May 17th, 2013
12:12 PM ET

Pat Robertson shrugs off adultery, CBN regrets the misunderstanding

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog
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(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. Robert

    Hi didn't justify wandering. I'm sure he would tell men "DON'T WANDER!... even if your wife is a witch." He was just telling the women how to help. I have seen women who have also gotten dissatisfied at home and who went and found another man. They're not justified either.

    One thing to remember is that Pat Robertson is old now. Old people do not have the command of their communication skills that hey had when they were young. You have to any elderly person some understanding. But that is not what this is about. This is about the ungodly seeking an opportunity to blaspheme God.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • The real Tom

      If Robertson is not "in command" of his faculties, then he should keep his mouth shut.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • erivera63

      actually he did justify wandering..he blamed the wife and mentioned how men tend to wander..

      May 17, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • annier

      Pat Robertson has spewed rubbish since....FOREVER!! Nothing to do with his age. Everything to do with his nut-job religion and ALL organized religion, especially the evangelical christians like him who become multi-millionaires and live like rock stars, because they line their pockets with the poor and ignorant who buy into his B.S.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • annier

      P.S. I should clarify: I meant he lined his pockets from the money given to his church by the poor and ignorant, most of whom can ill-afford it. He and his ilk should be ASHAMED.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • yeah right

      Yes this happens to some old people and that is why they should step away from the microphone, especially if they are delusional enough to think they should still be leading people. Enough already.

      I easily tolerate old relatives with old minds or old values. But that's in private and cool, they aren't trying to influence the masses so it doesn't matter. But here it does matter. Get that guy off the stage already.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  2. Gay Marriage Watch

    Same-se-x marriage in the U.S.:

    Done deal: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington & the District of Columbia.

    Who's next?
    Illinois: Gov. Pat Quinn called on the Illinois House to send him legislation to legalize gay marriage, saying lawmakers had plenty of time to make up their mind on the issue. The state Senate passed the measure on Valentine's Day, and the governor has said he's ready to sign it.

    New Jersey: Gov. Christie doesn't seem to be against gay marriage coming from a ballot measure, but has stated in the past he would veto such a change from legislators. This was his stance before the President changed his views. If Christie reconsiders, NJ could be sooner than expected.

    California: It seems gay marriage will be in CA soon one way or the other. This is because polls show a much larger support for gay marriage than when Prop 8 was passed. So even if the upcoming SCOTUS case were to fail, it would likely be put to voters there very soon again.

    Hawaii: Already has some good laws on the books evidently, and although things have been put on hold until after 2013, legislators there are attempting to speed up the process.

    Virginia: A new Washington Post poll reported Tuesday, 5/14/13 shows, for the question,

    "Do you think it should be legal or illegal for gay couples to get married?",

    56% of Virginians answered legal – an increase of ten percent on the same question and answer from the same poll two years ago.

    The state, birthplace to eight U.S. presidents is adjacent to Maryland and the District of Columbia where same-se-x marriage is already legal.

    Arizona: A new Rocky Mountain poll shows 55% of Arizona residents now support gay marriage.
    Let's see around the globe:

    Done deal: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, & Uruguay, & Mexico City.

    In the works:

    Germany: On 22 March 2013 the Bundesrat passed an initiative to open marriage to same-se-x couples, which now moves onto the Bundestag for approval.

    Ireland: On 14 April 2013 as part of the Consti tutional Convention a measure voted in favour of same-se-x marriage by a margin of 79 percent.

    UK: On 5 February 2013, the House of Commons debated the Marriage (Same Se-x Couples) Bill and approved it in a 400–175 vote at the second reading. (Third reading to be scheduled.)

    Finland: 03-19-2013: The citizens' initiative overrides the committee's decision, and thus the bill must now be considered by the Parliament.

    Luxembourg: On 6 February 2013, the Chamber's justice committee agreed to approve the measure opening marriage for same-se-x couples. On 20 February, the committee initially backed the right to simple adoption for same-se-x couples. On 6 March 2013, the committee confirmed that position.

    Australia: lower house MP will seek to have his Marriage Equality Amendment Bill brought for an immediate vote in the House on June 6.

    Mexico (UPDATE): Gay marriage is already legal in Mexico City, however, the Miami Herald reported today that "A unanimous ruling by the Mexican Supreme Court overturning a state law against same-se-x marriage has opened the way for the eventual legalization of gay marriage across Mexico, legal experts say. The court ruled unconsti-tutional a law in southern Oaxaca state that defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman."

    Vietnam: Last July, the Justice Ministry in Vietnam said it would consider a provision for same-se-x marriage rights in an amendment to the country's marriage laws.

    Taiwan: Last year, a same-se-x Buddhist couple married in Taiwan, where a legalization bill has been pending since 2003. Taipei is also home to Asia's largest annual gay pride parade, according to organizers. Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice are currently examining whether to change their civil code to accept same-se-x marriage or to legislate for civil partnerships. Taiwan could very well be the first Asian country to legalize gay marriage.


    May 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  3. Mike

    What an idiot.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  4. Thomas

    The main thing wandering is what little is left of Pat's brain.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • TomGI

      His brain has been shot for a long time. Amazing to me is that anyone could follow his deranged cult.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
  5. timelord7202

    It is NOT okay to be unfaithful.

    What sort of born-again Librul is Robertson anyway?

