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Reaction To Pat Robertson Statement That Haiti Cursed By Devil Pact

A White House spokesman on Thursday slammed evangelist broadcaster Pat Robertson's remark that Haiti has been cursed in the wake of the news that a devastating magnitude-7 earthquake hit the small island nation Tuesday, January 12th.

"It never ceases to amaze me that in times of amazing human suffering somebody says something that can be so utterly stupid," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

The day after the earthquake, Robertson said Haiti has been "cursed" because of what he called a "pact with the devil" in its history. His spokesman said the comments were based on Voodoo rituals carried out before a slave rebellion against French colonists in 1791.

Robertson Spokesman Chris Roslan says the evangelist never said the earthquake was God's wrath.

Earlier, senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said on ABC television that Roberston's statement left her speechless. She called it "a pretty stunning comment to make" and said it doesn't express the spirit of the American people or the president.

Televangelist Pat Robertson said Wednesday (January 13th) that earthquake-ravaged Haiti has been "cursed" by a "pact to the devil."

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it," he said on Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club."

He also said "They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal."

Robertson said that "ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other" and he contrasted Haiti with its neighbor, the Dominican Republic.

"That island of Hispaniola is one island. It is cut down the middle; on the one side is Haiti on the other is the Dominican Republic."

He pointed out "Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty.  Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to god and out of this tragedy I'm optimistic something good may come. But right now we are helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable."

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