Dear Pat Robertson: Time to Retire
Dear Pat: It really is time for you to retire. In your latest display of complete ignorance you are embarrassing yourself.
It really is time for you to retire. In your latest display of complete ignorance you are embarrassing yourself.
In your most recent ramblings, you responded to a man complaining that his wife wasn’t showing him proper respect by telling him that “he could become a Muslim and beat her.”
After you then speculate that the woman in question must have been a rebellious child and now is a rebellious wife, you conclude: "I don’t think we condone wife-beating these days but something has got to be done."
So where to begin? First you insult Islam by suggesting that Muslims believe it is fine to beat your wife. Islam no more teaches a justification for a husband to beat his wife than does Christianity. Any Muslim or Christian can misuse sacred texts and teachings to condone wife abuse. . . . which is what you in fact proceed to do.
When you so casually label the wife as rebellious against authority and conclude that “something has got to be done,” you are drawing on the Christian rationalization often based on Ephesians 5: “wives be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord” (v. 22). I assume that you believe that husbands have the right to exercise power and control over their wives and that any woman who resists being controlled by her husband is “rebellious” and must be brought into line. And one way to do that is by using physical force to remind her who is the head-of-household.
Unfortunately the right of the husband to control his wife and the expectation that she will submit without complaint is still being preached from too many Christian pulpits today. And too many women from those congregations end up in shelters for battered women or hospital emergency rooms.
Although it is illegal in the U.S. to beat your wife, this hasn’t necessarily stopped some husbands like the abusive man with whom I once spoke who, when confronted, said, “what do you mean I can’t beat my wife? I’m a Christian.” Most of us Christians actually prefer the Gospel teaching to love your neighbor and we believe that this includes your wife and includes respect.
So Pat, a little less self-righteousness please. Please take the log out of your eye (Matthew 7:3) and then retire. Christian women will thank you. Muslims will too.
Your sister in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune