Pat Robertson is at it again. This time the evangelical leader and host of the “The 700 Club,” a Christian television program that reaches millions of viewers around the world, answers a viewer’s question about how to forgive her husband for cheating. The “secret,” according to Robertson, is to “stop talking about the cheating,” and to accept that “he cheated on you. Well, [because] he’s a man.”
Before we go any further, let’s just deal with that statement: “He cheated on you. Well, he’s a man.” I wonder how many men out there are offended by this generalization that characterizes all men as cheaters. Are men born that way? Is there a gene called “cheaters” that all men possess? What gives, Mr. Robertson?
We know that men and women cheat. Not because of some fatal destiny, but because of a flawed decision. To cheat is a choice!
The religious leader goes on to say: “Recognize also, like it or not, males have a tendency to wander. [The wife should] make a home so wonderful he doesn’t want to wander.”
I don’t know about anybody else, but this makes men seem like bumbling idiots who have no control over their sexual impulses. They just wander around the streets clueless and helpless against salacious television, magazines, and Internet pornography, as Mr. Robertson describes the temptations. The distraught wife wrote into the show to learn how to forgive, but what she received was the excuse that her husband was “captured.”
Captured? Is this some science fiction flick? Mr. Robertson makes it sound like men are helpless prey and women are vicious predators, even aliens who swoop down and capture unsuspecting men. Whether it’s a stripper in a hotel room or a prostitute on the street, supposedly men need their homemaking wives to help them control their temptations by making the home more “wonderful.”
Needless to say, Mr. Robertson’s reasoning is downright wrong and dangerous. Not to mention it is foolish. I don’t care if he is a religious leader. All men aren’t destined to cheat or wander, and all wives shouldn’t have to suck it up and deal with it. And to insinuate it’s the wife’s fault because the husband is not happy at home adds insult to injury. It takes two people to build a happy home; two people to build a happy, satisfying marriage; two people who show up like grown ups and take responsibility for their actions.
The concluding advice Robertson gives the wife is to “thank God you have a marriage that is together and that you live in America and good things are happening.”
I respect the humanitarian work Mr. Robertson has done through his ministry, but if I am going to thank God for anything, I thank God Mr. Robertson is not my spiritual advisor or my marriage counselor. Forgiveness and foolishness are two different things. And Robertson’s advice doesn’t teach forgiveness; it teaches foolishness. To the woman who wrote into “The 700 Club,” choose wisely, dear sister. Choose wisely!
BMWK, what’s your take on Pat Robertson’s advice to the distraught wife?