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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. Practical advice duck

    The man is clearly an idiot and you control the remote.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  2. One one

    That picture looks like he just took a hit on a big fat blunt.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  3. Michael

    Remember, he's not a Christian, but a Republican.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Sighko Sis

      Stop letting people like him define Christianity.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  4. VEW2012

    Say What! Either he is addled in his old age...Or is it that he remembers he wasn't so faithful himself? Maybe he has smoked enough pot to fry his brain. Sorry ...Pat but you really should put a zipper on your mouth.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  5. mike

    The only time I've 'cheated' is when I've wanted a relationship to end. Cheating on someone you're committed to is direspectful not just to the other person but also to yourself. It says that you've chosen a mate unworthy of loyalty and that makes you pretty lame.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • One one

      Also, it will hurt their feelings. You don't want to do that to anyone you care about.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • Jim

      So you are not man enough to just face your partner and end the relationship, you have to cheat to to end it. Says alot about your character.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
  6. peridot2

    Sounds like the good Rev is blaming the victim. Again.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  7. dissidentfairy

    Born to put his foot in his mouth...Again!

    May 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  8. JackHammer

    Thank God for Pat Robertson. He is a very good spokesman for all men. I'm getting old but I'm still tapping anything and everything as always and when I get too old I'll just do what my granddaddy did and put a splint on it. No wait, we have viagra now so I won't have to use a splint like granddaddy did. Let's face it we men still have the same dna that the bonobo monkeys have. YeeeeeHaaaaawww, let's go.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  9. CNNfoxABC

    Isn t this the same F00L who claimed that my people made a deal with the DEVIL to get their freedom ?

    I hope he burns in Hell

    May 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • SAM

      pretty harsh.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • One one

      Yes. He said the devil freed slaves and god killed thousands.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • One one

      @sam, yes that is pretty harsh. But isn't that what Christians expect for non-believers ?

      May 17, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Sighko Sis

      This is exactly why people want to believe in hell - they can't believe that someone so rotten goes unpunished for their entire lives. Sorry, Hon, but they do.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • One one

      @sig, that may be what you want but there is no evidence for the existence of hell, except for some people talking. Guess
      what ! People lie .

      May 17, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
  10. lazurite

    Not sure why anyone listens to this guy. He's certifiable.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • SAM

      I don't think he's engaging his brain before he's speaking. Either that, or he has a really warped sense of morality. He is absolutely making excuses for this husband and disregarding the wife's pain of this infidelity. Get him off the air!

      May 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  11. Britta

    In my opinion when you get to that age you can flap your gums any way you want to, "Holy Man" or no.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  12. mique

    He makes my skin crawl, but I bet he just picked up 10,000 new male converts.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  13. walken77

    Oh sure defend this behavior but if a single man and a man or a woman or woman want to be together.......That's just worse then killing someone.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Nature is predisposed to male and female. Other perversions of nature are just naturally wrong. Adultery is wrong also. Yet mans attraction to the feminine body is a powerful force of nature. A man who is comfortable in a well feathered nest with the same hot chick that turned him on to begin with will be less likely to leave that nest for the neighbor who wags her tail features at him.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • sam

      See, being gay isn't a perversion of nature, so now you've managed to look even more ridiculolus than you did already, GOB. It's terrific, keep it up.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
  14. Shirley

    Maybe the Reverend is speaking from personal experience.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Sighko Sis

      Have you seen him? Have you heard him? I think he's speaking from fantasy.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
  15. theoldfool1950

    This guy says he believes that man is made in the image of God and not like other animals. Yet when he talks about people it is if he is talking about household pets. This is a man fooled some of the people all of the time, and made a pretty good living doing it. The people he has fooled, not so much.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  16. siddiq karim

    Pat Robertson means hypocrit.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  17. gospel261

    How long before the Board of CBN get this old fart off the air? He's an embarrassment to Christians everywhere.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • SAM

      Hhmmmm...I was kinda thinking the same thing. I don't think he's engaging his brain before he's speaking. Either that, or he has a really warped sense of morality. He is absolutely making excuses for this husband and disregarding the wife's pain of this infidelity. Get him off the air!

      May 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
  18. ALLENS

    he has always been a simpleton, now he an old simpleton. he disgusts me to no end.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
  19. Grafted Olive Branch

    Ok...enough with my own words. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Jesus Christ. Christ spoke this on behalf of a "woman" caught in adultery. Christ forgave and said ..."go and sin no more". Pat, nor I, is justifying adultery. Only recognizing that people are fallible, even Christians. But we are to forgive and move on.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Did Jesus say that men are predisposed to stray because they are men? That women should expect it and head it off by making life at home really swell?

      May 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Tom, Tom, the Other One

      No...but, in practical living in this present world. We all know that is true. Not “justified”, just the way the world is.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • One one

      Actually that story was not in the original scriptures. Later, scribes copying the scriptures added it in. Religious scholars and church leaders know this fact. However, the story was so popular that the church leaders who assembled the final canon left it in even though they knew it was a late addition and never was Jesus words.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      "Christ spoke this". Hearsay. That's all it is. Someone said that someone said that someone said "Christ spoke this". There's not a single shred of evidence to support the idea that he ever said anything that's attributed to him. Or for that matter that he ever existed as a historical person – nothing that hasn't been discredited. I'd tell you to get your facts straight, but then you'd be left with......nothing.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • Peter

      Also don't forget that story isn't even in the oldest versions of the gospel, and was added a couple of hundred years after it was written.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
  20. huh?

    "males have a tendency to wander"

    Super-conservative evangelicals have a tendency to not read anything but one book. I suppose it is alright to wander as long as they go to church on Sunday. Pathetic.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Sighko Sis

      Don't ya get it? As long as you agree with them you can get away with anything. All sins are forgiven, 24-7. You just have to be part of the club.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:34 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.