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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. PaulB

    What Pat says does matter because, contrary to popular opinion, most Christians don't actually get their morals from the Bible, but from pastors like Pat telling them what to believe and claiming that it's biblical. Don't doubt that some of his diehard fans will take his advice in this as biblically sound because they trust him and are just too lazy to read the Bible for themselves.

    May 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • Wrong!

      Really? Not all Christians buddy follow the words of their Pastor over the bible. Whatever a Pastor says, as a Christian, if you are, you should go to the bible to make sure whatever someone like a Pastor says is backed up by the bible, GOD's Holy Word.

      2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

      May 18, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Observer

      Wrong!

      It's all pick-and-choose hypocrisy from the Bible. That's how so many Christians can pick on gays while ignoring the MUCH GREATER number of Christian adulterers who remarry. That's how so many Christians can pretend the Bible ever mentions abortion.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Wrong!

      Whatever...your comment is hypocrisy. Please turn to Jesus, the one and only one that can save you.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Observer

      Wrong!

      "Whatever...your comment is hypocrisy"

      What hypocrisy?

      May 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Wrong, it's always amusing to watch people like you fail to provide answers and yet continue to insist that you know what god will do.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Athy

      Wrong. I don't know what's wrong, but something is.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  2. yep

    christians and muslims are pretty strange people, delusional. They're so alike yet they hate each other.

    May 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Wrong!

      Hey Yep. Please tell me where in the bible it says that all Christians hate Muslims.....try really hard to look, and guess what, it does not. People like you give Christians a bad name. I hope and pray that one day the Holy Spirit moves in you and you come to the realization that you are a sinner and need a savior....that savior is Jesus Christ.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Heretic

      If jesus comes back hes going back on that cross.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
  3. AB Negative

    God hates you unless you love him and worship him.

    May 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Wrong!

      That is just bull. Why do you post something like that?

      May 18, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Observer

      Wrong!

      Could you send someone to hell for not loving you?

      May 18, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • AB Negative

      What is wrong with it? That is accurate based on Christianity.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • Anonymous

      God doesn't send people to hell. He just created it and allows some people to go there because of bad choices they've made.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:13 pm |

    • No, God is almost powerless to keep people from the hell He created. He did make one way for people to escape but not everyone takes it.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Observer

      "God is almost powerless to keep people from the hell He created"

      So much for the nonsense about God being all-powerful.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Blank, if you worship an omnipotent god, but he can't manage to destroy hell, how omnipotent is he? If he's merciful, but only if one believes in him, how truly merciful is he?

      May 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm |

    • He's a special needs God. Not really omni -anything. Not exactly merciful, but he'd be well-intentioned if only he were clever enough for it.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • Livilla

      Which god?

      May 18, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
    • Athy

      Unbelievable. How can anyone believe such nonsense? There is no fucking god! Never has been, never will be. Face it.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
  4. Lauren

    SorryCNN, but I just don't think there was any "misunderstanding" here at all. It was QUITE clear to me. What I do wonder - what if ALL of the pronouns were reversed here? Mr. Robertson, what do you say THEN? I'll bet it wouldn't be the same!!!

    May 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  5. AMERICANS FONDLE ISLAM

    The Hindu do too. Truth absolute.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • yep

      christian/muslim,, all the same. Can't wait for these people to finally evolve.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  6. trent

    Nothing more than an overzealous hypocrite who claims to be a Christian. I am a Christian and am embarrassed to have him as a brother in Christ

    May 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      trent, he is one of you.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I disagree. There are millions of Christians who are nothing like Pat and are equally embarrassed at his sort.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      All members of the dead jew zombie death vampire cannibal cult aka christianity ought to be embarrassed that they believe crap that has the same non-foundation as astrology.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I am sure you have good reasons for feeling that way, HAA. I simply don't share your aversion to all Christians or all believers.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  7. AB Negative

    Christianity – The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Heretic

      Sounds legit

      May 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  8. lionlylamb

    Far away from the maddening crowds of W h o r e d o m, I lay in waiting.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:43 pm |

    • (the hills have eyes)

      May 18, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You really hate women, don't you?

      May 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Mr. Lamb you crazy old fuck, how are you today?

      May 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Athy

      Where is whoredom?

      May 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • The real Tom

      LL, you really are a lunatic.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tommie,

      Me? Hate? Women? Hardly! I detest those who continue to w h o r e around and they know their continual w h o r I n g will lead to nothing good! Man or woman, their w h o r I n g actions speak volumes!

