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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. AngerBot

    Old fool...

    May 18, 2013 at 12:21 am |
  2. faith

    quite honestly, a woman holding her legs up exposing her groin to a camera and pulling to the side half her genitalia for $1,000,000 is the kind of thing men are looking for in a serious relationship and provides an excellent example for young girls in terms of setting goals and future aspirations.

    what the feac k

    May 18, 2013 at 12:17 am |

  3. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wavgskzXQ2g&w=640&h=360]

    May 18, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • Name*crossbreed

      Who cares what ashley kudd says

      May 18, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • o

      A mother should let her child attend 1st grade

      May 18, 2013 at 3:51 am |
  4. Jude

    Uh, isn't adultery mentioned in the Ten Commandments?

    May 18, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Colin

      Actually, no. There are three full sets of Ten Commandments contained in the Bible. Their origin has been traced to earlier Hitti.ite and Mesopotamian civil codes and one school of thought is that the Jews were pressed by the Persians to come up with a code of law in order to maintain a degree of autonomy while (what is now) Israel was part of the Persian Empire. The first two sets are contained in Deuteronomy and in Exodus Chapter 20 respectively. They are largely consistent and familiar to most people:

      I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me
      Thou shalt have no graven images or likenesses
      Do not take the Lord's name in vain
      Remember the Sabbath day
      Honor thy father and thy mother
      Thou shalt not kill
      Thou shalt not commit adultery
      Thou shalt not steal
      Thou shalt not bear false witness
      Thou shalt not covet

      But, as the Exodus story continues, after receiving this set of commandments from God, Moses descends from Mount Sinai only to find his people worshipping a golden calf. Moses’ anger “waxes hot” and he smashes the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments in a fit of rage. He later returns to the mountain and God orders him to “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.” Unfortunately, it seems God’s memory was off that day, because the replacement tablets he gave Moses contained the following Ten Commandments:

      Thou shalt worship no other god.
      Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
      Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread .
      All that openeth the matrix are mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. But the firstling of an ass, thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then thou shalt break his neck.
      Thou shalt rest on the Sabbath.
      Thou shalt rest in earing time and in harvest.
      Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
      Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left unto the morning.
      The first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
      Thou shalt not seethe (cook) a baby goat in its mother's milk.

      Both a beast that “opens the matrix” and a “firstling” are the firstborn offspring of a Jewish farm animal. If one believes Exodus, the Jews perambulated the Sinai Peninsula and the Negev for the rest of their forty years of wandering, lugging the Ark of the Covenant weighed down with stone tablets containing these timeless pearls of wisdom!

      Hmmmm, I wonder; did god make the Jews or did the Jews make God?

      May 18, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • FrkIt

      Is Colon helping or hurting?

      May 18, 2013 at 12:21 am |
  5. sybaris

    So many Christians, so few lions.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • FrkIt

      Cowards they are
      Cowardly Lions I say

      May 18, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  6. Colin

    Ah yes, Christianity, the belief that a being powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies (each with billions of stars and planets) impregnated a Greco-Roman Jewish virgin with himself so he could barbarically torture and murder himself as a sacrifice to himself to forgive an "original sin" we now all know never happened.

    And you Christians wonder why we non-believers think you are a little gullible and childish......

    May 18, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Whatever

      Yes, that about sums it up. I couldn't have said it better.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • faith

      "Colin
      Ah yes, Christianity, the belief that a being powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies (each with billions of stars and planets) impregnated a Greco-Roman Jewish virgin with himself so he could barbarically torture and murder himself as a sacrifice to himself to forgive an "original sin" we now all know never happened.

      And you Christians wonder why we non-believers think you are a little gullible and childish......"

      wow man. heavy

      May 18, 2013 at 12:20 am |
    • Bleh

      I feel similar, Colin, but I am so sick of seeing that same sort of paragraph all over the internet and this blog.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:41 am |
  7. WillieLove

    get right with Christ and repent

    May 18, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • FrkIt

      I love you wilby, how about you get off the hate?

