Everyone knows that Pat Robertson is a paragon of biblical righteousness. This, after all, is a man who knows that hurricanes strike in order to punish people for their iniquity. It seems that Robertson is softening up on his call for complete adherence to the bible, even if it means defying Jesus himself.
In a recent episode of “The 700 Club” Robertson was replied to a man whose wife had Alzheimer’s Disease about the permissibility of divorcing her and going back out on the dating scene. As reported by the Washington Post “Under God” blog:
Now I’m no great New Testament scholar, though for a Jew I have studied more than my fair share, but it was not all that difficult to find this in Matthew 19:9, straight from the man himself:
“I know it sounds cruel,” Robertson said in answers to a viewer’s question, adding that although Christian marriage vows are binding “to death do us part” … “this is a kind of a death.”
“I certainly wouldn’t put a guilt trip on you if you decided that you had to have companionship, you’re lonely, and you’re asking for some companionship,” Robertson said, clarifying that the spouse would have to ensure that his wife would have “somebody looking after her.”
And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
This in itself is a pretty hard-hearted view of divorce, given that the Hebrew Scriptures permit it. Of course, according to rabbinical interpretation, the woman must willingly accept the bill of divorcement (get). In the case of Robertson’s inquiry, this would not be the case.
As a humanist, I find it distressing that someone would divorce a spouse for this reason. I have been around people who have been in this situation and I’ve never heard a single one entertain that idea. Perhaps Robertson would point out that times have changed. Today we have the ability to take care of someone outside of the framework of the traditional family. We can now ensure that someone is looking after the no longer wanted or functioning family member.
Wow, Pat. Your morality is characterized by so much…what’s the word I’m searching for? Relativism.