Scholar of vodou on the tragedy in Haiti
January 15, 2010 3:30 PM   Subscribe

An excellent response to Pat Robertson. "This Vodou priest is not speaking about divine retribution, as has Pat Robertson. God is not punishing us for disobedience. Erol is speaking about a giant natural rebalancing act, a reaction against human dealings with the ecosystem."
posted by fullofragerie (148 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wouldn't call it an excellent response. I think I'd call it "equally ridiculous".
posted by modernnomad at 3:34 PM on January 15, 2010 [27 favorites]


Here's an excellent response, Haiti's ambassador totally schooling Robertson.

BTW, I had to look it up. It's the eighth circle of Inferno that Robertson is destined for.
posted by Nelson at 3:35 PM on January 15, 2010 [11 favorites]


Who is this Pat Robertson and why is responding to him so important?
posted by daniel_charms at 3:35 PM on January 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


I don't mean "excellent" in the sense that you have to believe in any religious reason for a natural disaster. I mean it's important to at least look at some Haitian ways of trying to find meaning in horror.
posted by fullofragerie at 3:38 PM on January 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Way down in New Orleans, yeah.
I met this old lady,
she said she'd teach me 'bout Voodoo
she said she knew about Voodoo (Voodoo)
she said she'd teach me 'bout Voodoo
she said she knew about Voodoo (Voodoo)
She had an old doll,
she had a long shiny needle (Voodoo)
she held the doll in the air
it looked kinda like me
she took the needle,
stuck it in its eye!
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
My eye, bitch!


(Sorry, all I have in the face of this unfolding horrorshow and the opportunistic stupidity from Robertson, Nick Griffin and the like are some Ice-T lyrics. Here's hoping they get an oportunity to shout "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! My fingers, bitch!" in the near future. )
posted by Artw at 3:39 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Who is this Pat Robertson?

He's a Republican politican. In 1988 he beat out then-VP George HW Bush in the Iowa caucuses.
posted by Nelson at 3:40 PM on January 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile the media wing of the Republican party is focused on the important things.
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on January 15, 2010


But what does Deepak Chopra think about all this? TELL ME NOW OR ELSE MY QUANTUM MAY BECOME UNBALANCED
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:50 PM on January 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Nelson, that's Pat Buchanan.
posted by sciurus at 3:56 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


related in a round about way: Not something I'd make a fpp about but fun to read
posted by edgeways at 3:58 PM on January 15, 2010


scriurus, Nelson is correct: that's Pat Robertson. Pat Buchanan didn't run until 1996 and then in 2000.
posted by birdherder at 4:01 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


There really is no low these people won't stoop to.
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on January 15, 2010


The Earth's plates shook and man-made structures were toppled onto innocent and unprepared people.

What Pat Robertson said was horrible. But just looking at it from some other spiritual perspective is equally as silly.

It was nature doing what nature does to an impoverished land of people. Nothing more.

Everyone should help them simply because of that and quit worrying about flippin' reasons or meanings behind the tragedy. Just help them because they need it.
posted by dopamine at 4:05 PM on January 15, 2010 [10 favorites]


Olbermann can be hyperbolic, but he can also rise to the occasion.
posted by netbros at 4:05 PM on January 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Whoops. You're right, I'm wrong. Too many Republican dudes named Pat running for President!
posted by sciurus at 4:07 PM on January 15, 2010


Wow.

That was like a really angry MeFi comment.
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on January 15, 2010


The Earth's plates shook and man-made structures were toppled onto innocent and unprepared people.

It was nature doing what nature does to in an impoverished land of people. Nothing more.


Guilt or innocence plays no part in natural disasters. And nature doesn't do things TO people. It simply does, and people may or may not happen to be there.

Still, I find myself asking once again... When is Robertson going to die and go away?
posted by hippybear at 4:11 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


What Robertson said was offensive and ignorant, but Rush Limbaugh topped him. Here's some more on what Rush said in addition to what edgeways linked to above.
posted by bearwife at 4:15 PM on January 15, 2010


Yeah wow indeed.
posted by Mister_A at 4:15 PM on January 15, 2010


Not to echo Olbermann too much but these people really better hope they are wrong about Hell existing.
posted by Artw at 4:16 PM on January 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Someday I will sit next to Rush Limbaugh at some event, and I swear on my mother's eyes, I will spit in his face.
posted by Mister_A at 4:20 PM on January 15, 2010 [6 favorites]


she said she knew about Voodoo

Bodycount's in da haaa-owse...
posted by coolguymichael at 4:23 PM on January 15, 2010


Robertson isn't even a good Christian. He clearly forgot some of the lessons of the book of Job, if he ever read it carefully in the first place. Maybe he should pray for compassion.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:25 PM on January 15, 2010


I wouldn't call it an excellent response. I think I'd call it "equally ridiculous".

Everyone should help them simply because of that and quit worrying about flippin' reasons or meanings behind the tragedy. Just help them because they need it.


I disagree. Roberston will be forgotten, but the interpretation of the quake through the lens of voodoo matters, because (according to Wikipedia) half of Haiti practices it. Haiti will be forced to rebuild from almost nothing and the shape of the nation that re-forms will be dictated by the collective feelings of its population. I think it is perfectly appropriate to start examining what those feelings might look like.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:25 PM on January 15, 2010 [8 favorites]


I wonder if they'll manage to say something stupider for MLK day.
posted by Artw at 4:30 PM on January 15, 2010


Joseph Welch's words, to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, are very, very appropriate here:

"Until this moment... I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness... You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
posted by deadmessenger at 4:31 PM on January 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


One can hope.
posted by Mister_A at 4:31 PM on January 15, 2010


I think I'd call it "equally ridiculous"

Equally? I don't think so. At least the Haitian religious point of view has some wisdom in it about living in balance within the world, which is real. Robertson's was all senile rambling bigot shit.
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:31 PM on January 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Artw: "Here's hoping they get an oportunity to shout "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! My fingers, bitch!" in the near future. "

If I ever customize my ringtone, I'm totally making "My fingers! Bitch!" my ring tone.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:35 PM on January 15, 2010


Crazy people arguing about which type of crazy is right. You would think people with so much in common would embrace each others nutty theories in a show of mutual support for craziness, but, sadly no.