      May 18, 2013 at 12:10 am |
    • snowboarder

      willie your god is a dunce.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:29 am |
  8. ericgoestoholland

    There is no misunderstanding. Pat Robertson clearly told a woman that committing adultery is a normal thing for men and that she should be the one to fix the problem of her husband's infidelity.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:05 am |
    • Whatever

      Yes, I agree. Next they'll be telling women to dress in sheets and towear towels on top of their heads, so they don't tempt men.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • Joe

      All people sin. An estimate (that I believe) is that 70% of married men have cheated on their wifes. If you leave (divorce) your husband for cheating on you and go find another man then the chances are, if 70% of married men cheat, he will cheat too. So, if 1/3 of men don't cheat you will have to be married three times to find one that doesn't cheat. Statistics (that I believe) state that people in their third marrage have a 20% chance of that marrage lasting.
      Men cheat (sin) and that's the way it is. It's wrong for them to do it but they do. That sounds like what Pat said to me. In my opinion it is better to stay with a repentant cheater than it is to divorce him. If you cause his life to be miserable because of what he has done (when he is repentant) you are not supporting your half of the marrage. If you give up on your half of the marrage and push your husband into being miserable with the relationship then you are pushing toward a divorce. If you are loving and forgiving and try to help him feel positive about the relationship then you are doing all you can do to safe your marrage.

      May 18, 2013 at 2:17 am |
  9. faith

    report this animal

    mcrunner34
    Yes, the Christians are making this world and unlivable place right World Vision? Sojourners? AWAA? CWA? Nightline? Yeah...those Christians, the world should do away with them!

    May 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  10. Jason

    Gimme a break CNN. And you criticize Fox for being biased? LOL.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • ericgoestoholland

      Okay then, YOU summarize Robertson's main points using quotations followed by interpretation.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • Bleh

      Robertson has main points? Really? When did you hit your head? Please get well soon.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:43 am |
  11. atomD21

    The thing I think was the most interesting about his comment to this woman looking (admittedly in the wrong place) for advice on how to save her marriage was that he bascially said it was her job to fix it and make it so he didn't want to cheat anymore. Like it was all her fault or something... If only she hadn't burned the meatloaf while she was barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen...

    May 17, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
  12. faith

    plus, collapsing the skulls of babies is a lovely subject

    May 17, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • FrkIt

      zygotes

      May 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Athy

      What the fuck does that have to do with this story?

      May 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Observer

      faith,

      Do you believe that all abortions should be outlawed or do you support abortion?

      May 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • FrkIt

      We eat animals

      May 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • faith

      sucking out the brain to permit the skull to implode is a terrific solution. she, the abortionist, may then wrench what's left of the baby from the birth canal without causing the doctor to exert a lot of energy

      May 18, 2013 at 12:00 am |
    • FrkIt

      Zygote, did I spell it wrong?

      May 18, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • faith

      "Athy
      What the fveck does that have to do with this story?"

      nothing.

      dodo, if u don't want us to no u r a fraud, don't post with curse words spelled correctly, moron!

      May 18, 2013 at 12:04 am |
    • FrkIt

      Animals we are, think of retarded children and how they behave, then think of the wild beasts...

      May 18, 2013 at 12:09 am |
  13. Olaf Big

    I think good old Pat converted more people to atheism than Richard Dawkins. So, bring it on, Pat, bring it on, we are listening.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Athy

      Good point, Olaf. If we had more idiots like Pat, atheism would take over much faster.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Whatever

      Hahahahaha! Now THAT was funny! : )

      May 18, 2013 at 12:17 am |
  14. Onemore Fakefbpage

    It IS OK for a man to wander – just don't come back.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • erica

      Two words... actually a name.. Lorena Bobbitt ....

      May 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • Dippy

      Yeah, she "bobbed" it alright, didn't she?

