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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. Tom

    The right wing is loaded, I mean loaded, with "leaders" that will say anything whether it is true or not true, whether its makes sense or doesn't, whether it is moral or not. Just a bunch of self centered, egotistical windbags trying to maintain or grab for power. Very few responsible leaders.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:50 am |
  2. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Ole Pat just mimicks his hero Mitt the twit. Insert foot into mouth and let spokesperson explain. Not good.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:37 am |
  3. veep

    The Religious leaders in this country are idiots.

    own it.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:22 am |
    • Robert

      Do you know the difference between religious leaders and spiritual leaders? If not, then you of this world. Let me know if you need further understanding.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:35 am |
    • Fladabosco

      Then there are some pretty rich idiots out there. Look at what Billy Graham (Matthew 19:20) has amassed; he's worth over $25 million. Robbertson himself is worth at least $200 million.

      I wish I was that stupid.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:30 am |
  4. MightyMoo

    I like how he blames it on the women and tells them to shape up their act to keep their hubby from cheating. These are the people that want more influence over government.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:01 am |
    • HotAirAce

      They are still living in the 1950's – or maybe the 50's. . .

      May 18, 2013 at 6:42 am |
  5. Reality

    “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today
    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    May 18, 2013 at 5:54 am |
    • o

      You are the confusion stopping others from finding God

      May 18, 2013 at 6:36 am |
    • reality

      no confusion copy paste bull sh it

      May 18, 2013 at 6:39 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Too bad the previous two posters can't argue with the point – cult membership is primarily a function of birth location, not intelligence.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:45 am |
    • .

      Your opinion isn't worth dog sh it hot air ass hole

      May 18, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Reality

      And summarizing with a prayer:

      The Apostles'/Agnostics’ Creed 2013: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
      and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (references used are available upon request)

      May 18, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  6. Sane Person

    Ahh Christians and thier wonderful way to minimize thier failings and maximize thier perceived failings of others...

    May 18, 2013 at 5:22 am |
  7. steve

    His organization has to cover his ass every time he opens his mouth. This is what "god" turns you into.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:22 am |
  8. allenwoll

    .
    Pat has a finely crafted, upholstered (with asbestos, too) maxicell withing for him down below there - One of a few with a fine view over gorgeous Lake Damnation. . Rumor has it that it was Made in China, but in a substantial building.
    .
    Enjoy, Pat. . Oh, sorry, I am broke today !
    .

    May 18, 2013 at 5:16 am |
  9. BD70

    So if the wife cheats on her husband can the same logic be applied? After all a woman is a woman. Just focus on making things nice for her and all will be well.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:06 am |
  10. Alison Tschains

    Judas and Jesus were butt buddies, and Jesus talked Judas into setting him up to be a big martyr for his cause. Just accept it.

    May 18, 2013 at 3:51 am |
    • Alison Tschains

      I'm the man in the box
      Buried in my shit
      Won't you come and save me, save me

      Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
      Jesus Christ, deny your maker
      He who tries, will be wasted
      Feed my eyes now you've sewn them shut

      I'm the dog who gets beat
      Shove my nose in shit
      Won't you come and save me, save me

      Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
      Jesus Christ, deny your maker
      He who tries, will be wasted
      Feed my eyes now you've sewn them shut

      May 18, 2013 at 3:54 am |
    • Back the fvck up

      I'm sorry to say they play that song too often on the radio here. Do some instrumental lyrics instead. Those are always good.

      May 18, 2013 at 4:29 am |
  11. Mike

    Please! This hypocrisy does not surprise any of us

    May 18, 2013 at 3:42 am |
  12. Send me money or God will take me

    Good on you Pat! G-d knows infidelity is not a sin as long as you contribute to your cause. I congratulate you on being able to use mass media to gather money to do G-ds work and enrich yourself in the process. Perhaps in a just and moral universe you will take a tour of hell.

    May 18, 2013 at 3:28 am |
  13. stowyle

    You know, there are so many ways I could shred your argument Mr Johnson. You are a liar of the worst degree, but I've found that once the ignorant start rattling the rocks in his head, all you can really do is sit back and watch in disbelief as they eat their own bull squat. You are in reality no better than Pat Robertson, spreading hatred through falsehoods. The proverbial "empty can" as they say. Its sad really, thus I'm going to sit this one out. Maybe some of the mindless sheep posting on here will grow a braincell or two, and actually look up some of the crap your preaching. I highly doubt it though, ignorance is bliss after all, right?

    May 18, 2013 at 3:23 am |
    • Shane

      You mean Mr. Robertson, right?!

