White House condemns pastor’s ‘devil pact’ comments

The White House has dismissed a comment by evangelical preacher Pat Robertson that Haiti's earthquake was retribution for the country swearing a "pact to the devil", MiNDFOOD reports.

Mr Robertson weighed in on Haiti’s history on his Christian Broadcasting Network show The 700 Club this week.

Haitians were originally “under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil,” said the 80-year-old former presidential candidate.

“They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK it’s a deal’.

“Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.”

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs rejected those comments at his daily press briefing, hours after US President Barack Obama told Haitians they would not be forsaken or forgotten.

“It never ceases to amaze that in times of amazing human suffering, somebody says something that could be so utterly stupid,” Mr Gibbs said.

“But it, like clockwork, happens with some regularity.”

Mr Robertson contrasted Haiti with its neighbour Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispanola.

“[The Dominican Republic] is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etcetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island,” he said.

“They need to have – and we need to pray for them – a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I’m optimistic something good may come.”

Right now, Mr Robertson said, “the suffering [in Haiti] is unimaginable.”

The fire-and-brimstone Christian conservative preacher is seen by critics to espouse an anti-gay, anti-liberal agenda, but he describes his ministry as pro-life and pro-family.

Founder and chairman of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Robertson in 1988 beat then vice-president George Bush Sr in the Iowa Republican caucuses, but ultimately failed in his presidential bid.

Perhaps most famously, he stirred outrage in 2005 after calling on the US government to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Mr Robertson, who often makes predictions of upcoming disasters and horrific attacks, came under fire in 2006 after suggesting the stroke then-Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon suffered was divine retribution for ceding land to the Palestinians.


2010 Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.


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