John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Don't Get Him Started

So, Pat Robertson has pretty much been hoisted on the petard of his own words. Suggesting the Haitians were somehow to blame for their current state because of some pact made with the devil more than two centuries ago was, regardless of its historicity, terribly timed and insensitive. I want to quickly applaud all the relief efforts of Operation Blessing (the humanitarian organization founded by Pat back in the late 70s). Through Operation Blessing, Robertson has distributed millions of dollars' worth of medical supplies and other aid to Haiti in just the past couple of weeks. The reason I mention Operation Blessing is because Pat Robertson gets skewered in the media for saying foolish things, but he doesn't get much credit for the good he has done and continues to do.

Still, it was a pretty dumb thing to say. Not that he's the only one to say dumb things in the aftermath of disasters. Actor and activist Danny Glover said this earthquake was the result of global warming. Actually, he said it was the response (from Mother Nature?) to global leaders' failure to respond to global warming at the recent climate summit in Copenhagen.

European liberals suggested that Hurricane Katrina was God's judgment on American foreign policy. Islamic fundamentalists believed it was Allah's vengeance on the Great Satan that is American decadence.

I'll admit that it's hard not to wonder about this kind of thing sometimes. Voodoo and occultic practices are embedded in the Haitian culture. Political corruption is a way of life. Poverty and lack of education are certainly evils in their society that few seem overly concerned to eradicate. New Orleans is certainly known more for its vice than for its virtue. American foreign policy has sometimes been meddlesome and self-serving.

And yet….

In the midst of all this I find myself wondering if we really want to start playing this game.

We should exercise caution as we sit comfortably in our easy chairs in our air-conditioned, suburban castles. If God is ready to start handing out punishments, he might start with the obvious places: New Orleans, New York, Haiti.

But how long until he really gets rolling and tears through the suburbs with a holy fire unlike any other? How long until he decides to take on the real evils: pride, arrogance, complacency, apathy? If this is judgment, maybe he’s just getting warmed up. Maybe this is just a preview of what is to come.

Personally, I do not believe that’s what is going on. But if you’re going to start with the blaming and the passing of judgment, you better be consistent. Until you're ready to be the target of his righteous anger, you don't want to get him started!