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May 17th, 2013
12:12 PM ET

Pat Robertson shrugs off adultery, CBN regrets the misunderstanding

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog

(CNN) - The Christian Broadcasting Network regrets the misunderstanding. Again.

Pat Robertson, the network's 83-year-old founder, was not condoning adultery when he answered a viewer's quesion on "The 700 Club" this week, the network said.

The viewer said she was having difficulty forgiving her husband for cheating. Robertson said the “secret” was to “stop talking about the cheating. He cheated on you. Well, he’s a man. OK.”

Robertson went on to suggest the woman focus on why she had married her husband and whether he provided for her needs and those of their children, adding, “Is he handsome? Start focusing on these things and essentially fall in love all over again.”

“Males have a tendency to wander a little bit. And what you want to do is make a home so wonderful he doesn’t want to wander.”

CBN spokesman Chris Roslan wrote in a statement that Robertson’s “intent was not to condone infidelity or to cast blame. We regret any misunderstanding."

Robertson off-the-cuff comments over the years have perplexed and angered other Christian leaders. One Christian pastor said his New Year’s resolution was to not comment on Robertson’s gaffes for an entire year.

Here are some of Robertson's most memorable statements:

1. The U.S. should kill Chavez

In 2005 Robertson suggested the United States should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one strong-arm dictator. It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with,” he said in a segment about the now-deceased head of state.

After considerable outcry, the minister backtracked and released a statement saying, “Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."

A U.S. State Department official called the remarks "inappropriate."

2. How bad is weed, really?

Robertson, who once ran for president as a Republican, broke ranks with religious conservatives by endorsing the legalization of marijuana. "I believe in working with the hearts of people, and not locking them up," he said in a 2010 broadcast of "The 700 Club."

Cue spokesman Chris Roslan, who wrote, “Pat has never condoned the use of, nor does he use, marijuana.”

3. You know who’s to blame for that earthquake in Haiti? Haitians.

Shortly after a 2010 earthquake in Haiti left more than 220,000 people dead and Port-au-Prince decimated, Robertson referenced a slave revolt in 1804, where, legend has it, the Haitian slaves made a deal with the devil to shake off French colonialism.

"And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.' True story. And so the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal,'" Robertson said one day after the quake.

"You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other."

That day CBN quickly clarified: “Dr. Robertson never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath. If you watch the entire video segment, Dr. Robertson’s compassion for the people of Haiti is clear.” In fact, while Robertson was talking about Haiti on TV, his charitable arm Operation Blessing was already on the ground providing medical treatment, food, and supplies to victims.

4. Gay days = hurricanes and possibly meteors

In June 1998, after Walt Disney World announced it would have special days for gay and lesbian families in Orlando, and city officials announced they would fly rainbow flags in support of the event, Robertson warned the city, "You're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you."

Robertson told the Orlando Sentinel at the time that his comments were taken out of context and released a full transcript of what he said on the show:

“So if the United States wants to embrace 'degrading passions' - according to the Bible, something that the Bible says is an abomination against God - we're not in any way, shape or form hating anybody. This is not a message of hate; this is a message of redemption. But if a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation; if it will bring about terrorist bombs; if it'll bring about earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor, it isn't necessarily something we ought to open our arms to. And I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (2,964 Responses)
  1. JIm D

    There is NO misunderstanding other than this guy is just plain nuts or senile or both. Its time to end the extremes of these people both left AND right that cause influence in this country.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Shakingmyhead

      Amen

      May 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • PaulB

      Even if he has senility and it's bringing this stuff to the surface, it was still there in his heart all the time. He just kept it hidden so as not to offend the paying audience, it seems.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  2. Ted Jones the crusader not for khrist

    Here is a great example of christian mentality

    "You know who’s to blame for that earthquake in Haiti? Haitians."

    May 17, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • lol??

      Actually, the americultians did it with their debt hole going deeper than the Haitians and messin' with the earth's balance. Those people are richer than than the US.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • lol??

      In 2005 Haiti's total external debt reached an estimated US$1.3 billion, which corresponds to debt per capita of US$169, in contrast to the debt per capita of the United States which is US$40,000.[10] Following the democratic election of Aristide in December 1990, many international creditors responded by cancelling significant amounts of Haiti's debt, bringing the total down to US$777 million in 1991. However, new borrowing during the 1990s swelled the debt to more than US$1 billion.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Haiti

      May 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • PaulB

      God must really hate the Bible belt then. All those tornados.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  3. Dyslexic doG

    Misogyny is fundamental to the basic writings of Christianity. In passage after passage, women are encouraged—no, commanded—to accept an inferior role, and to be ashamed of themselves for the simple fact that they are women. Misogynistic biblical passages are so common that it’s difficult to know which to cite. From the New Testament we find "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. . . ." (Ephesians 5:22–23) and "These [redeemed] are they which were not defiled with women; . . ." (Revelation 14:4); and from the Old Testament we find "How then can man be justified with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?" (Job 25:4) Other relevant New Testament passages include Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:7; 1 Corinthians 11:3, 11:9, and 14:34; and 1 Timothy 2:11–12 and 5:5–6. Other Old Testament passages include Numbers 5:20–22 and Leviticus 12:2–5 and 15:17–33.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • lol??

