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Pat Robertson: Disobedient Wife “Rebellious Child,” So Become a Muslim and Beat Her

Two posts in one day! Unprecedented, I think. But I couldn’t let this one slide.

Is it any wonder that we have right-wing politicians in every state trying to roll back women’s rights when a prominent “Christian” waxes nostalgic on national television about the days when a man could beat his wife and jokes that the husband of a wife who won’t behave should become a Muslim so he can beat her? (Hint: rhetorical question.)

Fresh off the Mitt Romney campaign trail, Pat Robertson, in his role as 700 Club host and Christian leader, receives a letter from “Michael” who writes to ask what to do about his wife:

Before I go any further, I’m not okay with abuse no matter who perpetrates it. If this woman is verbally and/or physically abusing her husband, then yes, he ought to do something. I don’t know the whole story, but as Michael says, his wife doesn’t respect him as head of the house, and it has crossed my mind that his problems start there and go downhill.

“Please tell me what I can do,” Michael begs of his spiritual leader. Who very thoughtfully answers,

“Well, you could become a Muslim and you could beat her.”

His (female) co-hose titters in the background as Robertson continues, musing that “I don’t think we condone wife-beating these days but something has got to be done.” His co-host asks why the woman wouldn’t want to talk with her husband about their problems, and Robertson explains.

“She’s a rebellious child and she doesn’t want to submit to any authority. And she probably had temper-tantrums when she was a kid, and…you know, the little girl, ‘I hate you, I hate you…’ …she doesn’t understand authority, when she was growing up nobody made her behave, and now you’ve got a 13-year-old in a 30-year-old woman’s body, and she is acting like a child. Now what do you do with that? You can’t divorce her, according to scripture, so I say…” and here Robertson looks straight at the camera…

“Move to Saudi Arabia.”

Watch the whole ugly mess here:

21 responses

  1. Pingback: The United States of Misogyny « Make Me a Sammich

  2. I honestly thought this was an Onion headline when I saw it the other day. As a Leapt Catholic, this sort of thing makes me want to start slapping and not stop until all the Stupid is beat out of people.

    But as a buddhist, I’ve come to understand that there’s a level of stupid that will never be overcome. It’s up to those of us who are offended and outraged by it to instead show intelligence in all aspects of life.

    And save the slapping for ourselves, should we ever discover that we’re the cause.

    October 16, 2012 at 9:41 am

    • Rosie

      I’m so with you on the slapping (i.e. wanting to slap other people–I avoid slapping myself, but I would under the circumstances you put forth).

      For the reasons you state, I will keep making noise as intelligently as I can manage. :)

      October 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm

  3. Iris

    Delusional old white male living in the dark ages.

    September 17, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    • …with a tv show and an audience who thinks he knows what he’s talking about. I just keep hoping women like Michael’s wife hear this crap and stage a revolt.

      September 17, 2012 at 5:54 pm

  4. Seb

    Pat Robertson is insane. Literally. He lives in some permanent psychotic dysjunct.

    September 12, 2012 at 9:52 am

    • That may be provably true, and yet it doesn’t stop him from influencing people. Is crazy catching?

      September 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      • Seb

        Arthur Koestler called it the Ghost in The Machine. Nazi Germany, The Manson Family, Paleoconservatism etc.

        September 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm

  5. D.E.

    I am so glad I did not buy a TV when I moved to the US. You guys allow every senile idiot to speak outdated crap in public. This guy is what? 100 years old? That’s how he is talking… like he should have stopped talking 40 years ago. And it is not his fault, many old people fall back to their opinions from their early adulthood and become radical about it. The ‘wisdom of the elder’ has an expiration date. People often forget this.

    Praying, showing love and shit won’t help. The Michael person obviously has a different idea of partnership than his wife. He probably keeps making bad decisions and she is furious because the ‘I am head of the household’-idiot calls her rebellious for doing things the way she thinks is right. It could also be a completely different story and the woman is plain crazy… or Michael is a spineless bible-tyrant. Or maybe she just doesn’t love him anymore and feels trapped in the marriage. He definitely is a pussy for asking for help via a tv show rather than asking people close to him. Most women don’t like men like this in the first place…

    September 12, 2012 at 2:01 am

  6. Absolutely disgusting. My boyfriend said something last night about such men that I found rather poignant, that men who hold these attitudes towards women will never know what it is to be in a loving relationship with someone they respect. Which is pretty sad.

    September 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    • Wow. Great point, BF! And yeah, pretty damned sad.

      September 11, 2012 at 11:08 pm

  7. Good Lord help us all! Just unbelievable! And to believe people actually listen to and take that advice in some form.

    September 11, 2012 at 12:53 am

    • Yeah, it’s terrifying, isn’t it? The fact that people exist to whom this is not an outrageous story, but a bit of wisdom from an elder that fits perfectly with their worldview.

      September 11, 2012 at 1:28 am

  8. So typical of Pat Robertson. As always he just doesn’t get the point. His advice is way off. Making fun of a horrible personal family situation is no way for anyone who calls himself a Christian to behave.

    One only has to watch the 700 Club and be thoroughly inform that Pat and son and everyone connected with that show doesn’t have its viewers, or anyone for that matter, best interest at heart. However, they do lookout for their own best interest.

    He could have advised (1) Prayer, (2) keep showing her love, see 1Corinthians 13: 4-7. And (3) more prayer.

    Advising him to move to Saudi Arabia is both insulting and hurtful for everyone involved. Encouraging abuse is not funny nor is it biblical.

    Please visit out family blog: http://www.Cop-A-Squat.com and read our post DYING TO STAY ALIVE.

    Just search for the title in our looking box.


    September 11, 2012 at 12:17 am

    • Thanks, Paul! It saddens and frightens me that so many look to him for guidance.

      September 11, 2012 at 12:21 am

  9. changeforbetterme

    So typical! It’s always the women’s fault. Now she might be “rebellious” because the husband demands too much. For all we know he might be a lazy ass and expects her to do everything from raise the kids to scrub the floor, including hold down a full time job and give in to “his” needs. So the answer is to beat her???? Give me a freakin break! Maybe someone should give the husband a kick in the ass then go give Pat Robertson one too. In fact, we should kick his ass all the way to Saudi Arabia!

    September 10, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    • Danica


      September 11, 2012 at 12:13 am

    • Agreed! And I have to wonder how the co-host felt listening to this garbage. Not that she’d ever say anything, but how must these attitudes make women feel? Like children, I imagine, just like Pat says.

      September 11, 2012 at 12:21 am

      • changeforbetterme

        Well I for one am so sick and tired of these outdated attitudes! Are these men feeling so very threatened by us as women?? They must! Talk about acting like children!

        September 11, 2012 at 12:47 am

    • Jeanette

      AMEN to that!

      June 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm

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