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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. grandma

    Everyone should take stock now and then and recognize when it is time to retire. Pat's brain is not processing correctly any more. Those around him should encourage him to retire and keep his thoughts to himself.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Science

      Genes and DNA................no fairy in the sky needed ! see chad !

      Scientists Find Genes Linked to Human Neurological Disorders in Sea Lamprey Genome

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130224142915.htm

      Peace

      April 28, 2013 at 6:23 am | Report abuse

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/18/my-take-godless-in-boston-mourn-too/comment-page-28/#comment-2329824

      May 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |

      May 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Roger that

      Pat's opening up and letting the world know how he really feels.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  2. CommonSense

    He answered a similar question before and basically asked the woman if she kept herself in shape and attractive, because that might be why her husband cheated. Guys like this is partly why I am an atheist. Religion is what people make of it, and people can be prejudice, bigoted, and overly old-fashioned. To me, being a "good Christian" is like renouncing everything that makes us human.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • lol??

      ".........Guys like this is partly why I am an atheist............" I thought it was the partyin' and the groupyin'. Well, now ya have 3 gud reasons.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      CommonSense,

      Parting Christianity with humanism are we? To serve or to be served is a human condition of servile socialism.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  3. faith

    "Observer
    Pat Robertson's comments do tie in with the Bible commanding that virginal r@pe victims must marry their rapist and can never divorce."

    u r a liar

    May 17, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • sam

      Shhhh, we're already fully stocked with crazy today. Go back to braiding your pubes, crazycakes.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • Herb

      lmao@sam
      XD

      May 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • faith

      u can always tell when dodo is posting. she loves to mix rectums and semen and murder and mas t ur ba tion in a delightful recipe all of her own very sick imagination.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      oops faith, as always you're wrong:
      If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her. (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)

      May 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Salero21

      Faith you cannot talk about rectums if you do the hom.os will give you butt flu.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • sam

      faith, it's bad enough that's you're wrong, but now you've also brought even more crazy in here with you. Begone evil spirit! I cast thee out, to the nearest free clinic to get your meds refilled!

      May 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Salero: Oh sweet moron of the blog, where exactly was your troll buddy Faith speaking of homo's??? Why are you so fixated on them...not getting any and jealous?

      May 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Salero21

      You cannot talk about rectums, it summons the hom.os.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  4. Russ 139

    He's really a comedian doing stand-up, right?

    May 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • lol??

      He didn't try an' make 95% of the human race the "straight man", though. Credit where credit's due.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  5. lol??

    Now the nasties are gettin' nasty. He is a son of a democratic PUblic Servant, ya know. Show some respect fer yer own.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • sam

      Would you shut the hell up? You're the textual rendering of a head injury.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  6. lionlylamb

    Today's "oracles" are profiteers of the prophetical no matter their social stances. As is with all prophetic oracles, they do prophecies for a generous profit. Case closed. Next! Don't forget to put a gift in the change box next to the door as you leave. I live on the change of others BTW!

    May 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  7. Sal

    Rob, I agree with you on that one.....

    May 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  8. Truth Prevails :-)

    One more nutter that will soon be gone.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  9. Bob

    Hey, he's a Christian. He can do or say anything he wants, and then just ask his god to forgive him, no problem and no bounds. God forgives all. No morals needed.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • faith

      god hating nazi fascists hate god for not having morals and allowing the christian to do whatever she pleases w/o consequences and she hates him more for applying divine retribution.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
    • .

      stfu 'faith'

      May 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • The EnergyGuy

      Bob, You say that he is a Christian, but that is the problem. He and so many others like him are not Christian. He and they make things up as they go along. Too many fake "men of God" have been given a free pass and tax exemption. They make it harder for real religious people.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • TheSmartGuy

      EnergyGuy, repeat after me:

      There Are No True Scotsmen.
      There Are No True Scotsmen.
      There Are No True Scotsmen.
      There Are No True Scotsmen.

      and so on.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  10. Corbin

    So, the guy's crazy. But he's not wrong about marijuana...

    May 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      One thing right in his entire life time.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Herb

      Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless it's a miltary-time clock, then it's just once a day.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  11. rob

    Robertson is a bigot, a disgusting human being, and just a waste of life. Thankfully that old hate-monger will soon be back in hell where he came from and where he belongs. Let's hope Billy and Franklin Graham soon follow.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • lol??

      Shouldn't you save bigot fer sumpin' impotant?? You don't want to water down the word.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Mr Vic

      Try leading by example, you are not looking much better.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  12. trureal

    He did not condone cheating.... He was mainly trying to help the women asking for advice. He was not taking up for the man but being truthful. Nothing excuses cheating...forgiveness is key to moving on.

    Lay off this person who has helped many and has done much good.

    CNN should not try to stir up this controversy.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • sam

      LOL that's adorable.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • bill zimmerman

      Please don't tell me how to read and comprehend what I read. He was saying that "men will be men" so get over it. In other words ... you add the ending.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • The EnergyGuy

      You're kidding...right?

      May 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Apparently you didn't read the article.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • The EnergyGuy

      Idiot Pat doesn't know what the truth is. If he did, he would have done something really useful with his life instead of taking money from lost souls.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "Please don't tell me how to read and comprehend what I read. He was saying that "men will be men" so get over it. In other words ... you add the ending".

      I think the only ending that matters is what he said...he basically told her that if she was a better wife he wouldn't have reason to wander. And no men will not be men, to say that is to imply they are going to cheat. I know plenty who are not such asses, mine topping that list.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  13. Mike

    Be sure to drop off your 10% for his words of stupidity...

    May 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
  14. amy

    So it's okay for "males to wander", but it's not okay to be gay. I'm sorry, I can't keep up with these ever-changing and convoluted rules...

    May 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
  15. laguna_greg

    OK so it's Official. Robertson is senile, and has been for quite a while.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Herb

      I think it's Eric Marrapodi, who wrote the article, who is officially saying that, so I guess that makes it official enough.
      Zucker hasn't tossed him out on his ear yet, so I guess anyone Zucker keeps has God's Own Authority. Yeah. Go with that.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
  16. Sal

    Sal
    I'd like to ask him what he thinks of Mark Sanford and the SC voters that put him into congress. They all have family and republican values, remember? Whatta joke! 

    May 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  17. Don

    Maybe the "operatives" instead of taking out foreign leaders, should take out Robertson; he is an embarrassment to Christianity, America and God.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • A in Pa

      Amen! what is worse is that so many listen to him and seek his counsel.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  18. Pete Clarke

    what a kook...

    May 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  19. smoochie smooch you maroooons

    Robertson's regret is he is a woman trapped in a man's body

    May 17, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Master Shake

      See he IS a fine woman now back off!

      May 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Meatwad

      He is smooth boy.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Frylock

      Would you two stop it please!

      May 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • laguna_greg

      I don't know why they should

      May 17, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Jim-Bob

      mmmhmmm, thet iz one fine-lookin woman! her hairz a little short but thets okay i aint fussy nohow

      May 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Karl

      A man-bra is definitely called for, I think.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Carl

      I'd take her out for a crab dinner. yo know what I mean.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
  20. Boston Guy

    It's just like a Christian White Male to believe it's ok for the husband to cheat on his wife and pretty much say it's her fault. That's probably why the percentage of divorces in Christian households are pretty high.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • lol??

      You didn't see his fluffy hair the next day covering up the knot?? And that was just from the maid with a frying pan!

      May 17, 2013 at 5:00 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.