I don’t want this entry to come out like a Pat Robertson bashing session. One of these days, I’ll share one of the most amazing stories I’ve heard about Pat Robertson. It humbled me…but another time.
I’ve had my difficulties and personal wrestling with figures like Pat Robertson. Many years ago, I was invited to do some sort of interview taping for the 700 Club show but turned it down because well…I just couldn’t do it. While I wouldn’t mind meeting, talking, and chatting over coffee or some Vietnamese noodles, I just wasn’t up to do an interview on “the Club.”
Why? Because I strongly disagreed with him about some of his outrageous comments about political assassinations, September 11, and his “pact with the devil” comments about Haiti post-earthquake. In fact, my post in response to Pat Robertson’s Haiti comments were amongst the most read on my blog.
But his recent comments on his show (here for those on RSS) about marriage and Alzheimers was absolutely incredulous. I really wanted to think some ultra right-wing extremist did some sort of audio/video-shopping of this video.
I just made that up. Get it? Audio/Video-shopping = photo shopping. Umm, never mind.
Here’s the context (the video is below):
I have a friend whose wife suffers from Alzheimer’s. She doesn’t even recognize him anymore, and, as you can imagine, the marriage has been rough. My friend has gotten bitter at God for allowing his wife to be in that condition, and now he’s started seeing another woman. He says that he should be allowed to see other people because his wife as he knows her is gone … I’m not quite sure what to tell him.
Pat Robertson’s response:
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—
Alzheimer’s and for that matter, any sickness, are indeed cruel. But nothing in comparison to his answer.
If it’s ever appropriate to say, “What the hell?!”, I believe this would be the occasion so I’m just going to say it:
What the hell?!
When given the opportunity to
explain himself, repent, apologize, __________ … Robertson responded that Alzheimer’s “is a kind of death” and added, “I certainly wouldn’t put a guilt trip on you” for choosing divorce in such a scenario.
I just recently had the honor of officiating a wedding of a couple from my church two weeks ago. [Congrats Leo & Erika!!!] So beautiful and profound. A truly amazing expression of God’s mercy and grace. The vows are clear and simple:
I take you to be my wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’til death do us part: according to God’s holy ordinance, and thereto I pledge you my love and faithfulness.
Let’s be honest here. Sickness or not…Marriage is hard. Utterly hard. Incredibly beautiful but utterly hard. It’s the most difficult and profoundly beautiful thing I have ever experienced thus far in my near 41 years of life. But our vows to one another and to God speaks to a deeper covenant that transcends our earthly circumstances and situations – even sickness.
In these days of pessimism, I do hope that our words and lives speak and testify to a more deeper portrait of Christ’s utter devotion to his creation and His people. In these days where people – including and perhaps, especially Christians – have grown deeply cynical about marriage, commitment, and covenant, we need a better answer. We need a more godly answer; We need a more biblical response; We need a more Christ-like response.
By that very Grace shown to us, I hope and pray that we might be emboldened and encouraged to honor our vows and commitments – ’til death do us part.
Don’t wait till death. Do it now.
Go and honor and bless your spouse. Go, honor, cherish, bless, and serve those you have been called to…
I am not interested in hosting a Pat Robertson bashing session but I sincerely do hope that Pat Robertson – not only in response to public or private criticism but especially to personal examination of the Holy Spirit, would
simply and humbly apologize and repent.