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I suppose this is just what conservatives do, these days, when confronted by a particularly repulsive comment that they've made. Deny reality, insist it was something else, go the misinterpretation route. After advising a fellow to divorce his Alzheimer's-stricken wife and start over, Robertson now laughs it off as "misinterpreted."

Here is Pat Robertson from a couple of weeks ago:

"That is a terribly hard thing," Robertson said. "I hate Alzheimer's. It is one of the most awful things because here is a loved one—this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years. And suddenly that person is gone. They're gone. They are gone. So, what he says basically is correct. But I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something he should divorce her and start all over again. But to make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her."

When Pat's submissive co-host inquired about, you know, the wedding vow, he devised an interpretation that the disease was a "kind of death," and so, till death do you part!

The commentary that followed was both predictable and somewhat amusing to this skeptical outsider. I have to give this editorial credit for characterizing Robertson's ministry as an "Canaanite mammonocracy". I like it! But I'm not as sure as the editorial writer about writing off Robertson as a crank. Though Pat has had much to say that's worth repudiating, that TV show of his is still on the air, which suggests that somebody watches it; there seems to be enough money flowing in to keep it going.

So here is Pat Robertson from just the other day in full denial mode:

"I was not giving advice to the whole world, and nor was I counseling anybody to be unscriptural and leave their spouse," Robertson said.

"Please know that 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 because I need my spouse when I get sick and she needs me when she gets sick." He said, "In sickness and in health, I believe it. So phew! "

Sure, Pat. Except that you did, and you were widely quoted and recorded doing so. I wonder when it will become anachronistic to say, let's go to the video tape.

There is a big difference between making excuses about your advice, the quality of your advice, or calling it 'misinterpreted' when you're quoted verbatim...and admitting that you were wrong, the one thing you could not do. It is odd how the concepts of sin, confession and forgiveness permeate this religion, and yet one of its prominent adherents fails to live up to such basic precepts. It seems odd to me. I guess it shouldn't.

Originally posted to The Tytalan Way on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 10:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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