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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. Uthor

    American Christian televangelists = Islamist mullahs

    May 19, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  2. GEM

    I am a Christian, and because of sadly misguided and arrogant "preachers" such as Pat Robertson, I won't ever watch CBN, TBN, or any other mainstream Christian network. There are a lot of false preachers out there, and they mix just enough Biblical truth in with their lies to reel in a lot of gullible, ignorant people who don't know the Bible. And so, they live in luxury while taking the last dollars from those who don't know better. I don't know how people like Robertson, Osteen, Benni Hinn, and Paul and Jan Crouch can sleep at night. (Jan Crouch is something to behold–YIKES!! The wig and makeup wagon crashed here.) Read and study the Bible–THAT is the truth, not what these characters have to say.

    May 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • faith

      I hear you. had a similar experience. i am an atheist at heart, but the way they threaten terror on xtards, i may get reborn, again

      GEM
      I am a Christian, and because of sadly misguided and arrogant "preachers" such as Pat Robertson, I won't ever watch CBN,

      May 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • gorgegirl

      You can add Franklin Graham to that list. It is unfortunate that he has drug his dear father's name through mud.

      "Christian" is just a word if you don't act and speak like one.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:13 am |
  3. jane

    kinda makes ya wonder what ole Pat's been up to doesn't it???

    May 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
  4. greg

    I hope CBN pays their publicists very well, because from the looks of it, they are kept hopping. I especially love to bit about forgiving a cheating husband. I can't see any other conclusion that he was basically placing the responsibility soley on the woman to change to situation. Men wander, it's part of their nature, but figure out what you did, can do, and should do to make him not want to wander? Puhleeze! I'm a man and I can say honestly, cheating is ALL the responsibility of the person doing the cheating! I applaud the woman for even trying to forgive her husband. Cheating is an absolute betrayal, and for me, there is no forgiveness for it. Mr. Robertson needs to be given a one way ticket to any muslim-dominated country, where he can preach all he wants...which should give him 2.3 seconds before the populace rises up – rightly so- and gives HIM a one-way ticket to judgement day.

    May 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  5. Almost atheist

    What a bunch of crap. I was raised to respect and love each other, be honest and caring, and I don't need to be brain washed by these crazy religious freaks to be this way.

    May 19, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      And isn't it amazing how numbskulls like Robertson and his legions of zombies will try to tell you that you have no moral compass if you aren't religious? Let me get this straight. Let's see here. I guess if you are to be moral you need to engage in genocide (killing off of indigenous people in the New World), executing so-called heretics who either don't believe in god or don't believe in the "right" god ("My god has a bigger dick than your god!"-George Carlin), The Crusades, the Inquisition (which went on for 700, count 'em 700, years), and on and on and on. Oh, and then there's infanticide. If god decreed that his son must die a gruesome, torturous, horrible death on the cross, then he is condoning infanticide. Yeah, that's real moral. Give it up, religious freaks! You've got no foot to stand on!

      May 19, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
  6. Robin Bray

    Jesus loves an ass. And gave them the power of speech.

    May 19, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  7. Rickapolis

    Another hypocritical little toad.

    May 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
  8. Abadona

    this really speaks volumes about the 80 million southern baptists who have actually taken this clown seriously for more than 4 decades. Time and time again he says someof the most appalling and bigoted statements with nothing but impunity.

    May 19, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • elucidated1

      I wouldn't have a problem with CBN or Pat Robertson but you are right. For the last 40 years they have dished it out, become political without apology and now must live with a giant asterisk over any credibility they ever had.

      May 19, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Bob in Beaufort

      Another blithering idiot.

      May 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  9. retief1954

    Sheesh! THIS guy?

    May 19, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  10. Festivusfortherestofus

    Addled old kooky man. Who cares what this fool says besides his "followers".

    May 19, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • elucidated1

      For the last thirty years, Pat Roberson and the CBN has touted sanctimonious supposedly ethically rhetoric that was followed by the Christian community. Now they have been exposed as enabling males and voting for the Mark Sanfords of their world. So much for the credibility of the Cafeteria Christians.

      May 19, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • kmullinsk

      A whole lot of people care...like 75 to 100 million...so that's why it's concerning when he regularly says such alarming things.

      May 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
  11. cc

    I don't know about others but *I* understand what he said. It's about forgiveness. If you're a woman then you should forgive anything your man does. If you're a man it should be open season because your woman should forgive you. It's certainly not *my* philosophy but it's not that hard to understand-particularly when you understand the character of the man that said it.

    May 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • YeahRight

      Yep, that's about the size of it.

      The more blunt translation of what he said is, "If you had kept his home as you were supposed to have, he wouldn't have cheated. It is your fault he cheated for not being a good enough wife, so it is therefore up to you to find a way to forgive him and correct the mistakes you made that made him stray."

      May 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • chaitea

      >yeah right

      – and my response to that would be – oh – okay then I guess I'll end this bad marriage and find something else to excel at that brings me health and happiness. Logically I should move on.

      May 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • faith

      ur killin me

      May 19, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • faith

      Observer Hotdogs, I'm not sure that your comment is directed to me, but I've never said the Bible is a "fairytale". It is a collection of many good morals that also contains errors, contradictions, hypocrisy and nonsense.

      like what?

      May 19, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Observer

      faith,

      My answer was perfectly clear. If you read a Bible, you wouldn't be asking. Was there one point there that you couldn't understand in English?

