Is religion to blame for Haiti's troubles? 

Pat Robertson's remarks on Haiti's "pact with the devil" have hoovered up a lot of media attention, despite the fact that Robertson seemingly lies in wait after natural disasters to make such stupid assertions. For a Christian, Robertson has an awfully Old Testament view of God's wrath and theodicy. Nonetheless, we all indulge in the kabuki dance of ritual condemnation, despite the fact that Robertson will probably do this again if if given a chance. It might be best ignored.

In any event, economist Tyler Cowen has a very intriguing post where he offers up eight reasons for "Why is Haiti so poor?" Reason number five:

Hegel was correct that the "voodoo religion," with its intransitive power relations among the gods, was prone to producing political intransitivity as well.  (Isn't that a startling insight for a guy who didn't travel the broader world much?)

So pact with the devil aside, the role of religion in Haiti's terrible fortune might actually be an interesting -- albeit politically incorrect -- question.

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Mark Hemingway

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