Quote of the Day:
“You can run, you can run, tell my friend-boy Willie Brown; You can run, you can run, tell my friend-boy Willie Brown; Lord I’m standin at the crossroad, I believe I’m sinkin down.” –Robert Johnson
By now you’ve all heard or at least seen Pat Robertson’s assertion that Haiti’s devastating earthquake was a consequence of “their” deal with the devil to obtain freedom from France in the nineteenth century. Where do I start? Why didn’t the good reverend tell us about this most interesting bargain last week? Did every person in Haiti join the pact or did just one dude bind all? Or did the land itself make the deal? Was God in favor of keeping the Haitians enslaved? Have the preceding hundred years of suffering there not been punishment enough? Couldn’t Haiti have gotten a better deal in the first place? Did they even have a lawyer? What other cities, states or countries have deals with the devil and or have made God so angry he’s sending a volcano their way?
Another thing that is odd about this–in the long documented history of devil dealin, never have things previously turned out so good for Lucifer:
- Satan tempted Jesus with all the worldly goods and titles imaginable and failed to strike any bargain whatsoever.
- Dr. Faust obtained limitless knowledge and in the end even got a bailout on his soul price by an intervening angel.
- Robert Johnson got the blues and some sweet licks at the crossroads in return for an untimely death. But, he gained a measure of immortality as the forefather of Rock and Roll. On top of that he sat for one of the coolest photographic portraits of all time.
- Joe Boyd dealt for youth and the ability to hit home runs, leading the downtrodden Washington Senators over the Damn Yankees for the American League pennant and then invoked his well constructed escape clause at the moment of success.
- Johnny got a golden fiddle out of a competition most folks think he lost. But the devil bowed his head so you can read it in the paper, as they say.
Notably, never before in the history of Beelzebub Bargains have multiple parties, much less an entire nation, been involved in negotiations. And never has Satan been so patient–over two whole centuries–in collecting his bill. Most intriguing is that God has either stayed out of these dealings entirely or intervened to thwart the devil from getting his due. Never before has God actually punished the aspiring mortal deal maker, at least not publicly. Brother Pat couldn’t possibly be mistaken on this revelation, could he? I’ll continue with the assumption he is not and play the….you guessed it…..devil’s advocate. This is how the negotiations must have gone:
Prince of Darkness–Ok, all of Haiti, including your descendants, the aged, the infirm and most of all the babies get to live in the midst of violence, oppression and abject poverty until God decides you’ve been livin high on the hog long enough, which should be about 2010 by my calculations, then they get obliterated by an earthquake. In return, I’ll help you drive out the French.
Haitian Voodoo Priest–Hmmmm, it all sounds too good to be true. But it seems like a square deal. Weeeeeeeeeee’ll take it!
Prince of Darkness–Exxxxxxxcellent.
Nah, I ain’t buyin it. Mankind has a long and sordid history of dealing with the Devil. Never has man bargained so poorly. Not since He booted Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden has God been so angry. And even then He meted punishment out not only to the folks, but to the fiend. I know where Brother Pat got his idea. There is a legend that a voodoo prince cut a deal with the devil to help drive out the French from Haiti. There are also legends that a leprechaun keeps a pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow, that a headless horseman roams the countryside of New England and that Bagger Vance helped Matt Damon beat Bobby Jones in golf. Maybe Bro Pat should stick with his faith healing, or his praying hurricanes away from himself and into other American states, or counting the blood money from his Liberian gold mine investments. In all seriousness, how a sideshow freak like Bro Pat has become a “leading Evangelical”, how he has become rich beyond imagination, how he has become a political force in modern America is beyond my grasp. There can only be one logical explanation. I bet he knows his way to the crossroads.