Pat Robinson Has Lost his Mind
By Dr. Dorree Lynn
I have always been an advocate for Alzheimer’s research and care. I even recently hosted a fundraiser for USAgainstAlzheimer’s, a national advocacy campaign and independent advocacy network committed to stopping Alzheimer’s by 2020.
You can imagine me falling out of my chair when I heard televangelist Pat Robertson say to the millions of viewers of the “700 Club” that it was okay for a person to divorce their spouse if Alzheimer’s was an issue of their relationship.
"I know it sounds cruel but if he's going to do something he should divorce her and start all over again," he said, "[and] make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her."
When co-host Terry Meeuwsen, asked "Isn't that the vow we take when we marry someone, that's for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer?" Robertson responded, "You said 'till death do us part;' this (suffering from Alzheimer's) is a kind of death."
First, death is death. There is no “kind of death” you are either dead or alive. This past summer when temperatures reached past 90 degrees, people in New York may have thought that walking down Broadway felt like walking down the beach in Florida, but it wasn’t a beach in Florida, it was Broadway and it was just hot. The same applies to Alzheimer’s patients—they may be dying, they may seem dead, but until they breathe their last breath and are hauled away by the coroner, they are not “dead.”
Second, Pat Robertson is a representative of the Christian community issuing permission to Christians to break the bond they made with each other and with God, based on his belief that Alzheimer’s is “a kind of death” and therefore counts as death under the “till death do us part” area of the marriage agreement. Is Robertson suggesting that when two people say, “in sickness and in health, till death do us part” what they really mean, under the eyes of God, is “in sickness and in health till death do us part, or until one of us gets sick or becomes a walking dead.”
What ires me most is not Pat Robertson’s blatant ignorant and arrogant message, but rather the fact that he believes that he has the approval from God to develop his own decision on the matter and to issue that statement to millions of Christians.
Furthermore, the timing couldn’t be more crucial—at the same time Republicans and Christians are trying to pass legislation that would define a fertilized egg as a “person.” So, according to illogical logic, a non-formed fertilized egg can be a person, but a living human being who has all the characteristics of life but has lost the ability to retain and recall information can be considered a “kind of dead” person? I think not.