Pat Robertson on wife beating

Hey remember how Mitt Romney appeared alongside Pat Robertson this weekend to talk about God and Christian values and stuff? Now Robertson is encouraging men to beat their wives, so that’s cool. Very cool guy to hang out with and rely upon for moral guidance.

Background: Someone writes into Robertson’s show saying that his wife refuses to submit to him, going so far as to insult him and use her hand to beat him. Obviously the insulting/beating part is very bad, and the only real advice there is “That relationship is abusive and you should leave it.” Instead, Robertson laments the fact that it’s not ok to beat your wife “these days,” and says the woman probably did not grow up properly submitting to fatherly authority, which is why she’s acting like “a child.” Robertson then notes that the man can’t divorce his wife because Scripture says no divorce, and so the best advice Robertson has is “Move to Saudi Arabia” where the husband could ostensibly legally beat her.

Republicans! There is definitely no war on women and they are so totally not hostile at all to women’s rights. And clearly their views are awesome for men, too.

59 comments for “Pat Robertson on wife beating

  1. roro80
    September 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Holy Jesus that’s disgusting. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised when known assholes act like assholes, but holy cow…

  2. jemima101
    September 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Sometimes just when you think it can’t get any worse…

    I suppose he is at least consistent in telling people to remain in abusive relationships.

    • LotusBecca
      September 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Yes, Pat Robertson consistently says divorce is wrong if you are in an abusive marriage. But apparently, divorce is completely acceptable if your wife is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

      • Marissa123
        September 11, 2012 at 9:45 am

        Ah, misogyny. And using his religion as an excuse to be a flaming douchebag misogynist. Oh what a lovely man. Oh what a lovely man Romney is for keeping his company.

        I’m not surprised, only saddened, that this dude with a national platform encourages beating one’s wife but abandoning her once illness sets in.

        Now I want to write him saying my husband has alzheimer’s and see what predictably happens.

      • LotusBecca
        September 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm

        I was thinking that, too. I’m guessing that in Robertson’s world wives are supposed to take care of their sick husbands. But it doesn’t go both ways. Breaks my heart (but like you, I’m not surprised) to see this degree of misogyny openly flaunted in the mainstream.

  3. Brennan
    September 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Wow. I mean, I expect terrible things to be said on the 700 Club, but . . . wow.

    I think the ugliest part of that clip was watching the (female) interviewer giving her little interjections and trying to save him from saying what he was so determined to say even while you could see how uncomfortable he was making her. And how you could almost see the wheels turning in his head–the little voice whispering “I’m on national television, so even though I know what I’d say if he asked me in private, I have to wrap it up in euphemism and double-speak” and he landed on “move to Saudi Arabia” . . .

    With all the hemming and hawing he worked in, it almost looks like he genuinely doesn’t know what to tell the guy, but that’s not the case. If he were actually stumped, he would have picked up on the cues the interviewer gave him (talking out their problems, getting counseling) and at least gotten through the clip with a modicrum of dignity. But, his vague “you can’t let her get away with that” shows that he knows *exactly* what he would tell this man and would probably give detailed instructions were he not on national television.

  4. Bruce McGlory
    September 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Okay, i admit its been awhile since I’ve read the bible, but he isn’t saying anything that isn’t in there, is he?

    • PrettyAmiable
      September 11, 2012 at 9:14 pm

      Ah, yes. I believe it was John who said in the New Testament, “And you shall beat your wife but not a moment before you shall know Mohammad and his word (you’ll know who I’m talking about – he’s a few years from now, but he’s on his way).”

  5. shelly
    September 10, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    It’s been long past time for Pat Robertson to go.

  6. Dank
    September 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Judging all Republicans because of Pat Robertson’s ignorance is a little like judging all feminists by Naomi Wolf.


    • sabrina
      September 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      you certainly can judge romney by those standards when the leader of the republican party this election season has made public appearances with him, Pat Robertson has personally donated money to Romney’s campaign, and Romney belongs to a religion that advocates beating your wife and child if they “do not submit to the authority of the Man as God of his household”.
      Furthermore, we criticize Naomi wolf and other feminists who say or believe bad things. I hear crickets every time the vile things that come out of the republicans mouths are said. Pat Robertson in particular seems to get a pass at being a horrible person. Remember this is the guy who called all feminists ugly lesbian witches. Two of those three things is in his mind a crime so terrible it should be punished with burning at the stake. When your party leader aligns himself with that, you better believe we are going call him out, and his party out by association for that kind of behavior.

      • Dank
        September 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm

        You do make a really good point here. The difference is that one side is totally willing to engage in self-criticism, while the other consider that to be a sign of weakness. The fact that Romney and the Republicans fail to call out the worst in their ranks is worth holding against them.

