Home > politics, Religion, Society > Haiti vs. Religious Nonsense

Haiti vs. Religious Nonsense


“God doesn’t care about human existence anymore than the Sun cares that life is on Earth.”

Xenocrates

When an earthquake decimated Port-au-Prince in Haiti on January 12, 2010, it basically destroyed any hope of recovery for the poorest western nation. It had already been suffering from four hurricanes which rebooted their economy several years in a row and centuries of political upheaval and social instability.

So how exactly are Haiti’s problems related to a pact with the devil?

When religious people say stupid things, it makes one wonder about the relationship between faith and intelligence. There seems to be an incredible correlation between one’s level of intelligence and their willingness to believe in rubbish. Pat Robertson is one such imbecile who never fails to amaze me.

Between calling for Chavez’s assassination, blaming the Katrina disaster on the homosexual population and now, asserting that Haiti’s woes are related to it’s practice of demon worship, Pat Robertson has established himself as the ultimate poster boy of the hard right’s profound, moronic, religious stupidity.

Facts

When our local religious nut mouthed off about Haiti, he clearly demonstrated a lack of knowledge of the country’s history. The slave revolt did not in fact occur under Napoleon III “or whatever” as he says. It occurred under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte – some forty years before Napoleon III came to power.

So before I continue, let’s get some facts straight:

Fact #1 – Haiti was the only liberated black nation to be ruled by blacks

After the French Revolution, there was a great slave rebellion in Haiti from 1791 – 1794. It was led by a house slave by the name of Toussaint L’ouverture who was inspired by great French thinkers such as Mirabeau and Voltaire. He was succeeded by Jean-Jacques Dessalines after his 1803 death.

Dessalines then defeated Napoleon’s attempt to retake Haiti in 1803 after a declaration of an abolition of slavery in the island in 1794. Most of the French troops were killed by yellow fever. He then became “emperor for life” in Haiti and participated in the declaration of independence on January 1, 1804.

Fact #2 – The Slave Rebellion was aided by nature

Yellow Fever wiped out most of the French troops that tried to retake Haiti. Yellow Fever is common in Africa. In fact, if you have to travel to any African state, you have to be innoculated against Yellow Fever. The slaves brought yellow fever with them from Africa – a disease the French were new to.

Since the white French troops had not built up immunity to Yellow Fever, their defeat by the largely untrained slave rebels was inevitable.  But even though Yellow Fever wiped out half of the invading French army, the largely untrained black rebels still incurred heavier casualties. Guns do well against spears.

Fact #3 – Haiti was never ruled by colonial masters

The blacks who drove out the French in Haiti weren’t educated in the ways of governance – a concept which was largely European in origin. Every other Caribbean state after being liberated from slavery, came under the rule of their colonial masters, who passed on this knowledge to the new black rulers.

This guidance by colonial masters with the addition of the knowledge transfer aided other Caribbean states to hit the ground running with a stable Governance structure and a flourishing economy that made good use of the respective islands’ natural resources. Haiti never got that privilege.

Fact #4 – Haiti suffered sanctions against it from Europe

To make matters worse, after Haiti became liberated from French rule, France ultimately imposed trade sanctions against the island state, thus starving the country of an opportunity to build economic independence through trade. This didn’t help the fact that it’s ruling black aristocracy failed to maintain control.

The slaves who had been suddenly freed refused to work the plantations to create any kind of export for trade. A few black families then stepped in to the plantations and established themselves as a part of a rich autocracy with more power than the ruling government, further exploiting the country’s chaos.

Fact #5 – Haiti never had a stable Government

The resultant poverty that erupted in the Caribbean state left the country in a “capture the flag” state of limbo. Everyone from Immigrant businessmen, to powerful rich families, to foreign governments either orchestrated coups, assassinations or otherwise attempted to seize control of the government.

In fact, Haiti (as at this writing) has undergone at least 32 coups, the most recent of which is where the local military ousted Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power. With such frequent and often violent uphevals in its political structure, Haiti never got a chance to progress and develop as a nation from 1804.

