Davis: Conservative pastor preaches hate for Haitians

So there was an earthquake of massive proportions as I'm sure you've heard (and my esteemed colleague, Alex Berberich, has written about). It's time to get out the bulldozers and backhoes, the stretchers and … fundamentalist Christian stupidity? Seriously?

Ah, what fools we are to help the Haitians; Rev. Pat Robertson knows where the true message lies. According to him, the message stems from "Something [that] happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it."

That something is, of course, devil-worship. Yes, in the wake of a massive tragedy of literally earth-shaking proportions that has left as many as 300,000 dead (that's a figure about equal to the number of people who died in both Nagasaki and Hiroshima), Robertson has decided to focus his efforts on bringing publicity to the voodoo religion and how it supposedly worships the devil.

The scary part, of course, isn't the fact that there's a crazy man who'd rather see people crushed under hundreds of tons of rubble than give them a hand. I mean, really, I can forgive anyone for being shortsighted, hateful people The scary part is this: this man is a reverend, meaning that he has a congregation and he's on television. People listen to the crazy old man who hates Haitians.

What does that say about us? I'm all for the freedom of speech; you should be allowed to say anything you like (just don't say "bomb" on an airplane). I have a problem with freedom of attention: Why is this man given any? Are we really such a backward culture that we're actually tolerant of this sort of tomfoolery?

Far be it from me to try to interpret the inscrutable intentions of our esteemed founding fathers, but I wonder when they came up with the notion of freedom of speech if they didn't also consider a caveat to that rule: While anyone can say anything, the public ought to be knowledgeable enough to know what's worth listening to and what constitutes utter crap.

Certainly, the racism of Robertson is notable and, in fact, expected (it's kind of his schtick). But really, when we get down to it, why do we bother with him? He's certainly not helping anyone.

To send monetary aid to Haiti, text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross Haitian relief fund.