Pat Robertson Gives Dating Advice to Christian Engaged to Atheist

I know that everyone here looks to only two places for relationship advice: Savage Love and Pat Robertson.

Robertson received a question from a newly-Christian woman who has been with her fiance for four years. He’s an atheist.

She asks a heartfelt question, too:

How do you think we can interact with each other peacefully when it comes to spiritual matters?

Instead of taking the route of seeking mutual respect and initiating lifelong discussion, Robertson offers this advice:

Dump him.

This, from a guy who says he values marriage…

I’m sure some atheists would agree with his advice for other reasons.

I don’t think a difference in religion is a cause in itself to separate. It depends on a lot of factors, including whether kids may be involved and how they would be raised, and how seriously both sides take their respective beliefs. But without knowing those things, it’s irresponsible to offer the advice he did.

(via Atheist Media Blog)

  • http://godlessgirl.com GG

    I just get hung up on the “he’s going to be serving the devil and you’re going to be serving God” schpeal. I like how him “serving the devil” has already been illustrated by him being supportive of her and her journey thus far and having a healthy relationship. Clearly that’s what Satan would do, not Jesus.

  • Tom

    I hope she does dump the poor guy. It’ll save him from a hellish marriage to a religious nut.

    Remember that Pat Robertson is a guy who blames 9/11 and the flooding of New Orleans on homosexuality and says that God will forsake Dover Pennsylvania for choosing not to teach creationism in high school science class. In my view, Pat Roberson is not a civilized man, and his followers are nuts.

  • Brian C Posey

    I hate to prejudge but I can see how she might need to break up.

    Remember, it’s not just that she’s a Christian. She obviously gives two shits (two more than I’d give) about what Pat Robertson thinks.

    In my experience that will cause more disagreement than the Christian-Atheist divide.

  • llewelly

    Uh, if she seriously thinks Pat Robertson is a worthwhile source of advice, their relationship is a lost cause anyway.

  • llewelly

    Perhaps I should elaborate. Strong belief in traditional gender roles is strongly correlated with abusive relationships, conflict-driven relationships, difficult divorces, and many other marital difficulties. Robertson advocates traditional gender roles – and worse. His advice is bad for every relationship.

  • Ethan

    Oh, the inanity…

  • Microbiologychick

    “Do not be unequally yoked” is as good advice for atheists as it is for Christians.

  • Matto the Hun

    I second Ilewely’s comment.

    It’s one thing to have a theist/atheist relationship, but if the theist in question takes the likes of Pat Robertson as an authority…

    The thing is, the crap Robertson put forth would also destroy relationships of say a theist mother and her child.

    It’s intolerant, hateful, dehumanizing and disgusting.

    I wonder if she will realize this when she hears his response. While she may have become a ‘New Christian’, she has also known her BF for 4 years and has acknowledged his support of her and her ‘spiritual journey’ as it were. I think this is reason to have some optimism that she will see that Pat Robertson is NOT the go to guy on these matters… or anything really.

    Shame we’re not likely to see how this pans out.

  • flawedprefect

    Cos, ya know… Atheists believe in the devil, now. DUH! THE STUPID! IT BURNS!

  • bill

    just noting a few predictions of pat robertson’s, supposedly told to him by god:

    - the world was supposed to end in 1982

    - a tsunami would hit the US in the year 2006

    - there would be a massive terrorist attack on the US in 2007

    - on the other hand, he did predict a recession in 2008, but the stock market was supposed to crash in 2010…

    long story short, if pat robertson predicts there will be no peace and no middle ground in this relationship, they’ll probably finds tons of middle ground and peace.

    also, to summarize my current thoughts on pat robertson and those who hold similar beliefs: people suck.

  • anonymouse

    what a hateful, bitter old man. That’s fine, he’ll be dead soon..and with a wasted life.

  • Richard Wade

    This is an example of how Robertson and his Cult of Condemnation does more than just make an ass of himself, he ruins lives. He admits he knows nothing of the atheist or of their relationship, but his one and only reaction is immediate dismissal and derision. If he didn’t instantly hate, fear and condemn the guy, he’d be breaking the first rule of his creed.

    I agree with others that the girl’s writing to Robertson for advice does not bode well for the relationship. If her becoming a “newly true Christian” means giving the Merchant of Menace any credence at all, then it’s doomed. Watch out for the ones who differentiate themselves as “true” Christians over some kind of counterfeit Christian. They’ll love you to death. Quite literally.