      May 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • Livilla

      You were commanded not to 'detest' or 'hate'. According to your own faith you are apostate. Enjoy that.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • The real Tom

      LL, you're a wackaloon whose posts are completely unintelligible. You don't have any business commenting on the lives of others, especially since you're hardly a saint.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Livilla,

      I am no longer in w h o r e d o m ' s clutches! Are you?

      May 18, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Why? Does that excuse you from following the commandment, LL? So you stopped abusing your brother and that means you are allowed to berate others and "detest" them? Where, exactly, did Jesus say that?

      May 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tommie,

      Though my life's past was flawed, I have long since turned away. The W h o r e d o m of mankind is fraught full the sensually detestable Acts that delve many into becoming w h o r I s h animals when we were created to be more than just animalisms of instinctual pleasures.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • The real Tom

      So you're saying, with all your malapropisms, that you have become judge and jury for everyone else because you've lost the ability to get it up?

      Good to know.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tommie,

      My past done deeds from my childhood actions are being paid. My brother and I have been living together ever since mother died. Brother has not had a job in many years. I support us and will do until he or I dies. I could care less if my brother does not work the rest of his life. I will support him and his alcohol addiction. For, I too was once an alcoholic but in September of 2009, I was free of the urges for drinking. My brother's alcoholism is yes due in part by my giving him drink and I cannot allow myself to hold his addiction against him. I love my brother and will die defending his life!

      May 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Yawn. You've told your tale of woe before, you loon. I don't give a sh!t what you say about your reformation. You aren't fit to judge anyone as a w h o r e. So shut your stupid pie hole.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tommie,

      My 'plumbing' is working just fine TYVM! Your desires to elongate into barbarisms of irregular 'dogberryism' seems to elate you. I'm glad to know you get your jollies from my word usages! 🙂 😦 🙂

      May 18, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You haven't had a woman in years, you lying sack of poop. Don't even bother pretending that you could get one now. You're a hypocrite, LL. You think you have some right to call others w h o r e s when you don't approve of what they do. You don't.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tommie,

      Where in any of my posts did I call anyone a 'w h o r e'? I speak about the world's w h o r e d o m ways and do not implicate anyone unless of course they feel they are being implicated. Are you Tommie feeling implicated?

      May 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You are such a lying sack, LL.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
    • The real Tom

      And now you're going to lie some more?

      You wonder why everyone laughs at you.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tommie,

      Just because my 'plumbing' works fine does not mean I w h o r e after a woman! At 58, my w h o r I n g years are now set behind me. My love is brotherly and yes I do so love my brother despite his alcohol addiction. What more might I want and have than my brother's love?

      May 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Knock it off, you hypocrite. You're not pulling the wool over anyone's eyes. You abused your brother, you're mentally unstable, and you have no business abjuring anyone else.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tommie,

      Why are you deflecting my questions? Do you Tommie feel implicated by my stance regarding this world's W h o r e d o m ways?

      May 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tommie,

      Your 'adjuration' is duly noted. I will never bow to you nor anyone who eviscerates my stance!

      May 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You can't read, much less write, you blind coot.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Vomiting up meaningless drivel like "w h o r e d o m ways" and "eviscerate my stance" just make you look even more loony, LL. You don't have a clue what you're talking about. I doubt you have the slightest inkling as to the meaning of the words you type–you just use them because you think they sound cool and smart.

      They don't.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Tommie,

      You are such an insolent stereotypical nuisance and cannot add one thing to measure with when it comes to portray Life to be said in your own perspectives!

      May 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "You are such an insolent stereotypical nuisance and cannot add one thing to measure with when it comes to portray Life to be said in your own perspectives!"

      Who had the IDIOT TRANSLATOR RING last? I'd like to use it to decipher the above dreck. Thanks in advance.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
    • Science

      LL.................what is it time for .................a nap ?

      A Nobel Prize with help from sea slug

      By Edythe McNamee and Jacque Wilson, CNN

      http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/14/health/lifeswork-eric-kandel-memory/index.html?hpt=hp_bn17

      May 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
  9. Willie

    Funny how our society makes adultery seem cool. We have shows that glorify adultery, cheating, swinging, and wife swapping. However a preacher says that adultery is OK, now everyone is outraged. Please! We are a nation of hypocrites! Either adultery is wrong or its not. According to the Bible, it is wrong. So we should all be outraged at adultery and stop glorifying it.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
  10. Hiram57

    Is it any wonder that Radical Christianity is losing members in droves ? People like Robertson have made Christianity a laughing-stock for too long, and the Mainstream is losing faith in them.
    Best he just retire, move into a Ward for Nutcases, and leave his Satanic babblings to his nurses (who will just ignore them for what they are... babblings).

