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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. ronjayaz

    Xianity is getting so boring that the leaders R now supporting what was a terrible no-no.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:34 am |
  2. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    Jesus never actually said he believed in God. In fact, if you read the Bible you will learn that Jesus actually believed in what he called, "The Divine".

    What does this mean? Jesus, while inarticulate and a bit clumsy in general, had an excellent grasp of the fundamentals of what the Native Americans call, "Mother Earth" and what it is to be a "Human Being".

    How do we know this?

    Look at the teachings of Jesus in the Gnostic literature that relates to being reborn as a Snake, a Lizard, and a Spider. Why did Jesus feel he was reincarnated; and why these animals and insects? That is easy if you read the Gospel of Mary.

    Mary had many pet names for her lover and among them were Snake, Lizard, and Spider. Snake and Lizard I can understand, but the passages relative to Spider are less clear.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:28 am |
    • FrkIt

      For fks sake, Jesus claimed he was god

      May 18, 2013 at 1:38 am |
  3. ninja

    SOUNDS LIKE A FOOL
    AS USUAL TO ME

    May 18, 2013 at 1:27 am |
  4. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    The evidence would suggest that Judas, Mary, Jesus and others spent a great deal of their down time reflecting on the spiritual dichotomy of the soul vs. the physical and how that relates to the teachings of God.

    Why did they do this? Jesus was attracted to Buddhism and often rested his decisions on the non-bias imaginings of one who would make sacrifice in this life only to be reborn in the next.

    In short, Jesus was a Jew by birth, but not by practice. He taught his own flavor of Buddhism and his closest disciples, Judas and Mary for example, were quite sure he was a snake in a previous life.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • FrkIt

      For fks sake, with all due respect, what proof is there that Jesus ever existed in the first place?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      Jesus was quite real, and quite human. Even Timothy and Philip knew the true nature of Christ, as evidenced in this passage from the Gospel of Philip, "...and our Lord came unto me and witnessed as I behaved without intimidation."

      Scholars believe this is evidence of group sexual activity, common place at this time in history among men afield.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • FrkIt

      Doc, ur makin this sheet up

      May 18, 2013 at 1:26 am |
    • faith

      "FrkIt
      For fks sake, with all due respect, what proof is there that Jesus ever existed in the first place?"

      that's the problem, bucko. none. not a stich. u'd b better off spending ur x elsewhere

      May 18, 2013 at 2:37 am |
    • faith

      yea. y don't u move along son. there taint nothin here 4 u. bye bye

      sambo the rectum slime is lookin 2 hook up. mayb she'l go wit yas.

      write when u find gainful employment. take care now ya here! bye bye

      May 18, 2013 at 2:47 am |
  5. FrkIt

    He looks
    At your daughters
    And knows death

    May 18, 2013 at 1:13 am |
  6. MilitaryAF

    Robertson is a right-wing hick and nothing more. He probably took a 2 year course at Bible-Thumper U for his accreditation as a 'minister'. He and people like him are responsible for how screwed up the GOP has become.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • Thomas

      And people like Obama and Bill Clinton are responsible for screwing up the DEM party, what's your point?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • Observer

      Thomas,

      Is that the same Bill Clinton who had one of the highest final approval ratings in the poll's history?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:13 am |
  7. Theonly1

    He is in the Illuminati. Do a Google search with Illuminati and his name and look at his hand signs. He knows what he's doing don't be fooled. But he will have to answer the Judge when it's all over, so I'm not at all concerned. But this is sad.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • AB Negative

      lol

      May 18, 2013 at 1:03 am |
    • snowboarder

      that is just plain crazy

      May 18, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • what

      Can't you just dislike him for reasons that aren't completely insane and made up? He offers plenty of justification on account of what an awful person he is and what awful things he says; do you really need to take crazy pills and rant like an idiot about the Illuminati?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:13 am |
  8. Travis

    Can we all just agree that we need to stop listening to anything Pat Robertson says? If you want to admire him for being a man of faith, fine. If you want to acknowledge that he's probably a decent man who loves his friends and family, fine. Even if you want to say that these comments are coming from an old man who's mind isn't what it used to be, fine (albeit a little naive). But the simple truth is that this man is the founder of a television network that has had to rely on viewership from a very specific part of our population. That part of our population not only believes in devil-worshiping Haitians and divinely-inspired natural disasters, but they want to hear famous people talking about it on TV to legitimize their otherwise crazy beliefs. Pat Robertson might actually believe in the things he says publicly, or he may not...it doesn't matter. The point is that his viewers – the people he depends on for his livelihood – want to hear him say it. He's working the system by playing to the ignorance of the masses, but he's hardly the first person to do that.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • AB Negative

      He is my favorite comedian. Love that guy!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:02 am |
  9. AB Negative

    If you stretch the skin back just enough you can see where the lies are kept. Not many lies, but one can mix and match to suit the skinly suit

    The really good stuff is kept here but you are not allowed to enjoy that part. That is for tomorrow.
    That is for never ever and that is tomorrow so knives and forks Up! Heads Up!

