Is there any tragedy Pat Robertson won't exploit?

After an earthquake devastated Haiti on January 12, Pat Robertson said on The 700 Club that Haitians had “swor[n] a pact to the devil” to get “free from the French” and that “ever since, they have been cursed.” Robertson's comments follow a pattern in which he has assigned blame for tragedies and disasters, as well predicted them.

Robertson: Haiti “swore a pact to the devil”

From the January 13 edition of Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club:

ROBERTSON: And, you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.” True story. And so, the devil said, “OK, it's a deal.”

And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other.

Robertson has history of laying blame after tragic events, predicting them

Robertson “totally concur[red]” with Falwell that the 9-11 attacks could be attributed in part to “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians.” During a September 13, 2001, appearance on The 700 Club, Rev. Jerry Falwell reportedly said of the 9-11 attacks: “I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the A.C.L.U., People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.' '' Robertson, as reported by The New York Times, replied: ''Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government.'' Robertson later called Falwell's comments "[t]otally inappropriate."

Robertson linked Hurricane Katrina and terrorist attacks to legalized abortion. On the September 12, 2005, edition of The 700 Club, Robertson said:

ROBERTSON: You know, it's just amazing, though, that people say the litmus test for [then-Supreme Court nominee John G.] Roberts [Jr.] is whether or not he supports the wholesale slaughter of unborn children. We have killed over 40 million unborn babies in America. I was reading, yesterday, a book that was very interesting about what God has to say in the Old Testament about those who shed innocent blood. And he used the term that those who do this, “the land will vomit you out.” That -- you look at your -- you look at the book of Leviticus and see what it says there. And this author of this said, “well 'vomit out' means you are not able to defend yourself.” But have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected in some way? And he goes down the list of the things that God says will cause a nation to lose its possession, and to be vomited out. And the amazing thing is, a judge has now got to say, “I will support the wholesale slaughter of innocent children” in order to get confirmed to the bench. And I am sure Judge Roberts is not going to say any such thing. But nevertheless, that's the litmus test that's being put on, the very thing that could endanger our nation. And it's very interesting. Read the bible, read Leviticus, see what it says there.

Robertson blamed Sharon's stroke on policy of “dividing God's land.” On the January 5, 2006, edition of The 700 Club, Robertson suggested that the stroke suffered by Ariel Sharon, then the Israeli prime minister, was the result of Sharon's policy, which he claimed is “dividing God's land.” Robertson admonished: “I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU [European Union], the United Nations, or United States of America.” Although Robertson professed that “Sharon was personally a very likeable person,” he nonetheless declared that “God has enmity against those who, quote, 'divide my land.' ” Robertson called the 1995 assassination of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin “the same thing.”

Robertson says sweat lodge victims sought “enlightenment” in “new-age religion” instead of Bible and death was “the penalty” and the “severe price.” After a report on the death of two people during a sweat-lodge ceremony near Sedona, Arizona, Robertson said on the October 26, 2009, edition of The 700 Club, “Those people believed that they were going to find some kind of spiritual enlightenment by sitting in that sweat lodge and going through an Indian ritual, that was the way that they set this thing up was not the way it should have been done. And they were seeking some kind of enlightenment. Listen, ladies and gentlemen, the enlightenment is in the Bible. The enlightenment is in God. The enlightenment is in Jesus Christ. It is so clear. And yet people go into these fanciful new-age religions, and this is the penalty and this is the price. And it is a severe price they had to pay.”

Of Disney's Gay Days, Robertson predicts “it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.” After Orlando, Florida, city officials voted in 1998 to fly rainbow flags from city lampposts during the annual Gay Days event at Disney World, Robertson issued the city a warning: “I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you. ... [A] condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs, it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.”