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. FrkIt

    Cant say cu nn ling ness apparently

    May 17, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's "cunnilingus".

      May 17, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • FrkIt

      Burb, Cu

      May 17, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • FrkIt


      See, they deny me

      May 17, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • FrkIt

      Wretch, I cut and paste and they delete.

      Do you have a special power?

      May 17, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Athy


      May 17, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • FrkIt

      Fk you all I cant say C


      May 17, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • Athy


      May 18, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • FrkIt

      They don't like me, I just tried saying your F word with a copy and paste and ....

      F u ck.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • Athy

      You gotta know how.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • FrkIt

      Plz tell me your secret of pleasing, I will pay

      May 18, 2013 at 12:45 am |
  2. FrkIt

    Burb, 123

    May 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
  3. Reality

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched" (as is Pat Robertson). After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man or Pat Robertson would do or say?

    May 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • mcrunner34

      I don't know...but you need a serious culture, sociological, and historical perspective.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • required

      You're wrong. I agree with the apostles, Jesus is who he said he is. He could have destroyed all of them at any time, but he loves us so much, he was willing to face the roman soldiers and be beaten to near death, then nailed to a cross naked, and die in front of those that loved him, as well as others that ridiculed him... like you people now. That shows strength of will unmatched by anyone, and unrecognized by those that don't believe him.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:48 am |
    • Reality

      “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

      The Situation Today
      Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

      It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:54 am |
  4. Tina Stockton

    Robertson is a Neanderthal. Excusing adultery with the dismissive comment that "men wander" is idiotic, insensitive and a few 100 years behind modern times.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
  5. The real Tom

    Goshers, what happened to dottie? Did it slink away in shame after confronted with facts?

    May 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Observer

      Give him/her time. It's only been an hour and 40 minutes. This could be their first time reading a Bible.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
  6. Andrew

    It is shocking that anyone still listens to this fraudster.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
  7. atomD21

    I can imagine the panic at the CBN offices... "Oh no, the old man's off his meds again! Quick, prepare a statement that says he's essentially senile!"

    May 17, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Athy

      I think he was born senile. Seems to me most Christians are. Could any sane person believe such idiotic bullshit?

      May 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • atomD21

      While I agree that people that listen to and agree with crazy uncle Pat are a few fries short of a Happy Meal, I would disagree that most Christians are nuts, as I tend to consider myself a bit on the not crazy side. The problem is the shining examples of rational people that believe both in God and equality and tolerance are not the loudmouths on TV, or the awful people protesting at funerals.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  8. FrkIt

    Another example of religious extremism at its worst, and he has millions of conservative voting followers.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • atomD21

      If it makes you feel any better, the average age of people out there that still watch the 700 Club is pretty close to 948, so there won't be too many still around to vote before too much longer...

      May 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
  9. Richy

    He needed to rub his pe.nis in a vi.gina? Horrible decision! Horrible.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's "vagina".

      May 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • atomD21

      @ Dippy... You're like the vulgar grammar nazi! I love it!

      May 17, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
  10. Jeanette

    What a total A**hole.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Dippy

      It's "asshole".

      May 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm |
  11. mattyweaves

    Dafuq did I just read?

    May 17, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
  12. FrkIt

    If people believe in and talk to imaginary beings...

    Aren't there laws against that or should we just leave people the fk alone so long as the don't preach hate?

    May 17, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
  13. Fritz Hohenheim

    If storms are god's punishment for allowing gays to roam, I guess there must be an awful lots of gay people on Jupiter.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
  14. Emoje

    Pat Robertson was born with dementia.

    May 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • FrkIt

      So he should be locked up?

      May 17, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
  15. FrkIt

    God just told me lots of haters are going to hell...

    May 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm |


    May 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • Dippy

      Mike, turn off your caps lock, it makes you appear to be a child (maybe you are?)

      May 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • atomD21

      Yeah, that's most defnintely a valid point, but the caps lock makes it seem like inane babble.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
  17. Austin

    Pat Robertson is like the Iranian regime and talk about hom.o se.xuals . They would rather not hear about it or talk about it, simply because negativity is just negative . There are more positive things to talk about than revealing a bunch of allready known sinfulness.

    it is comparable to the way poop stinks. no one wants to smell it or hear it.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You would know about poop and stink.

      As to the rest of your post, Austin, it's indecipherable. As usual.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    • Austin

      I am just saying, ......there are no ho.mo.se.xuals in iran. Its just the truth.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "there are no ho.mo.se.xuals in iran. Its just the truth."
      You may be beyond help if you are stupid enough to buy into that bullshit.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
    • Athy

      Austin, you fool, there are homosexuals in Iran. You don't live there, do you?

      May 17, 2013 at 11:13 pm |
    • Observer


      "I am just saying, ......there are no ho.mo.se.xuals in iran. Its just the truth."

      There are none that would dare announce they are.

      You are naive beyond belief if you actually believe that nonsense or else you don't know what the word "truth" means.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm |
    • The real Tom

      "Naive" would be too kind. Austin is just ignorant. Or stupid. Or both.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • atomD21

      Thanks for the headache trying to decipher that post, Austin...

      May 17, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Austin", but that's the stupidest thing you have said to date on the Belief Blog.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
  18. Mr.Head too big

    Who listens to this kook ? Last years he said when your spouse has Alzheimer you should put them in a nursing home, divorce them and start dating and find a new mate. Like I said "who listens to this kook with the big head ?

    May 17, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
  19. ***

    This guy reminds me of an old weasel... He has put his foot in his mouth often through the years. But when it comes to having anything to do about man/women relationship, adultery vs faithfulness , he can't hide his true colors. Once his wife appeared on one of their telethons...it was a publicity show up..... It was very obvious she couldn't stand to be around him. She knew his true colors. This guy has no business giving advice to anyone else. He doesn't' deserve her.

    May 17, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Austin

      you are probably right. but maybe not.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
  20. FrkIt

    God is talking to him, so shouldn't he be locked up?

    May 17, 2013 at 10:56 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.