What I thought was funny was:
where on a good day, the government cannot employ or educate or provide health care for the majority?

Could be Haiti, could be the US. I wonder how long the US will actually be a 3rd world country before people will actually admit it (not that we're there yet, but...).
posted by doctor_negative at 4:38 PM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm sure KKK Bitch might have some appropriate quotes for Robertson as well. To me those two songs are the pinacle of Ice T's recording career. Well, that and 99 problems.

Hey, I have an idea for a benefit album!
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not a Christian, but it seems like these verses are appropriate Christian responses:

Proverbs 19:17
One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.

Matthew 25:36-40
I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?

When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
posted by Mister_A at 4:40 PM on January 15, 2010 [24 favorites]


Stewart lays the smack down on Robertson for ignoring the bible.

Transcript:

Pat Robertson, sitting in front of a CBN Disaster Relief Fund Banner
You know, Kristie, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and the people might not like to talk about it. They got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said 'we will serve you if you get us free from the French.'
True story. And by whatever sense they have been cursed by one thing after another.
Stewart
[Stunned silence]

Shut yer pie hole old man. Out of all the things that you could draw on from your religion to bring comfort to a devastated people and region...
[Brings out a large bible]
Look how big your book is! Look at ... [leafs through bible]
'The Lord is close to the broken hearted
he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.'
'Fear thou not for I am with thee. Be not dismayed for I am thy god, I will strenghten thee.'

But you decided to go with "tough titties devil folk"!

Have you read this book?!?! [gestures with bible]

'From the depths of the earth you will again bring me up though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed. "Yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed" says the Lord who has compassion on you.'

I mean that almost sounds like it's about %&$#ing earthquakes!

You've got all this, but you went with an urban legend about a deal with the devil.

[imitating Robertson]
"Wheeeel none of this would have happened if those people hadn't drank all those pop rocks and coke."

These are terrible events! Can't we put aside ideology for a second?
Yes, I am a Jon Stewart fanboy
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:41 PM on January 15, 2010 [25 favorites]


He's safe from Leno, right?
posted by Artw at 4:43 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


NO ONE IS SAFE FROM LENO

[Insert Zalgo script]
posted by Mister_A at 4:43 PM on January 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Salvor Hardin: And don't leave out that Stewart also took Rachel Maddow equally to task for her use of the tragedy in Haiti as a springboard for political lecturing.

I'm a huge TRMS fan, but was pleased to see her also on the receiving end of Stewart's well-aimed outrage for her segment. Bully for him, shame on her.
posted by hippybear at 4:46 PM on January 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


back in the other discussion on Haiti, billysumday posted a link to what Robertson is referring to as Haiti's pact with the devil. it deserves repeating here, for the sake of context:

"The god who created the earth; who created the sun that gives us light.The god who holds up the ocean; who makes the thunder roar. Our God who has ears to hear. You who are hidden in the clouds; who watch us from where you are. You see all that the white has made us suffer. The white man's god asks him to commit crimes. But the god within us wants to do good. Our god, who is so good, so just, He orders us to revenge our wrongs. It's He who will direct our arms and bring us the victory. It's He who will assist us. We all should throw away the image of the white men's god who is so pitiless. Listen to the voice for liberty that sings in all our hearts."
posted by spindle at 4:48 PM on January 15, 2010


hippybear: True enough - that was very cool of Stewart. I just got tired of transcripting :)
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:48 PM on January 15, 2010


If only the Haitians were giant blue aliens, we'd really have something.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:50 PM on January 15, 2010


Even Giant Blue Alienism has its limits, Cool Papa Bell.
posted by Mister_A at 4:57 PM on January 15, 2010


Roberts is clearly suffering from some sort of progressive cognition impairment. Every year he get's wackier and wackier.

What makes me laugh is how they plop some poor fresh-faced Aryan, dim-witted pretty thing, in the chair next to him, who smiles and nods and says "praise Jesus!" after every one of Robertson's increasingly insane mutterings.

Until eventually he crosses some bizarro line and then the pretty side kick shoots him that "What THE fuck did you just say, grandpa?" look. And then, lo and behold, the next week there is new clueless pretty thing sitting there smiling.

Occasionally they will have a coked up Stephan Baldwin on who, in between torrents of tears streaming down is red bloated face, will stop his testimony and cautionary "Look out for Homosexual Hollywood" Tales just long enough to promote his straight to video Attack of the Solar Flare/Gargoyle/Space Tornado movie. And clearly Robertson has no fucking idea who the fuck Baldwin is or what he is talking about.

Yeah. I know. I know way too much about The 700 Club. It's a hobby of mine.
posted by tkchrist at 5:00 PM on January 15, 2010 [12 favorites]


Roberts = "Robertson"
posted by tkchrist at 5:01 PM on January 15, 2010


Generally, in the Yoruba/Ifa diaspora traditions, typically the view is like some views of karma: Conditions plus choices produce results. "Making ebo" starts with doing the right thing, the common sense thing, along with the ritual and the prayer.

Land stripped of trees, no roots, erosion?
No one has decent building materials through a long standing legacy of economic sanctions and short term thinking on the upper class?

