Discussing
Pat Robertson, dementia and the easy out of divorce

Mark Stephenson

Bethanykj
October 6, 2011

I think your analysis here is correct and good. I also think the dilemma that Robertson was addressing so ham-handedly is an unfortunate outgrowth of our society that supports marriage and family, but not other kinds of friendships and community. Certainly a convalescing spouse will not provide you with the support and companionship you need, but the solution isn't to divorce her (or him) and marry someone else, it is to nurture other relationships. That Robertson couldn't think of a way to fill those needs besides divorcing and remarrying points to the lack of relational imagination in our culture.

Daniel
October 6, 2011

there will come a time wen ppl will start preaching false doctrines to suit their own needs and listen to seducing spirits...the Bible was clear on that, rite..? correct me if im wrong in any aspect..<br>may God guide those on the wrong path...Amen.

Anny
October 6, 2011

Agreed. It seems that a relationship with a spouse within the context of a larger supportive community would be a lot healthier overall. I worry when I talk to people who are married and don't seem to have close friendships outside of their family. I'm afraid that my friends will get so absorbed in their own families that it will be difficult to find time to spend together.

Rickd
October 6, 2011

Robertson was clearly wrong. He attempted to clarify later but I feel only got deeper in error. He says he assumed the writer had a relationship with another woman and urged him to make it legal, divorce his ailing wife and marry the new woman. My 84 year old father has the beginning stages of Alzheimers and is being treated with medication. Mom, who just turned 80,  and Dad have been faithful Christians for 50 years and love each other deeply. When the said their vows, in sickness and in health, they meant it. I appreciate Bethany's comments. In earlier times larger extended families offered much more support. And in the early church communal living, communal meals and communal care were more common. One benefit of this terrible recession is that living in common is staging a comeback. It is not healthy to withdraw into isolation or see marriage as the sole option for companionship. As a new Christian in the 1970s I lived in a communal Christian house and loved it.

Shari Dragovich
October 6, 2011

“This love is defined not as the hormonal surge of romance but as a <br>self-sacrificial crucifixion of self.” -- Yes.<br><br>I'm not sure what Robertson was thinking when he made these statements...too much 'of the world'. I appreciated Bethany's comments as well; the support system of others and the idea of support in community-- whether that's extended family, friends, church, neighborhood. <br><br>Thank you for sharing this.<br>

solid4JC
October 7, 2011

Alzheimer's is just one mental disorder that can affect a spouse, Bi-Polar disorder can make it seem like the person you married has died &amp; been replaced by a totally different person. Being a Christian couple in these circumstances makes all the difference. Apart from the comfort of the Holy Spirit we have the support of our Church family &amp; I know for one it has been a life saver &amp; marriage saver !

Xioc1138
October 8, 2011

That time has been here... for a long time.

Harleyblueswoman
October 10, 2011

I was under the impression that is where "in sickness and in health" come in at!! Of course I disagree with a lot of Pat's ideas on life!!! I just hope no one out there actually took his comments as good advice!!!  What a horrible thing to even say!!!!!! I am sure Jesus sadly shook his head on that one!!!

Mavis
October 13, 2011

I watched this segment on "Sunday Morning" some time ago and thought it presented a different perspective -- not a cavalier attitude toward marriage at all. There is a deep love and commitment to this reporter's wife, not only by him but by his new wife. Making a serious decision like this may not be black &amp; white.

Returntotheword
January 7, 2012

Wow, that is incredible in all the wrong ways.  A christian leader who says something like this has his lips firmlly fastened to the rear end of the world unfortunately.

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