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. SmarterThan I Look

    Sign this guy up for Washington. He sounds like he's ready for politics.

    May 18, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  2. JK

    What a hypocrite....I guess the ten commandments don't mean much

    May 18, 2013 at 8:39 am |
    • Science

      lol??....................find your sand box yet ?

      May 18, 2013 at 8:43 am |
  3. 100percentchanceofafauxpas

    He's 83. Not much left on his dance card. The last vestiges of good ole time hate religion is on it's way out!

    May 18, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  4. v2787

    What a hypocritical, self-serving miscreant this Robertson is. Why anyone would listen to him is a mystery–this old guy is nothing but a charlatan.

    May 18, 2013 at 8:34 am |
    • Sane Person

      Because for a few bucks, Pat here will tell weak minded sheeple that "god" loves them more than other people, so that they can feel special for a while.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:57 am |
  5. Grafted Olive Branch

    Pat Robertson has spoken millions of words of wisdom over his life time. He then speaks a few words of controversy with pointed truth and honesty and he is condemned. I love and appreciate your teachings Pat. Can’t say I have always agreed but you stand your ground when you are right and you humbly admit when you are wrong. God speed to you.

    May 18, 2013 at 8:29 am |
    • Mirosal

      look back at your hero's words from the early 1980's, when AIDS made itself known. Listen to who he blamed and what he said the cause was. Yeah, he's a real wise(ass) person isn't he?

      May 18, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • marilyn

      So you think a Haitian "pack with the devil" causing earthquake is 'a few words of controversy'? If you send me your address, I will be glad to mail you a science book.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Sane Person

      He is, and always has been, a lying, cheating, greedy bigot who fleeced the sheeple to make millions. Congrats on being one of his many check writers.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:56 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Listening to Grafted is like listening to my cousin's newborn grandson...neither make sense. Yesterday Grafted blamed his brother's wife for his brother fooling around on her all over the fact that the wife gained weight...all the while claiming he does not support adultery (obviously not comprehending that he contradicts himself).

      May 18, 2013 at 9:10 am |
  6. Tibeau

    Mathew 7:21-23 Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
    Perhaps this verse applies to Mr. Robertson, and several others.

    May 18, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  7. Woody

    The only time Pat opens his mouth is to change feet.

    May 18, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Mirosal

      That would explain his bad breath .. it's athlete's foot fungus!!! Thank you for showing us why everything he says stinks.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:29 am |
  8. Colin

    I understand that this deluded old fool's followers are now, by and large, in their 70s themselves. I think the days of activist Christians having any real political power in the USA are fading away. They are losing the gay marriage issue, the contraceptives issue, the abortion rights issue (although this is still a tough fight), blue laws still only exist in a few backwater places and every time they try and bring the evolution/intelligent design issue to the courts they get destroyed.

    By and large, we are emerging from our Greco-Roman superst.ition that a sky-fairy is watching our every move and will burn us or reward us after we die based on what he sees. Even typing this old fashioned belief seems silly now!

    May 18, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      what a well stated and cogent reply, dot. (not)

      Would you like to add anything, like say a point?

      May 18, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Colin

      From what I can tell, "Dot" is a frequent blogger on this site who suppresses his name and hides behind his "dot" whenever he wants to fire off an insult. I guess (s)he identifies more with the name they use here than most of us do.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Colin is correct. The demographics don't lie. Young people overwhelming support gay rights, womens' right to choose, contraception and are less religious. The passing of the guard will helrald a new, less conservative future.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Robert Brown


      As long as there are Christians in the US we will have political power.

      The Roman Empire is it, even in its disintegrated and dispersed form, it is the last great empire, before Jesus comes again.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      But that's just it. Jesus isn't comng back. That's a fantasy. We're on our own people so suck it up and get with the program.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • maria wilkes

      Biased and hater, best describes Colin. We fight for freedom of speech but folks like you would only allow your views to appear righteous when in fact it is pure foolishness and hate. Your remarks are exactly what you fought against which are acceptance and openess of which you don't appear to have. You are truly the typical hypercrite!

      May 18, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Why do people always cry "hate" when someone disagrees with their opinion. He may lace his statement with dis-respectful words, but there is no hate. Try a different word, else you take the sting out of it when there is actual hate involved.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:05 am |
  9. Grafted Olive Branch

    I like Pat because he can always be counted on to answer the questions that most people are even afraid to ask. Thank you Pat for many years of practical advice for living. You will be condemned by those who still think in idealistic ways but If we could actually live the perfect life, then we would not need Christ.

