Guest post from Lisa. I had wanted to respond to this particular Robertson quote since it’s outside of his normal homophobic, misogynistic, racist, anti-intellectual, abilist bullshit. I mean, it’s so generically xenophobic as to be kind of shocking since he’s generally pretty good at specifically identifying all the groups of people who he dislikes rather than just outright saying, “anyone who isn’t just like me.”
Regardless, I’ll let Lisa take it from here.
You, sir, Mr. Robertson, are an asshole.
I’m a few days behind on this, mostly because I try to avoid the poison spewing forth from Pat Robertson’s general direction. If I paid attention to him on a regular basis, I’d probably need to be on medication to control my blood pressure. He has a tendency to hit far too many of my triggers during any single conversation than most of the other people on the planet. However, this is a particular message to which I feel the need to respond. On Thursday, Mr. Robertson made outrageous and egregiously malicious claims against adoption and, specifically adoption of abused children.
I’ve spoken before about my history as an abuse victim, specifically as the type of abuse victim that he has insulting things to say about, and I can tell you that I AM weird. Of course, weird is the new normal. This is not the 1950’s where we all have a homogenous way of living or risk being forever outcast and unable to function in society by dint of our weirdness. Being weird does not, in any way, make me less deserving of a loving family. I have the great fortune to HAVE a loving family, but how dare you, sir, imply that I am any less deserving of one, or that any child is less deserving of one, especially a child who has been traumatized? Children need loving homes where their needs are met. Plain and Simple.
Now, I know that I fit many of the criteria by which Mr. Robertson thinks me unfit as a human being to be on the planet. Apparently, he believes that as an abuse victim, I must be mentally ill in some way, which is reinforced by my sexual orientation (for those of you not “in the know”, I’m proudly bisexual, though married happily to a wonderful man), but you would never know these things if you met me on the street. Likely, I would tell you, if it happened to come up in conversation, because I do not feel these are things to be ashamed of, as he does. They do not hinder me or my ability to function and add value to the society, just as they would not with any person having gone through what I have. If anything, having been traumatized has given me one greatly positive outcome: EMPATHY. Unlike Mr. Robertson, It pains me to see people suffering unnecessarily no matter their orientation, gender identity, wealth (or lack thereof), or personal history. Suffering is the evil that must be uprooted in our world, and by advocating against loving anyone, especially a child, you are more likely creating the monster you fear them becoming than by taking them in and providing them with love and services that can turn that tide toward a functioning life.
Children need love. They need homes, and food, and clothing. They need education. Children who have been abused also need social services such as therapy, to learn to cope with the tragedy that has befallen them. By avoiding them, you are putting them at greater risk for things like suicide, continuing the cycle of abuse, and other dangers. I know in his perfect world, abuse victims would stay under the radar in some hole somewhere, but eventually we grow up. Without access to vital services and a loving home to nurture us, we won’t grow up to be productive members of society.
I was fortunate to grow up with a family who was incredibly supportive of me. My journey to the other side of the trauma has been long and arduous, and will never be completely finished. I would not have been able to make the progress that I have without them. I spent many years in therapies, from the initial victim’s counseling to depression therapy. Abuse leaves its scars and its un-healing wounds. Every now and again, they creep up. Without the support of loved ones, this would happen more often and be far more dangerous. I would not have learned how to deal with anger, or be able to have a healthy view of sex, and possibly not be able to maintain a relationship with a partner, or be a loving parent to my two healthy, beautiful children.
By advising people to not bring these traumatized children into their loving homes, you are doing irreparable harm to their futures. These are the children who arguably need the most love and support (though it is absolutely needed by all children). These are children who are already in deficit of love and understanding. They need more help, not less, sir. If I had the ability to adopt (the time, funds and care required are currently outside my economic ability), I would not hesitate to take in a child to rescue them from abuse of any kind. Adoption is an incredibly expensive and labor-intensive process. If you are adopting, you WANT a child. Are there not enough children born unwanted in this world every day? I think so. We should be encouraging people to provide for them.
Many people feel unequipped to love a child that has been traumatized, but instead of encouraging them to take a chance to save a child from a harsh system and possibly turn the tide of anger, pain, and fear, you have done the opposite and told them that these children will basically be a poison in their homes.
Shame, sir. Shame on you for encouraging divisiveness where you should be encouraging unity.