a global warning of ill pratices taking place in not only haiti but true enough is prevalent in just about every country.Whilst i may feel sadden my the sudden events people and countries as a whole must face up to “spirtual” discipline the hand of god has acted please take heed.

  101. January 14, 2010 at 21:23

    My prayers go to the suffering people of this devastated nation called Haiti. As I have gone through the images of this tragic event, I have found myself saying prayers for those still trapped under the crushing weight of the rubble, locked down in a dungeon and not knowing if the rays of daylight will ever reach them alive or if the hand of a rescuer will pull them and set them free. I believe in the ability of God to use ordinary mortals like us for His service. Let’s come together for Haiti.

  102. 119 audre
    January 14, 2010 at 21:35

    I wonder what Pat Robertson thinks about the AIDS clinic’s surviving the earthquake?

  103. 120 Ronald Almeida
    January 14, 2010 at 22:32

    God created man is faith.
    Man created god is fact.

  104. 121 Carey
    January 14, 2010 at 22:40

    Christendom’s Church leaders have given God a bad name by misrepresenting him. The Bible teaches that time and unforeseen occurance befall us all. Sometimes you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. The People of the world need comfort and hope, not misguided religious leaders who haven’t educated themselves on the Bible or the personality of a loving God. Hasn’t the book of Job taught them anything?

  105. 122 Scott from Washington
    January 15, 2010 at 00:16

    As a nonbeliever, it comes as no surprise to me that people pick and choose which events they assign to a loving deity and which to some definition-less evil.

    Voltaire nailed it in his satire Candide that sums up horrific tragedies like this succinctly:

    The cognitive dissonance associated with, “x is good, therefore [some god’s name] is responsible for it” and “y is bad, therefore [that god] is not associated with it” flies in the face of modern monotheistic thought whereby [that god] should control every aspect of the universe aside from our own actions.

    Natural disasters are a grotesque reminder of our powerful blindness and unwillingness to believe that a god may not control every aspect of the universe.

  106. 123 Susan Carley Oliver
    January 15, 2010 at 03:14

    Listening to the show this morning (I’m in Portland, Oregon, USA), I nearly fell out of my chair when a young man quoted John 9:2 to explain that yes indeed God had punished Haiti thru the earthquake because of their sins. “His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” I kept waiting for him to finish the story, or for the pastor who spoke later to correct him, but it didn’t happen.

    Here’s the scoop. In the very next verse, the Bible says that Jesus replied to them that neither had sinned, that in fact the blind man was not being punished at all.

    Talk about taking a Bible verse out of context!

    John 9:3 goes on to say that in this particular case, this particular man had been born blind so that God’s glory could be revealed through the miraculous healing Jesus provided. There is nothing in this story AT ALL to even HINT that God uses natural ills to punish people.

  107. 124 Abram
    January 15, 2010 at 04:50

    It might sound cruel, but we need to see and accept the naked truth that we are living in a beautiful and ugly, in a gracious and cruel world. As a Christian, Rev Pat Robertson is just doing his job:

    And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11)

    The time is at hand when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn. Disasters by sea and by land follow one another in quick succession. These days, we frequently hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property. Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man; but in them all, God’s purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.

  108. 125 aero
    January 15, 2010 at 05:16

    My Faith is not shaken when natural disasters happen because my faith does not rest in people, materials, job, nature or the success of mankind’s exploits; not even my own reasoning. My faith rests in God. Historically, especially for those who believe that the bible is only a historical text, God has been true to his word all through the historical time of the bible. What he says that he would do he does and has always shown love. God does destroy, BUT, before he administers judgment he sends a warning. Two instances out of many come to mind. Jonah with Nineveh and Sodom and Gomorrah and both cities received warnings before it was destroyed to give time for persons to make a decision. For those who believe that God did this destruction in Haiti, show the evidence. I believe that God acts in this world controlling nature but the Bible showed prophetically that natural disasters will happen throughout history. Today or tomorrow the same could happen where i am or anywhere in the world regardless of their godliness, gnosticism, heathenism, atheism or what ever else. I believe and know from previous prophetic biblical utterances, that events such as these are markers in world history pointing to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Can God cure the pain and suffering in this world, Would he intervene once and for all? Yes, and the time is “at the door”. For those who believe that God is a tyrant, unjust, and uncaring please show the evidence.

  109. 126 sonia
    January 15, 2010 at 11:46

    my faith is on God not on natural disaster.

  110. January 15, 2010 at 11:52

    i think earth quack in Haite is not a punishment for innocent people because God loves his creatures more than a mother.

  111. 128 fmog
    January 15, 2010 at 12:24

    Pat Robertson’s diatribe I can ignore. Nothing but fundamentalist rubbish. But I was interested to see that amongst the first to escape from the devastated area was the group of christian missionaries! No offer of help or solace from them.

  112. 129 Jose Meras
    January 15, 2010 at 16:45

    It is the stupid, ignorant comments of people like Messers Robertson and Limbaugh that question my own faith in the goodness of man.

