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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. Only In America

    Religious crazies like Robertson, Louis farrakhan or hip hop artists can become successful.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  2. norelegion

    All human miseries are from relegion.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  3. Grafted Olive Branch

    If asked the question point blank, Robertson would say that Adultery is wrong.

    However; his advice was to the wife of a man who already crossed that line. Now consider Pat’s comments in light of that woman’s desire to remain married. After all, she was asking Robertson’s advice.

    First thing required would be for the woman to forgive the man’s weakness and failure to restrain himself from temptation. Forgiveness may be helped by the understanding of man’s basic weaknesses – the attractiveness of woman – as the point of the matter is.

    The next thing would be for the woman to make the man’s home life so pleasant so as to diminish the risk of further temptation. This does not excuse the man in any way for his failure. This humble approach by the woman would be a crown to her glory. This would take a spiritually STRONG woman.

    This appears to me to be what Robertson was -trying- to say.

    However; I understand that there are those who love to beat up on Robertson and what he represents at every chance they get. So be it. Pat can handle it.

    Thank you Pat for your long years of service and teaching.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " The next thing would be for the woman to make the man’s home life so pleasant so as to diminish the risk of further temptation. "
      Nonsense. Nothing more than a continuance of the blame-the-victim mentality. Robertson, and you, are flat wrong.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • mary

      No sense in trying to sugar-coat it. Robertson is a money-grubbing bigot. The sooner his ilk are gone, the better.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Midwest rail

      Do you think woman has no culpability in a marriage gone bad?

      May 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • krj9

      You have got to be kidding. I wonder if you would think that way if it happened to be your wife that cheated. Mind boggling. I think good old Pat has had a few flings on the side and is saying if the wife had made it better for him it never would have happened. Therefore justifying his own failures. Good old Pat is waked. End of story

      May 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • PaulB

      Grafted Olive Branch
      "If asked the question point blank, Robertson would say that Adultery is wrong."
      It's like a lot of people I know, including Christians. They will agree, for example, that speed limits are important, or that talking and texting is dangerous, but plenty of them squeal out of the church parking lot with their thumbs working their phones.

      That att.itude seem to be: With God, all can be forgiven, so why restrain yourself? Cheat on your wife and you know that your pastor will be able to talk her into forgiving you, because forgiveness is the Christian thing to do, again and again.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • midwest rail

      " Do you think woman has no culpability in a marriage gone bad? "
      Did she cheat ? What would be your justification for cheating ? Merely because you wish to defend the indefensible, you can spin this til you're blue in the face. Robertson, and you, are simply wrong.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      midwest: Grafted told the story last night of how his brother fooled around on his wife but had a valid reason-she gained weight and so he was no longer attracted to her. He further stated that had she of forgave him the marriage would have been saved. When confronted with supporting adultery he claims he doesn't but yet saying his brother has a valid excuse says different. Chrsitard hypocrisy at work.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • The real Tom

      GOB, you are a fvcking idiot. The woman is NOT the culprit in this scenario. You really are beyond belief. Unless you know for a fact that she cheated, NO she does not bear equal responsibility for her husband's cheating. What a god damn ass you are.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
    • David Myers

      "Thank you Pat" for your long history of bigotry, hate, and self-serving hypocrisy! When you show up in hell and wander why, take a long hard look at your life long term of such acts and thoughts.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "The next thing would be for the woman to make the man’s home life so pleasant so as to diminish the risk of further temptation."

      You dolt, do you not grasp the implication? What Robertson is implying is that the man had an excuse for cheating because his wife didn't do enough to make home perfect for him! What presumption on his, and your, part. You seem to be so dim that you think men don't cheat unless their wives don't make enough effort to please them, as if that were their sole purpose on earth. You and your idol Pat seem to be under the misapprehension that people only cheat on their spouses if their spouses are failing them in some way. You must live under a rock.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  4. grama

    grama

    Ungodly people like him make a mockery of all that is good and right. Yes, evil, greedy phonies make merchandise of calling themselves a Christian! CBN needs to cancel his program or at least broadcast a large print disclaimer saying, ""The following program is fiction. Any similarities between the Evangelist and a genuine, committed Christian are coincidental."

    May 18, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      grama

      Remember Christ’s teaching about mercy? Maybe you should not judge Robertson’s heart as to whether he is a genuine committed Christian or not.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Jesus

      We're all ungodly, you old, decrepit coot.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Maybe you should not judge Robertson’s heart as to whether he is a genuine committed Christian or not."

