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. mred

    Pat is a twisted, disturbed old man. He used to be a twisted, disturbed young man.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
    • John Kirby

      Accurate assessment

      May 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  2. Hypocrits All!

    "Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery." (Luke 16:18)

    May 17, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • nostod

      Which means most are living in adultery.

      All this sin is at the very root of our condition in America.

      America has sown to the wind and will now reap the whirlwind

      God have mercy on our wicked souls

      May 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
  3. Bhawk

    How do you psudo-christians feel now–so much for that adulty commandment–and he is one of your leaders.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
    • Dippy

      Pseudo...not psudo.
      Adultery...not adulty.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
  4. Livilla

    According to his "God", no. It is not ok. Ever. So when does this bleached bone hypocrite 'hate the sin' and attack the sinner the same way he attacks gays, women, those of a different color, ethnicity, religion or pokitical affiliation? Oh, right...this is one of his 'peers' so it doesn't count. Nice pretzel ethics!

    May 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  5. Spirit1

    Pat Robertson, does not represent SANE Christians, whose marriage vows mean more to them,
    than an "affair". Cheating is NOT okay, because the cheater is actually cheating on themselves, and
    the results can wreak havoc on families.
    Mr. Robertson, is exhibiting definite signs of severe dementia, which is common for 89 yr. olds who don't know when to
    hang it up, and spend his days sitting on the porch, sipping Lemonade, and getting his Soul in order to meet his Creator.
    I wonder what excuse he is going to offer Jesus, about all his Gaffs and indiscretions? I would pay, to see that.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      How can we tell the sane Christians from the whack job Christians? They both read the same book!

      May 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  6. lionlylamb

    Common folk people who choose godliness as being their life's crux will find failure after failures in a world getting ever filled with growing faithlessness. Be of gladness all you who have no children to be given up to this world's ever growing faithless for nothing good can ever come from humanisms of faithlessness.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  7. BIgD

    Oh, Pat, Pat, Pat.
    You ignorant old fool.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
  8. denie

    Put down the crack pipe Mr. Robertson!

    May 17, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
  9. Nick

    the big story here is that it is 2013 and people are still listening to Pat Robertson and coming to him for advise!

    May 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • Thomas

      No, the bigger story is this a Front page story on CNN.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • Dippy

      Advice...not advise. You have noun/verb confusion.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:59 pm |
  10. Just Call Me Lucifer

    Pat has got nothing on my favorite TV preacher, Peter Popoff. At a recent revival in Tampa, he sent his wife out into the
    mostly black audience to have them "testify" about receiving "Divine Transfers" of money that god sent them because they sprinkled a free sample of "miracle water" on themselves that the Popoff Ministries sends to you for "free". While both the testifier and Peters wife are on camera, you can see the wife mouthing every word the testifier is saying because she can't keep herself from following the "testimony" on the teleprompter. Hallelujah!

    May 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  11. Marika1970

    Wow! 😳 Sounds like he's Mr. Unfaithful and the wife doesn't have to forgive him after he stabbed his wife and children in the back by cheating on his family.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
  12. Fundies Gone Wild!


    May 17, 2013 at 8:49 pm |


    May 17, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  14. pegpru

    I must have missed the asterisk saying "women only" after "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Robertson is an idiot, and it is profoundly sad that millions consider him a moral guide.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
    • moas786

      very well said, he is an idiot because he has cheated on his wife and now he wants to live with his shame...

      May 17, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  15. Judzea

    Cheat.. Pat Robertson says it's ok..

    May 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
  16. nuclear mike

    Move over Farwell, someone else wants your seat in Hell!!!

    May 17, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  17. Jimh77

    Many years ago Pat started spewing things from his mouth. It was at that time I stopped listening to him and lost all credibility as far as I am concerned. I see he hasn't stopped yet. I feel almost sorry for him.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
    • Athy

      I feel sorry for the fools that enjoy listening to him. And even sorrier for the ones that send him money!

      May 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  18. pmmarion

    Cheat as much as you want... Pat Robertson says it is just fine with the lord..

    May 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm |


    May 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Rob

      Now we're getting somewhere, ISLAM. The universal language.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm |

      hinduism, absurdity of hindu, crooks made in Bombay in hindered gutter of hindu secular ism ,self center ism india, and posted by a hindu ID thief.

      May 17, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
    • Equalizer357

      Allahu Akhbar....sharmutas...!!!!!!!! hahahahahahaha....

      May 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
  20. Dr Matrix

    What a hypocrite. Being faithful to your spouse is a decision you make according to your values. For someone who judges the rest of us as sinners he is showing his true values. Perhaps he is even admitting something.

    May 17, 2013 at 8:41 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.