    I suspect that more than half of the alleged letters to these Judges for Jesus are just made up bullshit so they can spout their piety and prejudice.

  • http://noadi.blogspot.com Noadi

    If I was in a relationship with someone and found out they give Pat Robertson any credibility (especially for relationship advice) I’d run the other way as fast as possible. I can have good relationships with people of faith, one of my best friends is a devout christian and we have some great debates but with mutual respect for each other. I may challenge his beliefs (and he challenges mine) but I’d never insult his intelligence and he’d certainly never accuse me of working for Satan. However I can’t imagine someone who admires Robertson truly having respect for me or my beliefs.

  • Jacqui

    i am not here to defend Pat but have you ever heard of the saying “do not be unequally yoked” let’s look at the facts here….she has decided that she believes in Christ. Her fiance does not. How do you raise a child in a home where there is division. if she takes the child to church every week and gets involved in church ministries the fiance will eventually have a major problem with this. if she does not take her child to church she’ll be going against what she believes in…..either way the relationship will eventually fall apart and then the innocent children will have to endure the pain of dealing with a broken home….

  • Jacqui

    i have a serious question to ask and please know that i come in peace so don’t get all perez hilton on me…

    if you don’t believe there is a God…why raise money and spend so much time and energy trying to “deconvert” people? why not just go about your business and simply live your life enjoying the wonderful freedom of not having to believe in anything?

  • Twin-Skies

    I don’t know what makes me want to punch babies more.

    Robertson giving “marriage advice,” or a woman willingly entrusting her love life to that shriveled up old troll.

  • Claudia

    I have to echo the thoughts above. If she’s the sort of person who looks to Mr. “9/11 was caused by feminists, humanists and the ACLU” for advice, then I think that she has issues that will likely make the relationship impossible.

    A Christian and an atheist can coexist, but a Christian fundamentalist can only coexist with another Christian fundamentalist. The same goes for any fundamentalist, they are incapable of accomodation and therefore very difficult to live with.

  • Mark Johnston

    You’re not being fair with your criticism…

    This, from a guy who says he values marriage…

    Someone could give that same criticism against Robertson for urging a couple of ten year olds not to get married.

    I agree that Robertson is a nut, but sloppy criticism hurts us more than him.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    if you don’t believe there is a God…why raise money and spend so much time and energy trying to “deconvert” people? why not just go about your business and simply live your life enjoying the wonderful freedom of not having to believe in anything?

    Your question seems a lot like the following:

    if you don’t have cancer…why raise money and spend so much time and energy trying to find a cure for cancer? why not just go about your business and simply live your life enjoying the wonderful freedom of not personally having cancer?

  • karen

    It bothers me that people are so stupid and listen to a man who wouldn’t know the first thing about being a good person. He starts by saying that he is sure her fella is a nice guy and ends by saying he serves the devil. He tries so hard to pretend he’s nice, but it’s not working for him.

  • mikespeir

    I hate to take Robertson’s side (and I sure don’t buy into his reasons), but I think he really does value marriage. He just thinks that this relationship should never become a marriage because it’s probably doomed to failure. Now, he blames the wrong party, for sure, but he’s probably right that it shouldn’t happen.

  • http://universalheretic.wordpress.com/ Vic

    Anyone that would accept the advice of Pat Robertson lacks critical thinking skills and should not get married, IMO.

  • Erik

    Coming from someone who is in a happy and committed 3+ year Christian/Atheist relationship, Pat Robertson is full of shit. But it’s not like you didn’t know that already.

    Like everyone else said, the fact that she considers Pat Robertson a wise source of advice is more telling than anything else.

    For those who bring up the “unequally yoked” thing, there is no consensus in the Bible about that. The particular verse is when Paul is telling the church that they shouldn’t have non-Christians as leaders in the church (duh). In other areas, he says that Christians being married to non-Christians is okay, and in some cases even good.