      • September 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm

        Right. If we were rallying around Naomi Wolf and campaigning with her, that point would be merited. As you can see, the post below this one demonstrates we are not the biggest Naomi Wolf fans. Romney was stumping with Robertson last weekend.

        I’ll also point out that as ridiculous as Wolf is, and how wrong she was on the Assange/rape issue, her public statements are nowhere near as offensive and ugly as Robertson’s have been over the past several decades. This comment from him is not out of character; that’s part of what makes the Romney stumping so offensive.

      • m
        September 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

        This whole thing is so highly offensive and makes me cringe.

        I have just recently had a major feminist awakening and it has changed my entire world view. I’m not a total idiot but I have to admit that I definitely was blind to so much. I was born and raised Mormon. I know. I know. The horror. Not even getting into the problems with which I have been indoctrinated (and doing my darnedest to disentangle myself from), I do question where it says that it’s ok to beat your wife and child if they don’t submit.

        Of course it is a patriarchy and is problematic in all the ways that a patriarchy is problematic, but I have never been taught that it’s ok to beat your family. Not to say that abuses don’t occur, because I know they do, but it’s not sanctioned to do so and it’s definitely not “doctrine”.

        It might be a small and unimportant nuance but I guess as I’m trying to navigate my way through my new world with a feminist lens, I feel I have to be intellectually honest about my upbringing (which has been as painful as anything I have ever done) and while I rage at so much with the fire of a thousand burning suns, I do draw some consolation that my husband has never been taught that it’s ok to beat me for not obeying him. Even typing that makes me want to puke that our relationship would even be perceived that way.

        Sigh. I have so much to learn (I don’t even know who Naomi Wolf is). I am hopeful that I will start to feel comfortable in my own skin again.

    • William
      September 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm

      When was the last time Feminism as a whole spent three decades uncritically catering to a group of monsters in which Naomi Wolf was only the least repellent example?

      There is no equivalency between a centrally organized political party’s calculated decision to get into bed with the vile champions of a ideology that should have died centuries ago and the wildly divergent market of ideas which is labeled “feminism’s” more extreme fringes.

    • Combray
      September 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm


      That’s really a pretty tiresome gimmick.

    • number9
      September 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      But I can judge the republican nominee, ostensibly a leader of his party and a representative of its platform, for associating with Pat Robertson. So get back to me when a politician who identifies as a feminist (say, Hilary Clinton) makes an appearance with Wolf to boost the public opinion of her feminist bonafides.

    • September 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      Pro-tip: ducking, or assuming you are going to get attacked for essentially defending republicans (I mean really, is that the position you want to take right now?) makes you automatically look like an ass. It’s like you are walking in here wearing a sandwich board that says “I know you women are so sensitive and can’t take a joke, but I’m gonna go ahead and make a really tired joke anyway, one you have heard a million times, then act shocked and/or smug when you don’t find it funny.” I mean, that’s a really big sandwich board, but you get the idea. It’s an old fucking joke, man.

      • Dank
        September 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm

        My point was that most right wingers don’t condone domestic violence, and that if the only time you hear about them is when one does something offensive enough to get excoriated on left-leaning blogs, then it’s easy to develop a skewed opinion. I’ve always been a far-left Democrat, but it really bugs me when one side defines the other by their worst members. I knew that such a message would be attacked here, even though I wanted to express it, I wasn’t prepared to defend it properly. So I just decided to figuratively *duck*. I realize that there was probably a better way to say it.

      • William
        September 10, 2012 at 10:31 pm

        it really bugs me when one side defines the other by their worst members. I

        Again, thats not whats happening here. If you look at Jeffery Dahmer and say “thats why gay men are evil” you’re making a mistake. If you look at Pat Robertson stumping for Mitt Romney after a photo op with a few kind words about “family values” and say “maybe the Republicans have a basic fucking problem” its being observant. You can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep. Somehow, the GOP just keeps getting caught in circle jerks with monsters. At some point you have to stop giving them the benefit of the doubt and wonder if they don’t have a thing for them.

      • September 11, 2012 at 12:12 am

        I’ve always been a far-left Democrat, but it really bugs me when one side defines the other by their worst members.

        If you’ve always been a far-left Democrat ,what gives you the authority to say whether or not Pat Robertson is considered one of the worst members of the party by the rank-and-file Republican? or even by Republican politicians, none of whom reject his endorsemement?

      • September 11, 2012 at 12:24 am

        My point was that most right wingers don’t condone domestic violence…

        Well, why then do they elect mainly legislators who do condone domestic violence?

      • September 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

        Oh? Remind me again which party wanted to stop authorising VAWA.

      • Dank
        September 11, 2012 at 10:41 am

        Right Steve. All Republicans love domestic violence. They love it so much, that they all voted against VAWA, which they consider an abusive expansion of federal power.