    You sir are asked to leave. It the nature of things here so please don’t drone on about your reservation.
    All in due time and with the right socks

    The tender cheek once in a life once in life once in a life once in a life

    May 18, 2013 at 12:52 am |
    • snowboarder

      that sounds just plain crazy

      May 18, 2013 at 1:10 am |
    • AB Negative

      The tender cheek is all too real and rare.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:13 am |
  10. FrkIt

    Seems to me, our dear Christians do seem to love to hate...

    May 18, 2013 at 12:51 am |
  11. brian

    " We know that prayers do not work."

    Sometimes I wonder if religion causes Alzheimer's disease. All of the Alzheimer's patients I have seen were hard core church ladies.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • required

      I love praying to God, he's the best ever.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:54 am |
    • Theonly1

      He is in the Illuminati. Do a Google search with Illuminati and his name and look at his hand signs. He knows what he's doing don't be fooled. But he will have to answer the Judge when it's all over, so I'm not at all concerned. But this is sad.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:02 am |
  12. Colli T

    Things I think you all need to read. Everyone will take different meanings away from them, I'm sure. I'm only giving you the word though.

    "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." – John 8:7

    "When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, 'Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?" She said, 'No man, Lord.' And Jesus said unto her, 'Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more."

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life." – John 3:16

    May 18, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • FrkIt

      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

      May 18, 2013 at 12:40 am |
    • Colin

      There is only one problem with the story of Jesus and the Adultress – it never happened. The story is a forgery that was added to the Gospel of John by an unknown person hundreds of years after the Gospel of John was originally written.

      We know this because the earliest surviving versions of the Gospel of John don’t include it. The tale does not start to make its way into copies of John until the Middle Ages, well after the original Gospel of John was written and no Catholic Church priest or elder even mentions the story until the Twelfth Century, a full millennium after it was supposedly written!!

      None of the other three canonical gospels contain the story and, more importantly, when one reads the Gospel of John, the parts immediately before and after the story are flowing and are clearly interrupted by the story. More tellingly to a trained eye, the style in which the story is written in the original Greek is vastly different to the style in which the rest of the Gospel of John is written. The passage uses many words and phrases that appear nowhere else in that gospel. It is as though a Shakespearean soliloquy were suddenly interrupted by a passage from Franz Kafka.

      Biblical scholars are in almost unanimous agreement that the story has been parachuted into the pre-existing text of John by a later unknown interloper some centuries after it was originally written.

      That said, it's a great story. But, as with 99% of the Bible it is just that – a story.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • FrkIt

      T, Colin has got you

      May 18, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • pwnd alert

      You just got Colinated!!!

      May 18, 2013 at 12:51 am |
    • hcbresson

      Yeah you're choosing the "word" so in essence you're tailoring your message.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:56 am |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      I have spent a great deal of my professional life in the study of the Gnostic Gospels. As it turns out, the majority of “prophets” contributing to these scriptures was quite illiterate and most likely drew pictures to explain their wisdom.

      Needless to say, transcribing pictographs to verse was a tough task for the monks in those early centuries.

      Moreover, Jesus was the worst of the lot. This poor man could not even draw stick figures in the sand and apparently could not be trusted with anything sharp enough to draw with. As the story goes, Jesus would have to play a primitive form of "charades" while his scribes tried to guess his meaning.

      Most scholars agree that this is why these books were omitted from the Holy Bible.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:58 am |
    • FrkIt

      Dr. Donnel Johnson
      I have spent a great deal of my professional life in the study of the Gnostic Gospels. As it turns out, the majority of “prophets” contributing to these scriptures was quite illiterate and most likely drew pictures to explain their wisdom.

      Needless to say, transcribing pictographs to verse was a tough task for the monks in those early centuries.

      Moreover, Jesus was the worst of the lot. This poor man could not even draw stick figures in the sand and apparently could not be trusted with anything sharp enough to draw with. As the story goes, Jesus would have to play a primitive form of "charades" while his scribes tried to guess his meaning.

