Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In Very Mild Defense of Pat Robertson

Hopefully the title is enough of a disclaimer. Certainly he said something stupid, and what is worse, said it at a very poor time. If he had made the same statement about Haiti a week before the events in Haiti I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have made the news, and even if it did, not very many people would have cared.

Most of the criticism I've heard leveled against him was along the lines of "Well, even if he thinks that is true, that isn't important now, what's important now is helping these people." Which is of course true. The ironic thing to me, in light of that criticism, is that the context in which Robertson made the statement was while urging people to help in any way they could. The comment came in the midst of some televised campaign to garner donations for Haiti and was bookended by humanitarian pleas for people to give and to help in any way that they could, and I'm sure his program raised a bunch of money. What he said may have been dumb, and misguided, but he said it while doing a tangible service for the people of Haiti. Certainly doing more good than I ever could hope to do for them. Which doesn't excuse his statement, but makes me a little hesitant to be too critical since, if put on a scale, the good that he was doing most likely outweighed the negative of a stupid, tasteless remark.

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