Thursday, May 01, 2014
Pat Robertson Advises Husband to Discipline Unsubmissive Wife
In this video, a letter is sent to Pat Robertson from a complementarian husband, named Michael, who is frustrated that his wife will not submit to him as head of their home. The letter indicates that the wife is not only unsubmissive but also, allegedly, has a tendency to be physically abusive as well. Following is a transcript of the letter along with Robertson's advice:
Michael: "My wife has become a real problem. She has no respect for me as the head of the house. She insults me and she even went as far as stretching her hand to beat me. I've lost my self confidence. Her words hurt so much and she refuses to talk through our problems. Please tell me what to do." --Michael
Pat Robertson: "You could become a muslim and just beat her...This man's gotta stand up to her. He can't let her get away with this stuff.I don't think we condone wife beating these days but something has got to be done to make her...She is just totally ...rebellious... she doesn't want to submit to any authority...That's the problem, she does not understand authority...You can't divoce her, according to the scripture. I say, move to Saudi Arabia!"
Robertson's response is outrageous and irresponsible. The only thing he is concerned about is the fact that this woman will not acknowledge her husband as her authority.
Judging from the order of Michael's complaints, he (along with Robertson) is most concerned about his wife's lack of submission. The unscriptural paradigm of male headship is obviously causing major problems within this couple's marriage, but the only solution Robertson could come up with was for Michael to move to Saudi Arabia so he could legally beat his wife into submission.
The second concern mentioned is that of his wife's physical abuse. If this allegation is true, then the husband has only one recourse, that of deciding whether or not to continue living in the same home with a physically abusive spouse. The wife's behavior is not only sinful but criminal as well, and the husband does have the right of legal recourse and protection.
He does not have the right (as Robertson claims) to MAKE HER submit
As survivors of abuse usually learn (or should learn), the only person we can or should control is ourselves. It is very possible that that the abusive paradigm of complementarianism (male authority) is largely responsible for the problems in this couple's marriage, however, that does not excuse the wife's alleged physical abuse.
Concerning the alleged physical abuse, Michael has a number of moral and physical options: 1) repent of his own sinful desire to dominate his wife through the false assumption that, as a male, he is appointed by God as head of his home and authority over her 2) continue to live with her and expose himself to her alleged abuse 3) let her know that she may have to pay a personal consequence of losing her marriage over her sin--divorce for abuse is not forbidden in scripture 4) Take advantage of his legal right and recourse of arrest and prosecution against her for her alleged crime of assault.
Robertson's remarks are shortsighted, unscriptural, and indicative of his own strong belief in female subordination to males. Pat Robertson is a committed complementarian who obviously is so frustrated at the idea of a woman who will not be subjugated that the only solution he can come up with is for the couple to move to the Middle East where wife beating is legal.