        Or, they actually all voted for it’s reauthorization huh? Because the debate wasn’t over the VAWA as a whole, but only over new provisions?

        Look, I support the changes ( in the democratic version, but let’s argue these issues on their merits and not by lying about the other side’s position.

      • September 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

        let’s argue these issues on their merits and not by lying about the other side’s position.

        Because domestic violence doesn’t matter unless it’s happening to cis white straight citizen women. Right. (In case you didn’t actually read about the situation, the “expanded provisions” would have protected immigrants and people in same-sex relationships.)

        Damn right the Republicans were condoning domestic violence, by talking about victims who need protection vs victims whose protection would be “unconstitutional”. Or was that “illegitimate”? I’m so confused about their agenda these days.

      • IrishUp
        September 11, 2012 at 11:53 am

        The GOP has defined ITSELF by it’s own worst members. FIND me an Eisenhower-type moderate R who holds substantial power or influence within the party at a national level. LOOK who was in the R presidential field. LOOK at who are the lead players in the past 10 years.

        What fucking CHAMPIONS they are of women and women’s equality and dignity. McCain called his *wife* a cunt on the Senate floor. Of the 227 cosponsors of H.R. 3, only 10 are house democrats. You know HR3 – the one with the “forcible rape” language, among other charming provisions. Thats 217/214 House Republicans = 90%, vs ~5% of House Dems (10/191).

        So fuck right off with the notion that this is somehow libs or dems or progressives using the worst of the party to define them. Republicans have pandered to and cultivated the worst of themselves for decades, starting with Tricky Dick and G Gordon.

      • IrishUp
        September 11, 2012 at 11:54 am

        Crap, typo. There are 241 House republicans, not 214.

      • September 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

        Right Steve. All Republicans love domestic violence. They love it so much, that they all voted against VAWA, which they consider an abusive expansion of federal power.

        Or, they actually all voted for it’s reauthorization huh? Because the debate wasn’t over the VAWA as a whole, but only over new provisions?

        I didn’t say they love it. I said they condone it. How is it an abuse of federal power to extend these protections to homosexuals? The objection to this has nothing to do with federal power and all to do with the same sort of fundamentalist reading of the Bible that Pat Robertson peddles. The Republicans who voted against the new provisions of this bill are at the very least condoning domestic violence in those specific situations: Native Americans abused by non-NA abusers, immigrants escaping an abusive relationship, and lesbian relationships.

    • September 10, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      Pat Robertson was a Republican candidate for president. Naomi Wolf hardly maintains that sort of leadership position.

      • samanthab
        September 11, 2012 at 7:17 am

        She advised Al Gore. She’s been given too much credibility, too. Democrats do have a bad habit of hiring idiot advisers. Still, she’s not inciting men to violence.

  7. SethEag
    September 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    You have to give Pat credit for finding an ingenious way to combine the GOP’s hatred of women with their love of outsourcing. Nicely done.

    • September 11, 2012 at 7:13 am

      well said, sir.

  8. September 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Worthless misogynistic sack of shit. I’m very worried about his wife and children. No one deserves to be around a monster like him.

  9. September 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I swear, just when you think the GOP can’t get any more woman-hating than they already are…

  10. ashley
    September 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Sexist and ALSO racist. What a winner.

  11. Tracey
    September 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Nothing Pat Robinson says surprises me anymore. The man is disgusting and just about every time he opens his mouth it is to say something misogynistic, homophobic, ableist, or racist.

    And I am beyond over politicians, people who make rules that we are expected to live by, hanging out with and praising people who say and do things like this. That says a lot about your values and what you are willing to excuse.

    It is disheartening when Obama does it with Rick Warren (avid homophobe and also on record as talking about how abuse isn’t a reason for divorce and counseling against divorcing for that reason) and it is disheartening when Romney does it, but nowhere near as surprising for election Romney (who seems to be all about stepping on the image and ideas that made him palatable to begin with).

  12. Chris
    September 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    In a better world, religious demagogues would be less like Pat Robertson and more like Fred Rogers.

    Every time I watch Pat Robertson do his thing, I half expect him to glower a moment at the end, and then disperse into a violently swirling cloud of vague, angry, all-purpose hatred. I’m always a little disappointed to see him maintain some kind of apparently stable, solid form through the whole thing.

    • William
      September 10, 2012 at 10:34 pm

      Jesus doesn’t condone that kind of witchcraft. Robertson needs to maintain corporeal form to do God’s work here on Earth. I mean, if he doesn’t advance the oppression of women, gays, natural disaster victims, the poor, and anyone else who isn’t white enough…who will?

      • Sarah
        September 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm

        I never comment here, but this made me laugh out loud to myself. Thank you for making me laugh when the article made me want to scream…I needed that comic relief.

