Are you a good Christian man with the misfortune of having a sassy, rebellious wife? Does the mother of your children put you down, disrespect your authority, and generally make your life miserable because she constantly emasculates you? If you said “yes,” to any of these, then the 700 Club‘s Pat Robertson’s got some really simple advice for you.
During a segment of the show where people write in with their problems, Robertson’s co-host, Terry Meeuwsen read one man’s letter about having problems with his not-so-better half:
Now, this woman sounds like she has some serious anger issues. There are plenty of women out there who commit abuse against their husbands every day, and these men suffer in silence out of fear of being shamed by their peers for not being ‘manly’ enough. This man needed real world advice on how to resolve his problem. Remove the issue of the man’s being the head of the house for a moment, and what is the bigger issue? Abuse. Plain and simple.
Now, Robertson spoke a grain of truth when he said that this woman is a child in a woman’s body. Anyone who raises their hand against another person as a form of power and control is an overgrown school yard bully. Where Robertson went wrong is when he said that scripture forbids divorce. He went wrong when he suggested that Michael convert to Islam and move to Saudi Arabia so he could legally beat his wife. He went wrong in suggesting that all women were meant to be subjective to their husbands, and any show of independence is wrong and shouldn’t be tolerated.
Look, women have been subjugated in the Bible for centuries in every Abrahamic religion that’s gained significant following. In the Bible, women are nothing more than chattel, vessels for bearing offspring, while sons are considered more valuable. For a man to even jokingly suggest that he beat his wife into submission shows just how twisted his belief is, and how easily his viewers are manipulated.
In what world is it alright to fight abuse with abuse? In what world is it ok to “tame” the shrew, so to speak. Shakespeare’s play might have applied a half millenia ago, but in today’s age of supposed enlightened attitudes, an eye for an eye is the worst possible advice Pat Robertson could have given.