Add one earthquake and...

If you live next to the river that floods every other year, and build a house that's swept away, and I tell you that "the river is trying to tell you something", does it matter if I'm being anthropomorphic or figurative when the meaning about what needs to be done is clear either way?

For a place with 90% illiteracy rates, that's a damn reasonable way to look at things. Certainly better than being unable to figure out how black people might defeat white people except with the power of the devil.
posted by yeloson at 5:04 PM on January 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


"He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
- Some Jewish Fag Hippy

Presumably, what applies to rain applies to falling masonry, girders, etc.

But why play the Christians' game? It's not the Bible, but the basics of geology they need to brush up on. We know why earthquakes happen. Making the discussion theological rather than geological just moves the discussion onto their terrain, and makes them and their beliefs the center of attention, which is what they want.

The Haitians' plight is readily explicable - it is the result of geological, political, social, economic, etc. factors. Jesus - either the horrible bloodthirsty Pat Robertson Jesus, or gentle Jesus meek and mild - has nothing to do with it. The best response is not to waste time combing through scripture seeking to refute Pat's beliefs - it's simply to say 'Your beliefs are completely irrelevant'.

People - including innocent babies and children - are lying dead in the streets of Port-au-Prince. Anyone who needs to seek scriptural reassurance that these children were indeed innocents who did not deserve their terrible fates is self-evidently a pointless sack-of-shit.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 5:06 PM on January 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


Every time someone pays attention to Pat Robertson, god kills a kitten.
posted by MillMan at 5:09 PM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Robertson is clearly suffering from some sort of progressive cognition impairment. Every year he get's wackier and wackier.

No, he's always been a hateful piece of shit. Brilliant huckster, though.

"Never trust a religious son of a bitch, not with the Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal." -- William S. Burroughs
posted by Nelson at 5:09 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Daily Fail

(It's also the 76th aniversary of the Daily Mail announcing it's support for the British Union of Fascists.
posted by Artw at 5:13 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, and on Stephen Baldwin:
   >> Celebrity Big Brother <>

posted by Artw at 5:15 PM on January 15, 2010


...
       > > Celebrity Big Brother < <
       C4 go for the dimmest Baldwin brother

celtiagirl writes:
    "Stephen Baldwin has been a mentalist for yonks.
    I met him around the time of The Usual Suspects
    and he showed me an IRA tattoo he’d had done.
    I asked, 'Did he know anything about the IRA?'
    'Not really', he admitted: but he felt it
    was probably 'part of my character’s shady past'.

    "So, a permanent tattoo for a fictional character
    representing a movement he doesn’t understand."
posted by Artw at 5:16 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's a pretty awesome response to Robertson from The Slacktivist, who is in fact an actual self-proclaimed evangelical Christian.
posted by infinitywaltz at 5:18 PM on January 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm suspecting this was not the thread fullofragerie was expecting. I cna only say that sometimes you need a bit of sillyness to lighten the load. And we've all given money or are about to give money in the very near future, right?
posted by Artw at 5:21 PM on January 15, 2010


Pat would have been wiser to say nothing.

Thinking about this whole thing myself (when I wasn't bawling over the pictures) I remember Jesus basically telling someone (when asked about a contemporary tragedy-a tower falling in Siloam) He told them those people were no worse sinners than anyone else-the context and the implication was that they needed to look to their own hearts.

Right now the only thing anyone should be saying about this from the Christian side is ways to contribute needed supplies and funds, and updates on how the relief is going so people can pray. That's IT.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:28 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wonder if Limbaugh is back on the oxy again. For Robertson, no clue. Senile dementia?
posted by angrycat at 5:29 PM on January 15, 2010


(Oh, that point was covered in the comments to the Slactivist article, too.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:30 PM on January 15, 2010


Pat would have been wiser to say nothing.

Wait, how is what he said not totally crazypants? This isn't just a slip of the tongue, the guy is clearly mental
posted by angrycat at 5:32 PM on January 15, 2010


I'm trying to follow Thumper's mother's advice, angrycat.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:33 PM on January 15, 2010


don't send stuff to help the relief effort! you're not helping!



If you’re considering doing your part, that’s great. But, experts say, whatever you do, don’t donate anything but money. Under no circumstances should you mail care packages, toys, food or clothes. Don’t even think about sending drugs. The response to prior disasters shows that regardless of your intentions, you will only be making matters worse.
posted by nadawi at 5:46 PM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


And we've all given money or are about to give money in the very near future, right?

I feel very good that the Mefi 100,000 raffle gave some money to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) now. Three of their offices were demolished by the quake and they will have to rebuild. In some small way, we are helping with that.

And if anyone wants to help some more, it's a good cause.
posted by misha at 5:46 PM on January 15, 2010


Here's a pretty good Christian response to Robertson, from Donald Miller.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:18 PM on January 15, 2010


Roberts is clearly suffering from some sort of progressive cognition impairment.