  13. karak
    September 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Scripture does not say no divorce. It has specific divorce and widow laws laid out. The fact he likes to pretend this isn’t true is bullshit, and the passages on divorce are a fuck of a lot more important than the passages that are interpreted to be about gay people.

  14. Tony
    September 10, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Okay, while researching for this thread, I came across this:

    • BabyRaptor
      September 11, 2012 at 12:15 am

      Landover Baptist is a satire site. It’s safe to just say “WTF?” and laugh at them…They’re not a real church.

    • im
      September 11, 2012 at 2:06 am

      That specific site is a parody site. There are some others that are nearly indistinguishable but are not.

      • Amelia the lurker
        September 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm

        Landover Baptist, Christwire (think WND)…both fine examples of Poe’s Law.

  15. Kristen J.
    September 10, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    And of course in addition to condoning beating your wife, he’s also condoning beating your children. That’s what that while thing about submitting to fatherly authority is about. Charming fellow.

    • Bagelsan
      September 11, 2012 at 10:33 am

      Yeah, it’s basically saying that if you don’t beat your little girls enough, someday some poor put-upon man will have to beat them for you. Won’t someone think of the abusers?

  16. September 11, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I’m just going to come out and state my suspicions – the letter writer is probably leaving out piles of important information, probably already beats his wife, is really complaining that she sometimes tries to fight back, is probably a violent abuser, will use Robertson’s response as an excuse to escalate the abuse, and will actually tell her as much. The complaint that she fails to “submit” sets off alarms regarding his mindset and probable behaviour. I get wind of similar garbage on a daily basis.

    Pat Robertson is a horrible human being. Anyone who counsels abuse targets to remain in abusive relationships is dangerously wrong and foolish. Robertson’s bigoted wish for the days when abuse was openly tolerated should get him ejected from his position of prominence, though we are discussing the guy who blamed the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the Haitian earthquake on liberals, LGBTQ people, abortion, and religious beliefs other than Protestant Christianity and still has a job…

    • Spiny Norman
      September 13, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      Yes, yes, I do remember that as well. As do search engines, which point to many articles documenting the crimes of the bloody shitstain sometimes known as Pat Robertson.

  17. Sarah Dalton
    September 11, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Someone probably said it, but it’s worth mentioning several times that this was also really racist. He didn’t just say, move to saudi arabia, he asserted that all muslims beat women. What an asshole.

    • Lolagirl
      September 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      This struck me as well. The cognitive dissonance in that man’s head must be pretty overwhelming, because he on the one hand criticizes Muslims as horrible wife beaters but then suggests that beating one’s wife is perfectly ok as well as consistent with the teachings of the Bible/God/Jesus.

      Then again, he’s on the record already as being a racist, xenophobic, religious bigot. That he says these things and believes them isn’t all that surprising. But it definitely is disgusting and reprehensible.

  18. Datdamwuf
    September 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Robertson is so deluded and hateful, I usually ignore anything about him, his bigotry extends to anyone that is not an old white man. And he appears to believe he is the right hand of god, he frequently makes prophecies that some horrible natural disaster will strike, like a hurricane will hit a place because; EVIL is roaming (gay festival in 1998 comes to mind).

    When his prophecy doesn’t pan out he just ups the ante. I think GOD is disappointing Pat Robertson because HE doesn’t do what good ole Pat says he will.

  19. pernicious knid
    September 12, 2012 at 1:27 am

    Totally off topic, and I apologize, but I misread Pat Robertson as Robert Pattinson initially and thought this was a completely different kind of article. That said, of course, this is really vile, not least of all for the racism and Islamophobia inherent in his commentary. Pat Robertson, you’re the worst.

    • cherrybomb
      September 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      My dyslexia did that to me at first when I saw the title out of the corner of my eye in the “recent posts” box. I thought, “gee, I wouldn’t have thought a British actor in the midst of a break-up would be palling around with Mitt Romney.”

      Then I really looked at the title…. “Ah, that makes more sense.”

  20. Radiant Sophia
    September 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I’m surprised that anyone here is actually surprised by this sub-human behavior.

    • September 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      yeah, same.

    • September 20, 2012 at 8:37 pm

      Thirded. Robertson says a lot of shit. He’s an old fucker and won’t be around much longer, and his audience is other hateful old fuckers who also won’t be around much longer.

      When he goes for crazy though, he does knock it out of the park.

  21. Mike
    September 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    What about the part where he would have to convert to and show respect for Islam to be welcomed in Saudi Arabia and be able to act under the guidelines outlined by Islam or an interpretation of Islam.

    Isnt he like a Christian fundamentalist? Doesnt he shoot himself in the foot by telling ppl to go muslim?

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