Occasionally during the summer, I’ll accidentally get sucked into watching the 700 Club on TV. I’ll stumble across the show and become entranced by the conversations taking place. I usually end up yelling at my TV about the stupidity of the advice being given. The last time I watched it, Pat Robertson, the host and Christian Supreme, told a woman that the reason she was having gout issues was because she wasn’t praying hard enough. He never advised her to go to a doctor. Instead, he told her that she needed to pray more often and harder.
Not only is that advice reckless, it could be dangerous. The most recent example of this type of advice by Pat Robertson came on Monday. A man asked Robertson how he could repair his marriage to a woman who “has no respect for the head of the house.”
Robertson’s response was not only stupid, but offensive, cruel, and potentially dangerous. He told the caller ”Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her.” This prompted a laugh from Robertson’s co-host Terry Meeuwsen.
But Robertson continued. He said:
I don’t think we condone wife-beating these days but something has got to be done to make her.
He also called the woman a “rebellious child” who doesn’t want to “submit to any authority.” But since the Bible doesn’t allow for divorce, Robertson urged the man to “move to Saudi Arabia” where he could beat his wife.
How can Robertson even speak about this woman? He hasn’t met her. He doesn’t know her husband. He’s making a very shallow generalization about this woman. It’s one I find offensive. Not to mention the disrespect it shows for another culture and religion. And what about the millions of women in the world who are beaten every day? These comments are belittling and justify the injustices happening to these women. Nobody has a right to put their hands on another person, even if Pat Robertson tells them it’s ok.
Let’s remember that this is a man who is a former board member and executive vice president of Focus on the Family, the Christian organization that tries to promote healthy Christian families. I realize that I am not a weekly church goer. But I grew up in the church and went to a Christian college. I led Bible studies and retreats. I’m pretty sure that today’s churches are not promoting smacking around your wife to get her to obey. If they are, they’ve taken a very different turn from where they were.
It’s time that Pat Robertson goes off the air…before he does even more damage.