Why do people ask Pat Robertson for advice? I will never know the answer to that, in part because of how he responded to a very serious question on today’s episode of The 700 Club.
A woman wrote in to ask: “My daughter just told me she was sexually abused by a neighbor boy at the age of six, and she is now 35. How do I forgive and deal with this? The guilt and helplessness is overwhelming.”
Maybe a sensible answer would include something about making sure the daughter knows she did nothing wrong, urging the daughter to talk to a therapist, and perhaps telling the mother she wasn’t to blame either.
Robertson didn’t say any of that. Instead, he told the viewer she was “making too big a deal of it.”
May I say, I think you’re making too big a deal of it. Little kids don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t have any sexual identity, and they like to play doctor, and they do all this stuff.
Your daughter is six. Your friend is probably 6 or 7… So that was… 30 years ago. So, I mean, get over it! I mean… I can’t imagine that has had some kind of a scar in her life. She was a little kid and they do these things! And I think what you do is forgive and forget… Why would you, you know, harbor this thing? I mean, little children do what little children do. And they’re just exploring and they don’t know any better. And I’m sorry if this neighbor’s child, or whatever, you can’t bring — the statute of limitations has run — I think it’s something else if a priest, or somebody like that, an authority, has molested your kid. That’s a whole ‘nother matter. But a couple of little kids trying to experiment? I mean, little children are little children! You just gotta say, “Okay, I forgive them.” And “There but by the grace of God go I,” and get on with life.
I have no idea why Robertson assumes the neighbor boy was 6 or 7. We don’t know that. He could’ve been a teenager.
And from the way the letter was written, it certainly doesn’t sound like this was some innocent game of doctor, but rather a traumatic incident that’s serious enough that it stuck with this daughter for 30 years.
Forgiveness isn’t the issue. The legal ramifications aren’t the issue. It’s helping the daughter and mother grieve over what they believe is a serious invasion of their privacy… and Robertson’s got nothing for them but a dose of “get over it.”
It’s heartless and cruel and, from Robertson, not surprising at all.
(Thanks to Kyle for the link)