In so many ways, the current culture wars can look as if it is progressives against Christians, or against religion in general. But how much of that is because the majority or mainstream religion remains silent and allows the far right fringe to be the only voice out there so that it appears to speak for the whole of religion, or at least the whole of Christianity? When will genuine followers of the Christian faith tradition begin to take back their religion from fringe elements who use it as a weapon with little regard for truth, or for the true value faith plays in many lives?

Robertson claimed that the quake was divine retribution for a pact with the devil that was sworn long ago,

via ‘Pact with the Devil’: Robertson Blames Haiti for Quake – TIME.

I wrote about this on my other blog, A Queer Look at the Bible, and so, check it out.  What I didn’t write there however, was more about the reality of why Haiti has never been able to get a leg up and remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

While there is some truth to Robertson’s story that a Vodou priest did a ceremony and call for strength so that the slaves would gain their independence. But this rite (which most likely involved asking their ancestors to help them, since Ancestor worship is a huge part of Vodou) was not the start of Haiti’s problems.  The fight for their independence was followed by an American embargo, and blocks of the harbor, and decades and decades where all of Haiti’s money was going into paying reparation to the French for the loss of their slaves. Yes, the French demanded reparation, as if they were the victims when the slaves refused to be slaves no more!

Something like close to 80% of the Haitian budget was money spent to pay off this and other debts, and this went on for decade after decade. The poor black men and women paying the much wealthier white Europeans.

When Religion is used as a weapon to judge and harm others while justifying the actions of a very few, it does nothing to help anyone except those who are using it in this way. Call me crazy, but I believe Religion to have the potential to be a source of great good  for many, but that can not be achieved while people like Robertson are able to be the loudest voices out there defining faith and religion.

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