Pat Robertson responds to remarks he made regarding divorcing someone with Alzheimer’s. A couple of weeks ago, Robertson replied to a question sent in by a viewer on “The 700 Club”.
The viewer wrote in about a situation where a friend whose wife suffered with Alzheimer’s and started seeing someone else.
“My friend has gotten bitter at God for allowing his wife to be in that condition,” the viewer wrote, “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.”
Robertson’s response triggered a firestorm of backlash.
Comparing Alzheimer’s to a kind of death, he said, “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.”
He suggested the man should divorce his wife.
“I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her,” Robertson said.
Robertson’s remarks outraged the Christian community as well as many caregivers.
Joni Eareckson Tada was “dismayed” by Robertson’s comments saying, “Alzheimer’s disease is never an ‘accident’ in a marriage. It falls under the purview of God’s sovereignty. In the case of someone with Alzheimer’s, this means God’s unconditional and sacrificial love has an opportunity to be even more gloriously displayed in a life together.”
On Monday’s show, Robertson went on air and explained; saying his comments were ‘misinterpreted’.
The Christian Post stated, the CBN founder explained that his advice was not meant for general use but was for the specific question that was asked.
“I was not giving advice to the whole world,” Robertson said. “Nor was I counseling anybody to be unscriptural and leave their spouse.”
“Basically I’m saying, adultery is not a good thing and you might as well straighten your life out,” he explained, “and the only way to do it is to kind of get your affair with your wife in order.”
Robertson added he and his wife love each other. They have supported one another through their various illnesses as that’s the way it should be, saying this kind of behavior should be expected.
“Please know that I believe the Bible. Please know that I never would tell anybody to leave their sick spouse. I never ever would say such a thing because I need my spouse when I get sick and she needs me when she gets sick.” He continued, “In sickness and in health, I believe it!”
Pat Robertson says he never intended for his words to be misunderstood.
“I want to say I envy the Catholic priest, because when they have someone in confession it’s all kept secret,” Robertson said. “When I have somebody asking me for advice, it spreads world [wide] and it gets misunderstood.”