    May 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      It has a way to go, but comparatively in last 50 years, they have changed, non white were not considered human by faith of Christianity, as it is today, in land of hindu atheism, criminal self center ism india. A hindu dark spot on human race.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
  11. ANON

    After all, my vicious posters; it's ONLY a man's opinion! Jeez, they call it ,"freedom of speech."

    May 18, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • PaulB

      And we have freedom to criticize that speech, so what are you complaining about actually?

      May 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
  12. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    True face of hindu atheism,criminal self center ism, 300 million human degraded below human level, untouchable, for just being of a dark skin, by faith of hinduism, racism. They need to have a look upon themselves, before attacking other faiths for minor infringements.

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

    May 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Your concern is touching.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • CHURCH OF ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Please join our community today and be blessed by GOD truth absolute.

      Our core beliefs:

      1. No goat urine in the coffee.
      2. CONSTITUTION is spelled CONSTI TUTION.
      3. Belief in the undefined "Absolute Truth" absolutely.
      4. Hindu people....well just don't.
      5. CAPS LOCK cures cancer.

      Bless you brothers and sisters!

      May 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTlTUTION

      Hey look, everybody. I can spell ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTlTUTION without a space in CONSTlTUTION.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • CHURCH OF ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      FAKE ISLAM YOU DO NOT FOLLOW OUR CORE BELIEFS! IT'S CONSTI TUTION. ENJOY THE COFFEE.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Human equality in truth absolute by birth is guarantor of human rights, limits, no equality, no rights.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTl TUTION

      How's that?

      May 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
  13. Apple Bush

    These comments by Pat are tame and normal-sounding compared to his usual insanity.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  14. AgrippaMT

    Robertson is truly a loathsome and disgusting individual. It's good to see that he is old and getting more and more senile. The media should ignore him.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • PaulB

      He always was loathsome and disgusting, even when he first started off the 700 Club. It tells you something about his fans if they've never realized that.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
  15. fsmgroupie

    pat - the true face of christianity

    May 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  16. John Nocera

    I am an evangelical pastor. Pat needs to retire and stop making foolish remarks that hurt the cause of Christ and the church.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Athy

      No. Pat is doing better than us atheists to kill religion. Leave him alone; he's our best ally.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Free country John, Pat can speak is mind. Millions of Christians love in him and believe in his views.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • Hiram57

      Apple Bush,
      Yeah, he's free to speak his Mind, but when his Mind has obviously gone off-track (as it did 40 years ago), his Handlers need to rein him in. Maybe up his dose of Thorazine.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      II think the "cause of Christ" would be better served with your mercy for Pat.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      @Hiram57

      Why? I think he is cute.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Grafted: Christ is imaginary you old loon.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:49 pm |
  17. lol??

    The scientific types that discovered S E X yesterday, might wanna move on and take care of some of their other foul ups.

    St. Louis Is Burning

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/st-louis-is-burning-20130510

    Yeah baby, rolling stone.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
  18. Ralph_in_FL

    Pat Robertson is what the anti-religious call a "trainload of ammunition".

    May 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
  19. Kate

    "We regret any misunderstanding." Oh Come on. Really? A misunderstanding? There is no misunderstanding. His message was simple: "Men will be men. It's their nature to cheat and if a woman took better care of her man, he wouldn't wander."

    They seem to misunderstand that Pat Robertson simply needs a muzzle. He really should stop speaking publicly.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Kate, it is a free country. The man can say whatever he believes.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Athy

      Au contrare. Let him speak. The more he speaks the better atheism begins to look.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Pssst

      Athy,

      I know that you like things to be correct. So, fyi, it's "au contraire".

      - http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/au%20contraire

      May 18, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Athy

      Yeah, the n my keyboard ddn't work, damn t.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  20. Carol

    Now if it had been a woman who had committed adultery, Robertson would advocate stoning.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      I think Pat would teach what Jesus taught when the woman who was caught in adultery was brought to Jesus and the religious of the day wanted to stone her.

      Jesus said; “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. The religious walked away without throwing stones. Jesus then said to the woman; “Go and sin no more”.

      Many here are throwing stones in their own glass houses.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Peregrine

      Carol- don't forget the donations, he's always in favor of more tax free money.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • PaulB

      With Christian communities being as close knit as they are, who does Pat imagine these men are having these affairs with if not Christian women, some of them wives themselves?

      May 18, 2013 at 6:37 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.