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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. bear

    His previous statements were pretty bizarre, but this one is not. A wife says she cannot forgive her husband's adultery. He says she needs to understand he is a man and sometimes men wander. He then tells her to focus on why she married him. Stop talking about the cheating. This is pretty much what any therapist would tell her. Dwelling on the cheating doesn't make her happy and will destroy the marriage.

    The headline makes a lot more of this than there is.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      once again lay the blame where it is not due.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • sam

      Preeeeetty sure that's not what a therapist would tell her. Nice thry, though!

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

      @ truth prevails,

      Nobody is blaming the woman. The woman came to Robertson for advice. The man didn't. Giving the man who isn't there and isn't listening advice does not good. She asked for advice. He gave her the same advice she would get from any preacher, therapist or even Ann Landers.

      Had the man asked for advice, it would have been directed at what he could do, not at the wife.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • bear

      @ Sam,
      So what do you think a therapist would tell her. She tells her therapist she is having trouble forgiving her husband. The question suggests she wants to forgive him and save the marriage. So you think the therapist is going to tell her to get a divorce?

      The therapist is going to tell her what Robertson did. Think about what you loved about him. What you still love about him. Try to rebuild the relationship.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Yogi

      I'm smarter than the average bear! And Robertson certainly isn't.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • sam

      bear, any therapist worth their salt would suggest couples counseling. Anything else is bullshit you're inventing (or something a member of the clergy would say).

      May 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • bear

      @Sam,
      Yup a therapist would suggest joint counseling and in that counseling he would tell her what Robinson told her. Start focusing on what is good about your husband and what you love about him and stop dwelling on the affair. He would have a lot of other stuff for both of them and some for the husband, but in Robinson's case it was a quick question on his show. Husband wasn't present.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Sorry, bear, no sale. Robertson essentially blamed HER for her husband's wandering. He told her to "make home so wonderful he wouldn't want to wander." That implies that she didn't do enough to keep hubby entertained in the first place. I don't care if the husband was there or not; that statement speaks volumes about Robertson's view of women.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  2. Colin

    Dear Christian Fans of Pat Robertson:

    God here.

    I don’t care what Pat Robertson says. In fact, I don’t care about anything, because, you see, I don’t exist.

    Is it not obvious to you that a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the actions and thoughts of the 7 billion human beings on this planet is an utterly ludicrous proposi.tion?

    Look, if I did exist, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible. Hell, I bet you cannot tell me one thing about any of its authors or how and why it was compiled with certain writings included and others excluded, nor how it has been edited over the centuries, yet you cite it for the most extraordinary of supernatural claims.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, Mongolians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Indonesians and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who elected to withhold all evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifthly, in the same vein, I would not make about 5% of the human population gay, then punish them for being that way. In fact, I wouldn’t care about how humans have $ex at all, given that I created all of the millions of millions of species on the planet, all of whom are furiously reproducing all the time. Human $ex would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Has it ever occurred to you that your obsession with making rules around human $ex is an entirely human affair?

    Sixth, I would have smitten all you Christian activists, and all evangelicals and fundamentalists long before this. You people drive me nuts. You are so small minded and speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill all of you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric even for a sick, sadistic bast.ard like me to contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Eighth, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 7 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 700,000,000 prayers. This works out at 8,000 prayers a second – every second of every day. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. Dwell on the sheer absurdity of that for a moment.

    Finally, the only reason you even consider believing in me is because of where you were born. Had you been born in India, you would likely believe in the Hindu gods, if born in Tibet, you would be a Buddhist. Every culture that has ever existed has had its own god(s) and they always seem to favor that particular culture, its hopes, dreams and prejudices. What, do you think we all exist? If not, why only yours?

    Look, let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no god. Believing in me was fine when you cringed in fear during the Dark Ages and thought the World was young, flat and simple. Now we know how enormous, old and complex the Universe is.

    Move on – get over me. I did.

    God

    May 17, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • bear

      If there is a God who is old enough and powerful enough to have created the Universe, applying your human logic to him would make no sense. A dog is totally confused as to why he is taken to a vet and given a shot. Has no understanding of why we do that to him. A dog's intellect is a lot closer to ours than ours would be to a God that created the Universe.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes bear, and if there were a magic pink bunny rabbit on Mars who created the whole thing, perhaps the same would apply to him. But in the absence of evidence for magic bunnies or gods, I'll stick to logic and reason.

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

      Colin,
      I am God. I will be calling you back soon. Time for your rabies shot.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  3. Dee

    Are you kidding me this man is nuts to think it is ok any of you nuts that believe it too your women in your life need to tie your waterhose in a not!!!

    May 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
  4. Muttluver

    This man is someone who believes and bases his life on a mythical being so who cares what he says? As with most religious people I know, their religion is bent to accommodate their misgivings in life. What more perfect of a religion then one that forgives everything?

    May 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Irish_Tigress

      God is not mythical, and apparently, you are "hell-bent" on finding that out the hard way. And God does NOT just forgive you. One must admit and repent their sins and will pay for those sins on the day of Judgement. Forgiveness is not given without truly honest and heartfelt repentence. Hope you realize the Truth before it's too late for your soul. I will pray for you and those you love that you will see and know the Truth before your time to answer for your sins. As I also pray for myself and those I love for the same.

