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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. David

    Dear old Pat is a real piece of work. Essentially what he is saying is it is always the woman's fault when the man wanders and all men tend to wander. What crap! I am a man and I would never ever think of behaving like that. So ladies, make sure that your man comes home to Buckingham Palace every night and do lavish him with compliments about how royal he is, how handsome he is, what a wonderful provider he is. WORSHIP HIM LADIES!! Otherwise he might go next door and have a go at the neighbor lady and it will be your fault! That is what he is saying! But all you have to do is have him pray for you (and send that check) and all will be revealed to you! Really people, do you actually think these televangelists give a crap about anyone? Look at CBN's top banner on their website, it says "give now". Not "god bless you" or "what can we pray about for you"! And take a look at old Pat's house. When he is 'praying' for you, do you really think he is thinking of the good that will come to you? No, he is thinking (with those beady eyes closed) "send me money so I can keep my multi million $ home and lavish lifestyle with expensive BMW's and Cadillac's and Mercedes"! He is an immoral greedy toad with no integrity whatsoever! The televangelists are all the same. Please people, stop sending the check!

    May 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Bonnie

      You are speaking about impostors, which we have been warned about. "But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled." 2nd Timothy 3:13 in the Holy Bible. We have been warned! People would be better off going directly to God's own word on any given subject. See James 1:5.

      May 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
  2. BeverlyNC

    People who cannot think for themselves and need someone else to tell them how to live are the religious fools. They cling to charlatans like Robertson, Joel O'Steen, Rick Warren and others who have figured out how to use the ignorant to live a very wealthy lifestyle. You then have the extremists who use the Bible (which is a collection of writings put together by unknown sources, leaving out some writings and choosing which ones to include – and then we have the "translated" King James Bible written to please the views of this King) and quoting verses literally to back their own views of hate and rigidity. The Bible is nothing but parables, not reality, to help the people of that time grasp the "religion" being taught to them. Anyone who takes the Bible literally and uses it as a hate weapon against people they do not approve of is no "Christian" or a person of humanity or values.

    May 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • johaigh3

      One day every knee will bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! Repent of your sins and ask God to forgive you of your sins and receive Jesus into your heart!

      May 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Fernando

      Then again, johaigh3, your failure to praise and kneel before my one and true God may result in your eternal damnation. Maybe worse – your entire family could be cast into a fiery hell because you failed to lead them to the one true, and my God. My bible isn't quite finished, but you're welcome to reading some of our recent passages if you'd make a donation plus S&H.
      I'll pray for your damned soul, brother, and God Bless!

      "One day every knee of those who believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, will bow and every tongue shall confess that Cosmic Muffin is Lord! Repent of your sins and ask Cosmic Muffin to forgive you of your sins and receive Cosmic Muffin into your heart!"
      Book of Muffinology

      May 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
  3. Seyedibar

    Pat Robertson said something correct for once? I suppose even a broken clock is right twice a day. Like all primates, it is unnatural for our species to pair monogamously. So far it only works out on rare occassions or in cultures where divorce brings fear of punishment

    May 19, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  4. Dave

    The modern face of the Republican party, with truly their spirit. Morality is for the "other," not for the elite. This mentality seems consistent with that entire segment of our population.

    May 19, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • agFinder

      Do you really think Robertson is saying that adultery is ok?

      May 19, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • BeverlyNC

      As with religion, the Republican Party preys on the ignorant. It is the only base they have left. Since these ignorant are poor, the Repubicans have sold their soul to the corporations for the funding they need to survive.They are a dying Party because corporations cannot vote, just hand over money to let Republicans try to buy elections, cheat, lie, and keep their ignorant in a state of fear and paranoia. Trying to pretend they are some Party of morality and values is laughable as their policies seek to destroy every social program making our nation one of humanity and moral leadership.

      May 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • faith

      "BeverlyNC
      As with religion, the Republican Party preys on the ignorant. It is the only base they have left. Since these ignorant are poor, the Repubicans have sold their soul to the corporations for the funding they need to survive.They are a dying Party because corporations cannot vote, just hand over money to let Republicans try to buy elections, cheat, lie, and keep their ignorant in a state of fear and paranoia. Trying to pretend they are some Party of morality and values is laughable as their policies seek to destroy every social program making our nation one of humanity and moral leadership."

      nah

      May 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      Faith,

      Yes you do dwell in the Denial, Fact-Free Zone, don't you? Open your eyes, kiddo.

      May 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • faith

      "Nicodemus Grumpschmidt
      Faith,
      Yes you do dwell in the Denial, Fact-Free Zone, don't you? Open your eyes, kiddo."

      i'd find a job if i were u, dodo

      May 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  5. corpsman

    Pat Robertson: Another name on the "will not be missed" list.

    May 19, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  6. Reality

    Putting it all in proper 21st century perspective:

    (only for the new members)

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sihkism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    "The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "

    May 19, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  7. Clouds 9

    Silly christians

    May 19, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  8. Jim

    When a Minister made a prophesy that did't happen, like the one Pat Roberson declare for 2007 about a terrible terrorist attack that didn't happen, he should be declare a false prophet.