      May 18, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • stowyle

      No was posting to a third party forum and the comment ended up here. The wonders of modern technology...

      May 18, 2013 at 3:47 am |
    • Back the fvck up

      "I pulled the trigger and for some reason the gun went off."
      You are the nut behind the wheel, here. Maybe you should trade that junk for something you can't fvck up. Like a rock.

      May 18, 2013 at 4:26 am |
  14. And there shall be False Prophets

    and the sheep shall follow them to perdition's fire and eternal torment.

    In my opinion, that's not harsh enough by half.

    May 18, 2013 at 3:13 am |
    • Shane

      Pat Robertson is a hypocritical tool. You can't pick and choose your beliefs out of the bible like some take-out menu. Either you believe in the book of fables or you don't. He's defending cheating because he's probably cheated himself. What an @hole this guy is.

      May 18, 2013 at 3:25 am |
  15. pat is a cool cat

    Basically he is more progressive than the libs bashing him, kind of funny.

    May 18, 2013 at 3:13 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @pat is a cool cat

      " Basically he is more 'progressive' than the libs bashing him "

      Curious... how so ?

      Peace...

      May 18, 2013 at 3:21 am |
  16. therealpeace2all

    FROM THE ARTICLE:

    " 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."

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    And old Pat's comments were taken out of "context" how specifically on this one??

    Regards,

    Peace...

    May 18, 2013 at 3:12 am |
    • Back the fvck up

      I can't believe you actually quoted the article. What are you, a nut?

      May 18, 2013 at 4:18 am |
  17. concerningTruth

    Judge not! if a man cheats its between him and God!

    May 18, 2013 at 3:04 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @concerningTruth

      Well... the whole god issue is still unverified at this point. However, if a man cheats, we'd probably have to agree that it 'is' between he and his wife in there somewhere, yes?

      Peace...

      May 18, 2013 at 3:14 am |
    • if a straight man cheating is between him and god - then

      if a straight man cheating is between him and god – then so is my sticking my weinerschnitzel into my husband's man tunnel of love.

      You hypocrites can't have it both ways.

      May 18, 2013 at 3:17 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @if a straight man cheating is between him and god – then

      LOL !!! 😀

      Peace...

      May 18, 2013 at 3:19 am |
  18. Lizard Lance

    Pat Robertson is a comic behind the desk. No sense in taking anything spewn from his mouth should be taken seriously.

    May 18, 2013 at 2:55 am |
  19. Anyone listening

    Pat's comments were taken out of context in my opinion. He was answering a lady struggling with how to forgive. He is right, focus on the good things in her husband until that is what you see the most. If everyone got divorced because of adultery, the kids would suffer the most. Most times adultery is out of lust and not love but that is a hard thing to understand for women. The husband usually loves his wife very much but Pat is right, the snares are out there and it IS every man's battle so to speak. I'm a christian and I have no problem with the way Pat Robertson puts it out there...he makes me laugh at times but over all he is trying to put some common sense into it.

    May 18, 2013 at 2:40 am |
    • Butters

      "Most times adultery is out of lust and not love but that is a hard thing to understand for women"
      So only men experience lust?

      Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      May 18, 2013 at 2:48 am |
    • LJ

      I agree with you. Pat did not quote scripture or give a big lecture about redemption, he gave common sense advice. By saying "He's a man. OK." is basically reminding her that she didn't marry Jesus and that human beings make mistakes and sin, by design. If she wants to forgive her husband, which is apparently why she called in, then the steps that Pat told her are a good start. I took his message as, "show your husband grace, although he has made a terrible mistake, show him grace by loving him and providing a home for him greater than what his actions say he deserves, just like God does for us everyday". This probably would have been taken a little bit better but for his loyal viewers he shouldn't have to dumb the message down every time, people know his stances on things.

      For the article to point out 4 gaffes out of his extremely long career is sort of silly, I am not a viewer of Pat's, but I imagine if he is saying things like these then his show consists of a lot of improvised material, in which, politicians have made worse mistakes in much shorter careers.

      May 18, 2013 at 3:15 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Anyone listening

      You Said: " Pat's comments were taken out of context in my opinion."

      Possibly so... however he needs to update his understanding about women and men a bit, don't ya' think ?

      Peace...

      May 18, 2013 at 3:17 am |
    • Alison Tschains

      Nice try but you're FULL OF SHIT.

      May 18, 2013 at 3:48 am |
  20. FrkIt

    nite

    May 18, 2013 at 2:34 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.