Photo used under Creative Commons from Digital Shotgun
By Nigel Lawson
Well, Pat Robertson once again stuns the nation by announcing on his 700 Club that Alzheimer's disease is a valid reason for divorce. This past Tuesday, a gentleman phoned in to relate his concern about a friend whose wife was in the later stages of Alzheimer's. The caller stated his friend was, "bitter at God for allowing his wife to be in that condition, and now he's started seeing another woman."
Robertson responded, "I hate Alzheimer's. It is one of the most awful things, because here's the loved one - this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years, and suddenly that person is gone." He continued, "I know it sounds cruel..., but if he's going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again."
If that wasn't shocking enough, what followed would knock anyone off their chair. When asked by his co-host if his words contradict the marriage vow "'Til death do us part," Roberson responded, "[Alzheimer's] is a kind of death."
First of all, one wonders if the 700 Club was formed by people who scored 700 on their SAT. What was Pat Robertson thinking? Not only did he embarrass theologians across the country, but he enraged families affected by this dreadful disease. Dealing with Alzheimer's is challenging for any family. Add a divorce announcement condoned by a religious leader to that situation, and you can kiss the sanctity of the family unit goodbye.
Divorce is not a decision made on a whim. In our fast moving internet society, instant gratification is king. Our immediate needs can be met within minutes and even seconds. If I wish to know what my friends are doing at this moment, I can follow them on Twitter or Facebook. Want to watch a movie? I can stream a full length film in a matter of seconds. Craving pizza? I can have that delivered to my front door in "thirty minutes or less" without leaving my couch. Divorce should not be treated in the same manner. It is too important a decision to be made in the blink of an eye and a click of a button.
The latest Census Bureau reports that divorce rates in the United States have slightly decrease, but divorce rates among baby boomers are triple that of their parents. This "Gray Divorce," is a new phenomenon which sees couples splitting after 20 or more years of marriage. I definitely won't be surprised if there is an increase of Gray Divorce over the next few years due to Pat Robertson's irresponsibility.