Pat Robertson: If Your Man Watches Porn, Leave Him, but If He Cheats on You, Stay

Yesterday, Pat Robertson told a woman whose boyfriend watches porn that she should leave him

Robertson said that the boyfriend may not be addicted to pornography, “but he’s always going to be comparing you to those bosomy babes that are dancing around on those porn flicks. And you don’t want to be competing against something like that.

“If I were you I would say sayonara,” he recommended. “Leave! It’s okay. You’re not married. Walk away.

If it’s porn, walk away! It’s only gonna get worse!

… which is interesting advice given that, back in May, he told a woman whose husband was actually cheating on her that she should stay with him:

He also suggested the woman could have done more to prevent her husband from cheating: “But recognize also, like it or not, males have a tendency to wander a little bit and what you want to do is make a home so wonderful that he doesn’t want to wander.”

“Reach out and think of the good stuff,” he advised. “And then, begin to thank God that you have a marriage that is together and that you live in America and good things are happening.”

He’s a man! Men cheat! Stop freaking out about it!

It’s logic that could only make sense in the mind of Pat Robertson…

Have fun watching Cenk Uygur explain it all:

(Thanks to Ed for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • ShoeUnited

    So that’s how Pat Robertson kept his marriage together all these years. Why beat off when you can pay for prostitutes?

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Going to go start a ministry BRB

  • Tainda

    Let me fix that…

    If your man watches porn, without you, leave him

    :D

    • observer

      Heh, voice of a true gentleman.

      • Tainda

        Or lady as the case may be :)

        • observer

          Op, pardon me.

  • JET

    Maybe the wife could make her own porn video to entice her cheating husband to stick closer to home. But then, if she catches him watching the video… Shit, I’m so confused…

    • wtbusdriver

      I love you logic.

    • EvolutionKills

      +1 For an excellent example of satire and reductio ad absurdum.

  • the moother

    Christian logic… Oh, wait…, that’s an oxymoron,

  • Timmah

    So sayeth the animated corpse of Pat Robertson.

    • Hat Stealer

      Funny, given how he always seemed to rail on against Dungeons and Dragons.

      • EvolutionKills

        If only banishing him was a matter of finding a sufficiently high level Good aligned Paladin or Cleric and a decent d20 roll for Turn Undead…

        • ShoeUnited

          The only issue these days is finding a Good aligned Cleric.

          • EvolutionKills

            Ha!

  • The Other Weirdo

    Wait… how does he know what goes on in those porn flicks?

    • ShoeUnited

      Robertson used to call them “Home Movies” until someone pointed out what they’re usually called.

      • Greg G.

        One man’s porn is another man’s art flick.

        • The Other Weirdo

          I think we all know a porn movie when we see it, whether it’s artistic or not.

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Passion of the Christ… definitely porn.

            • The Other Weirdo

              Torture porn.

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty
            • EvolutionKills

              Porn is really just anything to excess.

              The Fast and Furious movies are ‘car porn’.

              The Expendables is ‘gun porn’.

              The Passion of the Christ was ‘torture porn’.

              My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic is ‘squee porn’.

              Jackass the show was ‘stupid porn’.

              Night of the Living Dead is ‘zombie porn’.

              Cosmos with Carl Sagan was ‘understanding the universe porn’.

              Mythbusters is ‘experiment porn’.

              You can make your own examples to keep yourself amused for hours! Or at the very least, a few minutes…

              • baal

                I agree, pr0n is any video of something arousing that’s done over and over to keep hitting the buttons.

              • Baby_Raptor

                Apologies for the days late bother. Could you explain what “squee porn” is? I tried google, but all it gave me was regular porn sites with “squeeze” in the title.

                • EvolutionKills

                  In light of my post, ‘squee’ is referring to something that is super cute and/or adorable. Pictures of puppies and kittens playing with each other? Lots of squee there. So MLP:FiM is ‘squee porn’ because it’s a non stop, super cute, funny, and adorable cartoon.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  It’s like Scenery Porn, but with ponies.

                • Baby_Raptor

                  Gotcha. Thanks for explaining.

  • http://knowthesilence.blogspot.com/ Joshua

    The couple from May was married. These two are dating.
    Not saying I agree with him in either case, but I don’t see this as hypocritical.

    • Mitch

      I was thinking along the same lines. In young Mr. Robertson’s mind, there is probably a big difference between married and dating couples. To Robertson, telling the girlfriend to leave and the wife to “remember why she loves him” is in no way hypocritical.

