Just caught Erin Burnett on CNN talking about something I had noticed earlier today as trending on Yahoo!
Yup, that’s right, number one above.* On his “700 Club” television show yesterday, his co-host Kristi Watts read a letter from a woman having trouble forgiving a cheating husband. Watts called infidelity “one of the ultimate betrayals“, but Robertson said the woman should “stop talking about the cheating.” After asking some good questions which get at the heart of what it means to be good husband, he otherwise seems to miss the point, dismissing the problem of infidelity — and failing to understand the full meaning of marriage, particularly the marital vows:
He cheated on you. Well, he’s a man, okay, so, what you do is begin to focus on why you married him in the first place, on what he does good.
. . . .
But recognize also, like it or not, males have a tendency to wander a little bit. And what you want to do is make the home so wonderful that he doesn’t want to wander. But, think of the temptations that are out there. The Internet is filled with pornography. Magazines are filled with pictures, salacious pictures of women. Anywhere you turn around, there is some solicitation to the sense to entice a man. And so what you have to do is say, “My husband was captured and I want to get him free.”
Yes, Mr. Robertson is right; males do have a tendency to wander, but marriage vows exist to restrain that tendency, to remind a man that he has, to borrow a term many social conservatives like, made a covenant with a woman, forging a bond more important that the momentary gratification a dalliance with another women might offer.
What this man did was wrong and to earn forgiveness, he should first admit that.
Marriage has evolved for a great many reasons, one of them to control that tendency to wander. Mr. Robertson should have said as much. He should have said that what the cheating husband did was wrong — and criticized him for violating his vows. And for causing pain to a woman to whom he had sworn fidelity.
If the man admits to all that — and vows never again to stray, then it might be easier for the woman to forgive him. Maybe she does need to change. But, so does the husband. And Robertson should have said as much.
His failure to do so should cause us to question whether the televangelical understands what marriage is for.
*UPDATE: (10:50 GayPatriot time) Now the story is trending Number one on Yahoo!:
FROM THE COMMENTS: CSmith offers:
“My husband was captured”?! As if he has no responsibility in the betrayal of his marriage vows. It was just something that happened to him.
Well said. And note the passive construction as well, making the issue of agency ambiguous as if it was beyond the man’s control.