      C'mon dawg, you share your witch cuz you HAVE to. You have to work sometime.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Christian woman

      The passages you cite are bound to a great deal of interpretation. I would recommend the book "Paul, Women, and Wives" to you.

      The point is that – for CHRISTIANS – Jesus actually instructs us to follow his example, and in that example he elevates women to levels of considerable power for that time, breaks cultural norms in how he interacts with them, and encourages them to break norms in what they value, with that being devotion to God over family.

      That said, Pat Robertson is nuts. If he or my husband thinks that I bear the responsibility of making my home so wonderful it's "wander-proof," they can go to Hades. We are all responsible for honoring the commitments we make, including controlling our own hormones, and it takes two – and some significant effort – to make a marriage work. That woman shouldn't be trying to focus on the good in order to fall in love all over again! He should be on his knees, doing everything possible to woo her, with the hope she will fall in love with him again! If it were me, I'd be moving on. Try to forgive him for yourself, but know that he made a conscious decision to break his vow to God and to hurt you.

      Back to Dyslexic doG: I appreciate that you are citing biblical examples, but please remember that Christians don't have a monopoly on the whole of the bible. Please quote instead from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). I also try to remember to take everything following the gospels with a grain of salt. The apostles were starting churches as geographically dispersed as possible, and there were certainly going to be regions that would be more culturally accepting of the direct message compared to others. Most transcriptions of the original letters would have likely taken place in these regions, and recollections of it would have been colored by the observer's viewpoint. (One of the reasons there are contrary statements through these books.)

      I realize that being a protestant Christian woman, I don't by any means speak for all, or even most, of Christian women. But I have studied the Old and New Testaments of the Bible more than most who don't pursue seminary. Each person has their own interpretation of the Bible, and they have to look to God for their individual guidance, but none of us will know if we're right while we live in this life. We can hope, and pray, but they are still simply opinions.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • The GOP need to pack up and leave

      And none of that makes any sense since God itself decreed that women are superior to men. It's in the Bible, in Genesis. I can prove it.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • faith

      "Christian woman
      The passages you cite are bound to a great deal of interpretation. I would recommend the book "Paul, Women, and Wives" to you." lol
      u got 2 b kidding?

      demon infested Nazi god hating bigoted fascist the dodo

      May 17, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
    • Ken

      Christian woman
      Jesus may have acted outside the norm, although none of the twelve were women, but conservative Pharisee Paul certainly yanked that chain back, didn't he?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  4. Starman

    Facebook has been swarming with the thing she says now daily on his TV show. Almost every day there is some utterly shocking statement that defies all reason and logic full of bigotry and literal insanity. The man has made tens of millions of scamming innocent people out of their money. These religious shawman have become so extreme to try to keep the fountain of worshipers from leaving them. Whats left are the extremists that in the next few decades are going to cause holy wars.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  5. D

    I think Pat might have gone senile back in the 1980's and just nobody's noticed.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Millions of people noticed; just not the morons who support him.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Jake

      Sadly, it is almost impossible to distinguish a senile/crazy person from an evangelical Christian. So we may never know.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • nobody

      How anyone could listen to anything a preacher says.....who condones breaking one of the 10 commandments.....is beyond me.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Ken

      More like it's difficult to tell if he makes these uncensored remarks because senility has taken away whatever filter kept them from crossing from his brain to his mouth, or if he just doesn't give a damn anymore who he offends.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  6. J. Davis in Knoxville, TN

    This so called preacher of the Gospel should have retired many years back. He is an insult to all women!

    May 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • birch please

      So is the bible

      May 17, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      He is an insult to reason.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  7. Dyslexic doG

    Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. – 1 Corinthians 14

    Know your place Christian women. Every word of the Bible must be obeyed right?

    What a joke!

    May 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • J. Davis in Knoxville, TN

      Get with the modern age. That kind of thinking went away at least 200 years ago; you must not like women!

      May 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Roger that

      We let women vote.We let them have jobs. Now they don't want their husbands to cheat? All they do is take take take.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • birch please

      "Get with the modern age" and throw away a book of ethics from the bronze age

      May 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  8. Mr. Casanova, the provider

    The old man has a point 😉

    May 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • J. Davis in Knoxville, TN

      And, what is the point. The man is a lunatic. I don't believe ANYTHING he says and I never have. He just wants money for his 700 Club.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Father Abraham

      Here are the possible answers to the question this woman posed,
      A) Walk out on your husband and DO NOT FORGIVE.
      B) Forgive him and go for counselling , seek help from your pastor to see how you can mend the relationship.
      C) You cheat on your husband and show him how 'it' , the cheating feels.
      D) Do nothing.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Jake

      Father Abraham – Why would a pastor be of ANY help whatsoever? What specific useful knowledge or experience does he have? None. Why would it be better to talk to a pastor than a random person from the street? It wouldn't.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  9. Pat

    So what. This suit cost $1500, the shirt $300 and the tie $100 nice wok if you can get it. LMAO

    May 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm |
  10. meifumado

    Crazy people say crazy things

    May 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • meifumado

      He is Hindu now?

      May 17, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      He has always been a hindu, in hindrance to truth absolute GOD by his hindu secular ism, self center ism, committing adultery by dividing un dividable truth absolute GOD.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • meifumado

      Your posts are nuts but they always make me smile and or laugh.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF BULLSH.IT

      GO PUT ON SOME DEODORANT MOHAMMAD, YOU'RE STINKING UP THE PLACE

      'EAU DE DELUSIONAL RACIST PAKISTANI' IS REALLY HARD TO AIR OUT OF A ROOM, LINGERS A LONG TIME

      May 17, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Spencer Brown

      Pat told the woman the same thing a therapist would. She doesn't want to divorce her husband apparently. Being mad at him won't make him cheat less. Trying to create a happy home might. If the husband called, the advice would be different. But the wife can only change what she's doing.

      May 18, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • PaulB

      meifumado
      "Crazy people say crazy things"
      What does that say about the millions of members of the 700 Club who listened to this guy over the decades?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
  11. Michelle

    Oh my goodness, who is letting this man on the show? He calls him self a Christian?

    May 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  12. Heretic

    The day this man dies will be a good day.

    May 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Al

      He makes me laugh. I bet he'd be entertaining at a party.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Al

      You obviously can't take the things he says seriously.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      If you take him seriously you are giving him dar more respect than he deserves.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  13. STFU

    Robertson, I think you are a lucky man to have a wife like her, or do you have some kind of mutual understanding with her, close your eyes toward her tendency to wander a little bit......."

    May 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  14. Jimmy Swaggart

    It ain't cheating if you pay the going rate, Pat knows this.

    May 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  15. boocat

    This guy is an idiot.

    May 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  16. mama k

    (Monitor mode – getting popcorn and waiting to see how poster 'faith' responds to this; lol.)

    May 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Science

      Made some for lunch !

      May 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • sam

      Oh yeah, settling in with the popcorn. This is gonna be good.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
  17. Apple Bush

    My wife cheated on me. I am also having trouble dealing with the anger. I just keep telling myself, I would cheat on me to because I am weird as fuck. It still hurts though. Point is, cheating happens for a lot of different reasons but one of them is NOT "men wander". Add another one to Pat's pile.

    May 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Alias

      You've used your wife cheating to try to get sympathy before.
      The problem is you.
      Get professional (non-christian mumbo-jumbo) help.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • lol??

      With the revenooers lookin' for mo cash and the .05 they're pushin', only those who can afford a chauffeur will be takin' a nip.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      My brain often betrays me.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
  18. mk

    I saw another clip of a story of a woman who approached him about her husband drinking. Pat said, on his 700 show, that he told her because of the way she looked: "Madam, if I was married to you I'd start to drink too." If I didn't see the clip for myself, I wouldn't have believed it. It was not taken out of context, it was not misconstrued, he was not apologetic. He absolutely means what he says.

    His god would be so proud.

    May 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • jim

      mk; why would you waste your time watching that moron? that does not say much for you.

      May 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • mk

      It was a clip in the news...I did not intentionally watch that show, believe me.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • lol??

      Maybe his daddy spent some time with Churchill??

      May 17, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • jim

      you are forgiven. so let it be written, so let it be done. go and sin no more. and thanks for the laugh, j

      May 17, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
  19. Doobs

    More bigotry from religious nut bags. Nice job blaming women for their husband's adultery, blaming poor black people for "making a pact with the devil", as if such things are actually real, and blaming gays for the way they are made. What a joke this guy is.

    "We love you, but you're going to hell. And before you get there, god will punish you or the way he made you."

    May 17, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Big Shiz

      That dude is fuking crazy.

      May 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  20. Science

    He has fallen off his rocker and hit his head !

    May 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.