      • Hitch’s Apprentice

        In ‘young Mr. Robertson’s life… he was probably scared out of his wits by his Mother’s ‘Hairy Taco’………………

        • Oranje

          Lovely. And I was about to eat breakfast. Now I have a very uncomfortable Robertson family moment in my head.

          *shakes fist*

      • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

        There definitely seems to be an internal framework which can justify the reasoning consistently… though the dissonance triggered by the headline’s contrasting of the conclusions suggests this framework is inconsistent with some secular moral intuition; which in turn suggests that there is a problem with either the religious framework or with the intuitive framework.

        (Devolve to standard Hume “is-ought” ranting, before subjectively concluding Pat Robertson is a jackass.)

  • newenglandbob

    It’s time to put that sick dog down.

    • baal

      no bob

      we dont dehumanize people even when then are evil unkle chuckles

      we further dont advocate mercy killings for people who say things we don’t like

  • Blacksheep

    Wasn’t the “porn guy” a boyfriend and the “cheating guy” a husband? (Not saying I would necessarily stay with my wife if she cheated on me…)

    • Bitter Lizard

      And?

      • Blacksheep

        there’s a difference. The headline did not say,
        “Pat Robertson: If Your Boyfriend Watches Porn, Leave Him, but If your Husband Cheats on You, Stay”

        It said, “Man” in both cases, so it was misleading. While you are dating, it makes sense to keep dating someone who’s morals you agree with. Once you are married, he’s saying don’t get divoced because your husband cheats on you. I completely disagree with the way he words it, however dating is different than marriage.

        • Bitter Lizard

          Fair enough about the headline, and dating and marriage are indeed different things that we have different words for, but you still haven’t really gone all the way in making a point. It sounded like you were starting to make one but backed off in your original comment.

      • OverlappingMagisteria

        There are two variables in the comparison. The “crime” is one variable: porn watching and cheating. The second variable is the level of commitment: marriage vs dating. We can’t make a direct comparison between Pat’s views when the two examples differ in two different ways.

        As others have noted, it is plausible that Pat believes that you have to stick with a marriage even if there is cheating, but since dating isn’t so much of a commitment, its OK to break it off over smaller transgressions.

        It would be interesting to see what Pat’s advice to a porn watching husband or a cheating boyfriend would be. Then we would have a better comparison.

  • Quintin van Zuijlen

    If you catch your partner watching porn, you should consider having sex, not leaving.

  • sam

    So I can cheat on my wife with a porn star, but I can’t jerk off to an image of her. Got it.

    • Abbé Faria

      You can cheat on your wife, but your girlfriend has no obligations to stay with you.

  • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

    I agree with Joshua. I don’t think the two cases are all that similar as far as Robertson is concerned. He said, “Leave! It’s okay. You’re not married.” He presumably wouldn’t give this advice to a married woman. Once you’re married, you have to suck it up and accept that men “have a tendency to wander” (or, one assumes, to watch “bosomy babes” in porn videos). It sounds to me like he’s just telling this woman to get out while she still can, because once she’s married, she’s stuck with him.

    • eric

      It still makes very little sense. If you believe Pat 1.0 (“men have a tendency to wander”), you should still ignore Pat 2.0, since you’ve found a guy who wanders less far than a guy who has sex with other women.
      The only time Pat 2.0 makes sense is if you ignore Pat 1.0. I.e., if you think that some men don’t wander, and that you can find someone who won’t watch porn or cheat, then yeah, leaving your porn-watching boyfriend can make sense.
      The latter seems to me to be half right. I think the correct answer to this test question is to ignore Pat 1.0 and…ignore Pat 2.0. :)

      • http://atheistlutheran.blogspot.com/ MargueriteF

        I concur; I ignore Pat all the time. He’s been an embarrassment to my hometown ever since I was a little kid *makes face of disgust*.

  • NateW

    To be fair, I don’t think that his differing advice is a matter of porn vs. cheating, but of married vs. dating. I think that if a couple were dating he would probably tell her to leave if he’s secretly hooking up with other women, and if a couple were married I don’t think he’d tell her to leave because he looks at porn.

    Note that I’m not defending his advice, per se, just trying to point out that there’s probably a better way to look at it.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    Robertson’s all over the map with the issue of addiction. His immediate response is a string of comparisons to drug and alcohol addicts and saying porn is a terrible addiction. But then when his Handler-Of-The-Day follows his lead and says that the letter writer is naive to not think her boyfriend is addicted, Pat suddenly disagrees, saying that the guy’s just fascinated.

