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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. FrkIt

    Nut job he is

    May 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  2. rick jolie

    he says stupid things. well, he's a man, ok. Men say stupid things. they are just misunderstood.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm |
  3. Vad

    Ok, Robertson is officially off his rocker. From now on, instead of getting all mad every time he says something just think of him as that crazy drunk uncle who says whatever pops into his head after a few too many. Oh that crazy uncle Pat is talking again.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
  4. Micgael

    Misogynistic... Just like most christian religions. "the woman is inferior, and the man must go unquestioned"... I am a man, and this is a LARGE problem I have have with the christian faith (notice I do not capitalize christian properly...) The "I can sin and christ will forgive me if I repent... because I am a man" mentality disgusts me. I am still waiting on the world to change and wahe up...

    May 17, 2013 at 10:48 pm |

    • If you are a man (you said you are) it's better to have a LARGE problem than a smallish nerf-like problem.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • faith

      i am sure this is rough on you dodo, given your self love and hatred for all things male. though god-hating nazi fascists want pat to burn in hell, hitler, on the other hand, despite what he said, was a marvelous, devout christian man.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
  5. twalk

    Has anyone notice how Pat head and ears laterally keep getting bigger. Also I have noted his ears look kind of pointed....lol Wonder if he has a tail? Someone needs to check his head for 666.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
  6. Portland tony

    When you're 85, some personally held values have a tendency to get minimized when you're facing your own mortality!

    May 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I thought Pat to be a true believer in eternal life with his Saviour. Could he feel mortal?

      May 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I hope he's feeling pretty stupid, honestly.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
    • twalk

      He has always been a hypocrite, but as he has gotten older his mouth has gotten looser. True colors are showing.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Austin

      portland tony has a decent point though.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Really, Austin? And that point would be what, exactly? Why don't you describe what you think tony said, dear?

      May 17, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
    • Austin

      When you're 85, some personally held values have a tendency to get minimized when you're facing your own mortality!

      May 17, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • The real Tom

      In other news, Austin has no idea what the post said.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • faith

      and remember, everyone is facing her own mortality every second she is still here. we will all spin off into another dimension very, very soon.

      some sooner than others dodo

      May 17, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
  7. Kyle

    Pat Robertson's troll-fu is strong. Personally, I love the guy and if you take him seriously then you probably deserve that indigestion you receive from getting all riled up about what some old man with bad hair and even worse dentures says.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I read this as "Pat Robertson's tofu is strong."

      I need to get some sleep.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
  8. The real Tom

    I guess dottie the dumbbell finally expired of its own gaseous emissions. Good deal.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
    • Observer

      "i can cite sources"

      45 minutes ago and still counting.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
  9. southsidemike

    "“OK to be unfaithful"....only if you are a Republican Candidate in South Carolina who cheats on his wife and embezzles public money while doing it

    May 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
  10. JK

    Just more proof that this man is not worth having any attention paid to him. Why is what he says even news? He should be irrelevant to anyone but his own sad self.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
  11. JAN

    Why is the media paying attention to this irrelevant jerk?

    May 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • Rob

      So they don't have to put more stories on their home page about the president.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
    • Observer

      Rob,

      Yep. No more stories about hypocritical Republicans trying to make mountains out of molehills.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  12. twalk

    Pat is getting honest in his old age. His is a true right winger that is being honest of his feelings. Now the question is how many times has he cheated on his wife. Pat has gotten rich off his right wing followers.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
  13. Joseph

    Yet another conservative religious leader collapsing on himself. What a bigot and a hypocrite.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
  14. Erika

    Roberston was attempting to heal this marriage by pointing out that humans make mistakes– to err is human. Roberston could have easily said this cheating husband was condemned to eternal hell– but he didn't. I think he is focusing on forgiveness and understanding. Obviously cheating is wrong, Robertson is trying to help this woman find peace.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • Joseph

      No, I think we need to remind people that Robertson is yet another religious hypocrite. The GOP is chocked full of them.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • twalk

      yeah, right. Wonder how many times Pat has cheated on his wife. You sound like one of his sheep.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • The real Tom

      How? By telling her to make home a place so wonderful that her husband will never want to cheat? Yeah, really cool advice.

      Because if she had made their home that great, he'd never have cheated in the first place?

      Right. He's not putting the blame on her, at all.

      I've got some lovely swampland in Arizona for sale. Wanna buy it?

      May 17, 2013 at 10:28 pm |
    • Carol

      There are not two polar choices in this...egg. condemned to hell or peace and forgiveness. Robertson was his usual inept self when he suggested that the wife make the home so welcoming that her husband won't wander. This is a good example of blaming the victim. It is a major breach of vows, committment and trust to committ adultry regardless of the rationale. . The person who has the affair has a lot of personal growth work to do to grow enough to be able to excercise more appropriate options and torebuild trust in the relationship. It is bizarre to ask the wife to be in charge of masking the adulterer so comfortable that they do not committ adultry...Come on!!!

      May 17, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • thepluloan

      What bothers me is that he would never consider that the woman is the primary breadwinner and only staying with the guy because she loves him and its hard to leave even if you've been wronged. It's the whole 1950s view of a woman's role in the home that is disgusting. Plus, he flat out gives the guy a pass for cheating. And let us not forget that he takes his followers money to provide this "advice". I have to say that, as a woman, I'm also disgusted by his female sidekick who sits there silent while he spews his nonsense.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
  15. Name*penguin

    Most who claim to be Christians would more appropriately be called "biblists" because of their undying,unthinking belief in the bible rather than in God.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
  16. CEEBEE

    Really Pat??? Are you even relevant at this stage of the game? Shouldn't you just close your mouth and stop speaking? Your comments are an abomination to the world we live in. Stop already1

    May 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  17. joshua

    i am with him, we are all under sin and only recognising our wrong doing and repenting and giving back is the right way to be sincere. if she forgives you than she really loves you which is what we are interested in. than we will make them happier if allowed. see dr owour for repentance message for whole planet.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Get that GED pronto, dude.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:29 pm |
    • thepluloan

      Are you suggesting that guy's cheat in order to test their woman's love? That would be pathetic. How about a guy proves his love by not cheating? Believe it or not, women are here on Earth for purposes well beyond making her man happy. Yeesh.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
  18. NSL

    I'll bet that upstairs in heaven they've gotten to the point they are laughing their head off listening to what this joker says. I just don't understand why anyone listens to him or respects him.

    1. He has no respect for women.
    2. He has no respect for Americans.
    3. He has no respect for anyone who isn't Christian.
    4. He has no respect for anyone who doesn't agree with everything he believes.
    5. He has no respect for Jesus.

    As a human being, he's the last person on this Earth I'd ever consult about ethics and morals. No, I take that back. I wouldn't consult him about anything.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
  19. independent jim

    when will the real christians in this country stand up and denounce these right wing nut jobs that use religion to gain power and money

    May 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • twalk

      u got that right! It is a shame for people to USE religion like Pat and a lot of other republican. You would be surprise at how many people vote republycon due to Pat and republycons politicians that USE religion just for getting votes. Shame.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Well, of what other use is religion?

      May 17, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • jim

      the only true Christians I have known are Jehovah's Witnesses. go to jw.org to learn what the Bible really teaches,(freely) and that means no charge. no one will ask you for money, no obligation or if they come to your door in the A.M. give them a few minutes and you too can have a free home Bible study. it is really interesting. j

      May 17, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  20. The real Tom

    So dottie the liar claims that there's proof no children or pregnant women died in the Bible's "great flood."

    Of course, the doofus can't cite any evidence, even though it said it could.

    No wonder people think fundies are stupid liars.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:13 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.