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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. Bible Clown©

    Like the Islam Foundation guy and the barking mad Lol? guy, Robertson has slid over the edge into madness. It's no fun debating someone who is insane and can't stop telling you about the reptile people under the bed long enough to hear your reply. Remember when Oral Roberts was nearly strangled to death by a red Devil in his own bedroom, but his wife chased it away with a rolled-up newspaper, and then he saw a 900-foot Jesus and went into a nursing home? It's like that.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • sam

      I had forgotten about good old Oral Roberts. I have to wonder what kind of heights Pat's crazy old guy schtick is going to reach.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Science

      Sam .................RW

      May 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
  2. markinator

    When he talks to God, he calls it "prayer". When God talks to him, we call it "schizophrenia".

    May 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Brian

      If you think it's God whispering in Pat's ear you've got serious problems of your own!

      May 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  3. janet

    Wow – God must really hate those Christians in Texas; look at the tornadoes She sent! 🙂

    May 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  4. Observer

    Pat Robertson's ignorance and hypocrisy go a long way to convince atheists and agnostics that they are right.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • bananaspy

      If you want to discuss moral dignity, let's talk about all the things religion has been used to justify in the past: murder, slavery, and discrimination for starters. But we can skip right over that discussion for now, because you clearly don't even realize that one can be an agnostic atheist, or one can be a gnostic atheist (though these are few and far between). Just as one can be an agnostic theist or a gnostic theist (which there are unfortunately way too many of). But if you think believing in an imaginary man is supposed to make a person more moral, you're #$%@^ stupid.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • Parker

      amen

      May 18, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
  5. Dave R.

    Robertson is no different than Jim & Tammy, et. al. He's as phony that does nothing more than bilk millions out of nieve people in the name of religion.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Air

      You should listen to some of Mike Murdock's scams.
      He makes all the other look like amatures.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • 100percentchanceofafauxpas

      At least Tammy was real. She had her convictions and yet still embraced people of all kinds. I think she was less hypocritical than most. Yeah, she wore a lot of make up, but she was real.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:43 am |
  6. mikes

    It is in men's DNA. Read the Sagan/Druyan book "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors" if you want to understand the genetic imperative which makes males want to impregnate as many women as possible, and females nurture the children. Sure, it's expected that civilized men restrain those urges and it doesn't serve as a legitimate excuse, but it is in our DNA, which doesn't care if it's politically correct or not.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Anne112

      Women are programmed to cheat too, but to a lesser degree and for different reasons ie better quality male DNA to produce better quality offspring.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • susie

      Yes Mike, that's why I'll date women instead.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • Saraswati

      It's also in our DNA to eat as much as we can to pad up in the face of scarce resources, but those who can't control that urge are in for some real problems.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Juanita

      And it's in everyone's DNA to be selfish. Stop the excuses.

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

      Mike: You have it 100%. Good for you.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  7. DeeBee

    Does support for the legalization of marijuana really belong on this list? Sure it is controversial, but certainly not the level of 200 proof crackpottery as everything else.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • DJ

      On top of which is the fact that he made that statement after his grandson (I believe) was busted by mom with a big bag of weed.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • LadyMiss Libra

      Of course he did DJ; ROFL. What inspired this foot-in-mouth moment , then? Hmmmmm....interesting.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:36 am |
  8. noly972

    Pat Robertson is the Rush Limbaugh of Christianity.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  9. My Dog is a jealous Dog

    He was right on one of the four counts. He is only bat sh.t crazy three quarters of the time. Batting 250 in the majors is not so bad.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Alias

      But are you sure he is in the majors?

      May 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • DeeBee

      250 in the majors is great if you are a reliable catcher or a solidly defensive middle infielder. What would be the theological equivalent of those things? Whatever, they are, Pat Robertson ain't doing them.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Unfortunately #2 is the only sane thing he has ever said, so really his average is more like .001 (one out of a thousand)

      May 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  10. mitchell

    Christianity – it's not real ! Why can't people see this?! We just don't live in a universe where angels,demons, and blood sacrifice are a part of the "grand design". What a sad way to live your life. I feel sorry them because just the thought to question their beliefs and their bible puts their soul in "Peril". They need to detox off of it like a drug and then start reading science books.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • always right

      Please. Did you just disprove God with your statements? If you want to believe love and hate are just happenstance of natural selection and Darwin's theories...that's ok with me. You don't have to answer to me when you die.

      I get the fact that people can't believe in a Father that loves them perfectly, that designed them and gifted them. It's probably due to the poor influence of their earthly father and poor witnesses of those that represent Christ. But that isn't an excuse to ignore the TRUTH. Jesus is real, did change the course of history (calendar was re-written), and was resurrected from the dead as witnessed by over 500 people according to the historical evidence. He did live a sinless life and showed his love by going to the cross to offer you pardon for your sin.

