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. johnny mustard

    This muthafuka has never known what reality and the association with Jesus really is.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  2. Bob

    Sounds like Pat is preparing to come clean...

    May 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • sasha

      I think he's getting ready to be found out about his own cheating. Why would any sane person watch this man's show?

      May 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      sasha, sane people DON'T watch his show.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  3. Dan

    Pat was right about maryjane, God created it. His Other comments though; let he who is without sin cast the first stone! The bible says: for if they say they have no sin, they deceive themselves, and the TRUTH is not in them.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
  4. Jaron

    CNN's headline is unfair and misleading. "Pat Robertson defended a cheating husband this week on "The 700 Club," saying that "males have a tendency to wander." Really?? Is that what he did? Defended a cheating husband?? No, he didn't. He basically told a lady who said she was trying to forgive her husband for past indiscretions to focus on the good things and not the past. Is that such bad advice? Sure, he uttered a few sentences that sounded bad, that everyone knows he didn't mean the way they sounded. But does CNN truly not know better than to say he "defended a cheating spouse"? I am losing respect for CNN over these misleading headlines.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I'm sure CNN is worried about your lack of respect.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • yeah right

      Statements like 'he's a man, men tend to wander' and 'make it so he doesn't want to cheat' both indicate to a reasonable person a defense of cheating (akin to 'boys will be boys!') and misdirected blame (e.g. a woman's job is to keep her man from cheating since he's just naturally prone to it otherwise'.)

      Critical read much?

      May 17, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
    • Jaron

      Whatever poor language he may have used, he doesn't defend men cheating on spouses. Trying to say he does defend such things is not reading critically but taking advantage of poorly worded statements for personal or political ends. You still have a responsibility to tell the truth about people even when they stumble over their words.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      No, dear. By telling the woman that she is responsible for making home so wonderful her husband won't want to stray, Robertson has placed the blame squarely on her. If she had done her job, according to Robertson, her husband would never have had an affair.

      Stop absolving the idiot of responsibility for his words.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  5. carrie

    The USA has increasingly become the land of bigotry, lawlessness and self control (Newton and the lack of gun control), stupidity and moronic behaviour. It boggles anyones mind in the civilized word that this crap gets published. The country I travelled in extensively, invested in, has become an ignorant society of fools. Idiots. CNN stop publishing this garbage and giving this nutbar a voice.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:10 pm |

      One need not to expect any better, if truth absolute GOD is expelled from schools, and hindu atheism, criminal self center ism is pushed in to spread hindrance to truth absolute hinduism, illegality along with hindu fabrication called Evolution, for students to act like god of hindus, monkey, self centered by nature.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  6. Bob

    By the way, why do the "faithful" still listen to the guy? The majority of his predictions (as told to him directly by God) have been wrong. If God is infallible, why would he ever be wrong? I have better odds flipping a coin than listening to this false prophet.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  7. clarke

    He is a funny dude!

    May 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
  8. Paul

    I admit two things. One, I have been blessed by his work over the years. Two, age has taken a terrible toll. His board needs to push him out immediately!

    May 17, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  9. Murder Inc. Obama and Planned Parenthood

    "In a week when serial murderer Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of killing babies, I read with disgust about the allegations of Houston-based abortionist Douglas Karpen performing illegal late-term abortions surrounded by appalling sanitary conditions in his clinic," Dewhurt said in a statement that quoted and linked to the expose published by Operation Rescue.

    “The Harris County authorities should perform a full-scale investigation and take action against those who broke state law,” he added.

    Deborah Edge, Krystal Rodriguez, and Gigi Aguliar offered horrifying testimony about conditions inside one of Karpen's three abortion facilities, Aaron Women’s Clinic on Schumacher Lane.

    “Most of the time the fetus [sic] would come all the way out before he either cut the spinal cord or introduced one of the instruments into the soft-spot of the fetus in order to kill the fetus,” Edge said in a video released by Life Dynamics earlier this week. “Either that or twisting the head off the neck with his own bare hands.”

    The abortionist also suffocated babies by putting his finger down their windpipes, and placed at least one living baby, who was born on his office floor, inside a trash bag.

    The three women said that one baby, whom Karpen believed had died during the abortion, was born alive, opened its eyes, and clutched the abortionist's finger.

