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Despite disagreement on Haiti, Robertson remains invited to McDonnell inaugural

Rosalind Helderman

A spokesman for Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell says McDonnell disagrees with remarks by his longtime friend Pat Robertson about the recent Haiti earthquake, but Robertson remains invited to McDonnell's Saturday Inauguration.

"The Governor-elect disagrees with the comments that were made," said spokesman Tucker Martin. "The scope of the natural disaster and the suffering of the people of Haiti is heartbreaking. His church, St. Michaels in Glen Allen, has a sister church, St. Jean-Baptiste parish in Dos-Palais, Haiti, and parishioners regularly minister there. The Governor-elect's thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti. He encourages all Virginians to donate to the Red Cross and the other relief organizations coordinating the humanitarian response to this devastating tragedy."

On his 700 Club television show Tuesday, Robertson attributed the earthquake to Haiti's "pact with the devil" that allowed the country to overthrow the French but resulted in their being "cursed" ever since.

Robertson has long been an ally of McDonnell's, since they met while McDonnell attended the Virginia Beach law school founded by the minister. Robertson gave McDonnell a late $25,000 campaign donation and visited with him and his family in his hotel suite on Election Night. McDonnell confirmed to the Richmond Times Dispatch recently that Robertson had been invited to Saturday's festivities and that he expected Robertson to attend.

Martin said Thursday that about 30,000 people have received invitations to the event and that Robertson's remains valid.

The Christian Broadcasting Network has posted a statement from spokesman Chris Roslan indicating that Robertson was discussing Haiti's history, which has led "countless scholars and religious figures over the centuries believe the country is cursed."
"Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God's wrath," the statement reads.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  January 14, 2010; 4:11 PM ET
Categories:  Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman  
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Glad to see that the new governor of VA has his spiritual adviser on board. So maybe Robertson can help the new governor fix the horrible roads in VA -- maybe God will show McDonnell a solution. Ha

Posted by: kinsman_bob | January 14, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Pat Robertson is a loathsome man. It was offensive that McDonnell would affiliate himself with such a hateful, cruel, opportunistic huckster even prior to this, but this should have been enough to warrant a more firm disavowal. As long as credible people cloak disgusting cretins like Pat Robertson in the trappings of respected society, there will continue to be senseless hate and ignorance in the world.

Posted by: stevebva | January 15, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

No condemnation for Robertson's appalling hateful remarks, not even "I don't think he should have said that," just "the governor disagrees." Anyone who tries to claim that "there are extremists on both sides" should have to explain this. No so-called "extremist" on the Democratic side would be invited to an inauguration less than a week after making comments that should make him a pariah from any civilized gathering. This makes me sick.

Posted by: jimeh | January 15, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

In times past people were sacrificed to gods, burnt at the stake for imagined 'crimes' and tortured for daring to question their religious masters' beliefs about the world. They had the excuse of living in ignorant times. They lacked scientific knowledge of disease, mental illness, planetary systems, evolution,etc. What is Robertson's excuse? Does he just love to hate people?

Posted by: keylock | January 18, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

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