This letter is very “Screwtape-ish” for you Lewis readers. It reminds us that our speculations about the causes of tragedy whether they be 911, Katrina or the Haitian earthquake (or the one in Lisbon) are, at absolute best, guesses. Sometimes informed but more often speculative reactions to our own anxieties and our inability to live in space “in-between”.
The following comes from the NPR newsblog. Definitely worth a read:
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune published a letter from Satan to evangelist Pat Robertson, responding to his comment that Haiti’s persistent troubles, including the earthquake, are due to a pact the nation made with Mephistopheles.
Actually, it wasn’t Satan who wrote the letter but Lilly Coyle of Minneapolis writing in the persona of the hellish one.
I think she got it down pretty well. What say you?
Dear Pat Robertson,
I know that you know that all press is good press, so I appreciate the shout-out. And you make God look like a big mean bully who kicks people when they are down, so I’m all over that action.
But when you say that Haiti has made a pact with me, it is totally humiliating. I may be evil incarnate, but I’m no welcher. The way you put it, making a deal with me leaves folks desperate and impoverished.
Sure, in the afterlife, but when I strike bargains with people, they first get something here on earth — glamour, beauty, talent, wealth, fame, glory, a golden fiddle. Those Haitians have nothing, and I mean nothing. And that was before the earthquake. Haven’t you seen “Crossroads”? Or “Damn Yankees”?
If I had a thing going with Haiti, there’d be lots of banks, skyscrapers, SUVs, exclusive night clubs, Botox — that kind of thing. An 80 percent poverty rate is so not my style. Nothing against it — I’m just saying: Not how I roll.
You’re doing great work, Pat, and I don’t want to clip your wings — just, come on, you’re making me look bad. And not the good kind of bad. Keep blaming God. That’s working. But leave me out of it, please. Or we may need to renegotiate your own contract.
LILY COYLE, MINNEAPOLIS