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Reflections on Ethics 95
Making the Bible fit as he goes along

by: JT

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Recently, responding to a viewer who asked for advice to give a man who began seeing another woman after his wife started suffering from Alzheimer's, televangelist Pat Robertson replied:

"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."

Given Robertson's age, it's probably safe to assume he has personal knowledge from friends of the ill effects Alzheimer's has, not just on victims, but also to their spouses - and his advice can be seen as compassionate and, for some people it is arguably the right thing to do for all parties.

But of course, Robertson claims to get his morality from God through the Bible. You can't just decide for yourself - and Jesus spoke against divorce. So how does he square his advice with the Bible?

Of marriage vows, he stated: "If you respect that vow, you say 'til death do us part. This is a kind of death."

Six years ago, Robertson argued to keep Terry Schiavo's body alive. From any standpoint, she was a lot more dead than an Alzheimer's patient. And yet, he wanted that brain-dead body kept on life support. With biblical justification, of course.

Pat Robertson is entitled to his moral views. But, if you are going to claim you get your morality from the inerrant word of God in Bible, you can't just reinterpret God's word to fit your current moral views. Because if you are going to do that, then essentially you have discovered that God's supposed words are irrelevant to true morality. And true morality is independent of any God.

 

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