    If you’re an Atheist saying that you don’t understand how it would work, well then you likely aren’t a good candidate for an interfaith relationship. Some people are okay with it, and some aren’t, and that’s fine. The issue of kids is the biggest issue, but there are ways of planning for both parent’s views to be presented so long as neither parent insists that their way be the only way in the household. And if either parent felt that way, then there is some equality issues they need to work through in their own relationship…

  • Margaret

    I have found that religious people want to preserve their creed above all else. Anyone who disagrees with them is the enemy. Personal attacks ensue. The person, to their illogical mind, must be flawed to not believe what they believe, and MUST be discredited in order to prove beyond all doubt that the believer is right and everyone else is wrong. Living with an atheist would raise doubts and questions, and god is too weak to withstand that. The hateful believers I have had to work with (as a nurse) do not care if they destroy reputations or hurt feelings. They are not afraid to shove their dogmas down the throats of coworkers and patients. And god help you (haha) if you dare resist! Creed above all else, even if it destroys families, marriages, and work relationships.

  • Kate

    Psshhh, I’d break up with Erik if he started listening to Pat Robertson. That’d be a giant warning sign for me.

  • Luther Weeks

    if you don’t believe there is a God…why raise money and spend so much time and energy trying to “deconvert” people? why not just go about your business and simply live your life enjoying the wonderful freedom of not having to believe in anything?

    if you believe there is a God…why raise money and spend so much time and energy trying to “convert” people? why not just go about your business and simply live your life (and the next one) enjoying the wonderful conformance of not having to question anything?

    I won’t reason in your churches if you won’t bring your religion into everyone’s government, military, and science classes.

  • Erik

    Margaret: I’m sorry you’ve had to put up with such narrow minded people. It’s a quality of fundamentalism (of all kinds) to find alternative viewpoints wholly unacceptable, and it’s only made worse when the fundamentalists are also in the majority.

    As a non-fundamentalist Christian who is dating an atheist, her questions haven’t been enough to destroy my God in the same way that my questions haven’t been enough to change her mind. We both have really good reasons for believing what we do, and it’s possible to co-exist when you fully accept that your partners beliefs are well thought out and deserve respect.

  • Guffey

    I have to agree with the others… if she’s going to Pat Robertson for advice then the christian part ain’t the biggest problem.

    Not saying it *can’t* work but this sounds like a recipe for a tough marriage.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    As an atheist married to a theist and raising kids, I have to say that all it takes is one non-religious parent for the kids to develop their secular muscle. Even when my wife drags the kids to church (and I let her) they hate it.

    Pat Robertson is therefore right in that if your goal is to perpetuate fundamentalism to the next generation, it will take two dedicated parents. It just takes one non-fundamentalist parent to break the cycle.

    So go out there and marry theists, have (or adopt) kids, and “save” the next generation from fundamentalism :)

    And, yes, work (and vote) so that everybody has the right to marry and adopt kids (even if you choose not to marry or have kids).

  • Jason

    Pat Robertson is a fraud, a crook and a liar. Every Christian who clings to him for anything should be ashamed for doing anything but ousting this cockamamie lunatic from any position of power he has, even the Christians who don’t cling to him. Standing by idly while this dickhead talks on the 700 club is just as destructive as giving your own false predictions. I’d almost say that we should get Old Testament on his ass and stone him for being a false prophet, but that’d be stooping to the same immorality that he embraces on a daily basis.

  • Richard Wade

    Hi Jacqui,
    Your question is a legitimate one, and you asked it in a positive way.

    It would be great if atheists and theists could live and let live as your question seems to imply, but that is not what far too many theists are doing. Not all, but many are constantly trying to impose their will on everyone else, by insinuating themselves into every level of government, passing laws telling everyone else who they can love, who they can marry, what science they can study, what research they can conduct, revising our country’s history into a pack of lies promoting their religion, and making enemies for us by turning our foreign policy into an aggressive, destructive machine for proselytizing.

    Left alone, these people would soon be telling you how to worship. You would not be practicing the religion of your choice, you would be practicing the religion of the state on penalty of death. This is a fight against a foul tyranny that we have seen many times before, and believers such as yourself have as much at stake in protecting our eroding freedoms as do atheists.

    We are struggling for your freedom. Join us and stand with us to resist creeping theocracy. We need each other to survive. Standing idly by and wishing people could just get along will get us all enslaved.

  • Wes

    Jacqui Says:
    May 6th, 2009 at 1:42 am

    i have a serious question to ask and please know that i come in peace so don’t get all perez hilton on me…

    if you don’t believe there is a God…why raise money and spend so much time and energy trying to “deconvert” people? why not just go about your business and simply live your life enjoying the wonderful freedom of not having to believe in anything?