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

      Watch out, mutt! She's talking about THE LAKE OF FIRE OH NOES!!!1!

      May 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Muttluver

      The real hell would be to be stuck in "heaven" with a bunch of Christians so I will take my chances with hell (even though I don't believe in either). I have a feeling if there really is a hell, the people there would be the nicest, most honest chill people and the heaven people would be going crazy trying to control everyone and not to mention destroying the place since we all know everything is made for Christians so they can trash the planet etc. in the name of god.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  5. georgette ming

    It is not ok for a man to commit adultery because of his DNA. Adultery is a sin. Everyone has temptations and weaknesses and we all fall. But it is still NOT OK.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Adultery is only a sin in the biblical sense. Sin doesn't exist in the real world.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Truth Prevails, what are you talking about? If there were no sin, we would have no need for jails and prisons. Honestly, you're a mental midget.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Jennifer. Sin is a transgression against divine law. Impossible if one does not believe in divine beings.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  6. boyamidumb

    Pat, did he walk you up on the mountain top and say "All of this can be yours, if you will just............"

    May 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
  7. PZ

    He is a Hero..way to go as the truth hurts

    May 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  8. DawnOfDawns

    Since he is at least going into the political side of the house, and I respect that, he should also comment in the name of cristianism about all the genocides created by the US around the globe, I would definitely respect a pastor that goes on a podium and tells it like it is. I mean, Jesus was all about justice and for the ones in need.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Karl

      Justice according to mosaic law and Maimonaides, you mean. And even then, he was violating those laws and such and protecting people who were actually guilty. He put himself above the law. You are nuts.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • DawnOfDawns

      So how many types of justices are there? You either do something wrong and get punished, or at least get called out on it on a podium, or you do something wrong an it gets swept under the carpet. How many types of justices exist in nowdays?

      May 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  9. Amy

    Somehow Mr. Robertson's comments remind me of "Bushisms."

    May 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
  10. Really?

    And people wonder why there's so little respect for video preachers. Apparently, for Roberston and his mindless followers, if you're white and male, you're good to go, no matter what you do. Racism, bigotry, unfaithfulness to your wife as you run around town like an alley cat that needs to be fixed, is all OK. Can these people get any more disgusting? Each day I think they've hit bottom. The next day they prove me wrong.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Irish_Tigress

      This "man" is no Christian, and you are just as much a fool if you think he is.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Becky Gray

      Spot on

      May 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  11. Skeptic

    Hey! Any of you women out there want to get it on? God, er, I mean, Pat, says it's OK!

    May 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Ho of Babblin

      Ohh, yeah baby! Ohhhhhhhhhhh yeaaahhhhhhhhh!
      Was it good for you too?

      May 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  12. dirk

    He's not nearly as scary as the thought that there are millions of people that buy into his nonsense in this country. It's beyond horrifying to me what so many people actually believe.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  13. Colin

    I agree with the delusional simpleton on point 2 – marijuana. I guess a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Becky Gray

      Exactly! I am surprised he actually said that.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  14. setnoescapeon

    He got 2 out of 4 right...

    May 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Colin

      You hate gays and Hatians, too, hey? -:)

      May 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
  15. clarence leblanc

    If someone looks to him for guidance or advice you're a lost cause anyway. Let him say the gibbirish he wants.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  16. pale blue dot

    There comes a time when the mighty fall, and those around have no one to blame but them selves. At his age WHERE are his aides ?????. Why do we let this man out alone ????

    May 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  17. 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. followers of hindu tradition of sodomy gay ism can live according to their holy tradition of religion, sodomy and be gone in short time.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • sam

      Go away Mohammad. No one cares about your gibberish.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      do me a favor and click on Report Abuse every time you see me Sam !!!

      May 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  18. deartoni70

    Pat Robertson is a horrible Christian. How dare he call himself one! Christ says explicitly in Matthew that a man should lose his eye than look at a woman with lust. Then Robertson goes on to essentially blame the woman for not making her home so wonderful that her man wouldn't want to stray? Oh Phuleeze. Excuses excuses... I hope she divorces his butt!

    May 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      No true Scotsman. *Yawn*.

      A careful reading of your holy book will actually support what this nut job has to say. But of course we can't have that now, can we? The Bible? Supporting and encouraging misogyny? Perish the friggin' thought!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
  19. Liz

    Dogs have a tendency to wander, too, unless they are very loyal. I don't want a man I have to tie up emotionally like an errant dog. I want a loyal one. I am a faithful wife and if he chooses not to be a faithful husband, I can have him packed in 2 hrs.
    No second chances.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Liz's Husband's Mistress

      So, I guess a three-way is out of the question, hey?

      May 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Ho of Babblin

      Honey, you need to smell what you shovelin

      May 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • bear

      Who says I'm leaving? Pack your own damn bags dear.
      Signed,
      Liz's Husband.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Way to go!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
  20. mike

    Pat's advocating for men gettin some strange...for once I'm with him.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm |
    • jillbrenneman

      I'm certain you will be as enlightened when your girlfriend/wife cheats on you because she just wants some "strange". Just focus on why you married her. Given how evolved you are certainly this will be easy for you.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:21 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.