On Wednesday’s edition of The 700 Club, Pat Robertson kicked off his Dear Abby-style “Honest Answers” segment with a question from a viewer who was very concerned that her son had married an atheist and wanted to know what she should do about that.
When my son told me he was going to marry an atheist, it was a tough pill to swallow, but I managed to get through it. I raised my son to believe we, as Christians, should only marry inside the church, but I know he loves her so much that I can’t bring myself to say anything about it. Should I respect his right to make his own choice?
Yes, yes Ethyl, you should absolutely do that. Because it is not your business.
That, of course, is not what Pat Robertson said.
He said that Jesus doesn’t have any fellowship with Belial (the Devil), and that people in the church should not be “unequally yoked” with non-believers, and that Billy Graham said, “You marry an atheist, then you’ve got the devil for your father-in-law.”
This is factually untrue. If you were to marry me, you would have Dante for a father-in-law. Not the Inferno one, of course, just the one who is my dad and has no relation to the fiery pits of hell whatsoever. Robertson explained to Ethyl that although she could give him advice and counsel him, this was all her fault for having been such a terrible parent.
Why? Because the Bible said to “Raise up a child in the way he should go and when he’s old he won’t depart.” And then, just to hammer home the point, Robertson added, “You haven’t raised him very well if he’s going into atheism right now.”
Jeez, that’s a little harsh, no? Even if Ethyl is definitely the mother-in-law from hell, it is pretty crappy to tell someone that the reason her kid is doing something she doesn’t like is because she was a bad parent who raised her child the wrong way. Does Robertson think his own mother, whom he refers to as having been a “beautiful and gracious Southern belle,” was a terrible mother just because his own first child was conceived out of wedlock and he lied to cover that up?
Given that this is the same guy who once told a grieving woman who had a miscarriage that God was probably just trying to stop the next Hitler, probably! Pat Robertson is not a very nice person.
(Thanks to Kyle for the link)