    I’ve noticed that whenever Pat starts talking about porn, he really waxes poetic about how it is so powerful, and attractive, and glamorous, and appealing, and intriguing, and fascinating, and seductive, and alluring, and enticing, and captivating, and irresistible, and mesmerizing, and enthralling, and…

    …and his Handler-Of-The-Day finally has to jump in and refocus him to move on with whatever absurd point he’s supposed to make.

    • The Other Weirdo

      OMG, Richard! That made my day. In my mind, “Pat” and “waxes poetic” are not normally two things I associate.

      • Whirlwitch

        What if it’s Vogon poetry? I can associate Pat with Vogons no problem.

        • The Other Weirdo

          I don’t know how to respond to that.

          • Tainda

            The answer is simple! 42

            • The Other Weirdo

              No. I was beyond 42. 42 could not have helped.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          I thought Vogon Poetry was banned under interstellar law…

          • Whirlwitch

            *summons hellfire glare* Do you want to follow INTERSTELLAR law or GOD’S LAW??!

  • WallofSleep

    “… he’s always going to be comparing you to those bosomy babes that are dancing around on those porn flicks.” That, and he refers to porn as “glamorous”?

    I would have thought it impossible, but it really seems like Pat has never watched porn. That, or I’ve been watching too much cheap porn.

    • The Other Weirdo

      If they are dancing around, you’re watching that porno wrong. Unless he’s an avid fan of Doctor Who and ‘dancing’ is just a euphemism. In which case, colour me impressed.

      • Oranje

        In a lot of gonzo or all-sex flicks there’s a tease sequence in the beginning that is painfully awkward and set to bad music. Maybe he doesn’t make it any further than that.

        • The Other Weirdo

          What is this ‘gonzo’ of which you speak? Must learn more. But not at work.

    • Blacksheep

      I think he’s remembering 1940′s stag films.

      • Spuddie

        Give him credit to be a little more current, he remembered 50′s nudist films.

        • Blacksheep

          yeah, you’re right.

        • Tainda

          You mean Sasquatch porn

          • Spuddie

            I think the CV’s of Ron Jeremy and Jamie Gillis would fit that description better.

            • Tainda

              It’s like being in the Australian Outback, way too much bush

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Too.. too MUCH?

      I don’t even know how to talk to you.

    • georgina

      Whoops, I thought he said “dancing around on those corn flakes”, what a relief.

  • Mitch

    In my mind, Robertson’s advice in the videos is consistent with his beliefs based on the relative “sanctity” of the two different relationships (dating or married).

    His problem comes from (seemingly) treating the two offences as being on the same level. While the girlfriend is free to leave or stay based on how she feels about her porn-watching boyfriend, the wife (though she is in the more serious relationship) is dealing with a much more serious issue.

  • WallofSleep

    Speaking of Pat Robertson:

    Gay People Deliberately Spread HIV/AIDS By Cutting People With Special Rings

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/robertson-gay-people-deliberately-spread-hivaids-cutting-people-special-rings?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.K1PBcJHI.dpuf

    Sauron could not be reached for comment.

    • baal

      I’m guessing he got the idea from Deadman Wonderland? It’s a pretty cool anime / manga where folks control their blood to use it as a weapon (specific to their personalities of course). They use slicer rings to get their blood out … it’s hard to turn your blood into a weapon if it’s still in you at the time and all.

  • JoseValdes

  • mikespeir

    Where did he learn about these “bosomy babes”? Did he do his own “research”?

    • Spuddie

      If not, I envy his interns.

  • rhodent

    Let’s forget, for a moment, about the advice to the married woman who’s husband was cheating and focus just on the woman dating a guy who looks at porn:

    Lady, if you’re going to dump every guy you date who watches porn, you’d better either resign yourself to a life alone or start dating blind men.

  • LizBert

    The real issue is that marriage=never ever ever ever leave for any reason. This rhetoric is dangerous, it tells people (particularly women) that they can never leave and that if they do they are disobeying god and will face community censure. Leaving an abusive marriage is always hard, the last thing a victim needs to hear is that god wants them to stay. On the lighter side it traps people in unhappy, loveless marriages and who wants decades of that?