Fact #6 – African Voodoo doesn’t work

Every witch doctor is a con artist. They are usually well educated in the use of herbs – especially those that create psychosomatic effects in humans. The witch doctors who “summon zombies” from their graves in Haiti, are nothing more than men experienced in strong anesthetic herbal chemicals.

However, religious people have a tendency where whenever they fail to determine a logical explanation for what they’ve seen, they turn to superstitious nonsense. The 80% catholic population of Haiti (half of which practice African Voodoo) are no different – and neither is Pat Robertson.

Therefore;

When France failed to retake Haiti, they being aware of “Haitian black magic”, while simultaneously being the superstitious religious nuts they were at the time (they were Catholics), coined the notion that the Haitians must’ve made a “pact with the devil“, trying desperately to explain their inexplicable failure to retake the rogue island nation so many times with a vastly superior force.

The truth of the matter is that neither the devil (nor God, for that matter) had anything to do with the epic cluster failure that is Haiti. Haiti is merely a victim of several centuries of gross incompetence and human greed. You don’t need religion to explain that one. That’s just human nature. Pure and simple.

About This Earthquake

So what about this vicious earthquake? Rest assured, it has nothing to do with God punishing Haiti for anything. All Caribbean territories sit on the Caribbean Tectonic plate, which rubs quite uncomfortably (and frequently) against the Cocos plate, the South American Plate and the North American plate.

Quick Geology lesson: The surface of the earth isn’t stable. It’s broken up into massive land continents called “tectonic plates” that float around on a sea of lava sitting just below the surface of the earth. These land continents house both land and sea. Therefore, their sub terrestrial movements affect both.

The Caribbean islands are all the product of mostly dead volcanoes that created a “ring of fire” in this region at around the first ice age. Even though most of the volcanoes have dried up, tectonic plate movement in the Caribbean is rather quite active. So earthquakes are very common in this area.

These tectonic plates are always in motion. Every once in a while, while these plates move alongside each other, they “hit a snag”. This builds up tension along the borders of these plates until it breaks free in a massive jolt. When this happens, there is a massive release of energy that moves both earth and sea. This is called an earthquake. When the sea is moved, it’s called a tsunami.

Now, mathematically speaking, earthquakes of this magnitude are happening all the time all around the world. It’s just that most of the times, they do not occur in or around populated areas, so they never become news worthy. The earthquake in Haiti is just one of those times when one hits a populated area.

Earthquakes of this magnitude have occurred in the Caribbean before. The 1907 Earthquake that utterly destroyed Kingston, Jamaica, as well as the 1692 quake that literally sank part of the island, are two earthquakes of similar proportions and magnitude. A similar earthquake will probably hit Jamaica or some other Caribbean territory again. It is only a matter of time.

It is thus not surprising that the last time Haiti had an earthquake of this magnitude, was over 200 years ago. Massive earthquakes like that take centuries to build up enough power between colliding tectonic plates to cause a jolt of that kind of power on the Richter scale. That’s why they are quite rare.

…at least, in terms of human years.

Natural Events don’t need Spiritual Explanations

If anything, this disaster in Haiti is predicated by centuries of tectonic plate movement. It has nothing to do with God “punishing” Haiti for having a “pact with the devil“. Such religious tripe is utter nonsense. Natural events don’t need spiritual explanations. God doesn’t need to exist to explain this.

If he does, then it means that God either has a terribly morbid sense of humor or dwells on human suffering and misery. I mean, isn’t it strange that Haiti is 80% Christian, even though half of the country practices African black magic?

As to what kind of worship worthy God would allow his own people to fall into ignorance and them punish them for it, is beyond me. That’s like telling Adam not to eat the fruit of the garden and then allowing the devil to tempt his wife to do the same. Oh wait a minute, that’s exactly what happened, isn’t it?

Never mind.

