Pat Robertson, Sin, and Suffering

In the excellent Washington Post article, Suffering and the Vain Quest for Significance, Paula Kirby explores Pat Robertson’s comments on the Haiti earthquake, and the link between sin and suffering.

It would be comical, hilarious, side-splittingly funny – but for one thing. This obsession with human behavior and the ugly conviction that there is some kind of link between suffering and sin, whether individual, national or original, leads to the kind of repugnant, sickening, disgraceful attitudes voiced by Pat Robertson this last week. Just when the rest of the world is overwhelmed with compassion, with the urgent desire to help those whose suffering is beyond our capacity to imagine it (with initiatives such as Non-Believers Giving Aid, for instance), Pat Robertson and others like him are saying, ‘They brought it on themselves’. It is not enough, apparently, that they should be traumatized, grieving and in pain. They should be feeling guilty as well. It is not enough that we should help them. We should judge them too.

  1. jessicawoodrum said:

    Most christians were appalled by his statement as well. It’s frustrating on how the media only tends to focus on the crazies when it comes to christianity. Did you read that article by Donald Miller that dad posted on your FB?

  2. Innertubes said:

    Yes, I read it. It reminded me of the same old tired argument, that says something like, “Well I don’t worship the evil Old Testament God, I worship the good New Testament God. I really don’t think I can say it better than jd, so I will just quote him:

    “I hate the “new covenant” bullshit. It’s so obviously intellectually dishonest.

    If the rules before Jesus were brutal and unjust – and they were – the god of the christians does not get a free pass by reforming them. It’s supposed to be the same guy giving the instructions both times.

    And it’s not just the laws, it’s the acts and orders too. The god of the Israelites kills babies and instructs genocide. This god doesn’t suddenly become a ‘cuddly god of love’ by changing the rules.

    And let’s not forget that the god and church of the New Testament is also pretty nasty on occasion. It’s only with post-Enlightenment values that the church has dropped its support for things like slavery and torture as acceptable behaviours.”

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