Democrats have accused Republicans of waging a war against women. Republicans have denied the accusation, explaining their efforts to ban abortion and contraception as a matter of religious freedom. But what happens when a Christian right-wing pastor says that women are subservient to men in marriage? Because that is exactly what Pat Robertson said on The 700 Club on Monday.
A man wrote a letter to Robertson about what he should do about his wife demanding that they tithe less money to the church because of tough financial problems. Robertson responded that the man is the boss in the marriage and should continue to give more money to church instead of saving to get out of a bad financial situation.
“You know big man, you are the boss,” Robertson declared. “I know people don’t want to hear that, but you are the high priest of your family and you are the man of the house. Now if you’re taking her money and she’s earning it and you’re giving away her money, that’s a different matter. But assuming you’re the breadwinner, you want to give, that’s between you. You need to push forward and your wife will come along. But if you’re vacillating and she pulls you back, you’re not much of a leader. You’re supposed to be a leader, you’re supposed to be the high priest. You’re supposed to intercede for your family before the Lord. And, as they say, ‘Man up.’”
Here’s the video via Right Wing Watch:
So what Robertson is saying is that women are subservient to their husbands. Men are in control of the marriage and have the right to ignore their wives and put tithing the church before feeding their families or paying their bills. That is what Robertson is saying. Basically, Robertson is giving men the green light to be deadbeat dads and husbands as long as it benefits the church monetarily. The fact is, men have a responsibility to take care of their families before tithing to church. If your financial situation is terrible, you should most definitely cut back. God isn’t going to send anyone to hell for tithing less in order to take better care of their struggling family. But for Robertson to tell a man that he should boss his wife around and forsake his family to enrich the church is un-Christian. Any good Christian pastor worth his or her salt will say that people should only tithe what they can reasonably afford after making that decision as a family unit. Robertson’s comment directly undermines the Republican claim that there is not a war against women.
The conservative war against women has less to do with religious freedom than it does with forcing women to be subservient to men. Robertson just made that pretty plain. If a woman is married, she has no say in the decision making. Only the man has power. It’s a chauvinistic point of view that has plagued the Republican Party for years, which is why women are flocking to the Democrats in record numbers.