When the earthquake destroyed much of Haiti earlier this year Pat Robertson made another of his characteristic public statements about good and evil. Martin Luther and C. S. Lewis, to name only a few thoughtful Christians of their ilk, noted that one of the best methods for dealing with the devil was to taunt him. They urged us to literally laugh at him. Well, I think there is an appropriate time to laugh at the silliness of some public pronouncements made by well-intentioned but unwise Christians like Pat Robertson. Honestly, if I didn’t laugh at such nonsense I would cry or get very angry. So try this “Letters to the Editor” response for a laugh.
Minneapolis St. Paul Star Tribune Letters to the Editor January 14, 2010:
Dear Pat Robertson,
I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I'm all over that action. But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I'm no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished. Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth—glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven't you seen "Crossroads"? Or what about "Damn Yankees"? If I had a thing going with Haiti, there'd be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox—that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it—I'm just saying: Not how I roll. You're doing great work, Pat, and I don't want to clip your wings—just, come on, you're making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That's working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.
Lily Coyle, Minneapolis
Well, thank you Lily Coyle. You helped me think about how to better respond to the foolish pronouncements of men like Pat Robertson. (Sadly, there are a whole lot more than Pat who engage in this nonsense but he happens to do this way too often!) A little laughter, in this instance, does seem quite appropriate.