Yeah, that was my thought, too
posted by KokuRyu at 6:18 PM on January 15, 2010


I'm not a fan of Michael Savage but my landlord is, and I occasionally hear bits and pieces of his show. He found Pat Robertson's explanation just as ridiculous as most other people did; his response was (not verbatim):

"So does God send tornadoes to Kansas because their forefathers masturbated in outhouses?"
posted by The Confessor at 6:24 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank you, fulloffragerie, for finding and posting a piece that provides some insight into one worldview that plays into the human response to the suffering. IT's not the only worldview, but it's one with great meaning and power for thousands - millions? - of people, especially those in the midst of suffering right now. And though there are sufficient materialist rationalist explanations for this, and there will be materialist rationalist solutions for some of these problems, that does not negate the role of belief or the use of symbology as a means of accepting, healing, dealing, and moving on. I appreciate the post and thank you for it.
posted by Miko at 6:24 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe the images we're seeing now are too graphic and close and horrible for people to be anything but offended by discussion of things beyond the intensely pressing material needs of the Haitians. And yet, the images we're seeing include people singing, praying and talking. And I for one thing it's arrogant to dismiss whatever they might be feeling and saying and singing because you know why earthquakes happen. The anthropolotist who brings us this story has been with Haitians for 25 years and is on their side. You can know *why* earthquakes happen, but you can still care what informs how the people there right now might be thinking and feeling, might care about the layers of what *they* might believe about this devastation.
posted by fullofragerie at 6:25 PM on January 15, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ah -- co-posted with you, Miko. We were on the same wave length. THanks.
posted by fullofragerie at 6:26 PM on January 15, 2010


Here's a pretty good Christian response to Robertson, from Donald Miller.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:18 PM on January 15 [+] [!]


That's definitely an article worth reading. Thanks for posting it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:28 PM on January 15, 2010




Every time someone pays attention to Pat Robertson, god kills a kitten.

Every time God kills a kitten, the Pat Robertsons and Rush Limbaughs of the world figure out a way to turn it to their advantage.
posted by philip-random at 6:34 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Everyone time Robertson speaks, I feel like I'm at a party talking to some very interesting people, and some semi-conscious drunk slumped over on the couch with his face in the ashtray has just belched loudly again. A sort of "Oh, that guy's still here?" kind of feeling.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:39 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


In a very poorly-titled post at FiveThirtyEight.com, a doctoral candidate in Caribbean History provides interesting background to Robertson's comments. He explains that the idea of a Haitian 'pact with the devil' refers to a particular historical event and has real significance in Haitian culture.
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 6:42 PM on January 15, 2010


That's interesting from a historical perspective, I guess, but you're right that the title is unfortunate. I don't think it's Robertson's historical acumen people have a problem with.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:45 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


A Heavily Qualified Defense of Pat Robertson
posted by Artw at 6:45 PM on January 15, 2010


The only successful response to dealing with a troll is to ignore him and encourage others to do the same.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:49 PM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


For what it's worth, the story of that ceremony has been out there for years-I think I probably heard about it over a decade ago-but in the context of praying FOR Haiti, not condemning it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:52 PM on January 15, 2010


(out there in MY circles. Obviously historians and people more familiar with Haiti than I would have known about this along with the rest of Haiti's background.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:54 PM on January 15, 2010


And yet, the images we're seeing include people singing, praying and talking. And I for one thing it's arrogant to dismiss whatever they might be feeling and saying and singing because you know why earthquakes happen.

Of course religion can bring comfort in times like this. Who has denied it? Of course the beliefs of Haitians are important.

But Pat Robertson presumably believes just as strongly in his supernatural explanation as the Haitians do in theirs. And if he doesn't, some of his followers will. Robertson has just as much right to his spiritual theorizing about this quake as Haitian Vodouists, and his explanation is just as redundant and fantastical as theirs. And neither explanation has a place in secular discussion of this quake.

I hope that Haitians are drawing strength from their various religious traditions. It still doesn't mean that earthquakes are caused by YHWH, or by spirits. And disputes between representatives of different religions - disputes that can never be solved, and simply amount to two people asserting conflicting but equally unprovable beliefs - shouldn't be allowed to dominate the discourse around this tragedy.

Here is a short piece about the actual, physical causes of the quake.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 7:01 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


in the context of praying FOR Haiti, not condemning it.

So you were explicitly encouraged to pray for Haiti because of the nation's pact with the devil?
posted by Miko at 7:01 PM on January 15, 2010


And neither explanation has a place in secular discussion of this quake.

And I'm not sure secular opinions have much of a place in a religious dispute. No one is contesting the material chain of cause and effect. There are (at least) two information systems working in parallel, and questions asked of one can't result in meaningful answers posed by the questions asked by the other.
posted by Miko at 7:03 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


More in Salon, an interview with a UCLA anthropologist:
Haitians are Christians. Pat Robertson's language is the reductio ad absurdum of the Christian right. It's so absurd it's almost funny. This notion of a pact with the devil is basically an echo of an old colonial response to the successes of the 1790s Haitian revolution.

What is this pact he's talking about?


Part of the revolution mythology is that one of the revolution leaders sacrificed a pig in Bois Caïmin in a voodoo ceremony and made a contract with Petwo [Haitian voodoo spirits]. It may or may not be true, but to call that a pact with the devil is a gross misrepresentation of what voodoo is. It's about anything but the devil. He's imposing an evangelical religious order on a much more sophisticated practice, and he's turning it into a cheap invocation of Satanism.

This is hate speech. It's saying these people are damned. It's a frequent theme among some Christians that Haiti is being punished for this supposed pact with extreme poverty and humanitarian crises. Tragically, many evangelical Christians in Haiti may actually, in their own extreme confusion and suffering and desperation, believe that God is punishing them.
posted by Miko at 7:07 PM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


Back about ten years ago there were a lot of books in Christian bookstores about "intercession" and "spiritual warfare." Books such as Possessing the Gates of the Enemy by Cindy Jacobs (link to updated recent version) and others would give you more of a background of what I'm talking about. Things like intercessory repentance (one modern example would be, let's say a legislative body gave a formal apology for slavery, or representatives from both the Japanese and Western sides in WWII would come together to apologize for war atrocities on either side.) The theory is that if there is an ancient sin in an area that it would be an excellent idea for someone to come along and repent for that sin in the place of the persons who actually committed it. A few years back a band of intercessors actually hiked the locations of Sherman's March praying for each and every community they walked thru praying not just about civil war era things but praying regarding the history of each community they went through.

