Skip to content

Pat Robertson Is VERY, VERY Wrong About Divorcing One’s Spouse With Alzheimer’s Disease, Needs To Offer Nation Apology

September 15, 2011

Yesterday afternoon James and I sat in a courtroom in Dane County helping to defend the rights of a man with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Over the years we have learned a tremendous amount of information about the disease, and ways to advocate for someone so afflicted.   

One of the guiding principles that James and I have never lost sight of is that  the dignity for the man in our guardianship is never to be denied.   We will not abide it.   There are, after all, some indignities that no one should ever suffer, regardless of the disease that strikes.

Pat Robertson seems unaware of that fact.

Which leads me to the most asinine comment I have ever heard come from the mouth of Pat Robertson.  The Reverend Pat Robertson.

During the portion of the 700 Club when viewers seek the advice of Robertson  a letter was read concerning a man whose wife has Alzheimer’s.   The man is dating another woman while his wife suffers.  What should the man do?

Pat Robertson’s advice was brutal.

“I know it sounds cruel, if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again.”

To make this the most outlandish comment from this creepy white-haired televangelist is quite a feat considering his other oddities over time.  Readers might recall one of my favorites from Robertson is the one that was uttered when New Orleans was flooding.

“The flooding of New Orleans is a sign that God is tired of seeing his creation mocked by the Mardi Gras and its perverted display of debauchery and exposed breasts.”

But the remark about divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer’s struck me on the wrong day for Robertson to be opening his pie-hole about a topic he clearly has no foundation to be speaking about.

It makes me wonder what biblical faith Robertson holds to, or what wedding vows mean to this clearly aging ever-more senile man.   I have always understood the vow to read  “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

It seems strange, and perverted, for someone like Robertson who always rants about the need to preserve marriage and strengthen it to then undermine marriage in such a cold and cavalier fashion.

The spouse in question did not ask to be afflicted with Alzheimer’s.  So at the time that the ‘better half’ is needed like none other, is the time Robertson states the healthy spouse should seek a divorce.

AND GAY PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO MARRY AS WE UNDERMINE THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE!!!

Pat Robertson needs to offer the nation an apology, and then go to some quiet zone and speak to God about where his mind has led him. Speaking in such cold-hearted and mean-spirited ways is not the way a ‘man of God’ should be conducting himself.

If the question had been posed to me I would have stressed the importance of not deserting  a sick spouse and urge them to lean on God to carry both through the turmoil.

But what do I know?

I am, after all, a liberal.

And Pat Robertson is the conservative.

5 Comments
  1. Skip permalink
    September 19, 2011 9:45 AM

    If you can quote other comments that Robertson made, why can’t you give the full context of the comment you are offended by? Here are Robertson’s full comments:

    “That is a terribly hard thing. I hate Alzheimer’s. It is one of the most awful things, because here’s the loved one—this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years, and suddenly that person is gone. They’re gone. They are gone. So what he says basically is correct, but—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 looking after her—

    Meeuwsen interjected: “But isn’t that the vow that we take when we marry someone, that it’s for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer?” To this, Robertson replied,

    Yeah, I know, if you respect that vow, but you say “till death do us part,” this is a kind of death. So that’s what he’s saying, is that she’s like—but this is an ethical question that is beyond my ken to tell you. But I certainly wouldn’t put a guilt trip on you if you decided that you had to have companionship. You’re lonely, and you’re asking for some companionship, as opposed to—but what a grief. I know one man who went to see his wife every single day, and she didn’t recognize him one single day, and she would complain that he never came to see her. And it’s really hurtful, because they say crazy things. … It is a terribly difficult thing for somebody, and I can’t fault them for wanting some kind of companionship. And if he says in a sense she is gone, he’s right. It’s like a walking death. But get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer, because I recognize the dilemma and the last thing I’d do is condemn you for taking that kind of action.”

    Contrast “this is an ethical question that is beyond my ken to tell you” and “get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer, because I recognize the dilemma and the last thing I’d do is condemn you for taking that kind of action” with “Pat Robertson needs to offer the nation an apology, and then go to some quiet zone and speak to God about where his mind has led him. Speaking in such cold-hearted and mean-spirited ways is not the way a ‘man of God’ should be conducting himself.”

    Is it a liberal thing to be so sanctimonious? He grapples with an ethical Gordian knot while all you can do is feel that someone owes you something because you’re offended.

  2. September 18, 2011 10:32 AM

    Given the Right’s constant rhetoric about the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, this comment from Robertson really surprised me.

    Mike — Some of Robertson’s other comments make me wonder the same thing. A few months ago, he made a comment about lesbians and abortion that was bizarre to the extreme.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/robertson-left-backs-abortion-rights-make-straight-women-more-lesbians

  3. mike smith permalink
    September 17, 2011 7:07 AM

    I used to occassionally sow my very sparse seed to this ministry many years ago. I no longer can support this man’s and his bizarre comments such as this and his pairing on a televised spot with Sharpe. Wonder if Pat isn’t showing some of the precursors for Alzheimer’s himself. He may have a psychological need to shock and occasionally make these state ments to get national media, to get exposure. Sad, very sad.

  4. September 15, 2011 4:39 PM

    Ferrell,

    THANK YOU!

    Perfect comment.

  5. September 15, 2011 4:35 PM

    Pat Robertson worships a God that seeks out vengeance and punishment for all that have sinned against him. He has used this to condemn anybody whom he believes has sinned against his Knuckle Dragging, Vindictive God.

    In 1988 when he ran for President, I actually hoped if for some reason it came down between him and Jesse Jackson, I would vote for Jesse Jackson in a heartbeat, I knew he would hang himself and he did when he said he prevented a hurricane from hitting Virginia Beach.

    Whatever.

    In June of 2011 my 75 year old father had a series of strokes. As of this moment, he does not know who I am, he kind of knows who my mother is. He also sleeps 18 – 20 hours a day because the sleep center in his brain was affected by the strokes. Right now we do not know if my mom can bring him home or not.

    Under the Stone Cold God of Pat Robertson I should divorce him as a father and my mother should be running to a lawyer and filing for divorce and just let the old guy rot in the nursing home. Call us Pat when we can go pick up the body.

    Pat Robertson does not nor has he ever represented my views of God, Jesus, America or Social Issues.

    Mr. Robertson needs to fold up his revival tent, go home and wait for his God to bring him home.

    Or escort him into hell…

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: