White House Adviser Valerie Jarrett 'Speechless' Over Pat Robertson's Haiti Comment

Robertson and the late Christian conservative televangelist Jerry Falwell created a stir in 2007 when they said the 9/11 attacks were God's punishment for loose U.S. morals.

People "who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen,'" Falwell said on the "700 Club," which is the Christian network's flagship news talk show.

"Well, I totally concur," Robertson said in response.

And the cause of Hurricane Katrina's devastation in 2005? God's anger over abortion, Robertson said in the aftermath.

"We have killed over 40 million unborn babies in America. … Some of the attacks that are coming against us either by terrorists or now by natural disaster, could they be connected in some way?" he said.

Robertson Cites French Legend for Haitian 'Curse'

Robertson elaborated Wednesday on his explanation for the tragedy in Haiti, saying that the devastation is the latest in a line of curses to hit the island people.

He also cited the relative success of the Dominican Republic, as a contrast.

"That island of Hispaniola is one island," he said on the "700 Club." It's cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republican. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island."

Robertson advised people to pray for Haitians to have "a great turning to God."

"Out of this tragedy, I'm optimistic something good may come. But right now we're helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable," Robertson said.

Robertson's tale stems from a legend that Jean Jacques Dessalines, who led the Haitian revolution against the French Army, entered into a pact with Satan disguised as a Voodoo deity in exchange for a military victory, which finally happened in 1803.

One minister of a Haitian-American church, who does not believe this legend, recently wrote about the frequent references in Haiti "to a spiritual pact that the fathers of the nation supposedly made with the Devil to help them win their freedom from France.

"As a result of that satanic alliance, as they put it, God has placed a curse on the country sometime around its birth," he said, "and that divine burden has made it virtually impossible for the vast majority of Haitians to live in peace and prosperity in their land. … The satanic pact reputedly took place at Bois-Caïman near Cap-Haitien Aug. 14, 1791, during a meeting organized by several slave leaders, under [Dutty] Boukman's leadership, before launching what would become Haiti's Independence War."

Attributing natural disasters to divine intention is nothing new.

In an ABC News poll conducted after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, 23 percent of Americans said they believed hurricanes were "a deliberate act of God."

Of those, half called the storms "a warning," about a quarter called them a test or punishment and the rest said they occur for reasons impossible to understand.

ABC News' Jake Tapper, Gary Langer and Kristina Wong contributed to this story.

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