First thing this morning, the YouTube link of the Rev. Pat Robertson, once one of the most politically powerful evangelicals in the nation, arrived in the mailbox:
“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….
I know it sounds cruel, 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.”
Julianne Thompson of Atlanta Tea Party Patriots — who sent the video clip — quickly followed up with these contrary thoughts:
When we enter into marriage we are well aware that we take vows joining our self to our spouse “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
As someone who began my media training on a show called Christian World News produced by the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach, I am appalled at the recent comments by CBN founder, and 700 Club host Pat Robertson that he would advocate leaving a spouse for another person because they were stricken with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that not only destroys the life of the person stricken, but causes great hardship on the entire family. My grandmother-in-law died from Alzheimer’s, and the toll it took on her family was unimaginable to those with no experience in dealing with loved ones stricken with any form of dementia. But, her family did not leave her, nor did her husband ever feel she was no longer worthy of keeping a vow to.
There are many devastating conditions, including cancer, ALS, and spinal cord injuries. In 2002, my father died a very slow death as the result of a spinal cord injury. It was a horrible, but my mother never thought of putting him in custodial care and running off with another man because she needed to escape the pain of dealing with the reality that bad things can happen to family.
As the founder of a Christian-based network and a Christian College Robertson’s comments have brought shame to the network. And, for someone who hold’s a doctorate in ministry, he needs to brush-up on the fact that the Bible does not give an opt-out of marriage based on the severity of the disease.
I hope Mr. Robertson does some serious soul searching, and I hope that leads him to a public apology and the need to step down from his leadership at CBN and Regent University.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider