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. Jeff

    This is a person who won the Washington State caucuses when he ran for President. Today Washington has legalized "gay" marriage and pot, how times have changed.

    May 18, 2013 at 2:33 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Why the quotes on gay marriage? There will be a time that it will be referred to simply as marriage. That time is rapidly approaching. and yes, times change, most often for the better as in the examples you cited.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  2. FrkIt

    my posts are being deleted as crazy

    May 18, 2013 at 2:27 am |
  3. FrkIt

    Shhhh, we should acquire our secrets with silence and faith....

    May 18, 2013 at 2:24 am |
    • required

      The bible is filled with reports of people praying to God and miracles from God happening. That is the reality of it.

      May 18, 2013 at 2:38 am |
    • Mirosal

      no, the reality is that those stories were not written by the people to whom the "miracles" happened, nor were they written by any eyewitness. They were just stories handed down, some for hundreds of years, some only a couple of decades ... but still, handed down stories nonetheless.

      May 18, 2013 at 3:55 am |
    • tallulah13

      And The Lord of the Rings is filled with reports of magic and elves and evil sorcerers. That's the reality of it.

      May 18, 2013 at 4:00 am |
    • _

      There's a time when you meet someone so incredible, you know you'll never meet someone like that again, ever. You know that's not the only one, but it's the only one you've met like that. They were willing to die for him, and him likewise. Others called them worthless outcasts, but he didn't care, he came to help them, and was killed for doing so. You think that's so impossible? It's not.

      God exists, he's real, he's there, and he's always been there. He's incredible... you don't know what you're missing out on.

      May 18, 2013 at 5:59 am |
    • Mirosal

      to "-" ... you realize of course you're basing your life on a 2000 year old book filled with 3000 year old stories that can never be substantiated, don't you? Your "god" only exists in your own mind, what little of it that's left. You said "God exists, he's real, he's there" ... ok .. simple claim, now put up or shut up. In other words, SHOW us, and do it without quoting from your big book of fables.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:31 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things

      May 18, 2013 at 6:41 am |
    • Mirosal

      It's been proven that it doesn't work.

      May 18, 2013 at 6:55 am |
    • _

      Some of them went to their deaths without denying God, because they loved him that much. They accepted that God hates dis-belief, and they were willing to die when others around them didn't believe God, and had them put to death for their belief. For some people, it is impossible to leave or forget God, because he's right there with you.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Or because they are mentally ill and completely out of touch with reality.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:58 am |
    • _

      God knows what's going on everywhere.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:04 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Maybe, if there is a god. . .

      May 18, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Science

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things.............Hey Cap't.........how is the ass today ?

      May 18, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Mirosal

      Ask the Holocaust victims, all 11 million, if their prayers saved them from the horrors.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • great intellect my ass

      what kind of idiot, perverse ass hole uses the sufferings of others to try to justify its sicko position mirrorsally . Mensa my ass

      May 18, 2013 at 8:21 am |
    • Mirosal

      it was claimed (by you) that prayer works ... I have just shown that it did not. Do you wish to continue? Or would you rather quit while you're not even at the starting gate yet?

      May 18, 2013 at 8:23 am |
  4. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    Many in my field believe that the many references to Jesus as being "dumb" were in fact a reference to the fact that he was mute. This has given further creedence to the well known assertion that Jesus did not deliver the "sermon on the mount" but instead "signed" his wisdom to the deaf community present at the time.

    May 18, 2013 at 2:19 am |
    • FrkIt

      u fk, u make no sense, a poet

      May 18, 2013 at 2:22 am |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      Did you know that in the Gospel of Thomas, it is written that Jesus relied heavily on Thomas saying, "...it is a weary day dream that Thomas earns great victory in quenching the thirst of my people."

      It was incorrectly translated from the Coptic to mean that "Thomas the Contender" was a champion for Jesus, when in fact; Jesus was referring to Thomas' ability to mix wine-based cocktails! We often joke that he should have been called, "Thomas the Bartender".

      May 18, 2013 at 2:25 am |
    • Topher

      Is that where you're getting this stuff? The gnostic gospels? Pshaw.

      May 18, 2013 at 2:27 am |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      In the Gnostic Gospels, Peter and Matthew are depicted as unable to understand Jesus’ message, most likely due to his deafness. While the other disciples took the time to learn sign language, such as it was, Peter and Matthew did not find this to be important.

      Scholars have interpreted this as a criticism against the school of Christianity associated with the Gospel of Matthew where Matthew writes, “…our Lord, be He holy and impressive is challenging. He challenges us in mind and patience.”

      May 18, 2013 at 2:30 am |
  5. FrkIt

    The doc knows his bible, that's for luck

    May 18, 2013 at 2:16 am |
  6. jeremy

    It is true. Look at animals. The female cares for the young, the male runs off. Just cause we're human doesn't mean we're not similar if not the same as animals in many ways! Men do like to roam sometimes. Get over it. Robertson is semi correct.

    May 18, 2013 at 2:16 am |
  7. Durtmagert

    This cat has lost it,..his followers are in denial. He is the poster boy for hypocrisy. Wake up you silly sheople.

    May 18, 2013 at 2:12 am |
  8. miscreantsall

    LMAO…………….hysterical stuff.

    Got to love those conservative christian morons.

    May 18, 2013 at 2:09 am |
  9. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    If you read both Timothy and Phillip, there are passages which describe in detail that Jesus was cremated.

    We know this because his friends were asked to take his ashes to the Sea of Galilee and deposit them over, "...the lapping waves of His Father's own sink basin".

    Furthermore we read in a passage from Timothy that, “…the ashes were as grains of sand. I have tasted his body.” This passage is thought to have been incorrectly translated into the last supper myth.

    May 18, 2013 at 2:07 am |
    • FrkIt

      It never happened, you make it sound like it did

      May 18, 2013 at 2:18 am |
  10. Spencer Brown

    I don't like that CNN put threw in some of Pat's more ridiculous statements with some that were more reasonable. Marijuana legalization is a forward looking point of view. It's also the Christian point of view to keep people out of jail for trivial and non-offenses. Asking a woman to forgive adultery is also a Christian point of view, as Jesus tells us to forgive. What else is she supposed to do – be bitter about it forever?

    May 18, 2013 at 2:02 am |
    • George Powell

      What would Robertson say for a case of gender reversal – could he be so "understanding" of a wife's infidelity? Yet, could his position for male excuse be self serving – that he might be found out to be a tad like Jimmy swaggert? (But now his handlers are back-paddling)

      May 18, 2013 at 3:18 am |
  11. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    In the Gospel of Truth, it states, "Jesus found the scribes to be ignorant and foul smelling..."

    These men were his employees and Jesus showed a discernible dislike for them. Perhaps out of jealousy that they were educated where he was not.

    The text goes on to say, "...and Jesus thought not of the female form, and from heaven came to remove ignorance"

    Again giving weight to the common thinking that Jesus was a homosexual

    May 18, 2013 at 2:00 am |
    • Topher

      The Gospel of Truth?

      May 18, 2013 at 2:02 am |
    • FrkIt

      Paul made it all up for Christs sake. Paul was crazy, probably, do you get it?

      May 18, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • Topher

      Why do you think Paul was crazy?

      May 18, 2013 at 2:07 am |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      In the Jesus Gospel he discusses long journeys east of the desert where, "....there I encountered great wisdom and peace among the monks. They removed the sand from my sandals and blew upon my feet with flowered breath"

      He goes on to say that, "...we meditated together for many days, fasting but joyful in the divine and always mindful of odor."

      He brought these teachings to his 12 plus Mary and his parents saying, "...know me and know the many lives of the snake, the lizard, and the beasts of all previous lives. Mine is the journey of a God. Perfection can be found through self-sacrifice."

      This is well doc.u.mented but sadly, few too people understand that Jesus was no more a rabbi than me.

      He was a monk, and according to Timothy, an enthusiastic nudist. "...without concern nor bashfulness, the fullness of our Lord cannot be contained by his tunic."

      May 18, 2013 at 2:08 am |
    • FrkIt


      May 18, 2013 at 2:09 am |
    • Topher


      Are you feeling OK?

      May 18, 2013 at 2:10 am |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      We know that the so called "missionary position" was so named after Jesus walked in on Mary Magdalene and Joseph having relations. He condemned their activities saying, "...you have soiled my sheets, you have confused my mission and compromised my position."

      May 18, 2013 at 2:17 am |
    • FrkIt

      fk off you are too funny.

      May 18, 2013 at 2:20 am |
  12. Topher

    Pat should give it up and retire. There's been way too many screw ups.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:59 am |
  13. FrkIt

    Poets are such fks, gimbals that not much

    May 18, 2013 at 1:56 am |
  14. jj

    That's right...blame the wife for her husband cheating. Her home wasn't wonderful enough...

    This is very pathetic of him to say, but it is what society (both men & women) think when they JUDGE a woman who has been cheated on. People blame the one who was FAITHFUL. It's sick.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:52 am |
  15. Michael A Ruzicho

    I don't agree with adultry or with non believers, but in this country we have the right to believe in whatever we want. We as human beings all sin so I do not cast stones at Mr. Robertson. Life is about learning from your mistakes and gaining the experience and knowledge to correct one's self and personal growth.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:52 am |
    • Dirk Diggler

      "in this country we have the right to believe in whatever we want. We as human beings all sin so I do not cast stones at Mr. Robertson"

      I was wondering if you really believe this when it comes to a women's right to choose and gay marriage.

      May 18, 2013 at 2:20 am |
  16. Beloved

    What Robertson said is not because he is getting old or actually he didn't mean what he said. He said exactly what he believes. He is a fool, and a biggot. He believes that it is ok for a husband to stray now and then because he is a man, and the wife should forgive him. What a stupid thing to say to a woman whose life has been shattered, and calls this man for support , and advise. The sad thing is, that a lot of people send their hard earned money to this idiot, and he laughs at them all the way to the bank.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:49 am |
    • weinerdoggy

      I so agree!

      May 19, 2013 at 11:17 am |
  17. JJ

    When is this disgusting excuse for a human being going to die? Where do we have to send a note to hurry that up?

    May 18, 2013 at 1:41 am |
  18. Chris

    ...and in other news Pat Robertson won the annual circle jerk contest he hosts in his basement.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:39 am |
  19. Dr. Donnel Johnson

    In my research I have found that Mary Magdalene was in fact both consort and wife. A consort was simply a companion. If you read the scriptures, you will find that in the late BE and early CE, it was actually possible to both be married and single simultaneously.

    How you ask?

    You must refer to the Gnostic versus attributed to Phillip who said, "Be it spouse or alone, we are only that which our threshold allows on the Sabbath."

    Loosely translated it means a woman can be beholden to a man one day, and quite free the next. This makes polygamy possible without breaking God's law against Adultery.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:38 am |
    • FrkIt

      What written proof do you have of any of this?

      There is no written proof Christ was real.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:40 am |
    • Dr. Donnel Johnson

      There is much that does not get told in popular biblical academia.

      For example, Jesus tells us that his father and mother "have not spaketh a single word in two years plus three. This sounds like a man scorned to me.

      How can we prove marital troubles in the home of Jesus? Reading from Mary (Magdalene), she says, "when Joseph's gaze met mine I felt a burning deep within...." She goes on to discuss Jesus' jealousy and rage.

      Is it possible Joseph never forgave Mother Mary for her affair, and Joseph and Jesus were competing for Mary Magdalene’s affection?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:55 am |
    • Jargo


      May 18, 2013 at 1:57 am |
    • FrkIt

      Stink, cut to the short, its all tripe

      my stomach is in a rancor

      May 18, 2013 at 1:59 am |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Dr. Donnel Johnson



      May 18, 2013 at 3:24 am |
    • CS

      Hey realpeace, long time no see! Yes tis I, watching Netflix and playing around.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  20. FrkIt

    Just stuck a finger in my ear, wriggled it around a few times, then smelt it

    It was a smell of odoriferous, earthiness, but of a bitter scent that my dogs somehow understood the import

    they did

    May 18, 2013 at 1:37 am |
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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.