This morning as I was watching tv while playing with Maeven, a story came on the Today Show about how televangelist Pat Robertson was talking about how he believes it is ok to divorce your spouse if they have alzheimers. Robertson said at that point he believes the person you married and loved is gone, and while the person you loved body is still alive the person you knew is dead and so the vow of till death do us part is applicable and you can thus part. If I had heard someone saying that Roberston had said this I would have thought to myself surely he was misquoted, but the Today show played a clip and sure enough from his own lips I heard these words and was deeply saddened.
As I was thinking about Robertson’s words I also thought back to a few years ago when the move, The Notebook was really popular. I heard ladies talking about how sweet it was that the main character stuck with his wife even after she had descended into Alzheimer’s disease. I remember thinking to myself why should we think this character was brave or sweet for doing the right thing, why should this be a shock. When we take marriage vows I believe that we are to take seriously our vows to be together till death do us part…that meaning when the last breath leaves our body. It’s not a sweet or a brave thing to do when our spouse is in decline, its the right thing to do, it’s honoring a commitment we made to both our spouse and God.
I feel the same way about Robertson’s comments today. He is totally wrong! As Christians if we believe life starts at conception then we can’t believe it ends when the person’s memory leaves them. That’s just an easy out for people. My Grandma struggled through the last years of her life with Alzheimer’s and I know what a terrible disease it is. I know that it can even get to the point where one cannot take care of their spouse themselves. However, none of that negates a promise, a sworn vow you make to your spouse and God that you will stick with them through thick and thin till that last breath has left their bodies.
We don’t make a commitment to stay till it get’s too tough….So I say Pat Robertson, you are terribly wrong and I pray you will realize this before you lead people astray on this issue. Erin and I made that commitment to each other and to God….and we will honor it. I pray you will to!