Pat Robertson: Treat your gay son like a “drug addict”

On yesterday’s edition of the 700 Club, Pat “You Can Get AIDS From a Towel” Robertson told a caller that she should not act as “an enabler” for her son, who had recently come out as gay and an atheist, but should instead love him the same way you would a “drug addict” in order to bring him back to, per the caller’s wishes “the path of Christ.”

Said Robertson:

You cannot go along and say “I agree with your lifestyle,” and so don’t be an enabler — any more than if he’s a drug addict; you don’t enable people to continue their drug habit. But you let him know you love him. Let him know God loves him….You don’t’ want to shun him. You want to have love, but you’ve got to let him know that you don’t approve of the things that he’s doing.

Here’s the video, via Right Wing Watch:

While Robertson’s comparison is patently offensive, should we really be that surprised? The Christian Right has spent years promoting a family-friendly “love the sinner; hate the sin” message, ever since they realized that calling for real hatred of gays isn’t in vogue anymore (at least not in America). And if you believe that homosexuality is a choice, something that you can choose not to feel or act on, then it’s easier to forgive “bad behavior” in hopes that it will eventually be corrected.

This has sparked a burgeoning ex-gay rehab business that states are slowly but surely banning for children, as such programs amount to child abuse. In other words, the Christian Right has convinced itself that being gay is just another vice. Your son being gay isn’t all that different from your brother being an alcoholic. One might leave you worse off on Judgment Day, but both are nothing more than addictive habit that can be confronted and, with time and prayer, cured.

Just don’t tell that to the adults who actually attend ex-gay rehab, which one straight journalist described as “literally the gayest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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13 Responses to “Pat Robertson: Treat your gay son like a “drug addict””

  1. Katan Scott says:

    It’s really sad, but religious people seriously have this warped view that they really are loving while stating that they “disagree with your lifestyle.” I’ve always found that to be a very condescending and, dare I say, false type of love.

  2. FUFatherEisenman says:

    unfortunately for us, his son is taking his place

  3. FUFatherEisenman says:

    You know you’re gonna have to face it, you’re addicted to love

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  5. mirth says:

    Remember that great feeling when we learned Jerry “Fats” Falwell had finally left this world, all alone in a crumpled heap to the floor?

  6. Glen Thompson says:

    Why doesn’t he just do us all a favor and, as he puts it, go and meet his maker?

  7. Jade says:

    This will just give gay kids the chance to say, “I learned it by watching YOU, Dad! I learned it by watching you!”

  8. BeccaM says:

    By Robertson’s standards (or lack thereof), this is pretty tame from him. Most often he advises parents to shun their kids entirely, cut them off.

    I’m not going to call this a step forward or an improvement, because like any decrepit, semi-senile old bastard bigot, every now and then he’ll say something that isn’t quite as horrible as his usual self. But don’t worry, he’ll be true to form again soon and start ranting about HIV infection stab-rings and lesbian devil cults by tomorrow or the next day.

  9. 2karmanot says:

    The frightening thing about the insanity and vileness of these cracked-pots is that it’s not a case of singularity. Tens of thousands mentally ill followers hang on his every word. It’s perfectly understandable however, that anyone addle-brained enough to believe in a nasty tempered all powerful sky god, would emulate his violent and condemning ways and call it love. The only thing that keeps these murderous trolls from torturing and killing is what’s left of our feeble democracy.

  10. The_Fixer says:

    Did we (or should we) expect anything different from a loopy con artist like him? Of course not.

    What really struck me is that he offered no real advice, just an condemnation of her son, and a an admonishment to, basically, alienate him (yet love him in the process?).

    He has no real advice to offer, because the alternatives are lunatic in nature. You can’t change gay people through reparative therapy, he likely knows it, and he has no real way of getting this woman’s son to renounce his nature and satisfy her desire to see him “back in the fold.”

    I’m kind of surprised he didn’t say something worse, like this woman’s son is demonically possessed. I am also surprised he didn’t attack him for being an atheist.

    Maybe Crazy Uncle Pat is slipping worse than usual. We all know that he’s drifting off into the world of mental incompetence, is it happening more quickly than we thought? I do hope he starts peeing and crapping his pants uncontrollably soon so that they can finally take him off the air.

  11. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Actually, I think of him as “The Cryptkeeper”.

  12. BillFromPA says:

    It’s time to treat Pat Robertson like a Crazy Uncle.

  13. mark_in_toronto says:

    For Robertson, this is a step forward. Not long ago, he wouldn’t have even used the word love.
    He’s still a scumbag though. But like Bill O’Reilly, it’s only a matter of time before he will no longer be taken seriously.

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