Christian television personality Pat Robertson stoked controversy today by telling a female caller that disobedient wives should be spanked by their husbands.
On a segment on the long-running 700 Club the 83-year-old Robertson explained to a woman seeking relationship advice that an occasional slap in the rear is the clearest path to marital bliss.
"Ma'am, with all due respect, it seems like the problem in your marriage is disobedience," he told the caller. "When a wife disobeys her husband the holy bond between the two starts to disintegrate and all sorts of problems start to crop up.
"The apostle Paul tells us in Corinthians the importance of submission. And when you lose that submission in a marriage, there's only one solution: a sound spanking on the bottom.
"Wives must be spanked by their husbands. It's the only way to keep biblical order. Nothing too hard, just enough to let her know he's the one in charge. So I have to ask, when was your last spanking dear?"
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The woman, who had called for advice about her husband's serial infidelity, was shocked by Robertson's question and responded angrily.
"Excuse me?" she admonished. "I ask you how to confront my husband over his cheating, and you tell me to get spanked? My's husband's never spanked me. I would never let that happen.
"And what kind of crazy, chauvinistic mummy would even suggest such a thing? Do you ever think before you speak? Or are you trying to sound like a outdated male pig?"
"You see that's exactly the kind of attitude that tells me you're not getting the discipline you need at home," Robertson retorted. "If your husband kept you in line, you wouldn't have such a mouth on you sweetheart.
"I know you're confused with all the the feminism, lesbianism and vegetarianism in our culture. But God made woman to do three things: obey men, have babies and cook meat. So stop worrying about what your husband is up to, and just get back to basics."
Robertson is the chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network and a former Southern Baptist minister. He has hosted the Christian news program The 700 Club since 1966.