Haiti: Satan’s Playground

In case you thought Pat Robertson’s remarks about Haiti were an aberration, here’s Dr. Wesley Stafford, president of Compassion International (“one of the world’s largest and fastest growing Christian child development organizations”) and host of the Christian radio program Speak Up With Compassion ®, talking recently to Mullah Dobson’s Focus on the Family advocacy group about the horrific devastation in Haiti…

To recap Dr. Stafford’s remarks for the record:

This is a nation that you can literally feel the evil in it. Haiti has been a disaster in almost every way long before this ever struck. And it is a nation, between you and me, I guess, that Satan has had absolutely free reign in that nation. And while the missionary effort and the church effort has been enormous, this is a nation that you can literally feel the evil in it.

Well, maybe he’s correct:

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ ship Independence of the Seas went ahead with its scheduled stop at a fenced-in private Haitian beach surrounded by armed guards, leaving its passengers to “cut loose” on the beach, just a few kilometers from one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the region’s history.

Sort of a perfect metaphor for the global economy.



Filed under Global Economy, Religion

19 responses to “Haiti: Satan’s Playground

  1. no on important

    A few kilometers, and a range of mountains. Explain again how proximity relates to responsibility? By condemning them, do you not also condemn us?

  2. Ti-Guy

    A few kilometers, and a range of mountains. Explain again how proximity relates to responsibility? By condemning them, do you not also condemn us?

    Oh, shut up and go read your Bible or something.

    Anyway, I can’t even work up any emotion for this kind of thing anymore. I’ll just note how sooooo many businesses interrupted their operations for a few days after 9/11, out of respect for the “tragedy.”

  3. Maybe the extreme right winged Evangelicals are the new Satan

  4. benalbanach

    In Delusion We Trust

  5. Ti-Guy


    That’s been clear for quite a while. “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions,” after all.

    There is in fact no greater source of evil than moral absolutism. It’s what some theologians and others have been describing as the essential quality and value of the Satan metaphor itself, going back to his origin (at least for Christians) as a favoured angel of God.

  6. Ti-Guy


    If people think paying attention to American politics is important, I hope they’re paying attention to this this.

    This decision is a catastrophe.

  7. Morons

    Did some idiot actually ask how proximity relates to responsibility? So if someone next to me is dangling on the edge of a cliff I have no more responsibility (morally) to help this person than Jeng Chan in Lanzhou, China? It never ceases to amaze me how stupid some people really are; that they open their mouth for the world to know their stupidity is even more amazing.

  8. sassy

    Ti-Guy, very depressing news.

  9. Ti-Guy

    Ti-Guy, very depressing news.

    I only hope it’s the catalyst for Americans to get serious, fast about what the value of the First Amendment is, other than as a club to hit foreigners over the head with when it comes to their laws that address freedom of expression.

  10. I read today about the “politics of identity”, and it sort of struck a chord in the sense of how we see things from our own self-interset, over and over, and refuse to see our connection and our kinship to those who are “different” from us.

    Would these so-called Christians like to acknowledge, perhaps, that the profusion of tornadoes in America’s bible-belt is perhaps God’s reaction to their unrestrained hypocricy?

    Would those people, on that beach, have sat in their sun chairs, drinking pina coladas if it was their parents, their siblings, their children, dying on the other side of the fence?


    Well, we are all connected. We are all subject to the same uncertainties of either God or nature.. and whether it’s an earthquake in Haiti, a hurricane on the Gulf coast, or a firestorm in Southern California, shit happens.

    The beauty, however, is that as much as the media and blogs like to focus on the worst of our nature – these events also show us that the Hobbesian view of humanity is seriously flawed.

    People will put themselves at risk to help others, without the coercision of the state or benefit to their own self-interset.

    I’m watching CNN talk about normal everyday people flying to the Dominican Republic, loading up supplies and just driving into Haiti to help.

    I’m watching wealthy doctor and news celebrity Dr. Sanjay Gupta putting his own comfort and even welfare at risk, by working to help others as best he can in horrible conditions.

    While we hear stories of looting and such, I’m also seeing a Hatian running a senior facility staying with and doing his best to help a large group of senior citizens in deplorable conditions, without food or water or shelter, when he could easily have just abandoned them to secure his own well-being.

    Thanfully, there are so many people who are not pontificating hypocrits or self-centred assholes.

  11. wow, that is some compassion.

    nicely critiqued Moron. in law proximity is a crucial element in whether one owes a duty of care. love thy neighbour…

  12. Bonnie N BC

    When you hear this stuff – my first reaction is to say this is a hoax because how could anyone of faith condemn an entire country?

    These people have somehow created their own religion that has nothing to do with the teachings of Christ and OMG I am an agnostic.