      You can call that junk if you want but that doesn't mean it isn't TRUE.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • .

      lol, 'always right'. more brainwashed bs.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " If you want to believe love and hate are just happenstance of natural selection and Darwin's theories" Nobody ever says that. Have you been diagnosed with a mental illness? Sometimes it hard to tell whether you are just fearfully beating a straw man because you are afraid of the real one, or if you are just being hateful to show us how far from God's word you've strayed.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Fenderbender

      I love how people like "Always Right" drop, "that's ok with me. You don't have to answer to me when you die" and then drop how, "God loves us perfectly. Its always a threat of, You will answer to God in the end, the whole plop you into hell schtick yet he loves us perfectly? That's the default when their week arguement breaks down.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:26 am |
  11. Liz

    its pretty clear in every case they've provided this guy means what he says. He's old and outdated not to mention completely backwards with true christian beliefs. CBN should cute ties with him while they can or just Stop appologizing for him it only makes them look extremely stupid.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Stephen

      CBN can't cut ties with him, Liz. It's HIS network. He owns it lock,stock, and barrel...that's why their part time job is removing his foot from his mouth for him...

      May 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
  12. Ahmed

    As a muslim, the part I found the most entertaining missed mention here – what he said about Islam being the religion of the devil. That got missed here....but probably because for too "pious christians" that isnt too far from being a fact and so does not qualify as yet another crazy comment.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • DJ

      I am not a muslim, but I am highly offended that he calls Islam a religion of the devil. That is far worse than saying marijuana is okay.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • ADSACKSACKS

      It is.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • sam

      That guy thinks everything that isn't a white male evangelical is 'the devil'.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • always right

      I am a christian and it doesn't matter what Pat R. says...what does God the father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob say?

      All other Gods are idols! Do muslims worship the God of Jacob???....then Pat correctly interpreted scripture. The muslim faith is based on a different God. I think mohammed made up the name Allah.

      Facts are facts.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • .

      always right, YOUR god is a made up idol, too. at least ahmed is being classy, you creep.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • sam

      Today's Special Jerk Award goes to always right, for barging in and proving he/she knows jack all about pretty much anything.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " I think mohammed made up the name Allah."
      At least you had the grace to add "I think." Al-Lah means The Lord. One Google search would have told you that.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • lol??

      Muslims are the model for Unitarians. BTW, what's wrong with " I AM" or "I Am that I Am"??

      May 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
    • Brian

      Hey , Not always right, take your hrad out of your ass. Same God, Different approach. ANd by the way, how many different names for God can you find in the bible?

      May 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  13. Brooklyn

    what a crack pot

    May 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • lol??

      The liberty bell cracked and all the liberty ran out, too.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  14. Alias

    Give the guy some credit.
    This is the old testament philosophy of marriage.
    He is staying true to the bible.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • BobPitt

      Credit for what? for being an !di0t? That is what you get with extremist like Pat Roberson. , he is nothing more than a bible terrorist..

      May 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
  15. ellid

    He's a self-righteous old loon who has taken literally billions of dollars from the poor and the dispossessed, sometimes through his "ministry," sometimes through a pyramid scheme of "home-based Biblical products" that works like Amway, Shaklee's, Mary Kay, and other multi-level marketing schemes that make money only for those at the top. He is a vile, evil little man, and I will not shed a tear when he is finally called home to God and has to account for the damage he has done to uncounted thousands.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • LadyMiss Libra

      BINGO Ellid; very well-put.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  16. Atheistically Yours

    If there was EVER a "high-profile" Christian in need of a good "fatwah" being set against him, Robertson would be it! Those trying to carry it out, would get all the assistance, aid and comfort imagineable possible as well! Where IS a fanatical, rabid, Muslim terrorist in need of a target when one is REALLY NEEDED?

    May 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      He's an old sick man, and he's past doing much harm. Plenty of more vigorous con men fleecing the tent-meeting crowds who deserve it more than he does.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  17. Science is the new religion

    A virgin birth is an evolutionary birth, since it occurs in several different species. The komodo dragon is an example of where it occurs. According to evolution, many different species use the same gene. Thus genes can be carried between species and function properly. A virgin birth is a detailed sequence of replication and organization, thus a virgin birth would require a virgin birth gene. Therefore the principles of human evolution from an insane species require a virgin birth of Adam and Eve for the establishment of a moral and just human government (Isaiah 9:6). Humans are more complex than other animals. Thus apes would not develop computers over an unlimited period of time, since their brain is limited in size due to the muscle strength associated with eating.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • BobPitt

      What ever you have been smoking I want some...

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

      What?

      May 17, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Think Instead

      Stop smoking your chemistry set.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " thus a virgin birth would require a virgin birth gene. " Have you had your brains taken out and buttered and given to a dog?

      May 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • jungleboo

      Absolutely fabulous.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
  18. God

    I've been saying for years that the voices in Pat Robertson's head are not coming from the places he thinks they're coming from.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
  19. Shakingmyhead

    They really need to stop giving Granpa air time or a live mic! I think he has a touch of dimensia and a whole lot of old fashioned (as in Neolithic) ideas and no brakes on his mouth. He is now spewing anti-Christian beliefs, as if ole Pat is now embracing the world instead of the Kingdom. I also have concluded he doesnt like women and never has. Dont let this addled bigot back on the air. His kids run this now, stand up to Daddy or kill his mic!

    May 17, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • sybaris

      Actually in the Bible there is a lot of subjegating of women so Robertson isn't speaking so much from a personal position as he is reflecting what is condoned in your Bible.

      May 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF BULLSH.IT

      NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR FANTASIES MOHAMMAD

      May 17, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
  20. Scott in Texas

    This is what happens when you build an empire by using fear to take money from the elderly.

    May 17, 2013 at 2:25 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.