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. Please know

    This man in no way represents Christians or Christianity.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Indeed he does. His ratings and popularity thru the years contradict your statement. Who do you think has been watching and sending him money ?

      May 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      amen to that!

      May 17, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
    • Thomas

      He represents and speaks on behalf of MILLIONS of Christians in the United States. Who do you think sends him donations each and every week to keep his "ministry" up and running? Muslims? Buddhists? Nuwaubians?

      May 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • Spirit1

      This man, does NOT represent REAL Christians. The only Christians he represents are Christians in Name Only, who go with any "feel good" denomination, as long as it doesn't interfere with their own beliefs and choices. Devout Christians, who follow Christ, ignore this man, completely. The only ratings he gets are from those who are willing to "drink the Kool Aid" of his watered down version of Faith. Poor man. It's time he and his Ministry of deceit, and lack of faithfulness were turned off, once and for all. He is waaaay too old to be preaching. Were it not for a teleprompter, he probably couldn't figure out which page he is even on.. He is really a pathetic excuse, for a Christian, with statements like that. Pray for Mercy for him, and that his sponsors realize, it's time to retire him. 🙂

      May 17, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • Ken Margo


      This is the problem with religion. Why should we believe you over him? Or him over you? This is why laws CANNOT be based on religious beliefs because who's version should we believe? If religion was kept where it belongs (church and home) we wouldn't have to deal with the whack jobs. (Westboro Baptist Church, Pat Robertson etc..)

      May 17, 2013 at 9:18 pm |
  2. Just Call Me Lucifer

    Pat Robertson is my little gay-boy slave who I have toss my salad on a daily basis. Amen.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  3. BMP

    If there is a hell, I'll see you there, Pat.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:35 pm |

    don't do my crazy father did, filthy Taliban doing funky dance, way of life of muslim seculars, ignorant self centered.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:35 pm |

      It is problem of a muslim marriage and whole faith is bombarded by fu king taliban, self centered, preaching morals, but what one has to say about religion of wahabi mother f kers, criminal self center ism, called islam ism, women enslaved for ever.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm |
    • Rob

      What is this babble about?

      May 17, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • Rob

      Oh well that made sense. LOL.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
  5. SO GLAD

    It takes 2 to make a home, not just one of the spouse.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  6. lionlylamb

    Pat, just one oracle in the Christendom of many oracles who take and take without giving back much of any worth. It truly is detestable the soulless pilfering of humanisms who cannot spiritually contend for themselves.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  7. SO GLAD


    May 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  8. mindstorms

    Many years ago I came across this guys tv show and was just fascinated with the fact that so many people tuned in and sent money. To me he represented the stereotype con artist you read about or see in the movies.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
  9. Mara Tam


    May 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  10. westsacvoice

    So it is the woman's fault that she doesn't make the home so good as to wonderful as to prevent a man from "wandering". Nice way to take us back a few centuries in our thinking of women. Home not good enough = ok to cheat.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  11. Tax the church

    He is not a man of god. he is an animal with power. One of the worst humans on earth.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
  12. Rob

    I am a Christian and this guy in no speaks for me or anyone I know. This is about the dumbest statement I've heard in a while outside of politics. I know many guys that a are faithful and loving and I also have met women that see cheating as almost a sport. Time for ole Pat to retire, he's losing it

    May 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm |
  13. TM

    Robertson has proven beyond any doubt that he is, and always has been, nothing more than a fraud. He has built an empire of lies and deceit. He has borne false witness, and now openly condones adultery. Wonder how many other Commandments he has broken?

    May 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  14. Hillary 2016

    This televangelist will tell you its ok to beat your own mother if you just send him the right amount of money... Why is this guys opinion news? He has made a living fleecing stupid religious people (an oxymoron, I know) for decades.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  15. paul

    this guy is an idiot

    May 17, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  16. CBP

    If Mr. Robertson believes that men have a wandering eye why is this acceptable behavior. When marriage vows are read no one mention that man is weak. In fact we hope that men will be strong and remain faithful. But then it now appears that conservative men can stray at any time. Thus politicians who stray should not be judged too harshly. Is he kidding or does he believe his own words.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • joma

      There's not much to debate here. Pat Robertson is a nut. His statements are ridiculous, this is just another in a long list. It keeps the CBN publicist busy. Also, don't call this Christianity; it is bats in the belfry. Time for Pat to retire.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  17. Raymond C.

    And yet soooooooo many Americans (and other nationalities) consider this guy is almost a saint. Christianity gone schlock.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • ssm2000

      I am not sure that is the case from most faith based organizations anymore. I think he has lost his marbles.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Imagine No Religion

      Sorry Ray, but xianity (as well as all other religions) have ALWAYS been schlock. It's just that some pastors/preachers/priests hide it better than others.

      "There ain't no Jesus gonna come from the sky.
      Now that I found out, I know I can cry." - John Lennon

      May 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm |
  18. Don't cheat

    Cheating and pillaging and all those other things humans do is proof to me that getting rid of religion will not, infact make all people suddenly become logical.

    Those decisions are not logical.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  19. J Ingram

    His perspective on cheating by the wife would be interesting I bet. This man needs to get into the 18th century – he's about 200 years behind the rest of us.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  20. Don't cheat

    People...I dont care what religion you are or if you even have a religion. Don't cheat on your spouse..it's common sense. You risk diseases, you risk divorce, you risk hurting your significant other, you risk your sanity. It takes more effort to cheat than not to cheat.
    Don't cheat..that's just pure practicality right there.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:14 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.