It would take me hours to explain all of it but I could probably recommend further reading if anyone were interested.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:10 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought an appropriate response to Pat Robertson was "Fuck you, you hateful hypocritical thieving son of a bitch."

Really, that's all anyone should ever have to say to this sorry fool right up until the bastard finally has the decency to die. And no, I don't think we need to be respectful to the asshole after he's gone, because he sure as fuck has shown no respect for the dead himself.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:10 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


(To directly answer your question, Miko, I guess, yes.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:12 PM on January 15, 2010


That's interesting, St. Alia, thanks. I was unaware - and it does add to my understanding to know that Robertson wasn't ranting as a disconnected individual, butpositioning himself within an established philosophy.

Indeed, there is some really fascinating stuff resulting from Googling terms related to "intercession."
posted by Miko at 7:17 PM on January 15, 2010


The Haitians' plight is readily explicable - it is the result of geological, political, social, economic, etc. factors. Jesus - either the horrible bloodthirsty Pat Robertson Jesus, or gentle Jesus meek and mild - has nothing to do with it.

I disagree. Given the tone of the oath Robertson is talking about -- "You see all that the white has made us suffer. The white man's god asks him to commit crimes. But the god within us wants to do good. [...] We all should throw away the image of the white men's god who is so pitiless. Listen to the voice for liberty that sings in all our hearts" -- it sure sounds as if Jesus had more than a little to do with the "political, social, economic, etc. factors" that caused the Haitians' plight...
posted by vorfeed at 7:22 PM on January 15, 2010


There's a parallel in Roberts' blaming the earthquake on some kind of sin to the earthquake that destroyed Port Royal in Jamaica in 1692. I guess it's not a good idea to name a city "Port" something in the Caribbean, either.
posted by XMLicious at 7:22 PM on January 15, 2010


Roger Ebert, for his part, responds to the right wing's favorite drug addict.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:29 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course the beliefs of Haitians are important.

Sure, it'd be important to know the beliefs of Haitians. But I'm not sure that's what we've got here... According to wikipedia (of all things, ok, that's all I've got) 80% are Catholic, 16% Protestant (so, virtually all are Christian) and half practice - to some extent - voudou. (Does anybody remember the word for the blend of Catholocism with local religious practice? Google is failing me). Anyhow - the article we're referred to is by an American woman, and the man she's quoting is a relatively youngish seeming guy whose bio states:

Erol Josue was born into the Vodou tradition and initiated at 17 years of age as a Houngan (Vodou priest). His natural talents and abilities as a singer and dancer were first realized within the religion hence the Vodou repertory that he draws a lot of his inspiration. Erol is also a prolific song writer among other things.

He lived in Paris for thirteen years where he established Compagnie Shango, which had thirteen singers and dancers. He choreographed and also performed for Compagnie Shango until he moved to the United States in 2002.


so - he grew up in Haiti, but hasn't left in his teens and hasn't lived there since the 80s.

It would sadden me greatly to believe that Pat Robertson's/rightwing "deal with the devil" was mirrored neatly by a Haitian/leftist "failed to thank the trees"... but I don't see why we should believe that it's true of the people of Haiti. Not based on this article.
posted by moxiedoll at 7:32 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Miko: There are (at least) two information systems working in parallel

Pat Robertson said this quake had supernatural causes. He's explaining physical events in the physical world by reference to the supernatural. That's not 'parallel'.

God does not cause earthquakes, anymore than he causes lightning, rain or the ocean wave. Undergraduate jargonizing about 'parallel information systems' doesn't change this. Zeus doesn't fling lightning bolts, Jehovah doesn't shake the earth like a bowl of Jell-O.

Essentially, there is no religious dispute to be had about the quake itself. God didn't do it. Satan didn't do it. Neither allowed or disallowed it. It was a movement of the planet's crust.

Miko: This is hate speech. It's saying these people are damned.

Evangelicals think just about everyone is damned. That's your culturally relativistic quandary to wrestle with - religious and cultural tolerance means tolerating annoying things like shrill Evangelicals spouting their belief that everyone except them is on a rollercoaster ride to Hades, not just funky, interesting things like Voodoo.

Miko: The theory is that if there is an ancient sin in an area that it would be an excellent idea for someone to come along and repent for that sin in the place of the persons who actually committed it.

So what you're saying is that Haitians could have made a pact with the devil, and Pat merely made the faux pas of bringing it up at the wrong time? How 'unwise' of him.

vorfeed: it sure sounds as if Jesus had more than a little to do with the "political, social, economic, etc. factors" that caused the Haitians' plight

The religion of Haitians' oppressors has obviously affected their history. This is not the same as saying 'God trampled down Port-au-Prince' or 'Haitians' bad karma caused this earthquake' or any other supernatural explanation you want to come up with for this physical event.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 7:40 PM on January 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


Does anybody remember the word for the blend of Catholocism with local religious practice?

Syncretism? That's not specifically about Catholicism blending with other religions, though.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 7:43 PM on January 15, 2010


Miko: The theory is that if there is an ancient sin in an area that it would be an excellent idea for someone to come along and repent for that sin in the place of the persons who actually committed it.

So what you're saying is that Haitians could have made a pact with the devil, and Pat merely made the faux pas of bringing it up at the wrong time? How 'unwise' of him.


Miko was quoting ME there as I was explaining the concept of "intercessory prayer."

Meanwhile, the more I am learning about some Haitian traditional beliefs, the more parallels I see with the syncretistic Animism in Thailand that I saw while I was there. (There however the syncretism is with Buddhism while apparently in Haiti it would be with Catholicism.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:48 PM on January 15, 2010


The religion of Haitians' oppressors has obviously affected their history. This is not the same as saying 'God trampled down Port-au-Prince' or 'Haitians' bad karma caused this earthquake' or any other supernatural explanation you want to come up with for this physical event.

