Robertson Attempts to Clarify Alzheimer's Comments

Pat Robertson
(AP Images/Gary C. Knapp)

While responding to a viewer inquiry, Pat Robertson, host of The 700 Club, shocked viewers when he said Alzheimer's disease is a kind of death, and is grounds for acceptable divorce. Now, more than a week later on Monday's airing of The 700 Club, Robertson attempted to clarify the remarks that ruffled the feathers of the religious community.

I've got to clarify because I've been misinterpreted,” said Robertson. “When I have somebody asking me for advice, it spreads world [wide] and it gets misunderstood.”

The viewer wrote to CBN describing a friend whose wife was suffering from Alzheimer's. The friend was bitter at God for allowing his wife to be in a condition where she didn't even recognize him anymore and in response, he started seeing another woman.

I know it sounds cruel but if he's going to do something he should divorce her and start all over again,” the once-Baptist minister advised.

On Monday, Robertson returned to his contradictory statement with co-host Terry Meeuwsen, spelling out that what he said was circumstantial.

Basically I'm saying, adultery's not a good thing and you might as well straighten your life out and the only way to do it is to kind of get your affair with your wife in order,” he said. “I wasn't giving a general teaching for the world.”

Robertson referred to his own marriage of 57 years as proof for his belief.

I have a wife who loves me and who I love … She had breast cancer. I was with her … I've had prostate cancer. She was with me. I had a heart condition, a surgery that I almost died. She was there with me. I mean we expect that. We love each other. And of course you're with your wife or husband when they're sick. Good grief, yes. That's the way we should do. And we expect it.”

The CBN founder concluded with a laugh, stressing his belief in the Word of God and in the marriage covenant. “Please know I believe the Bible. Please know that I never would tell anybody to leave their sick spouse. I never, never would say such a thing … In sickness and in health. I believe it!”

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