Long time televangelist and former presidential candidate Pat Robertson stunned the conservative Christian world on Tuesday when he said that it would be okay for man to divorce his wife who has Alzheimer’s.
During the Tuesday broadcast of the 700 Club, Robertson was responding to a question he received from a viewer. In his response, Robertson said that people with Alzheimer’s are ‘walking dead’ who in his opinion would make it acceptable for a spouse to seek a divorce. One has to wonder if Robertson would feel the same way if he were the one with Alzheimer’s who was being divorced and left to fend for himself with the crippling disease.
Among the Christians responding to the shocking statement is longtime advocate for people with disabilities, Joni Eareckson Tada. In 1967, Tada broke her neck in a diving accident resulting in her being a quadriplegic. At first angry with God for what happened to her, she credits the accident with turning her life around and bringing her to God. She has had a tremendous Christian testimony over the years and has been a spokesperson for people with disabilities ever since.
In her statement, she said, “Pat Robertson may have some very subjective views on when he thinks a person — quote – ’dies,’ but I think scientific fact would prove him wrong. There’s objective reality here, that that individual with Alzheimer’s is still living, still breathing. God knows that when you have a disability, a severe and catastrophic one such as Alzheimer’s, your commitment is going to be tested. And so thank heaven that there are very serious vows we take at the altar where we promise to be there for our spouse, in sickness and health, till death do us part. What does he believe vows are for in a wedding ceremony? Vows are solemn, vows are serious — and they are meant to be serious to weather a couple through the demands of a disability.”
I agree whole-heartedly with what Tada said.
If Robertson is starting to turn away from biblical principles that he has claimed to have upheld for so many years, then perhaps it’s time for him to step down from his ministry and retire before he continues to erode the sanctity of marriage and other biblical truths.