  113. 130 Vijay Pillai
    January 15, 2010 at 19:28

    This is the time for me to remember my childhood saint from india, swamy vivehanada, who addressed the world conference of religions in 1890 and become an interantional sensation,for his eloquency in english beginning with “my fellow brothers and sisters …”

    Holiness’s message all his life was that god is not in temples and churches and mosques but in resides your heart and if you are blind to the suffering of your fellow brothers and sisters,no amountof worship in temples around the world is not going to bring you near god.
    It is the time like this the faith in humanity’s to see fellow human being inneed of emergency rescue and provide care are tested.Actions by rest ofthe world lead by USA is humbling and god bless america and haiti

  114. 131 claudine
    January 16, 2010 at 01:39

    there is no “god” who might have abandoned Haiti.

    There is no god at all, just the nature of things.
    Continental plates shift and when they get stuck and suddenly break loose then it comes to an earthquake.
    The earth inside is all liquid and we are living on its moving crust. Nothing to with spirits.

    There is no god having its fingers in it.
    I think people should stop with superstition and giving reasons that dont exist.

  115. January 16, 2010 at 02:34

    God has nothing to do with earth quack. So why blamming him?

  116. 133 Eugene FRANK
    January 16, 2010 at 03:32

    That this man’s self importance,i.e., that he believes his condemnation of a people suffering a severe, incredible personal tragedy, that his guilt-provoking opinion has adequate worth as to be widely disseminated, against the best interests of those millions of survivors struggling to cope, describes that the tragedy is this man and his narcissistic abuse of power, leveraging the name of God as he speaks in His name, should be prohibited from such hateful speech with the same vigor that one desires to relieve the suffering of the disenfranchised in this disaster.

    Even the Devil may cite scripture in his behalf.

  117. January 16, 2010 at 13:55

    The Ruler of The Universe never meant the road to his or her kingdom to be straight and comfortable. On the contrary, it twist and turns and is bestrewn with roadblocks. The thousands who have passed to the afterlife as a result of the earthquake now know more than any mortal.

  118. January 17, 2010 at 00:43

    …we can’t blame God because in the book of Job we are advised ” Do Not Blame God”. everything happens for a reason and it’s not in our place to understand or explain everything simply because there is ONLY ONE who is all knowing. The best we can do is to pray for his protection and guidance

  119. 136 claudine
    January 17, 2010 at 01:36

    as I said, it has nothing to do with god since there is no god.

    Why it always hits the poor?
    Remember: A few days ago there was an earthquake in California which caused nearly no damage.
    Because the people there are rich and can afford a more sturdy way of constructing their buildings.
    In Tokyo an earthquake like the one in Haiti would probably not do too much damage.

    Its just that poor people can only afford shoddy houses. Thats why everything collapsed and thats why poor countries see much more damage to people’s property..

  120. 137 masooma ajaz
    January 17, 2010 at 09:09

    Not a single human bieng could deny the existence of God,every minute thing have reason on this world, these natural disaster as i think like a wake up alarm for us when we move from our rightous path,I as believer of a nature that indicates its existence with empiricle miracles.This earth quake has been measured 8 wich downplayed th palace to a street townhome and even the nation of this place are not compensate them lets believe the divine power who shakes the whole world in an instant.Everything of this world is the evidence of God’s existence. Sometime we fail to recognise the reasons behind these happenings.Its time to be unite and make our wrong ways towards the right
    God bless to all haiti people

  121. 138 Simon
    January 17, 2010 at 13:46

    No No No! Why do you have this agenda in the Beeb? If any of you knew anything about belief you would not ask the question. Simon

  122. January 17, 2010 at 23:48

    ..the book of Job says we should not blame God.sometimes we don’t understand why things happen but it’s not in our place to understand everything- we can leave that to the ALL KNOWING GOD. meanwhile we can only pray for his protection and guidance.

  123. 140 claudine
    January 18, 2010 at 06:59

    Masooma, everything is evidence of gods existence because people just WANT to see it this way. No more.
    There is no prove that there is a god and no one has ever seen god.
    The earth quake happened because tectonic plates were shifting. They constantly shift, get stuck and break loose. That breaking loose gives us the earth quake.
    Nothng to do with fiction characters.
    People living at the edge of such plates simply have to expect earthquakes.

  124. 141 amna mushtaq
    January 19, 2010 at 06:21

    i just wanted to say that natural calmity like this are the results of our deeds.we are far from our religion and forgot the teachings of islam.we become so materialistic.we forgot how to behave towards the society. no doubt ALLAH loves His creature more than a mother but its time to think we love HIM,obey His teachings???????

  125. 142 wongita lomata
    January 21, 2010 at 16:16

    It is really hard to thing about Haiti disaster,becouse it frastrate everybody,regardless of religion or sex and race.Yes haiti disaster makes one question his religion and his believe.As a christian i would ask one question,Is jesus christ not a liar?my answer is,Jesus was not a liar,he was talking an absolute truth,event a depth can believe on,he said when God becomes angry with you,becouse you sin againts him,he will panish you,he is able to destroy all the big mountain to nothing and will all kings to nothing.so what is happening in haiti is panishment from God as jesus told us

    writting from khartoum

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