Of course not. But it's not the same as saying "Jesus - either the horrible bloodthirsty Pat Robertson Jesus, or gentle Jesus meek and mild - has nothing to do with it", either. That's my point.
posted by vorfeed at 7:58 PM on January 15, 2010


[Brings out a large bible]
Look how big your book is!


Naw...a dollar bill isn't all that big. It's really only two pages. Even if you fold it in half it's only four.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 8:09 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Daily Kos has info on contacting Rush Limbaugh's sponsors, like eharmony, overstock.com and Hotwire, to register your concern with his remarks about Pres. Obama and Haiti.
posted by misha at 8:10 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, apophenia, is their no limit to your power?
posted by signal at 8:22 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


An interesting commentary on NPR about Jerry Falwell. An excerpt:

"That may well be Jerry Falwell's most enduring and most troubling legacy - Jerry Falwell almost single handedly blurred the line between Jesus and conservative politics to the detriment of both...His truly horrifying statements about AIDS being God's condemnation on homosexuals may have turned more people away from Jesus than could fill all of tod'y's mega churches. And then there were his statements about 9/11. His bizarre words blaming people who had abortions, people who were gay, people who di'n't adopt his politics – and wrapping them in the blanket of his faith were spiritually destructive beyond words."
posted by neuron at 8:29 PM on January 15, 2010


Every right-winger with the slightest shred of personal integrity needs to publicly call out Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, like, now.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:34 PM on January 15, 2010


Rush Limbaugh got out of the draft because of an ass cyst. Unfortunately, the doctor removed the Limbaugh, and we've been stuck with a talking ass cyst for the last 20 years.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:49 PM on January 15, 2010 [7 favorites]


St Alia - i posted my comment for you and want to make sure it doesn't get lost in all the discussion. maybe you could pass it around to your church friends? sending supplies is well meaning, but not helpful. thanks!
posted by nadawi at 8:50 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I saw this stuff yesterday, about Robertson and Limbaugh. I got pissed. Then I remembered that feeding trolls is pointless. And I made another donation to the relief effort. Partners in Health.
posted by Monsters at 8:52 PM on January 15, 2010


Bach, Matthaus Passion, 39. Aria A, Erbarme dich:

Have mercy, my God,
for the sake of my tears!
See here, before you
heart and eyes weep bitterly.
Have mercy, my God
.

posted by nola at 8:53 PM on January 15, 2010


St Alia - i posted my comment for you and want to make sure it doesn't get lost in all the discussion. maybe you could pass it around to your church friends? sending supplies is well meaning, but not helpful. thanks!
posted by nadawi 3 minutes ago [+]


It's cool.

We are taking up monetary collections at all our services for Haiti. (I go to a church with more than 5000 members and multiple services/different sites.) We have connections with folks who have done relief work in different areas for years plus have a congregation full of Special Forces and other military types-some of which have been called up to go to Haiti already. I know in past things of this type that usually money is what is asked for unless a particular ministry "on the ground" asks for something specific.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:00 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


The theory is that if there is an ancient sin in an area that it would be an excellent idea for someone to come along and repent for that sin in the place of the persons who actually committed it. A few years back a band of intercessors actually hiked the locations of Sherman's March praying for each and every community they walked thru praying not just about civil war era things but praying regarding the history of each community they went through.

Umm ... what exactly was the sin they were repenting for on Sherman's March?

Were they repenting for the sins of the slave-owning society that started the war?

Or were they repenting for the "sins" of the Union soldiers that helped end slavery in the South?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:09 PM on January 15, 2010


Were they repenting for the sins of the slave-owning society that started the war?

Yes. There used to be a chronicle of everything they were praying for online, I'll see if I can find it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:14 PM on January 15, 2010


Does anybody remember the word for the blend of Catholocism with local religious practice?

Santeria.
posted by metagnathous at 9:17 PM on January 15, 2010


Miko: Jeff Sharlet's book The Family is about a lot of things, but it gets into the whole spiritual warfare mindset present within a segment of religious America. It's one of the more informative books I've read in a while, and seems to explain the background of a lot of things which push my outrage button these days. I highly recommend it.
posted by hippybear at 9:19 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hmm....apparently there was a bit of both...and get this: There was some thought that Sherman's march was maybe more a punishment from God for atrocities perpretrated on the original inhabitants of the land i.e. the Native Americans.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:23 PM on January 15, 2010


Does anybody remember the word for the blend of Catholicism with local religious practice?

The technical term is syncretism, of which Santería is only one example.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:25 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, here is a link that will explain the background of what I was talking about.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:27 PM on January 15, 2010


I'm trying hard to think of "an excellent response to Pat Robertson" that doesn't involve a live badger being stuffed into his mouth.
Nope, still not happening. I'll get back to you tomorrow.
posted by uosuaq at 9:29 PM on January 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


An excellent response to total insane inanity would involve mostly silence.
posted by koeselitz at 9:33 PM on January 15, 2010


Or badgers.
posted by Artw at 9:42 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Does anybody remember the word for the blend of Catholocism with local religious practice?

According to the 538 article, that's what Vodou is.
posted by weston at 9:43 PM on January 15, 2010


I am a very mellow person. Having said that, I'd like a good reason why I don't fuck up Pat Robertson and this voodou "scholar" with the same baseball bat. They can both DIAF.

Please excuse my hyperbole but there are people walking through the wreckage of their lives. They have to choke on the smell of rotting friends and family. Robertson and this Erol guy are vultures on the corpse of the real world.

