devil, disasters, earthquake in haiti, haiti made a pact with devil, hurricane katrina, lily coyle, minneapolis, moral decay, pat robertson, right to free speech, robertson blames gays proabortionists for katrina, satan, satan is no welcher, star tribune, strib, u.s. constitution, using humor to combat hate speech, youtube
If you haven’t yet heard the comments Pat Robertson made about the Haitian earthquake being brought about because the people of Haiti long ago made a pact with the devil, check out the video on YouTube so you’ll have a frame of reference for the rest of this post.
I cannot tell you how angry his mean-spirited, outrageous, wrong-headed comments make me. I want to go up to the man, shake him soundly and shout, “What are you thinking? Didn’t your parents bring you up better than this? Didn’t they tell you that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all?”
Pat Robertson is a soft-spoken bully. Even if I had a chance to scream in his face, he wouldn’t change his ways. He blamed gays and pro-abortionists for the devastation of Hurricane Katrina; he’ll blame some other group for their moral decay leading to a future disaster. (There’s no shortage of disasters and, in Pat Robertson’s mind, there’s no shortage of moral decay.)
While pretty much nothing anyone says to criticize Robertson’s vile comments is going to change Robertson in any way, it is still important for those of us who disagree with him to say something. The U.S. Constitution does not give Robertson the exclusive right to free speech; we all get that right and should exercise it vigorously. In doing so, in openly disagreeing with his comments, we show support to those he has maligned and we declare who we are and where we stand. That’s perhaps even more important than changing Robertson.
Being continually mad at such people, however, takes an emotional toll. There will always be someone making appalling or disagreeable statements, but we don’t always have to use anger to express our opposition. We can also use humor.
(I can’t type this fast enough, I’m so excited to share the following with you. I found it on @amycrea’s Twitter feed.)
Lily Coyle of Minneapolis wrote a letter to the Strib (Star Tribune) posing as Satan responding to Pat Robertson. In it, Satan claims, “I may be evil, but I’m no welcher,” as he explains that when someone makes a pact with him, they get Earthly rewards for the deal and then suffer for eternity after death. The Haitians obviously got no such deal. The letter is so beautifully written that you need to read it yourself and have the same soul-cleansing laugh I did.
Letter from Satan to Pat Robertson by Lily Coyle (scroll to second letter on the page)
Consider the creative thinking that went into writing this. I never imagined how Satan would feel over Robertson’s comments. I particularly enjoy Satan’s final comment to Robertson about renegotiating their contract. (Slam dunk, baby! Woot!)