    “Most of the time,” Edge added, “the fetus would come completely out, and of course, the fetus would still be alive” and breathing.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Murder Inc. Obama and Planned Parenthood

      You "people" who support abortion are demon-possessed monsters. Murderers! Gutless chickensh!t murderers who take the lives of the most defenseless among us. Disgusting!

      May 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
    • The real Tom

      What does any of your hysteria have to do with the topic?

      Not a thing. Go hyperventilate elsewhere, dingus.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Murder Inc. Obama and Planned Parenthood

      Go to Hell you witch.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You're the one who believes there's a hell; you burn in it, moron.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Murder Inc. Obama and Planned Parenthood

      I'll be seeing you someday Tommie. Your future doesn't look to promising you Obamanista communist dirtbag

      May 18, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Murder Inc. Obama and Planned Parenthood

      Tomme's future:
      Isa 66:23 And it shall come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

      Isa 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

      May 18, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  10. Kermit

    Of course Pat would allow adultery. All the supposed conservative Christians who cheat on their wives need an out. God allowed Mark Sanford to lie, cheat, and steal tax dollars because he is a man his wife obviously wasn't doing her proper submissive wifely duty to keep him happy.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  11. Bob

    Just more proof that organized religion is hypocritical and does more harm than good.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • Kermit

      Don't confuse the message with the messenger. Pat is about as far from actual Christianity as we are from finding a planet made entirely of cheese.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
    • Mike

      AMEN to that!

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

      Kermit you have a point but unfortunately it seems way too many of the mouthpieces for Christian churches, the leaders and the vocal ones, come across as anything but Jesus-like. It just seems way too used for particular individual and political agendas.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  12. erivera63

    His opinion if fine...as long as it applies to men, whose women have wandered.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  13. lbdukeep

    I think its time for him to RETIRE! He's spewing bad advice all over the place. This "wandering" business – PAT ROBERTSON IS A MINISTER who's first duty TO GOD is to help UPHOLD the LAWS GOD gave man in the wilderness! YOU KNOW – THE 10 COMMANDMENTS! One of them reads: THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY! So Pat is now helping men to justify themselves in breaking GOD'S COMMANDMENTS! And telling the wives to please the husband more....be submissive....RETIRE PAT, JUST PLAIN RETIRE! You're giving out BAD ADVICE!

    May 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm |

      Not before his words about hindu atheism, criminal self center ism and the following.


      May 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
  14. ankenyman

    Robertson is an embarrassment to Christianity.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • ankenyman

      Robertson's response sounds like someone who has strayed himself by making excuses and blaming the victim.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • shawn

      Not really, he is a beacon for Christianity. I remember seeing him when I was about 12, in the 80s, and thinking, wow, all of Christ's words, that I read, you have negated.

      In the intervening 30 or so years, I've learned that all religious people are like that. You take the high road with no proof, and destroy what you want to destroy, all based on faith. I thank my non-existent God every day that I grew up and educated myself.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  15. Retired Single Dad

    I am personally offended by Mr. R's assertion that as a man I have a tendency to wander. I believe in commitment and have steadfastly lived my beliefs. Perhaps Mr. R has turets syndrome.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm |

    He cheated on his one wife by his hindu secular ism, self center ism, and whole faith is bombarded by hindu atheist, crook self centered, what about one woman marrying more than one man at a time and live together, it is some thing of holy nature by hinduism, denial of truth absolute and it is holy. high morality of hindu atheist, self centered by faith.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • Igor

      What are you trying to say?

      May 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Mark Marcie

      Religion is lame. Morals, you live only one life on this planet, make it mean something.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  17. FT

    then why are you marrying her?

    May 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
  18. 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!

    Proof that God exists? Evolution is God's proof! God's kingdom domains are of Life's Inner Chasms! God did establish the kingdom domains (our bodies) to be of evolutionary orders. The final branching of this world's evolutionary trees of cellular cosmologies was for placement of mankind. As to just exactly how things evolve, it is with God's brethren who live deeply within all Celestial Life’s biology, who make a tweaking of celestial life's mechanized physiologies to better be served by Celestial Life for its’ Inner Hosts' sakes. Surely the building of Celestial Life Formations atom by atom does not come about without a few twists. Cellular manufacturing is kind of like mankind in its ever evolving issues within all manner of our communalized manufacturing ways.