They should be poisoned and then burned. Just like any creature that spreads disease.
posted by Splunge at 9:52 PM on January 15, 2010




NPR posted this excellent letter to the editor from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune earlier today.
posted by amarie at 11:29 PM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]



Every right-winger with the slightest shred of personal integrity needs to publicly call out Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, like, now.

They will, they will. And the silence will be deafening.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:55 PM on January 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Notice how no earthquake or other natural disaster ever shook Nazi Germany? I think this proves that God loves Nazis.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 12:26 AM on January 16, 2010


I hope that Haitians are drawing strength from their various religious traditions. It still doesn't mean that earthquakes are caused by YHWH, or by spirits. And disputes between representatives of different religions - disputes that can never be solved, and simply amount to two people asserting conflicting but equally unprovable beliefs - shouldn't be allowed to dominate the discourse around this tragedy.

He's blaming the victims by saying they brought this tragedy upon themselves, which is vile. I agree with other commenters here that Robertson's comments are hate speech.

However, I disagree with your assessment that they're (Robertson and Limbaugh) dominating the discourse around the tragedy. Most media outlets are taking his and Limbaugh's statements, addressing them and moving on.

An excellent response to total insane inanity would involve mostly silence.

Personally, I prefer the "nuke their self-righteous asses from orbit" stance. Statements like these don't have to be sane and logical to cause harm. Perhaps if enough people call Limbaugh's sponsors, it will send a message that his hate speech shouldn't be tolerated. What's wrong with standing up and pointing out that they're not only wrong, but also bigots?
posted by zarq at 12:35 AM on January 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pat Robertson's theology is bad and he should feel bad.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:54 AM on January 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Notice how no earthquake or other natural disaster ever shook Nazi Germany? I think this proves that God loves Nazis.

Natural disasters would have been positively humane compared to what the Russians did to Germany, in addition to the allied bombing. If you're going off of the Old Testament angry God theory, Old Testament God used nations of people just as much as natural disasters.
posted by Atreides at 6:19 AM on January 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


And Pat Robertson is an idiot.
posted by Atreides at 6:20 AM on January 16, 2010


eatyourcellphone: you really need to parse my comment again. Most of it is a quote to a Salon piece which I link in the first few words of the quote.

Pat Robertson said this quake had supernatural causes. He's explaining physical events in the physical world by reference to the supernatural. That's not 'parallel'.

Yes, I understand as clearly as you do what Pat Robertson is attempting to do. But you're mistaking the specific meaning here of "parallel" for something else, something like "equally convincing" or "equally likely to be true." I'm not suggesting that the two belief systems are equally viable when measured by the yardstick of empirical science; simply that they each seek to explain a phenomenon using a different set of criteria, and that like parallel lines in geometry, these parallel lines of thinking do not intersect, and don't have much ability to inform one another.

In addition (though be very clear, this does not describe me), it's possible to hold both beliefs at once: that supernatural powers are punishing Haitians by creating the observable geological and geopolitical conditions which result in earthquake disasters.

Essentially, there is no religious dispute to be had about the quake itself.


No, probably not among the non-religious. But this post is about views of the quake from different religious perspectives. In that context, there is a debate, which is interesting. I'm glad that the post brought to my attention the ways in which these contentious belief systems are playing out in the world response to the tragedy.

The rest of your comment is someone else's words which I quoted from a separate source, so I won't respond to those. Just please not they're not my words - they are another response meant to add more information about the historical situation surrounding the 'devil pact.'
posted by Miko at 7:00 AM on January 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Robertson deserves to be judged by the laws of the faith he claims to follow. In Levitical law, if a prophet was wrong even once, he would be taken outside the city gates and stoned to death. I just feel it would be apt. Or just beat him to death with bags of his own money.
posted by chlorus at 7:31 AM on January 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


In Levitical law, if a prophet was wrong even once, he would be taken outside the city gates and stoned to death.

That is such a good system; the mathematics of it are great. It really ensures a very strong ratio of accurate to non-accurate predictions, since it would be possible to make many accurate predictions in one lifetime, but only one inaccurate prediction.

Think of what that kind of policy could have done for our financial marketplace.
posted by Miko at 7:42 AM on January 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Come on, THINK, Pat Robertson!

If the Haitians had really struck a deal with the devil, they wouldn't be the poorest country in the Americas today, now would they? They wouldn't have to eat mud, they'd have TVs and internets, they'd be driving around in SUVs and would probably have earthquake insurance.

I mean, who is more likely to have struck a deal with the devil, some poor brown dudes eating mud or a guy worth hundreds of millions and doing shady dealings with dictactors in Africa? Nah, must be the poor brown people...
posted by sour cream at 8:13 AM on January 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


An interesting take on the story from Eric S. Raymond, well-known open source hacker guy and long-time practicing Pagan.
posted by Asparagirl at 8:20 AM on January 16, 2010


NPR posted this excellent letter to the editor from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune earlier today.

Along the same lines, Someone aired His feelings on the matter at a press conference yesterday.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:13 AM on January 16, 2010


On one of my trips to Haiti I spent time with an anthropoligist from National Geographic. He was able to get a few of us in to witness an authentic voodoo ceremony (not one crafted for tourists). The ceremony started with a Catholic prayer. Much of the symbolism of Haitian voodoo is derived from Christianity. "One common saying is that Haitians are 70 percent Catholic, 30 percent Protestant, and 100 percent voodoo." *
posted by ericb at 9:13 AM on January 16, 2010


*anthropologist*
posted by ericb at 9:28 AM on January 16, 2010


who is more likely to have struck a deal with the devil, some poor brown dudes eating mud or a guy worth hundreds of millions

According to prosperity theology, those millions are proof that God favors Pat Robertson, and the poverty of the Haitians is proof that they are dealing with the Devil.

