Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Until Alzheimer's Do We Part.

Forgive me. I don't usually make such strong and harsh statements about a particular person, at least on my blog. And I certainly don't call out someone for their grave mistakes from a public platform such as this. But this morning, I could not keep my mouth shut any longer.

Pat Robertson has long since been a "voice" for Christianity in the media, both religious and secular. I have also long since hated that he is a representative for Christianity because of his completely erroneous views on Hurricane Katrina being the wrath of God toward homosexuals, September 11th being God's hatred toward America's wayward heart, and worldwide catastrophes such as tsunamis and earthquakes being the world reaping God's judgement and anger.

But seriously, more than how all of the above angers me to my core, his latest idiocy blows my mind. This "man of God," this representative of the Gospel, has publicly stated on his TV show 700 Club, that it's okay to divorce your spouse, should she/he develop Alzheimer's disease and degenerate mentally and physically.

I am not making this up. You can read it by going to this link, if you can stomach it.

Bascially, someone writes into the show, asking what she should tell a friend who is currently dating another woman because "his wife as he knows her is gone" from Alzheimer's. Pat's authoritative response?

"That is a terribly hard thing," Robertson said. "I hate Alzheimer's. It is one of the most awful things because here is a 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. They are gone. So, what he says basically is correct. But I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something he should divorce her and start all over again. But to make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her."

Pat goes on later to say that the person would be following "'til death do we part" because Alzheimer's is a "kind of death."

(By now, you may be wondering how this ties into Old School Parenting. I'm getting there. Bear with me, please.)

As I write this blog today, I can physically feel a reaction to this man's blatant disregard for life's most sacred union. I actually think my heart is beating a little faster than it was a few minutes ago. Perhaps this is a glimpse of how Jesus felt in the temple that day-- a fury that rose from inside Him because His Father's house was being tarnished by scoundrels and thieves. The anger this stupidity makes me feel stirs my heart for one main reason-

He is tearing away at the very thing Jesus gave His life to save-- families.

Pat Robertson, unfortunately, is in a position of authority in this world. He is recognized by young and old, around the planet as an "official" in Christianity. You may be one of the ones who doesn't recognize him, but the point is, his accessibility on television and Internet (sadly) qualifies him as a presence deserving attention and as a voice of expertise on the Word of God.

We live in a world that is clearly in moral decline. Words like "purity," "virtue," and "integrity" are words that very obviously hold little place in the modern family. Research shows that only 46% of CHRISTIAN adults believe there is a clear, absolute truth. SERIOUSLY? Less than HALF of us???? Ohhhh, wait! This divorce and Alzheimer's thing would fall into this category, because as the Reverend Robertson puts it, "Alzheimer's is a KIND of death." The heart beating, lungs working, stomach growling doesn't pass as living. The mental decline of our faculties qualifies as death. Someone notify all morgues around the world, please.

Sadly, Mr. Robertson is a reflection of a fickle Christianity that has permeated the world with its loose boundaries and guidelines. Thoughts like these are teaching our children that marriage is only in effect when it's convenient to be so. You married a well-bodied, fully functional man... and it's okay to divorce him if he's ever paralyzed or disabled because he can't contribute to your union anymore. Why don't we just shoot the elderly while we're at it?

Parents, please hear my heart. Few things are left that are sacred in this world anymore. Marriage is slowly on the out. Aborting a life is as common as birthing one, depending on the mood the mom is in that day. Promises are made, and rarely kept unless there's a contract with a lawyer enforcing it. It's time for the body of Christ to rise and say ENOUGH. And how do we do that?

By letting our yes mean yes, and our no mean no. When you make a promise to your spouse or your child, keep it at all costs. Children mimic what they see. If they see you being genuine and trustworthy, they won't be able to avoid being the same way.

Treat marriage as the gift it is. For better or for worse means day to day! The exciting, the mundane, the routine, the highs and lows... being committed to each other. But also being committed to build each other up with our words and our actions. Your spouse is your life partner. Meaning, from the altar to your last breath.

Search your heart on issues of morality and absolute truth. Do you know what you believe? Really know? Do you think certain sins are appropriate some times and not in other times? Are you wavering on issues of right and wrong? Is your moral compass broken? Can you even find it? Jesus came to bring us back to God, and as a result, ALL your sins were dealt with at the cross. But that forgiveness does not pardon us from a responsibility to live a life of integrity, both in the light, and in the shadows.

I look at my husband and think of Pat Robertson's words-- and I cringe. How can I look at this man- this man whom I pledged my life, my love, my body, and my faithfulness to for the rest of our lives-- and say to him, "It's all intact unless you lose your ability to love me back." How can I look at the man who has given his blood, sweat, and energy to providing a nice house for me and his children to live in... who has sacrificed his best years to make sure all of my years are my best ones... who has loved me through years of infertility and emotional pain, sat at my bedside while I was in the hospital from my own stupidity... all of this- and tell him, "You're not good enough anymore"?

I hope you feel the anger. Because if you feel it, you'll be stirred to action. To be the best you can be, right where you are.

And that's all the change in the world.


  1. Jill,

    I totally agree with you. My Grandmother developed Alzheimer's. My grandfather took total care of her for over 10 years in his home. He never let her go into assisted living, fed her 3 meals a day, talked to her, loved on her, and made her life very comfortable. He loved her until her last breath and never gave up hope that she understood and loved him back though she didn't talk for the last 5 years.

    A solid example of a Godly man!

    John Moeller

  2. Oh, my goodness. That is a sad statement. My dad is riddled with brain tumors right now. And the love that my mom has for him illustrates true love to me and the rest of the family. It's easy to love when romance is blossoming, but can we love as Christ loved? God loved us while we were yet sinners. Not saying Alzheimers patients are sinners here of course, but that real love overcomes the test of hardship. It's "patient." It offers grace where grace is needed the most.

    P.S. I'm popping through because of a link that somebody left on my Time-Warp Wife facebook group. She recommended your blog the other day. :)