    This is so overwhelming as to the real charity of these fringe religious groups.

    I don’t know what to say but I am dumbfounded.

  13. Uhm.

    I think perhaps the Cruise ship issue is more understandable when you look into it more.

    As reported in USA Today:

    ..Royal Caribbean talked with the U.N. Special Envoy of the Government of Haiti, Leslie Voltaire, before making the decision. Voltaire told the company the revenue Haiti would generate from upcoming cruise calls would be critical to its recovery, he says.

    In addition to vacationers, Royal Caribbean is carrying in relief supplies loaded onto the vessels after the disaster to be distributed to affected parts of the country by Food for the Poor and other groups.

    “We also have tremendous opportunities to use our ships as transport vessels for relief supplies and personnel to Haiti,” Weis says. “Simply put, we cannot abandon Haiti now that they need us most.”

    Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez says the line delivered about 40 pallets of water, rice, dried beans and canned foods on Friday. Monday’s ship delivered twice as much, she says.

    “Yesterday, two more ships heading for Labadee were loaded with supplies,” Martinez says. “We will continue to transport much-needed goods to Labadee on all of our ships heading to Haiti.” The line also has promised at least $1 million in humanitarian relief for Haiti and says it will donate 100% of its net revenue from visits there to relief efforts.

    Perhaps more importantly, the comment posted after the article:

    gaelles (0 friends, send message) wrote: 1d 12h ago

    Hi , I am a Haitian actually living this Hell in Haiti and I would like to Thank Royal Caribbean for their support.

    I registered here today, to assure that they know , that we do understand what they are doing for us.
    Stopping their cruise would have just put many more Families in a more desperate situation. Does any one has a idea of how many people left Port-au-Prince, and move to the North part of the Island? ( Where Labadee is ) None of those people have a job or money , they are going to join whatever family members or friends they have in that area. Those family members and friend will have to support them economically , so cutting out on their revenue is not the way to go right now.
    To those complaining , please just consider this very important aspect of the situation.

    To Royal Caribbean, when you came last month with your boat Oasis of the Sea ( It was shown on a Haitian Television) you spoke about the importance of supporting Haiti for your company .
    Thank You for putting your words into actions once again.


    Maybe first appearances are somewhat deceptive.

  14. Ian

    Very thought provoking comment ob H. Although I am glad I wasn’t one of the poeple expected to relax and have fun on that beach. Per the SCOTUS decision to open the flood gates so that un fettered corporate money can now to be funnelled into the US election process – I agree with Ti Guy. The results are going to be horrifying – and us canucks are just going to have to go along for the ride. Time soon coming to make my move off grid….

  15. Rob — I was actually aware of the relief efforts of Royal Caribbean (which is to their credit), but when I posted this, I was thinking more of the vacationers on the cruise. I honestly don’t know how one could enjoy time frolicking on the beach, parasailing, feasting on all-you-can-eat buffets, etc. knowing that less than 60 miles away there were starving people and mass graves filling up with mutilated bodies pulled from the wreckage of an earthquake ravaged country. To me, it’s a bizarre, surreal juxtaposition.

  16. it’s downright perverse is what it is.


  17. But it is one of those kind of bizarre catch-22’s isn’t it?

    You have Hatians, slinging drinks, waiting on tables, relying upon tips I’m sure to feed their immediate family, and probably a lot of displaced extended family.

    And you’ve got two people on the boat.. and the one says, “I’m going ashore, I’m going to buy drinks, buy a ton of shit I don’t really need, and then, donate $100 to every waiter who serves me and wish him and his family the best.. and, I suppose, sit in the sun and consider my very good fortune.

    And the other person says, “no, I can’t in good conscience parade my affluence and good fortune before people who are in so much need.. so I’ll just donate the same money I would have spent to the relief fund being collected on board. But none of that money actually going to that waiter or bartender sitting on shore waiting for the tourists to come spend their money.

    Is one person better than the other?

    I dont’ know what I would do, honestly.

    I do know that some time ago, while travelling to New Orleans, I volunteered a day to work to help rebuild a city park, digging holes, planting trees and shrubs, clearning debris.. and it made the trip much more worthwhile knowing I helped a little bit.

    I don’t know if that sort of opportunity would have presented in that port.. if it did, I guess that’s what I would have done.. and still stopped for drinks and lunch and so forth..

  18. Ti-Guy

    I suppose the argument about this heats up when some of these people (usually spokesmodels for the tourist industry) start bibbling on about how everyone will be worse off without the tourist dollars, when most people should know most of the money never gets anywhere near the locals, save for a few vendors, hospitality workers and of course, the drug dealers.

    The tourists can still donate and out of respect, forego the frolicking.

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