Conclusively;

Mr. Robertson,

As Christians, your first mission is to reach out to the poor, the destitute and the needy – not judge them from your posh TV studio about what sins they probably committed to get them in their current position. It is people like you who make people like me even more convinced that your God is a sham.

With that said, if you’re not willing to go to Haiti or put your money where your mouth is, I’d like to hear you say the same thing from a make shift hospital tent with a shattered leg, only to have the same doctors who are attending to you cowardly disappear into the night out of fear for their own lives.

You sir, are scum – just like every other Christian like you. You people are so caught up in your dogmatic fallacies that you fail to appreciate the most basic lessons of Christianity: Service to your fellow brother. That’s what the fictional character of Jesus was all about – or did you miss that Sunday School class?

You know what? If your God is real and his morbid sense of humor should hold any modicum of consistency, then there is probably a space reserved in hell for pretentious, self righteous pricks as yourself. You epitomize everything I hate about religion and its failure to prove itself at times when it really needs to.

Your inexcusable ignorance shows conclusively that religious affinity is inextricably tied to a propensity to believe in utter rubbish when simple, logical explanations prove to be otherwise elusive. Seriously? It’s time to grow up, sir.

Prayer doesn’t feed the hungry. It won’t free people trapped in the rubble and it most certainly won’t treat the wounded. Haiti doesn’t need your or anyone else’s prayers. What Haiti needs is strong, positive, humanitarian action. God doesn’t care about human existence anymore than the Sun cares that life is on Earth. So we are on our own to save our own lives and rescue our own kind.

So do me a favour? Put up or STFU.

Regards,

Xen.

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  1. Audrey
    May 8, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Religion is the worst thing ever invented by the human animal. It numbs people from the feeling of compassion, understanding and possess the greatest threat to the betterment of the human animal. Pat Robertson is an epitome of a gutless and heartless monster.

    Its a fact that what happened in Haiti had nothing to do with a pissed off heavenly father who happens to be a jealous big baby. He is in the rank of the Taliban vipers whose sole intention in this life is to seek divine reasons to torture, maim and kill fellow human beings. The reward been 72 virgins.

    The nonsense that Haiti experience the earthquake as a result of practicing magic is laughable. Jesus also practiced magic-even on his deathbed but his neighborhood never experience earthquakes.

    Furthermore, why couldn’t god have sent a judicial heart attack to those practicing magic and leave out his obedient parrots. But, as Robertson would say about his heavenly father: you don’t question god. Why? Because you don’t. Why? Because you don’t.

    I feel ashamed to be in the human animal species with these imbeciles. I wish I could transform into a cockroach, or rat, or snake. But-if wishes were horses Robertson and his stupid colleagues would ride on them.

  2. February 20, 2010 at 9:56 am

    You’re right.

    Their whole personality is only being misrepresented by one bad habit even though Robertson is misrepresenting an entire faith by this one bad habit by judging a whole nation by their one bad habit. It’s amazing how far one bad habit can go, especially when that’s the only habit people remember one for.

    Robertson is judging Haiti by the same measure of evil that I’m using to judge him. You know what Jesus would do? He would help them out of the rubble like he did the woman at the well, the boy possessed with demons, the crippled man, the bleeding woman and a number of others.

    All these people have sinned in their lives. But Jesus did not use their misery to further judge them for their sins. You know who did that? The Pharisees – self righteous religious zealots who were directly responsible for Christ’s crucifixion.

    So where do you think Pat stands now that you’ve gotten some perspective; with the humility of Christ or the arrogance of Pharisees?

    Pat Robertson is no more a Christian than those people in Haiti. In fact, I would say that Sanjay Gupta and Anderson Cooper are probably more Christian than he was in their actions – and I’m not sure those two aren’t atheists. I don’t care if he just has one bad habit or if there is even a shred of truth to what he is saying. He isn’t acting Christian and by his “faith”, he has completely invalidated an entire religion – or at the very least, completely missed the point of it. The man is a joke. Just admit it.

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