    May 19, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  9. rob

    Pat Robertson is truly a repugnant POS. Thank God decrepit bigots like him, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Scott Lively, Rick Warren, and Donald Wildmon will soon be back in hell where they came from and where they belong.

    May 19, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  10. geekgirl42

    When these guys get caught saying something that is "misunderstood" or "misconstrued", don't be fooled. The misunderstandings are almost always a window into what these fundamentalists really think.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Sunny

      So true.

      May 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  11. Grafted Olive Branch

    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.”

    PLease reread what Robertson actually said. Where does he say it was her fault? He is only suggesting making the home better after the fact. You can do all the “reading between the lines” you want, and make them say different things, but if you really look at the words. He is not saying it is her fault, expressed OR implied.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • The real Tom

      You really like this guy, don't you? What does it imply, GOB? Why did the guy stray in the first place? Robertson doesn't know that home isn't already wonderful; he's assuming that it isn't and implying that if it were, no man would cheat.

      If you can ignore that, you're blind to Robertson's obvious prejudice in the matter.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      sorry but 'And what you want to do is make a home so wonderful he doesn’t want to wander' suggests that it was because she hadnt contributed to it, and that if he does it again its because of her.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • James PDX

      I'm just going to disagree with you. This man gaffes so often, and so tremendously, that I think between the lines is the only place any truth emerges from Pat.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Saraswati

      While what he said is not as shocking as many are making it out to be,, he does imply that making a home nicer would keep someone from wandering. If the wife were in some way deficient already to the point that the husband no longer loved her and was considering leaving, that might be the case. But as likely as not the guy is just a jerk who doesn't care about his wife's feelings and always will be (jerks don't often change much). People cheat on good spouses all the time and the implication that it is likely to be under the control of the one cheated on is the problem here. Again, we don't know the situation and neither does Pat. She might have been a horrid wife who deserved to be left, but the answer he gave implies, without this information, that it is her fault...that or presents an almost unbelievably ignorant view of the likely future behavior of the man. Either way it wasn't a good or realistic answer.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • The real Tom

      What would have been an honest and better response would have been to tell the woman that he, Robertson, doesn't have any easy answers and that marriage counseling would be the best source of advice. Instead, Robertson's own ego got the better of him.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Sunny

      You are so blinded by hero worship you can't understand what you read. You obviously feed into his propaganda.

      May 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  12. GCV

    Pat Robertson become irrelevant long ago. Move along.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:44 am |
  13. Ankara

    I think a lot of how foolish people are on this issue gets back to a type of purposeful ignorance regarding the prevelance of STDs in our society and the very real risks involved. Cheating is not just an emotional blow, but risks someone's health in very real ways that people want to pretend don't exist. HPV has killed millions of women, though the new vaccines currently offer increased protection for the young, and HSV viruses, including the virus that causes cold sores, have the potential to increase risks for everything from alzheimer's to schizophrenia in one's children. People put their heads in the sand about these issues because they don't want to know, but when you cheat or lie about your history you make the choice to expose people you supposedly love to risks that they did not choose. This is at best endangerment and quite arguably assault. It is a gross indifference to someone's wellbeing, future and happiness. If someone cheated on you and lied about it, the simple fact is that they cared more about themself than about your wellbeing – there's just no way of getting around that without lying to yourself. No amount of forgiveness will make this self-centered person you mistakenly chose less selfish.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  14. JJ

    Senile loozer geezer. Somebody should just put him out of his misery. The chump is nothing but an embarrassment to anyone who claims they are khristians.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  15. saggyroy

    So a guy commits adultery. Don't get to stone the woman to death or something?

    May 19, 2013 at 10:39 am |
  16. Chad

    Colin
    Ok, you had 3 opportunities and elected each time to simply parrot scripture. You have no credible answer as to why the creator of the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies would choose a small tribe of nomadic Jews as his "treasured and chosen people" from the 200 million people then alive, have you?

    @Chad "actually, that's not correct at all. The real issue is you dont want to have to do any investigation into Christianity, so you're inventing a paucity of information on my part to run out on the discussion..

    so as I said before:
    Jews are Gods chosen people
    "For you are a holy people to The Lord your God, and God has chosen you to be his treasured people from all the nations that are on the face of the earth." Deuteronomy 14

    "Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me from all the peoples, for all the earth is mine" – Exodus 19

    "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you." – Genesis 17

    "And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation" – Exodus 19

    "The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your ancestors." – Deuteronomy 7

    "You only have I singled out of all the families of the earth: therefore will I visit upon you all your iniquities." – Amos 3

    ======
    It was necessary to have the Jewish nation and the inst itution of the Law, to demonstrate our need for a Saviour
    read Romans

    ======
    The Jews were created as a nation to deliver the Messiah, that Savior, who by His atoning work on the cross created a permanent atonment
    Read Hebrews.

    ============
    The reason you dont want to read, is you're simply to lazy.

    Un-addressed questions on your part
    1. Why would you be on here day after day criticizing a belief system you know nothing about?
    2. Why are you so steadfast in your refusal to actually learn something about Christianity? What are you afraid of?