      May 18, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • Bleh

      Aren't men supposed to be stereotyped as never asking for directions? Wandering indeed. Can't find ass with both hands.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:47 am |
  15. kerrycoates

    I didn't take it like he was "shrugging off adultery". The woman wanted to know how to get over it and how to forgive him and Pat was telling her how to solve the problem from ever happening again. Adultery is grounds for divorce according to Scripture but if the woman chooses to forgive her husband then after that she cannot divorce him for it (after the forgiveness). So she doesn't want to divorce him, she wants to forgive him but she said it was difficult for her and was asking, basically, for his help. Pat understands that, according to Scripture, men are men and women are women in that we sin - all of us - and since her choice was to forgive then why should he focus on the adultery, but rather he should focus on the solution and how to re-start their marriage. To him, this was most important and, according to Scripture, God PREFERS that the woman forgives him and does not judge him. Pat wasn't going to condemn the man or be negative about the adultery when the woman was struggling with her forgiveness to begin with. If he had made a big deal out of how wrong adultery is, then it would have made it even more difficult for her to forgive because that would support how wrong the husband was - she didn't need to hear that, instead she needed, and wanted, a solution to save her marriage.

    I think CBN and all those other self-righteous Christian leaders need to give up their tunnel vision. Also, adultery is grounds for shunning but if the adulterer shows remorse and asks for forgiveness then he will not be shunned. I am just telling you what the Scriptures say. My problem with the human element in religion is the judgement of others not based on Scripture. That is, after all, why they attend Church is to become more familiar with Scripture and how to live a more Godly life, not to learn how to judge people which is what most religious leaders teach.

    I am with Pat Robertson even though I do not believe in his version of religion - HE responded according to Scripture, not according to the human element of judgment within the church...

    I never used to judge people - I always gave them the benefit of the doubt - until I started studying religion. That is when I left religion - when I realized I was becoming judgmental - not going according to Scripture but becoming the same as all the other human elements there. It has been a struggle for me to stop that behavior and to quit being like those other religious leaders. I liked myself better before. HOWEVER, I CAN recognize evil when I see evil. There is a difference between being "human" and being "evil".

    May 17, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • faith

      u r killin me dodo

      May 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • dodo

      softly, faith... softly

      May 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • keb carerra

      I have not laughed so hard in a long time , thanks that was great.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Name*crossbreed

      He couldve just told her to spend more time in prayer and let God do the work in her heart to forgive ...

      May 18, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • snowboarder

      that is a big bunch of crazy bs.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:35 am |
  16. giumks

    No it is NOT OK for the man to be unfaithful any more that it is OK for the woman to be unfaithful. Isn't there something in the 10 commandments that is against this????.....hummmmm???? He needs to uphold the truth not matter how hurtful or who is hurt by it. Bottom line, he shouldn't stray if he is married. That goes for the wife also.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
  17. Alex

    Why does anyone listen to that old fool?

    May 17, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
  18. albie

    Christians need to be stopped, they are stunting the growth of this country and the world - what a bunch of hypocritical, hate mongering, self righteous dolts

    May 17, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Athy

      How we do it?

      May 17, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • Austin

      keep your hands in your own pockets and do your own thing without us then.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • FrkIt

      We stop them by shouting them out as they have done to us in the past.

      Quiet no longer

      May 17, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • mcrunner34

      Yes, the Christians are making this world and unlivable place right World Vision? Sojourners? AWAA? CWA? Nightline? Yeah...those Christians, the world should do away with them!

      May 17, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  19. FrkIt

    The conservatives want to protect us, with their military and police, how about locking up the real crazies???

    May 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Whatever

      Won't happen. They'd have to lock themselves up.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:21 am |
  20. Homer10

    OK, Pat, so if the guy cheats it's not that bad. What if the wife cheats? Is it still not that bad?

    May 17, 2013 at 11:34 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.