  • ZeldasCrown

    I think that some of this goes back to the idea that thinking about something is as bad as actually carrying out whatever action. Watching porn (lusting) is equally as bad as actually cheating. We see this a lot in regards to things like purity culture, where the idea is to stop others from lusting (let alone actually having sex with them). Or, ideas such as harboring some degree of ill-will towards a person is breaking the commandment of “thou shalt not kill”, since “you’ve committed murder in your heart” (which I heard expressed in a recording of part of a radio show-I think it was posted in one of the comments on this blog in the past few months, but I no longer have the link).

    From that standpoint, I’d say it’s likely that Pat Robertson views watching pron and cheating on one’s partner as being largely the same, and I would guess that the difference in response has more to do with the level of commitment in the relationship. But, I most heartily disagree with his assessment-actually cheating on one’s partner is significantly worse, regardless of the level of commitment in the relationship (and, of course, the definition of what constitutes cheating varies from relationship to relationship and person to person, as does the degree of cheating an individual is willing to forgive). The bit of blaming the wife for her husband’s cheating with “…and what you want to do is make a home so wonderful that he doesn’t want to wander” was just icing on the cake.

    Of course this begs the question: if thoughts are equal to actions, wouldn’t thinking ill of one’s husband/wanting to not be married anymore be equally “bad” (I put that in quotes because getting divorced isn’t a universally bad thing) to getting an actual divorce? It all seems very aimed at not just trying to control everyone’s actions, but their inner thoughts as well.

  • mikmik

    I guess that Pat’s a boob man.

  • SeekerLancer

    The difference I think is the first one isn’t married while the second one is. Robertson is never going to advise someone to get a divorce.

    That doesn’t make this less stupid of course but that’s how I read it.

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

    Oh, Pat…

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    In other news…all American couples have filed for divorce. LOL

    Men look at porn. A lot of women do too. If that’s grounds for divorce that would be the end of marriage.

  • pagansister

    The idiot doth speak yet again words that are STUPID, but then what do you expect from –an overzealous god loving IDIOT! I would expect nothing else out of his mouth.

  • Sids

    He does explicitly say in the porn sample that they aren’t married. Presumably he brings this up because the answer could be different otherwise. It seems he isn’t giving different answers because porn is more horrific than cheating, but rather because one is married and the other isn’t.

    It’s impossible to be sure though because the variables aren’t being controlled.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Porn? Fine, I can enjoy it with my partner, and maybe introduce him to some of my favorite sites.

    Partner cheating on me? Dealbreaker.

  • Hitch’s Apprentice

    Pretty good rule to live by………. If Pat Robertson gives advice, do the opposite!

  • Oranje

    I’ve worked on the periphery of the adult industry for years. Please let me get the qualifier out of the way: the entire industry has a lot of growing up to do and social responsibility to take. It’s why I argue that porn shouldn’t be shunned but examined. Don’t let anyone hide their antisocial, stone-age misogyny in the shadows.

    Anywho, if porn has taught me anything, it’s variety. That everyone is different. That people can and should enjoy sex. I specifically don’t compare partners, Pat. But then again, being polyamorous would probably blow your mind, so whatever. My SO looks like some film stars I’ve seen, not like others. She also plays a mean MST3K while watching porn, even when she’s into it. And she likes far dirtier things than I do in her film.

    Pisses me off so bloody much when porn gets labeled as the thing the guy does on the computer when the SO isn’t looking.

    /ramble

  • Abbé Faria

    I hate to defend him, but what he said in the porn watcher video was that the woman wasn’t married to him and therefor could leave the guy, but in his mind the cheating husband? The two had promised before God to stay together.

  • Wayne D

    Hmmm, old Pat was describing what that woman’s boy friend was seeing, Wonder how he knows. Perhaps he was doing an investigational research of porn sites. LOL!

  • Graham Ash-Porter

    Catch hubby watching porn -0 easy, finish him off.

  • A Lady

    This is so silly… Porn is awesome for men and women. Yea an addiction is one thing. Honestly, I highly encourage women to give it a try! I did and I realized how great it is when you want to please yourself. So much faster than when you don’t watch it ;) and sexier too. You have to go into it owning it as something you’re doing for yourself, not comparing yourself to other women. Whoever said it makes men think their women are less attractive is wrong. Its so sexy when a woman can own her sexuality! Im willing to bet that the study that stated that tried to test that did not use a sensitive enough measure.

    Seriously ladies, seeing some built man doing a wonderful job with his lady co-worker is soooo pleasurable :)


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