    P.S. I am a Liberal, have never cared for the notion when rightwingers say Liberals support infidelity, and it's even more disgusting when their own do it or justify it since they're the purported party of family values.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • TomGI

      Robertson has been a right winger for ever.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
  6. carloooos

    This guy is as whacky as he has ever been,,,,

    May 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  7. Charles Darwin

    I'm really beginning to wonder how man kind survived this long with this kind of thinking.
    I just have to shake my head at the stupidity in the world.
    Even more remarkable are the people that follow this sort of nonsense. Just amazes me.
    There really isn't any hope for some people.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • timelord7202

      If you're in a position of power, there's another set of rules. Robertson is just bad at trying to pretend the same rules are for everybody.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:46 pm |

      Specially hinduism absurdity of hindu evolution invented by pot head hindu swamis, to be children of hindu monkeys, ignorant secular by nature.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
  8. pdxmum

    Ahhh, religion. Created by men, for men. What a great gig. If you're a man.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm |

      Worst of all hinduism, racism as religion.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • Galactic Prophylactic

      Well God is a "He" you know, giant cosmic penis and all...

      May 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

      your hindu thoughts came from hindu atheist, ignorant self centered Egypt of hindu dark ages, the obelisk, they prayed to as their god, and you know, what they were praying to.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
  9. Senile...

    ...is not an ocean in Egypt...

    May 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  10. Jesus freak

    No, the husband should be heartbroken at what he has done and seek to be reconciled with his wife. Otherwise she has every right to divorce him.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  11. Alzheimer's proof for atheism being the default ideology?

    Whats a God again?

    May 17, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  12. SDFrankie

    In Pat's defense, I think what he's saying is it's not like the guy killed somebody. He's a male human and history has shown a very poor track record for male humans when it comes to monogamy. Welcome to reality.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • SDFrankie

      Actually the male human track record on killing isn't so great either.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
  13. Belseth

    Amazing how many "Christian" leaders cheat on their wives with both men and women, steal, preach hate and are just plan out there like old Pat. You could count on one hand the top ones that don't all into any of the "unChristian acts" on one hand and have enough change for lottery tickets.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • It's not there fault!! Anytime they get caught it's always the first time!

      They all claim they are being targeted by Satan, and whenever they get caught they cry and weep and say it was the first time ever and they will never ever do it again and then they appeal to their parishioners forgiveness for its more important to get forgiveness from the hands with all the money then to worry about getting forgiveness from God.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
  14. lionlylamb

    There are many gods. The Gods of celestial creations are of one nature and the gods of atomic creations are of another nature. Which of these gods created one's bodies? Whose gods are for and whose gods are found against us? For the gods of atomic creations are our bodies' fathers and the Gods of celestial creations are not of our bodies' creations. The human deviltry of humanisms seems to be for the celestial gods while hardly anyone pays any attention to our bodies' gods. Go figure!

    May 17, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  15. What do Christians think about alzheimer's?

    Is it cheating if you don't remember you're married?

    May 17, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  16. Fundies Gone Wild!


    May 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  17. Kona

    What misunderstanding is CBN talking about?? Basically, Pat is saying that it's the wife's fault for not being such a great homemaker that her husband would never think about fooling around on her! If a husband just has a tendency to "wander", then what about women who "wander"? Or are the automatically labeled as hoes?

    May 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • DC1973

      Yeah, that left me scratching my head, too.

      There is no misunderstanding. I understood what he said – and what he meant – just fine.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
  18. randomguy

    This dude is looney tunes. Does he represent the Religious Right?

    May 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
  19. David

    Religion in the US today is lost, the average atheist has better morale values and shows more caring for the poor and vulnerable then these goofs who are more concerned with their own wealth and promoting a political party that calls itself Christian yet constantly works to remove supports provided to the less fortunate.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm |


      May 17, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  20. mom

    I am a Christian. I am ashamed to read this report today. If Robertson really said these things, he just gave the cause of Christ yet another black eye. Men don't want their women to wander, remember, Pat? Oh, so if he's a man, further kill yourself if you are his wife, to make a home he won't want to wander from.I n other words, it IS the woman's fault if the man 'wanders a little." WRONG. Many men just do it anyway no matter how much the wife might strive to make it all perfect. Guess what, Pat. IT'S NOT WORTH IT. Some people are trash, and Pat, you just reiniforced the idea that it's not a big deal to get your marriage and heart trashed. Just work harder, eh? You should never speak in public to anyone for any reason again.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • randomguy

      Maybe you should stop being a Christian. It's all mythical malarkey anyways, right?

      May 17, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • timelord7202


      Well said.

      For the record, I am not a Christian thanks to the hypocrisy of many who wave their flag around. Such as Robertson. Some of us have noted his double standards and duplicity for years. He's a fake, tells a tale and sells a show and people pay him for it, thinking there's value in the manufactured cant he proclaims. Which is sad; if people actually read the book they'd be astonished over lots of things – how it condones slavery, hates the wealthy, other things, and all of it said in ways to keep the masses in line, of course... let's see Christian pastors and ministers discuss the sin of wearing clothing made from multiple fabric types, the people that have Christmas meals incorporating seafood/shellfish (or any meals), and a lot of other things... do remember, it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it is for any rich person to get into heaven (is it really that simple to placate the rubes with while they're being enslaved to make others rich?)

      May 17, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
    • faith


      good one dodo

      May 17, 2013 at 10:51 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Gosh, such a brilliant response, faith.

      Just reinforces my impression of you as a complete and utter buffoon.

      May 17, 2013 at 10:55 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.