Maybe in an attempt to gain traction with a younger audience, Pat Robertson, it seems, has gone postmodern on us. Evidently on a Q&A session on the "700 Club" Pat told a caller that divorce in the case of a spouse having Alzheimer's is just fine. After all, Alzheimer's is "a kind of death." (read one report here)
Seriously, who would have thought that Pat Robertson would end up here? He focused on the phrase in wedding vows "until death do us part." Robertson redefines Alzheimer's from a subjective standpoint. Alzheimer's is in fact NOT a kind of death, but a tragic illness. The portion of the marriage vows that he should have turned to was about promising to be faithful "in sickness and in health." That's appropriate.
I suspect Pat will start catching flack, and come out and try to make some explanation or such, and it will all pass away quietly. I can only hope that this will be the final move making Robertson irrelevant as a voice for Christianity in the United States.
I cannot help but think of one woman in my congregation who faithfully stood by her ailing husband for years, getting help from the congregation until he did in fact, truly die. Her example of faithfulness is an example of the gracious faithfulness of God who stands by us all even when we are not the most loveable. When we are in fact sinful. That same woman continues to this day, a number of years after the death of her husband, to advocate for spousal caregivers of Alzheimer's patients. She perseveres for those who are still engaged in the struggle and need support to remain faithful to their mariage vows. Thank God that she did not listen to Pat Robertson.