Washington, DC–The American Humanist Association today condemned Pat Robertson for gross insensitivity after the TV preacher claimed the calamitous earthquake that recently struck Haiti was brought on by curse. The comments were made on the “700 Club,” a show on Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, on Wednesday.
“Pat Robertson’s comments were unconscionable,” said Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association. “Tens of thousands of people are dead or dying, thousands more displaced from their homes, and Robertson is blaming this horrible act of nature on an alleged deal with the devil. This situation calls for the application of compassion, reason and science, and superstition only distracts the victims and the responders from recovery efforts.”
Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, was hit by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. The Red Cross projects between 45,000 and 50,000 are dead and 3 million hurt or homeless. The public infrastructure has been decimated by the quake; in most areas there is still no electricity or sanitation, and little food and water.
Humanists were gratified amidst reports that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett have rebuked Robertson’s comments. Gibbs said Robertson’s statement was “stupid” and Jarrett said it was “a pretty stunning comment to make,” and left her speechless. Speckhardt responded that “public officials are right to and should use their office properly to dispel such myths and rally behind people in need.”
“The correct response to this situation is to mobilize a relief effort to assist the victims, not blame them for their tragedy,” Speckhardt added. “That’s why the American Humanist Association is mustering humanists and other freethinkers to support relief efforts through our charitable arm, Humanist Charities.”
See: http://www.humanistcharities.org/ for more on this secular response to the earthquake in Haiti.
The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.
Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.