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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. Foodchk

    Pat made a statement to the women to re examine herself and why she married the man. He advised that she should re evaluate the marriage the man, and forgive and forget. He said nothing wrong. Many men and women make their respective spouses lives miserable.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • Jim C.

      Hmmm, not sur ewhciha rticle you read. At *best,* he totally ignored the man's fualt by suggesting it was her fault: "And what you want to do is make a home so wonderful he doesn’t want to wander.”

      May 17, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  2. The EnergyGuy

    This man is a fool and has been a fool his entire life. It's not about getting old and stupid. It's about greed and using God as a tax shelter. The sadest part about this is that so many people have sent so much money to him and his false "religion" for so many years. Cults and idiots should not be tax exempt. Tax these idiots and lets then see how many stay in the religion "business." If a religion has not existed unchanged for 2,000 years, tax it like a regular business. I am sick and tired of these Elmer Gantrys talking lost souls out of their money and preaching lies about how God wants us all to be rich.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      "False religion" is redundant.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  3. Art

    Pat is a lot more intelligent than I am. He knew people would listen to his blanketee blank and even senhd him their hard earned money. I still can't comprehend that.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
  4. Michael

    Can women cheat too? Just askin.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  5. john

    A truly pathetic man. I hope folks see how little of the Christ he exhibits, and how his brand of christianity goes against what Christ taught and lived.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • midwest rail

      That simply makes him a rather typical contemporary Christian.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  6. MrsFizzy

    Focus on "Is he handsome"?? Spoke like de Lawd himself!! smh

    May 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  7. Jay

    What do you expect? It's Pat Robertson!!!!

    May 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  8. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Want women to be valued more, allow a man to have four wife's, it will increase demand and benefit women a lot. They deserve benefit of Free market. Supply and demand.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • STFU

      Please pardon Mohammad A. Dar for making foolishing suggestion, he is living in a stone aged country Pakistan? my friend, in our part of the world, man=woman, not man = 4*woman.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
    • The GOP need to pack up and leave

      Allow a woman to have four husbands....

      May 17, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
    • kamarasune

      Its far better that women have the freedom to get out of a bad situation and just get on with their lives with a better partner. cheaters are just going to cheat...

      May 17, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
  9. I concur

    "When I asked George Bush about the casualties that will result from the Iraq war, he said "What casualties? There aren't going to be any casualties!"" The next day "Oh...no, he didn't say that."

    May 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Because he himself the casualty of his hinduism, stupidity.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
  10. faboge

    these right wingers are a total joke! I we should give the Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and even Georgia and lock the gates!

    May 17, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
  11. Not a GOPer and nor do I play one on TV

    Ah, Pat Robertson, always good for a laugh.

    We'll miss him and his inane pronouncements.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  12. Randall Weaver

    Pat Robertson...the man who has turned more people away from Christianity than anyone since...Billy Graham?

    May 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Michael

      Actually, Billy Graham seemed to be a pretty decent and compassionate guy. Not like the current batch.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Steve Kohl

      Why does Billy Graham's name appear in your comment?

      May 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
  13. arose

    DO NOT LISTEN.......my mistake

    May 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  14. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    So it's 'natural' for men to cheat? I guess that proves that men are immoral individuals who have no place in society,right? Can't even keep a marriage vow? Can't do the right thing? I guess Robertson himself is guilty of cheating, huh?

    May 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • OvernOut

      Wasn't his first kid a miracle child, took less than nine months to be born full term, after the wedding?

      May 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  15. arose

    I hope people do REALLY listen to this fool......I thank God I did not have to depend on his teachings for my salvation. It will be "preachers" (don't really know what to call him) who are going to bust hell wide open. Stupid man and disgraceful !

    May 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • arose

      MY POST SHOULD SAY.....DO NOT LISTEN....MY MISTAKE !

      May 17, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • The GOP need to pack up and leave

      Most are just laughing at him.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  16. QS

    What. A. Tool.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  17. Art

    Why does it matter what Pat Robertson thinks? Freedom is more important I would think. Don't forget to join the NRA.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  18. Reality

    Many "non-profits" are actually investment companies using some cause, religious or non-religious as a front. This way said group pays no taxes on dividends, interest or capital gains. And in general, the founders and/or CEO's of these organization make at a minimum of $200,000/yr.

    And there are different opinions as to what a religion really is or what a non-profit is and therefore all non-profits should file Form 990's. At the moment, religious groups are exempt. To be fair therefore, there should be no tax-exemptions for any group and that includes the Democratic and Republican Parties. Faith and community initiative grant monies should also be cancelled and there should also be no tax deductions for contributions made to charities and non-profits.

    So how does the

    CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING NETWORK INC fit in this scenario. Since it is not a religion, it must file an IRS Form 990. From these forms (guidestar.org),

    Gordon Robertson (Pat's son) is Director/Vice-Chairman/CEO makes $429, 644/ yr. in salary and benefits. His retired father is still makes over $100,000/yr.

    Said group has over $35 million in public and other securities and they pay no taxes on the interest, dividends and capital gains from these securities. –

    Hmmmm?

    May 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
  19. Mopery

    Give me money give me green, Heaven you will meet. Make your contribution and you'll get a better seat. Bow to Leper Messiah.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Bow to Ziggy Stardust?

      May 18, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  20. headlessthompsongunner

    One thing about getting older: it's a lot like truth serum. People forget their former false personnas and slip-in true feelings (or sometimes they just don't have the patience to pretend any more).

    May 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • mama k

      Hey Roland.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:39 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.