    Stupid Atheists loiter amidst the grasslands ever a wailing their contrary opinions like weeds needing to be pulled up! Stupid theists are as their atheist cousins with both sides teetering on the edges of sanctimonious ills within direness believe-abilities. Theists believe in a God of the above while atheists believe it not. Who is the worst fool, one who has their faith set to be in God above, (not the God of one’s insides) or the one who is faithlessly set against God? With God there is faith and without God there is faithlessness. Which side of mankind's equilibrium will win out? I have faith in one but not in the other.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I've never "loitered" in a "grassland" in my life. Honestly, LL, do you enjoy being thought of by everyone here as a complete nut-job?

      May 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • psych ward staff

      Uh oh – he threw up his word salad again. Clean-up on page 13 – stat!

      May 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • lbdukeep

      I don't know where all that came from....but put it back! Its pure utter nonsense!

      May 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      Galileo and Christopher Columbus and many other notables were once thought of as being and I quote a "nutjob".

      May 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • The real Tom

      The difference is, honey: they weren't. You are.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • The real Tom

      Galileo actually HAD ideas, LL. You have brain farts. Nothing more. You're not discovering anything, producing anything, or accomplishing anything. You're just farting and calling it something else.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
  19. marctheduck

    I don't know if it's "ok" to cheat (if we must call it that). But being monogamous is not natural for humans. In fact no primates are monogamous. And if anyone says "humans are" then look at the statistics. And look at our lifestyles. Few people have had only one partner in their entire lives – it happens but not that much. So it's more of a cultural norm to be monogamous than a trait of our species. But as cultural norms go we are not very successful at it. The plain fact is we are a species that naturally has multiple partners. And do to conditions in the past (and maybe somewhat in the present) it became beneficial to stay with one partner to protect and raise the young that we create. But, really, nearly all of us want to occasionally "do it" with someone we're not married to (or in a relationship with). And that has been the cause of considerable angst over the centuries. Too bad really.

    May 17, 2013 at 7:54 pm |
    • I'm an atheist and...

      I've slept with two women in my life and was married to both of them, not at the same time of course 🙂 Still married to one of them I should say 🙂

      Nothing about being Christian makes you "moral" and nothing about being atheist makes you "immoral". These are abstractions created in the minds of religious zealots who will do anything and say anything to demonize their opposition.

      May 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • erivera63

      Please don't speak for all of us humans..The difference between us and animals is that we have a choice and are not driven by pure instinct.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  20. Gay Marriage Watch

    Congrats to France today! France's consti-tutional council has rejected a challenge by conservative lawmakers to the country's new gay marriage law, saying the law was consti-tutional. President Francois Hollande, who made legalizing gay marriage one of his campaign pledges last year, has promised to see the law published as soon as possible.
    Congrats to the Assembly committee in Nevada for abolishing the state's ban on gay marriage.
    Congrats to Brazil on becoming the third and largest Latin American country to fully legalize same-sex marriage this past Tuesday, the same day that Minnesota legalized gay marriage. Before Tuesday, only some jurisdictions allowed same-sex marriage. In a bold move for the majority Roman Catholic nation, Brazil's National Council of Justice ruled that all Brazilian notary publics must register same-sex civil unions as marriages if the couple requests it. The announcement was explained by the Chief Justice of Brazil's Supreme Federal Court. (Same-sex civil unions were already recognized country-wide in Brazil since 2011.)
    Brazil, host of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, is one of the fastest-growing major economies in the world with an average annual GDP growth rate of over 5 percent. (GDP – $2.2 trillion USD in 2013). It is currently the second largest economy in the western hemisphere. The South American country has a total area slightly larger than the continental United States, and is home to ~200 million people (roughly eight times the population of the next most populous predominantly Portuguese-speaking nation). It is also the most bio-diverse country on the planet.
    Also congrats to Mexico for paving the way for gay couples to wed there. Gay marriage is already legal in Mexico City, however, the Miami Herald just reported 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."

    May 17, 2013 at 7:49 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.