    There are two false assumptions built into your question:

    1.) You assume that atheists “don’t believe in anything”. But this is false. Atheists believe in a lot of things, but God is not one of them.

    2.) You assume that converting people is the only concern when it comes to whether one believes in God or not. But this is a false assumption. I do not believe in God. I also have little interest in converting people to atheism. But I do have an interest in preventing fundamentalists from forcing their religion on me through the government. I support secular organizations for precisely this reason.

  • http://evilburnee.co.uk PaulJ

    In general it’s safe to ignore any advice that begins, “The Bible says….”

    (This advice comes to you via Sweeping Generalizations R Us.)

  • Polly

    PAT FUCKING ROBERTSON? REALLY?!?!!?
    THAT’S your source?
    Oh man.

  • Spurs Fan

    As an atheist in a strong marriage with a Christian, I must agree with Erik, Kate, and Jeff and disagree with Jacqui.

    I became an atheist after we had children already, and though we’ve had some difficult conversations and are sure to have some future disagreements, I actually think our kids will benefit from it all. They go to church, enjoy the social setting of it (they are too young to really know what they believe), but are learning two different viewpoints, while still knowing that their parents not only coexist, but love, respect, and support each other. My oldest has already done the dance: he asks his mother a question and gets an answer, then he asks me and usually gets some Socratic questioning: “What do you think? Why do you think that? Does that make sense to you? Why? Many times, he can defend his position well using good evidence for a limited 5 year-old.

    So, who is really for marriage? The folks like us who are comitted to each other and respect each other’s differences, and not only work it out, but flourish? Or Pat Robertson who actually encourages something in this instance that he usually rails against: No Fault Divorce. Wow.

    Then again, my wife is a Christian who despises Pat Robertson.

  • Brooks

    On the subject of “the bible says”, doesn’t Jesus say in the bible that divorce is a sin expect in cases of adultery? So, isn’t Pat Robertson actively encouraging a couple to sin by suggesting that a married couple should divorce?

  • rhys

    it is despicable the value of respect an otherwise cruel bigoted hateful evil little man can be given with the title of reverend on his name.

    If there is a Hell it would be safe to say this decrepit immoral disgusting human being would be rotting and screaming uncontrollably there, shrieking, twisting and writhing in agony. In fact I would bet my life savings on it no problem.

  • seathanaich

    Well, there’s certainly no middle ground with bigoted arseholes like these two.

  • Kevin

    Jacqui. I am an atheist, My wife goes to church every sunday and tuesday. We have been very happily married for 30 years. Pat Robertson is an evil man and knows zip about life.

  • http://twitter.com/kristenscorner Kristen

    I don’t think anyone can make the decision whether you should break up with your boyfriend or not for you. Talk all the advice you are given for what it is worth and make your own choice. From my own experience, it is harder to make a relationship work when religions differ, because our faiths determine very much of who we are. When kids are involved it makes things even harder because you both want to raise them in your own beliefs, but it is not impossible to make it work. I just found a book that may offer some more good advice. It’s called Why I Love Men: The Joys of Dating. This book changed my approach to not only dating, but to life, in general.

  • http://cutepickuplines.net Jason Gillard

    Personally I think the clash of spirituality will be too much for any couple who is unevenly yoked as it were. they just end up walking two very different paths

  • Justin

    “I just get hung up on the ‘he’s going to be serving the devil and you’re going to be serving God’”

    The secular world is not of God.

  • http://www.newearthrelationships.org William Weil

    As a non-religious Jew who is excited to be sending my son to a Christian college to become a missionary, I feel like I have something to say. I don’t think Christians should surround themselves with people who are going to constantly challenge their belief. Nobody can honestly say they have a claim on the TRUTH (though many say they do), so it’s all about what you believe. And if your beliefs are supportive, healthy, make you happier, have you be more productive in society, then stick with them. If your atheist fiancee can keep her opinions to herself and fully support you in being a good Christian, then by all means! Also, people need to remember than an engagement is just that – people engaged with the idea of being married. If during the engagement you realize that it’s not working, end it, or postpone the engagement for a year until you are 100% clear you can commit yourself.

    William Weil, Author of “New Earth Relationships: A Guide for Couples for the 21st Century”


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