Pat Robertson has hit the news recently for giving advice that few have comprehended. On the surface, it looks like he was claiming that advanced Alzheimer's disease was grounds for divorce, as it was a "kind of death." The media and many unfamiliar with the tragedies surrounding Pat Robertson's life have taken him to task on this, accusing him of hypocrisy, demeaning marriage, encouraging spousal abandonment and violating the sanctity of the institution. It's even been speculated that Pat is setting the stage for divorcing his own wife in the near future, or is seeking a rationalization for supporting Newt Gingrich, despite Newt's divorce of his cancer stricken wife in order to marry a younger woman.
What Pat's critics are not taking into account is something that has become obvious to his devoted fans in recent years.
Pat Robertson has Alzheimer's.
Many fans first began to see hints of his mental decline when he came out on his program as a supporter of the controversial theory of global warming. He gave a recent heat wave as evidence, even though most global warming believers claim that "weather is not climate." To them, a particularly hot Summer is no more proof of global warming than a particularly cold winter is fatal evidence against it. Pat's bizarre acceptance of global warming therefore embraced a variant that the majority of the global warming faithful consider flawed. There was even debate among the global warming congregants about how they should feel about Pat's sudden and inexplicable support, in light of his deeply flawed reasoning.
This complete failure to understand very basic tenants of the global warming faith was a major warning to Pat's fans. His continually shrinking role on the 700 Club shows that his friends, family and coworkers have known for a long time.
The once healthy, active and fit Pat Robertson has been deteriorating rapidly. Mentally he is not what he once was. The formerly charismatic and confident speaker has begun to falter and lose track of the thread of discussion on a regular basis. His raw screen time on the 700 Club has been in decline for a few years now, with ever increasing amounts of anchor time being given to supporting staff and not Robertson himself. Where he once sat alone at the anchor desk telling viewers about the news of the day, he now has an assistant with him. That assistant generally does most of the talking, with Pat only interjecting periodically.
Only Pat's advice segment has retained Pat as the consistent sole speaker, but the duration of the segment is shorter than it was in the 1990's and early 21st century. He often takes fewer questions, or has visible difficulty understanding the content of a particular question.
In light of his condition, it's obvious that Pat has given his wife very public permission to, in the near future, arrange for him to have a caretaker, divorce him and remarry, so that she may enjoy her golden years, free of the misery of caring for a deteriorating husband. Far from being the endorsement of abandonment many claim, Pat has made a very Christ-like sacrifice for his beloved wife. He has given her permission to move on and live her life, even as he is consigned to an unknowing living death.