Prosperity theology is exactly the kind of thing I'd expect the Devil to invent in order to draw people away from God.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 10:06 AM on January 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Prosperity theology is exactly the kind of thing I'd expect the Devil to invent in order to draw people away from God.

I haven't read it in years, but I'm certain there is something in The Screwtape Letters which echoes your sentiment.
posted by hippybear at 10:31 AM on January 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Prosperity theology is an oxymoron.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:15 AM on January 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I thought it said Robert Pattinson for some reason, not Pat Robertson.
posted by anniecat at 11:49 AM on January 16, 2010


Yeah well Pattinson is a bastard too ;)
posted by Mister_A at 12:56 PM on January 16, 2010


I'm not sure if Robertson and Limbaugh are really this stupid, or simply looking to create the sort of controversy that will get their names printed everywhere.

It's probably a lot of Column A with a good amount of Column B mixed in. The answer? Ignore them. Ignoring them is exactly what they do not want you to do. If you do they'll stop spouting this nonsense and we can all get on with our lives.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:13 PM on January 16, 2010


No, you miss the point here. Robertson and Limbaugh really believe this.
posted by Nelson at 3:23 PM on January 16, 2010


An interesting take on the story from Eric S. Raymond, well-known open source hacker guy and long-time practicing Pagan.

The comments are as interesting as his take:

Wicca is the open source religion.

Superstitious fools abound, even in the "rational" open-source community
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:25 AM on January 17, 2010


Pat Robertson voodoo doll for sale
posted by exogenous at 8:12 AM on January 17, 2010


That's amazing - a fellow MetaChatter had proposed doing this (voodoo doll, proceeds to charity) on his Facebook account. I wonder if that's him.
posted by Miko at 9:26 AM on January 17, 2010


Well, it's not like it wouldn't be a logical next idea for folks mad at Pat....so, if someone sticks pins in this thing and something happens, could there be a lawsuit?


hamburger
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:41 AM on January 17, 2010


Pat Robertson voodoo doll for sale

eBay takes 20% off the top of the final donation. I'd just as soon have my donation dollars go directly to a non-religious relief group, thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:31 AM on January 17, 2010


Yeah, biut if you were going to buy one anyway...
posted by Artw at 10:38 AM on January 17, 2010


Here is Erol Josue (a vodou priest and popular singer) and Troupe Makandal performing a staged vodou dance at the Univ. of Florida a couple of years back.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:15 PM on January 17, 2010


(Erol Josue is mentioned in the FPP's linked article)
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:16 PM on January 17, 2010


Oh, and just like we have American Taliban, we have American vodou in the murk of evangelical theocratic politics.

While I appreciate the rantiness of eatyourcellphone's riff above, there is no need to cram ethics and epistemology together to tightly, and you are failing to distinguish a lazy pop culture version of "relativism" with a properly social scientific (just as you praise!) form of "relativism," in which the pragmatic question "how do people understand the world?" doesn't admit of a simple "rightly" or "wrongly" in response. There are -- in case you don't know this -- many Haitian scientists, doctors, and engineers. How on earth did they ever earn their MDs and PhDs if "they" didn't believe in the real world as it is? And as my quip above suggests, there are plenty of Americans who have utterly magical ontological imaginations, too.

The fundamental scientific question relativism answers is "how do we get something done here?" Treating people as a priori incapable of reason or empiricism (individually or in groups) is not a good way to get things done. Figuring out how to mediate between different cultural (and historical) perspectives rather than assert their irrelevance is a scientific way to apprehend the social world if one wishes to effect change within it. That's perspectival relativism, and it's not a foreign concept in physics either.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:24 PM on January 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well, it's not like it wouldn't be a logical next idea for folks mad at Pat....

It's not that the idea wasn't obvious, but the fact that the person actually executed the idea. Usually people don't do anything about their clever ideas. It wasn't the MetaChatter, but he's still considering his own version.
posted by Miko at 12:47 PM on January 17, 2010


Well, it's not like it wouldn't be a logical next idea for folks mad at Pat....so, if someone sticks pins in this thing and something happens, could there be a lawsuit?

Dear AskMe. YANML, but I bought a vodou doll off the internet and now a prominent televangelist is dead and I'm being sued. I need to make the lawsuit go away quietly. Do you know where I could by more dolls in bulk? Also, I guess I'll need a poppet so I can apologize to the victim.... [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:14 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


AMatt Taibbi translates the anti-relativism of David Brooks :

BROOKS:We’re all supposed to politely respect each other’s cultures. But some cultures are more progress-resistant than others, and a horrible tragedy was just exacerbated by one of them.

MT'S "TRANSLATION:" Although it is true that Haiti was just like five minutes ago a victim of a random earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people, I’m going to skip right past the fake mourning period and point out that Haitians are a bunch of lazy niggers who can’t keep their dongs in their pants and probably wouldn’t be pancaked under fifty tons of rubble if they had spent a little more time over the years listening to the clarion call of white progress, and learning to use a freaking T-square, instead of singing and dancing and dabbling in not-entirely-Christian religions and making babies all the fucking time. I know I’m supposed to respect other cultures and keep my mouth shut about this stuff, but my penis is only four and a third inches long when fully engorged and so I’m kind of at the end of my patience just generally, especially when it comes to “progress-resistant” cultures.

posted by fourcheesemac at 1:18 PM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


But some cultures are more progress-resistant than others, and a horrible tragedy was just exacerbated by one of them.

Judging by the Katrina response, then, U.S. then is also fairly "progress-resistant" and quite capable of "exacerbating" its own tragedies. Thanks to guys like Brooks.
posted by Miko at 1:38 PM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


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