      Most scholars agree that this is why these books were omitted from the Holy Bible.

      Ouch

      May 18, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • snowboarder

      that is a whole log of hooey!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:12 am |
  13. James Berry

    I only hope John Stewart covers this story, it will be hilarious. Christian televangelism is one of the best business scams, Mr. Robertson et all are proof. Believing in a God who made everything from nothing but not understanding science of evolution is baffling.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • Roger that

      It's hilarious before Jon gets ahold of it.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  14. FrkIt

    God...
    Apparently He needs us

    May 18, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • Ken

      If everyone stops worshipping him then he would stop being a god, even if he is real, right? One needs worshippers in order to be a god. Before he supposedly made his own, God was just a powerful being, and not a god.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:41 am |
  15. Ruth C

    Pats a devil

    May 18, 2013 at 12:33 am |
  16. Colin

    In all fairness, it truly is remarkable how much faith people put in ancient Palestinian mythology. It survives into the 21st Century!! If we were ever visited by an alien civilization, I’m sure they would consider this our greatest paradox. To wit:

    1. We know the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and that life gradually evolved and diversified over this period of time through a process of abiogenises followed by evolution. The evidence is overwhelming, yet most of the human race still have to invoke some hokey ancient sky-fairy to get the whole thing started. Some are still that fvcking ignorant that they think it all began 10,000 years ago and involved a talking snake!!

    2. We know that prayers do not work. Study after study demonstrates this and never in all of history has there ever been a case of a prayer being answered in circu.mstances where it is validated that the prayer made the difference. Yet millions of humans think that they can close their eyes and think silent thoughts like, “please God help me pass my exam tomorrow,” and the being that created the entire cosmos and its billions of galaxies is somehow monitoring their thoughts (or “hearing their prayers,” if one prefers a more euphemistic expression) and will intervene to alter what would otherwise be the course of human history in small ways to answer their prayer.

    3. Miracles are still regularly proclaimed. Every time a tornado or other natural catastrophe strikes, the survivors will attribute their good fortune to supervising magic beings who took special care of them. Never once has a miracle been validated.

    4. After death “experiences” sell like hot cakes to a gullible public. Ghosts, gods, “moving toward a light,” trips to heaven and other utter garbage are still the mainstream belief of millions. In all of history, zero people have returned from the grave (unless one believes a certain, well-known piece of Palestinian mythology from 2,000 years ago). 100,000,000,000 have died – zero have returned. Yet we still insist on pretending that we somehow survive our own physical deaths.

    If an alien civilization ever did visit, they would probably sum us up as “they have potential, but are still haunted by their superst.itions from a bygone era. Check back in 500 years.”

    May 18, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • required

      1. The earth is as old as God made it to be.
      2. Prayers to God work great.
      3. Miracles from God work great too.
      4. Physical bodies die, yes, but your spirit does not.

      The net result is: you best find God and hurry, believe Jesus died for your sins and repent of your sins, or you're doomed.

      Note: I'm talking to any believers reading this, as this is a belief blog where believers talk about belief as atheists show their ignorance of God.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • snowboarder

      required, that is just plain BS. there is no reason to believe it at all.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:40 am |
    • required

      I was thinking the same thing about what Colin said. He has no clue.

      May 18, 2013 at 2:04 am |
  17. Moderatecynic

    North America is full of apostate Christian leaders like Pat Robertson who have built an entire career on perverting Jesus' teachings. From his promotion of the so called "prosperity gospel" to these outrageous statements, Robertson's beliefs are an affront to a true biblical faith. Those who support him are complicit in promoting heresy. The true gospel is found in passages such as Matthew 5-7. Read Jesus' words and judge for yourself if Robertson is a true follower of His or just a charlatan. I think that the answer is obvious. Oh, and incidentally, this same passage makes it clear that adultery (and murder–see comments on Chavez) is a huge deal to Christ. There is never a biblical excuse for any sin. A true Christian would know that.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  18. Whatever

    There's enough "cheese" in Pat Robertson's smile to feed a third world country.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:24 am |
  19. Observer

    faith,

    Maybe you have eye problems and missed this once again:

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

    May 18, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  20. broken_mirror

    This dude is a pathetic excuse. He told the woman basically it wasn't a big deal her husband cheated then told people Haiti is responsible for a natural disaster. Christianity at it's best.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:22 am |
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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.