    May 19, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      None of that explains WHY there would be a 'chosen people'. Why would god play favourites?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • Observer

      God said that his "chosen people" in Jerusalem were worse than the Sodomites.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:46 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      The "chosen people" concept is similar in many religions...it is a self affirming way of making you not stray to others ideas...nothing more than a psychological tactic by the creators of whichever particular religion you are referring to.

      It is similar to the names of the ground on which the people lived...often the chosen land or gods land or something similar...look at isreal...an ugly desert yet they claim it to be gods special place. I have been to many areas that also were gods special place. All just tactics for reinforcing propaganda.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Saraswati

      Oh, look, now Chad's calling someone "lazy". Anyone want to guess whether he comes up with another straw man insulting fake dialogue next or another complaint about how everyone but him resorts to ad hominems (yeah, pretty funny). I'm guessing the ad hominem rant, but he has liked those little dialogues lately.

      I love , btw, how he still hasn't answered this person's question.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      Just to set the record straight, we freethinkers aren't afraid of xianity. We're just tired of being told that complete BS is fact. We've got better things to do with our time than pay any heed to a ludicrous, backward, ridiculous, infantile belief system. As a matter of fact, the church has got YOU by the short ones because it has got you believing in its unfounded threat of hell. So who's the one who's afraid here?

      May 19, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • mama k

      So Chad – using Paul to prove Paul? It seems to me that staying in that unbroken circle is not helping you prove very much.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Chad

      @mama k "Using Paul to prove Paul? It"

      =>no, using Paul to answer the question Colin posed about Christian doctrine. He's asking how a Christian explains God creating the Jewish people.

      Did you read the post?

      May 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Chad

      @Cedar rapids "None of that explains WHY there would be a 'chosen people'. Why would god play favourites?"

      @Chad "actually, explaining why the Jews are Gods chosen people is exactly what that post does.. you probably didnt read it..

      May 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I think you use this snarky line about others not reading something because that's what you do, Chardo.

      May 19, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
    • faith

      "Cedar rapids
      None of that explains WHY there would be a 'chosen people'. Why would god play favourites?"

      lol

      May 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • mama k

      OK, Chad, so you're not trying to prove God and his intentions, you are only trying to explain how Christianity explains his intentions.

      Still, in a circular fashion, what is obvious is that it is all self-serving. Out of all the universe, the creator of it chose the very same group of people who just happen to be the ones who must be taken for their word for his existence. How nice. Now if someone could just come up with some real evidence that also doesn't reek of self-service (fine tuning, the universe had a beginning, an empty tomb, "objective" truths, blah blah), then it might not sound so circular and self-serving, right?

      May 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @mama k "Out of all the universe, the creator of it chose the very same group of people who just happen to be the ones who must be taken for their word for his existence."

      @Chad "think you got the cart before the horse.

      ANY group of people that God created to server His purposes would be in that position..

      Clearly, you havent read Genesis and the history of the origin of the Jewish Nation. God created them from the start, He didnt attach to an already established civilization..

      Why in the world would you feel like you got criticize a belief system you clearly have no familiarity with? What credibility do you feel your statements have?

      May 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • mama k

      Chad: [ @mama k "Out of all the universe, the creator of it chose the very same group of people who just happen to be the ones who must be taken for their word for his existence."

      "ANY group of people that God created to server His purposes would be in that position.."

      You're still obviously inside the same circle of self-serving justification for your God. After all – it's a belief – that's the best you can do. Why not a god that would choose individuals within all major groups across the world? And I could come up with scenarios all day long, but at the end of the day, you cannot hide from how self-serving it is that a god that was worshipped in one part of the ancient world conveniently "chose" the ones that believed in "him" to be special. Christianity building on such circularity is just as nutty as what the Mormons have added to the story.

      May 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Chad

      The old "I would have done it differently" defense..

      doesnt really work because it doesnt address what God actually DID do..

      May 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
  17. RESISTANCE

    All of these religious idiots should be dragged out into the middle of the ocean and dropped off. They are all crazy and stupid. Religion should be banned worldwide because people cannot tolerate anyone else's point of view and think that if other people don't follow their religion, then they are subpar.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • ohmygod50

      so so true. religion is nonsense. packs of lies to control people and their money.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • faith

      report this terrorist

      May 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • lol??

      Get out of your churches and leave no name on the roll, Christians. It'll be Rome all over again and the Nazis had practice.

      May 19, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
  18. The real Tom

    People who are making excuses for Robertson's words as a "slip of the tongue" should stop ignoring the fact that his words reveal exactly how Robertson views men and women. That they slipped out in an unguarded moment is not an excuse for his backward, ignorant views.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:27 am |
  19. Susan TM

    I do believe the CBN might want to consider muzzling this man. He seems to enjoy the taste of shoe leather.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:26 am |
  20. Michael

    Why is this religious fanatic still in the media ? His statement that God told him Romney would win the election not once but be a two termer was pure stupidity. I wonder who is his god.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:22 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.