Televangelist Pat Robertson is under fire once again after telling the wife of a cheating husband to get over the infidelity and provide a better home so he doesn’t “wander.”
Robertson was responding to a letter from a woman identified as Ivy during Wednesday’s episode of “The 700 Club.” Ivy wrote, “We have gone to counseling, but I just can’t seem to forgive, nor can I trust. How do you let go of the anger? How do you trust again?
Robertson’s co-host began to answer the letter when the one-time Republican presidential hopeful interjected with the “secret” to getting past the cheating.
“Stop talking about the cheating. He cheated on you. Well, he’s a man. O.K.,” Robertson said.
Robertson suggested the wife forget about the incident and focus on why she married her husband in the first place, advising she try to fall in love with him again. The televangelist rolled out a series of questions for Ivy to think about.
“Does he provide a home for you to live in? Does he provide food for you to eat?” Robertson asked. “Is he handsome?”
But it was the way Robertson ended his response that set off a firestorm.
“Males have a tendency to wander a little bit, and what you want to do it make the home so wonderful that he doesn’t want to wander,” he said.
The Christian Broadcasting Network released a statement, saying, “As a first step in the process, Dr. Robertson stated that she should stop dwelling on the cheating. Next, he recommended that she remind herself of all the reasons she fell in love with him in the first place so that she might try to fall back in love with him all over again.”
“Lastly, his point was that everyone is human and there is much temptation outside of the home, so she should do whatever she can to strengthen their home and relationship. His intent was not to condone infidelity or to cast blame. We regret any misunderstanding,” the statement concluded.
The Internet went on overdrive as negative comments poured in on Twitter and on YouTube videos of the segment. Robertson’s advice provoked outrage not only from women but his fellow Christian leaders.
“I think it’s outrageous. Historically, Christians take personal responsibilities for our actions and immoral choices and don’t blame those on other people,” said Gabe Lyons, author of “The Next Christians.”
Robertson, 83, gave a similar answer when he spoke about Gen. David Petraeus’ affair with Paula Broadwell last year.
“The man’s off in a foreign land and he’s lonely and here’s a good-looking lady throwing herself at him. I mean, he’s a man,” Robertson said on an episode of “The 700 Club.”
Earlier this year Robertson was criticized when he suggested a woman’s looks might be to blame for her marital problems. Robertson told a story about a woman who asked a reverend how to stop her husband’s drinking problem.
“She was awful looking. The preacher looked at her and said, ‘Madam, if I was married to you I’d start to drink too,’” Robertson said.