Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If it weren’t for Christians, I’d be a Christian.” Pat Robertson is one of those Christians he was talking about. Yesterday morning I read about Robertson saying that is was okay to divorce your spouse if he or she has Alzheimer’s disease because sufferers are “like a walking death.” I’m wondering how he would feel about someone who has had a stroke and can’t communicate. Or a spouse with ALS. That requires full-time care at the latter stage and we know the ultimate outcome, so why wait around for it? In fact, maybe we should ask Mr. Robertson for a list of diseases that would qualify as marriage busters.
I’m trying to get this straight. Does Mr. Robertson feel that once the mind is gone, our commitment is over? Let someone else, even strangers, care for the shell that once was my spouse and let me get a divorce so I can get on with my life and have some fun? Excuse me, Mr. Robertson, but I don’t think you understand what true love is all about.
Thankfully, I have no one in my family who had Alzheimer’s, but I have had several close friends who had to deal with it in theirs. I can only imagine how difficult it is to go through that with a loved one. Staying committed to your spouse until the very end is a testament to the strength and depth of your love for each other.
Life doesn’t deal us a good hand sometimes. How we play that hand shows what kind of people we are. It has nothing to do with being a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Jew, or any other faith. It has to do with being human. Christ was fully human. That was the miracle.