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Pat Robertson Ignores Responsibility, Religion With Alzheimer's Comments

Sammi Wong |
September 20, 2011 | 10:27 a.m. PDT

Staff Columnist

Robertson in 2006. (Paparazzo Presents, Creative Commons)
Robertson in 2006. (Paparazzo Presents, Creative Commons)
Pat Robertson has a history of saying crazy things. It’s almost something that’s expected nowadays when one tunes in to watch the "700 Club." But even with that mentality in mind, the host of this conservative Christian show still managed to shock audience around the world with his latest statement: that it is acceptable to divorce your spouse if they are dealing with neurological struggles like Alzheimer's.

I have no problem with people making their opinions known, regardless of whether or not I agree with them. I do, however, have a problem when people make statements (especially on national television) that contradict one another.

This guy is the creator of the CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) and if there was something that remains an important Christian tradition, its marriage vows. How can someone who proclaim himself to be such an evangelist disregard that simple covenant?

Robertson was asked to give advice on a situation where a man started to date other women when his wife got Alzheimer's. The audience member wanted to know what to say to his friend and got this reply.

"I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but to make sure she has custodial care and somebody (is) looking after her,” Robertson said.

What happened to “til death do us part” or “in sickness and in health?”

Call me a romantic but I would hope that if I ever got Alzheimer's, my husband wouldn’t abandon me and start over.

Lets ignore all the biblical values of standing by your family for a second and just examine this through a moralistic point of view. He is basically saying that it is all right to leave someone who is incredibly vulnerable and scared simply because things got hard. I understand that divorce rates have gone up but have human compassion simply vanish along with it as well?

And since Pat Robertson is proclaiming this in the name of Christianity, lets argue it back with that same source.

In Malachi 2:16, it reads, “I hate divorce,” said the Lord God of Israel.

And in Matthew 19:6,9, it states “What God has joined together, let man no separate…I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for martial unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

While I sympathize and understand that situations like this where a spouse is suffering from such a detrimental disease could be hard, I simply don’t agree with this logic that Robertson puts forth. Till death do us part means just that, not until hard times do us part.


Contact staff writer Sammi Wong here.



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