      Maybe you should not judge your ex-sister-in-law then ass-hole! Robertson is a delusional old freak.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  5. Jules

    I heard his quote, of course he was condoning adultry. When you say it is inevitable, you are condoning it. Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultry – how can anyone regard this man as a Christian leader is beyond me. Send me your seed money and miricles will happen. Right – he will make your money disappear.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      "Inevitable" is NOT the word Pat used. I believe he used the words "men tend to wander". I have struggled with my wandering eyes for half a century. I’ve been married for over 35 years. The attractiveness of woman to man is a powerful force of nature. No excuse being offered here. Just stating natural fact.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Grafted: My sympathies to your wife, she deserves better than anyone who would blame the woman for the mistakes of her cheating ass husband.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  6. Frank

    Pat Robinson is not a follower of Our Lord he is a guy with a Jesus hustle.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Yea...another No True Scotsman argument...weak

      May 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Who?

      Is that Mrs. Robinson's husband?

      May 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  7. To Pat from Americans for Equality & Justice

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

    May 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Heretic

      Haha that clip is for Christians too!

      May 18, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  8. gager

    Wow, this guy truly believes there's a god...that's why he is so mucked up.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  9. bburke420

    Im so sick and tired of the hypocrisy and double standards of modern religion. If jesus does return to earth hes only coming to vacation. Collect his fees from hollywood using his image and to smack George Bush Jr. for telling people they talk and thats how he got his vision for our county. See, even jesus doesnt want to be associated with the GOP. Also, the flying spaghetti monster grows Gods weed. Enjoy

    May 18, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  10. Michael

    Let's see, Pat, if you're gay, even though it can only be referenced 5 or 6 times in our current translations and actually isn't condemned at all in the original text, you're going straight down to the eternal fire, no way back, however if you're committing adultery, a sin condemned hundreds and hundreds of times, a sin so severe it made it to the Top Ten list, hey, you know, it's just a man being a man so we should just ignore it. What Pat? You didn't tell the woman to try to save her husband from the eternal fire because of his adultery?

    Wow, I hated him before but it will be a righteous, joyous day when he finally kicks the bucket.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  11. bburke420

    This guy is probably the most honest christian in this country.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      "honest christian"...good one.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • bburke420

      @Richard Cranium hahaha exactly

      May 18, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Michael

      What???? Wow, he's the prime example of what's wrong with today's so-called Christians, cherry picking scripture to fit his own agenda.

      It's an embarrassment to call yourself a Christian these days.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Observer

      So a world-class HYPOCRITE is the most honest Christian in the country.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • bburke420

      @Michael its called sarcasm. Jesus, get a sense of humor

      May 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Tomcom

      He's just an idiot. It's that simple!

      May 18, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • Livilla

      Jesus says you are a bleached bone

      May 18, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  12. Malefique

    He is a vile, disgusting pigman.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
  13. Jesus

    Ye were formed from and of the vile biological fluids which were joined to make you.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  14. Karloff

    CBN–the Christian Bonehead Network

    May 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • gale

      I am a Christian and I am not a bonehead but I agree this man needs to just retire and keep his mouth shut. He does not share the same values or ideas that I have.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  15. ronny

    he needs to retire.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  16. JD

    Please forgive Pat for what he says... After all he is just a Man and knows not what he says!

    May 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Jesus

      Seek not, lest ye find!

      So spaketh the heathen prince.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • bburke420

      Seems to me the man has a firm grasp and understanding of the english language therefore does in fact KNOW WHAT HE IS SAYING. jesus christ your an idiot

      May 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Calling someone an idiot while you cannot figure out what form of you're to use is well...ah you'll never understand.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • bburke420

      @Richard Cranium Im typing on a phone at work. But hey if my beliefs were total BS i'd be a grammar nazi also

      May 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      It was just the irony that struck me more then the occasional typo...pobody's nerfect.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • grama

      Hogwash! Ungodly people like him make a mockery of all that is good and right. Yes, evil, greedy phonies make merchandise of calling themselves a Christian! CBN needs to cancel his program or at least broadcast a large print disclaimer saying, ""The following program is fiction. Any similarities between the Evangelist and a genuine, committed Christian are coincidental."