    May 18, 2013 at 8:03 am |
    • Robert martin

      You're quite the idiot!

      May 18, 2013 at 8:08 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Robert martin

      I love you...

      May 18, 2013 at 8:13 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Grafted: Of course you'd support this idiot! You support your immoral brother for cheating on his wife because she gained wait...you're not much of a decent moral person yourself. You and Pat are two of a special brand of crazy.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:14 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Truth Prevails 🙂

      Wrong. I did not “support” my brother for his reasons for adultery. I only stated his case. The point I made yesterday is that if his wife forgave him they could still be married now. But yes, in practical terms, if his wife remained attractive to him there would not likely have been adultery.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:22 am |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "But yes, in practical terms, if his wife remained attractive to him there would not likely have been adultery."

      But it's still her fault...that's simply crazy. He didn't have to be so shallow, he should have ended the marriage long before he did what he did. By blaming her, you are supporting him. Why should she forgive him? That's a very deep trust that he broke and to regain that trust takes a hell of a lot more than a simple forgiveness....if he cared at all about his marriage and his wife he wouldn't have fucked up to begin with.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  10. William

    What Next? Let us Prey? as to pray.....

    May 18, 2013 at 8:03 am |
  11. Asturiano

    Just another religious holier than thou hypocrite

    May 18, 2013 at 7:57 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Pat is a humble man and will readily admit his own fallibility.

      May 18, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • mikaman3000

      you don't have to be religious to act like your holier than thou. That's the mistake that so many on our side of the fence make. Man's ego is the new god, and just like the old God, it will often lead us astray. For example you call other's "holier than thou", but your own comment, though brief, belies your own feelings of superiority over others that don't agree w/ your own ideologies. With that being said.......WE ARE ALL HYPOCRITES

      May 18, 2013 at 8:35 am |
  12. saggyroy

    So he commits adultery. Don't we get to stone the woman to death or something?

    May 18, 2013 at 7:47 am |
  13. George

    Why interrupt televangelism with actual Biblical references? "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife" It's okay, though, Pat. You just keep telling everyone how immoral they are while spitting on a holy book the whole time and getting rich from doing so. That's modern day Christianity

    May 18, 2013 at 7:42 am |
  14. Ord_Miller

    Rev Robinson has learned what all people who have made old bones know: Living is important, everything else is either gravy or sideshow. Too bad he did so much damage before he learned wisdom.

    May 18, 2013 at 7:34 am |
  15. George

    Oh I'm gonna miss him when he drops dead. Clown and a great recruiter for Atheists. Thanks again Pat!

    May 18, 2013 at 7:20 am |
  16. Rob Patternson

    I am offended. Why is no one taking him seriously? I am so glad I am a man.

    May 18, 2013 at 7:11 am |
    • Robert

      Only the spiritual people know where he is coming from. I pray he chooses his words more wisely next time. Have a blessed life Rob. And all the Christians said "Amen".

      May 18, 2013 at 7:47 am |
    • Ron Mor

      Amen and Awomen to that. While we're at it, Atheist.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  17. Puckfair

    Smarmy money grubbing sack!

    May 18, 2013 at 6:57 am |
  18. Periksen

    Infuriating that someone like him supposedly speaks for God. If anyone read the Bible you would know Jesus had no respect for the politicians or even the clergy of that time.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:55 am |
  19. media lies bigtime again

    Taken completely out of context typical of the christian haters in the liberal Obama muslim lover America despising media.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:54 am |
    • Joefriday

      Nothing wrong with having faith, but be careful about following it straight into hell. This guy is an idiot and there are hundreds of ignorant statements he has made as evidence of that fact. I wouldn't give him the time of day, little alone money to spread his ignorance.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • MHS18

      I get the feeling you do not understand the meaning of the term "taken out of context". When you quote the entire comment that someone makes, that is not taking something out of context.

      May 18, 2013 at 7:26 am |
  20. sara

    he said married partners with one of them diagnosed with Alzheimer's can divorce the other partner,because Alzheimer's means death.

    May 18, 2013 at 6:52 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.