Posts Tagged ‘advice’

In a surprise response to a “700 Club” audience member, Pat Robertson appeared to endorse divorce in cases where a spouse has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The question put to Robertson asked for advice on what to say to a “friend” who was dating another woman since his wife had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

AP photograh

“I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again — but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her,”
Robertson said.

His answer to the audience member even startled Robertson’s co-host.  Terry Meeuwsen immediately responded, pointing out the popular wedding vow, “Till death do us part.”

Robertson then said in response that “Alzheimer’s is a “kind of death.”

When I first read this, I nearly peed my pants.  Why?  Because of all the people I would want by my side were I to be told that my brain was going to take leave of me, for real this time, it would be my wife.  And by God, if it happened to her, I don’t think I’d want to leave her entire life in another mortal’s hands.  Especially if it released me to go hunt up another woman.

That was my first reaction.

Following that, I read the whole quote, and thought about how I would answer the man who asked the question.  And it’s interesting, because for the very first time in my life, I think I understood something Pat Robertson said.  <ducks>  My first response echo’d the sentiment of a friend: “What an ass-hat.”  But as I read the article again and thought through how I might reacted I started to wonder.  I started to think that maybe I could just try seeing this from a different perspective.  And I am tentatively offering this as a possible explanation (clarification) of what ol Pat might have meant.

Pat Robertson wasn’t telling the audience member that divorcing the woman was alright.  At least, that’s not what I think he’s saying.  Meaning, I’m conjecturing here, and acknowledge that fact.

What Robertson did was offer the audience member advice and counsel that was ultimately non-judgmental, and was prioritizing the care and well-being of the wife.  I think.  I’d like to think.  He said that the man “if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again — but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her.”

Interesting.  So, the guy would have to a) own up to the fact, and publicly attest to it, that he is leaving his terminally ill wife (think John Edwards here), and in doing so would b) likely lose all financial benefits of losing said wife, thus releasing her to leave her legacy to someone or something else.

And, Robertson put the responsibility on the husband to make sure that the ailing, newly abandoned wife was being cared for appropriately.

I wonder what Robertson might have said if the audience member asking the question was himself the man contemplating leaving his wife.  What would you say to that guy?  Honestly, I think that was a pretty damn interesting answer.  He’s not judging the man.  He’s saying this is the best course of action for you to take, given what you have decided you want to do.

SO, if I understand correctly, what ol Pat means is you and me know this guy’s bailing out on his wife- BUT, if he’s going to do it, he’s gonna do it.  Advise him like this: Don’t play the grieving but dedicated martyr who’s in fact stepping out.  Do it as honorably as honor can be found: in broad daylight.  And don’t just ditch her.  Have the decency to set her up and find somebody else that will have the commitment to stay by her until she’s actually dead.

Now, I just speculating here- trying to offer Pat the benefit of the doubt.  I’m assuming that Pat is respecting the role of Jesus as the judge, and rather than out and out saying “dude, that’s just dirtbag,”  he is attempting to offer biblically founded advice without lecturing and pointing fingers.

Otherwise, I was right the first time.  That’s just the kind of thing I’d expect an ass-hat to say.

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