      May 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      grama
      That would just be distinguishing between two fictions.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  17. lionlylamb

    Proof that Gods exist? Evolution is Godly proof! God's kingdom domains are of Life's Inner Chasms! God did establish the kingdom domains (our bodies) to be of evolutionary cellular orders. The final branching of this world's evolutionary trees of cellular cosmologies was for the final placement of mankind. As to just exactly how things evolve, it is with God's brethren who live deeply within all Celestial Life’s biology, who make a tweaking of celestial life's mechanized physiologies to better be served by Celestial Life for its’ Inner Hosts' sakes.

    May 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Pointless gibberish.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Huh?

      That's funny...he doesn't look gibberish.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Observer

      Yep. Still no proof.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Richard Cranium,

      Comprehensions are sometimes slow to be had. Maybe before this year ends, you might be comprehensive enough to fathom the "Spatial Relatives of the 3 Cosmologic Relationships".

      May 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I might be "comprehensive enough"? Even when you try to speak english it doesn't come across in english.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Observer,

      I can only verse my perceptive viewpoints. I need not prove them. Unlike you, I am open to suggestions debunking my perceptivities. What's that? You have no views to debunk me and my thoughts or do you? Show me my wrongs if you will.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Richard Cranium,

      What's that? Your insatiable deprecating is really quite boring.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Observer

      "I can only verse my perceptive viewpoints. I need not prove them. Unlike you, I am open to suggestions debunking my perceptivities. What's that? You have no views to debunk me and my thoughts or do you? Show me my wrongs if you will."

      If you or anyone can offer ANY PROOF, I would gladly accept it. The problem is that neither you nor atheists have PROOF.

      There are ZERO ARGUMENTS for "proof" of God that couldn't also apply to some committee of zombies creating the world.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Observer,

      Science has itself, "zero' proofs as yet regarding the 3 spatial confines of cosmological relationships and yet there they are! One being the atomic cosmology and the second being the celestial cosmology and a third being of cellular cosmologies. I'm truly sorry that science has yet to consider these three spatial relationships of cosmologic orders. And yet here they are!

      May 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      All of the cosmological models are as yet theoretical. Do you have a point?

      May 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Richard Cranium,

      As with science the theoretical is based upon rhetorical postulations. The three cosmologies of spatial relationships as I made mention of seem rather simplistic to me at least. Atoms were first born out of the plasma from the big bang. Since then, there seems to have been a congealing order of the atoms to bring forth celestial structures such as stars, moons and planets. In time, living atomic structures came forth and finally the atomic structures of mankind came into being. Without cosmological order there would nothing but chaos.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "rhetorical postulations"

      Another made-up term that is utterly meaningless.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Again...what's your point? You've just restated part of chaos theory. More theoretical rhetoric, if you are trying to make a point, make it.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:02 am |
  18. Heretic

    Crack that whip!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkpL3vgTR50&w=640&h=360]

    May 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • .

      sad when some moron has to use utube to do its thinking for it what a gutless loser

      May 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Jesus

      If a problem comes along...

      May 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Heretic

      You must whip it!

      May 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • JD

      You will have to forgive Pat and what he says. After all he is just a man!

      May 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  19. faith

    corrie ten boom was a wonderful lady

    May 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • ...

      She was a fat bag of pig sht

      May 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • KellyinCA

      Indeed, she was, as was the rest of her family. While not exactly relevant to this article, it's nice to think of Christians who lived fully in their faith.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Proven
    Powerful

    May 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Jiminy Cricket

      Wishing on a star has the same effect....just as proven...just as powerful.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Heretic

      Prayer is a waste of time. Take your meds.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • nope

      @jimminknees
      nope

      May 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • nope

      @hairy tick
      nope

      May 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer is the balm for the intellectually inferior.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • .

      stupid is as stupid does what kind of moron adopts Jesus as a name on an anonymous blog can you spell ass hole

      May 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Jesus

      Clearly, dottie, you could use a dose of your name in your post.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Huh?

      Sorry Jesus. Dot went through menopause so she doesn't get a period anymore.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Observer

      Prayer was useless for the school kids in Connecticut or the movie-goers in Aurora and other victims.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • bburke420

      lol then hopefully someone prays your ignorant ass doesnt have kids

      May 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • John

      And yet, you are still here. Great Deital dilemmas !!!!!!!!!!

      May 18, 2013 at 5:46 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.