      May 19, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • snappie

      Observer

      faith,

      My answer was perfectly clear. If you read a Bible, you wouldn't be asking. Was there one point there that you couldn't understand in English?"

      dying very slowly from drowning in one's bleeding alveoli is hellish

      May 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  12. chaitea

    I feel sorry for anyone who reaches out to these kinds of people for life advice. They are no help at all.

    just know this

    1) If you respect all people and show kindness if you have self-respect you are doing well

    2) Being a martyr in a bad relationship does not make you a good person because you gradually become more and more bitter and cannot follow rule 1)

    3) It is unhealthy and unrealistic to think your cheating spouse cares about what you are feeling – so don't be a martyr and don't try to exact revenge or an empathetic response.

    4) The best revenge will always be the achievement of health and happiness through moving on – that may mean divorce.

    5) Better to be alone than in poor company, better to be happy than bitter, better to forgive after parting than to harbor resentment while together.

    6) Best not to ask the Dr. Phils and Pat Robertsons of the world for advice on how to live YOUR life. Don't even take a post like this for gospel, learn to think for yourself.

    May 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      A cheating spouse almost by definition doesn't care what the partner feels. Sure there are some exceptions...spouse in coma, marriage already on its way. out, spouse missing and potentially dead. But someone who cheats on someone expecting the marriage to just go on has essentially said he or she doesn't care enough about the other person's feelings or health to forego an immediate want. You might as well be spening your spouses retirement money on a sports car or expensive jewelry. I'd think long and hard before assuming this kind of person changes, because they are not much more likely to change than aphysically abusive spouse is. Even if this person never cheats again odds are they will always come first in their own eyes.

      May 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  13. vidal808

    What a bunch of crap – all of it!

    May 19, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  14. Jag

    Pat Robertson, You are a NUT CASE!!!

    May 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  15. Roberta

    Once an idiot, always an idiot. Isn't the term "religious leader" an oxymoron?

    May 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • lol??

      Mat 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren.

      May 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
  16. faith

    w/o 1 response in 3 days to the subject on how the bible got here, from the fascist nazis, (when they post hundreds of comments on other topics) we are once again led to believe that these fools haven't a clue.

    girls like dodo make it easy for people like me to win and to thrive

    May 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • midwest rail

      If you believe posting drivel that does not warrant a response of any kind makes you a "winner", then feel free to indulge yourself. You are quite alone in that belief.

      May 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      which ones are the fascist nazis?....Are they in the room with you right now?

      May 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Observer

      Speaking of Nazis:

      “I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lords work.”
      - Adolph Hitler, 1936, Reichstag, Berlin

      May 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • faith

      midwest idiot, chrome dome, tom moron, blind as a bat, all of 'em dodo, said somethin negative about somebody else! can u believe it?

      perfect love incarnate found something negative to say about someone! golly sarge, the sky be a fallin

      May 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • faith

      midwest idiot, chrome dome, tom moron, blind as a bat, all of 'em dodo, said somethin negative about somebody else! can u believe it?

      perfect love incarnate found something negative to say about someone! golly sarge, the sky be a fallin

      no

      May 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Observer

      faith,

      Jesus never got into juvenile name-calling but preached the Golden Rule. Obviously you are nothing like him. He was no hypocrite.

      May 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  17. faith

    prophecy: u don't have 1. u r told to rei terate previous silly questions 2 divert

    dag. im good

    May 19, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • faith

      so, i agree.

      so, let us discuss corrie ten boom and hudson taylor.

      May 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  18. Lulu

    Amen Pat! More people need to speak their mind. I don't know anybody who agrees with me on every position and I know many people. That's what makes the world so great - we are all different with many different beliefs.

    May 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
  19. Tom

    Pat Robertson is the ultimate hypocrite.

    May 19, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • BRB

      He is just another whacko christian fraud collecting a huge salary and living a luxury life. All religions have the top shaman to pacify the people, live a life of luxury, and laugh at the religous fools sending them money. Great scam.

      May 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • SO DONE!

      Just to reiterate: PAT ROBERTSON represents HIMSELF and his organization ONLY. HE does NOT speak for the wonderful, compassionate, accepting, loving people who believe that Jesus is the savior of the world.
      While I know that not everyone on planet earth believers like I do, and while I don't believe I will ever change some one else's life, I STILL LOVE PEOPLE, and want to help if I can. Some so called Christians are "anointing" with the spirit of stupid, and I don't count myself in that crowd. I WILL NOT SAVE THE WORLD, I WILL NOT TELL PEOPLE WHAT TO THINK, I WILL NOT TELL ANYONE HOW TO LIVE THEIR LIFE. I can only be responsible for myself, and I can only regulate my own behavior. I adhere to the idea that God is love, what someone else does, doesn't represent me.
      Please know that! There are a lot of nice people from every walk of life. LET"S KEEP OUR ANTENNA OUT FOR THE GOOD PEOPLE. THE OLD SONG GOES:, "YOU WILL KNOW WE ARE CHRISTIANS BY OUR LOVE". IF YOU DON'T GET A WHIF OF LOVE, AND A WHIF OF SOMETHING ELSE, THEN YOU KNOW THEY'RE NOT WHAT THEY CLAIM TO BE!!

      May 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      So Done
      The christians have "loved" a lot of people to death.

      May 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  20. winchester74

    we need to forgive Pat – he knows not what he does – he's just a man – OK. He doesn't have any greater knowledge or communication with the Almighty than my dog does.

    May 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Allaisa

      Please don't insult the poor dog.

      May 19, 2013 at 4:17 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.