May 17th, 2013
12:12 PM ET

Pat Robertson shrugs off adultery, CBN regrets the misunderstanding

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

(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. ari

    pat robertson is a professional troll... please stop giving him the attention he so desperately craves.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Michael

      He's even doing a trollface in the image at the top.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  2. oldowl

    "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone...." (John 8: 7 KJV)

    May 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • Rebecca

      Well, if the woman was without the sin of adultery... she could go ahead and seduce the hot man of her choice. Then they would be equally yoked.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • jodioli

      I think the problem here is that Robertson casts quite a lot of stones, and people are calling him on it.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  3. Rob

    Jesus, himself, is quoted as saying some horrible things about women. If there is a god, my guess is that he wants nothing to do with Christianity.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • GinCas

      I agree, Rob!

      May 17, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
    • as always

      sincas is also wrong

      May 17, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  4. Rob

    I'm sorry to break this to you, but men like this have been speaking for your god all along. They wrote all the religious texts you read.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
  5. Michael

    Funny how he thinks it's okay for straight men to cheat on their spouses because their wife isn't pretty enough or whatever, but doesn't think it's okay for two gay men to have a loving, faithful, monogamous relationship.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  6. Selma

    He's an old fool who needs to retire.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
  7. JPX

    Pat Robertson is a horrible, horrible man who has made a fortune off of stupid people (i.e. religious people). I look forward to the day that he dies.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm |
  8. Wyckette

    If Christian men marry in a Christian church and recite vows of faithfulness – does that mean that all Christian men lie at Christian marriage ceremonies? And does that mean that when Pat Robertson married he lied? Does that mean Pat Robertson has "wandered a bit" from his wife, but that's OK because he's a man?

    Mr. Robertson needs to read his Bible again. He is "wandering a bit" away from Christ's teachings.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  9. Caddis

    Sick of Robertson and evangelicals judging and moralizing and condemning while they scam, cheat and spread hate.
    You creep me out !

    May 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  10. 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' husbanded fathers and the Gods of celestial creations are not of our bodies' creations. The human deviltry of socialized humanisms seems to be for the celestial gods while hardly anyone pays any attention to our bodies' gods. Go figure!

    May 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
  11. EJ

    I would like to cheat – but I don't. It doesn't matter what I WANT to do. I know what's right and wrong, I know who will be hurt (especially my kids). We make choices and "that's the way I am" is no excuse for making destructive, selfish choices that devastate other people.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
  12. Bob

    Religion = irrational nonsense.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • ben williams


      May 17, 2013 at 10:58 pm |
  13. justin leblanc

    I'm a Christian, but I'm so tired of men like this believing they somehow speak for god. They do such a disservice to a cause they are supposed to champion. Stop giving me your opinions on what to believe. I can completely understand why people question any religion when men like this are held up as the standard bearers.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Athy

      Why don't you question Christianity, Justin? Don't you think it's a little silly?

      May 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • Kenchandammit

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of people, and I mean a LOT of people, who are too simple-minded to figure out that this guy, and others like him who are complete morons, are simply out to fleece the simple-minded out of their life savings.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Rob

      I'm sorry to break this to you, but men like this have been speaking for your god all along. They wrote all the religious texts you read. They created the churches. Jesus, himself, is quoted as saying some horrible things about women. If there is a god, my guess is that he wants nothing to do with Christianity.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm |
    • jim

      rob, actually Jesus was the kindest Jew of his day when it came to the treatment of women. I would like to know where you read any negative "Quotes" from him. really,

      May 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm |
  14. Bootyfunk

    h.omophobic hate speech. doing god's work - promoting bigotry and intolerance. how much money has this guy scammed elderly believers for? that is the face of evil.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
  15. Livilla

    Hypocrite is one of those bleached bones....like the rest of the xian elite.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  16. agFinder

    Saying something is a tendency of human beings is not the same thing as saying it's OK. From a religious perspective the very foundation of Christianity is that "all people have sinned and come short of the glory of God", and a secular, moralist perspective teaches that we all should acknowledge our weaknesses in order to overcome them. Why is the truth so hard for so many people to hear?

    May 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Livilla

      You must be another one of those adulterous hypocrites. Clearly, you are no Christian.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
    • mustangally1

      You, my good man, are an idiot.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • mustangally1

      You, my good man, are a complete freaking idiot.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
  17. nostod

    It is comforting there are so many "perfect people" out there so willing to judge just about anyone with any weakness what so ever, HA HA.

    Robertson first of all never said it was ok to commit adultery. What he said is that men are weak and women should take this into consideration instead of hating them.

    I know for most of you the concept of forgiveness is foreign to you.

    God have mercy on our wicked souls

    May 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  18. John Kirby

    Without question Pat Robertson has wandered.
    That's why he is justifying immoral behavior.
    But I bet he is keeping his tax exempt status and his estate is in good shape.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  19. EJ

    A cheater owns his/her decision to cheat. Blaming the spouse is just a con to avoid accountability.

    May 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • nostod

      It is not a matter of blame it is a matter of tempting the other person to fail so you can elevate your self righteous ego over them. (this is called judgement)

      When you are married you are one flesh . The wife owns the husband and the husband owns the wife ( I know you really hate this idea but it is true).

      You should do all you can to be the best person for your spouse and not hold any thing back. It is this holding back (resentment, anger and judgement) that temps your spouse to fail. You become part of the failure. If my wife fails, it is my failure.

      You help your spouse fail and then judge their failure to elevate your own evil ego

      We are our brothers keeper whether we like it or not. So much more so our wives and children.

      there is no such thing as a failed marriage only failing people.

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

      God have mercy on our wicked souls

      May 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
  20. Angel Moronic

    Hey ladies, Pat Robertson is a Man , OK ?

    May 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm |

      With his own right of opinion, faith has nothing to do with it.

      May 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52
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.