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. bannister

    He didn't really "shrug off" adultery – he just acknowledged the BIOLOGICAL REALITY that men tend to stray and cheat more than women. And that is a FACT!

    As far as his advice – that women can prevent men from cheating by making their home life peasant – well, women give other women that same advice all the time! And that advice has been printed in woman's magazines for years!

    May 18, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      That is not fact. Men and women will, in a society that both are treated equally, cheat about as much as the opposite $ex.
      The only reason men do it more is because most societies favor men over women.

      May 18, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Finally another voice of reason.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • kwhisperer

      If a man cheats on his wife with five different women, Robertson will say, "Well, he's a man." But what of those five women? Will Robertson say, "Well, they're women?" Or will he say something far worse?

      May 18, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  2. Kelcy

    When guys like this shrug off adultery as just part of men and the fault of the women for not making them happier at home then I suspect it is pretty doggone guaranteed that this guy cheated on his wife as well. He is just rationalizing his behavior rather than saying he was wrong. No matter....Robertson has always given me those willies that you get around certain sleezebags anyway.

    May 18, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  3. Truthis

    That is the great thing about religion. You can just make it up as you go.

    May 18, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Warren Moon

      Truthis: exactly.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  4. IvotedforObama

    This is why people laugh at Christians.

    May 18, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Sane Person

      That and the whole, believing in invisible wish-granters living in the clouds thing.

      May 20, 2013 at 5:39 am |
  5. PJ

    That is so funny! So much for born again values.

    May 18, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  6. Morgan

    Seriously? The only person responsible for not cheating in a relationship is the person who cheats. There is no excuse for either gender. If a woman isn't a good enough "home-maker" that does not give her husband a free pass. The bible doesn't excuse adultery in men, they got stoned too. (Not that I'm saying that that should happen just that he needs to learn what he's supposed to be preaching) He needs to remove himself from television shows. Clearly his mind is going.

    May 18, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Angel Moronic

      Would this be ok: Get stoned first then commit adultery ?

      May 18, 2013 at 10:33 am |
  7. Reality

    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 10:24 am |
  8. Angel Moronic

    he has the const.tut right to discharge his gun into a crowd (of females(only))

    May 18, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  9. Michael

    Robertson is a twit.

    May 18, 2013 at 10:14 am |
  10. lol??

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    OOOooohhh ooooh, demoniacs are gettin' restless.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    $$$$$YEAH$$$$$ EDUCATION PRESIDENT $$$$$$$$$$$$ Athena and the educratists will put a DENT in yer budget, with all the kiddies bein' serviced by her!! $$$$$$$$$$ Get the moolah while ya can and buy yer kids FREEDOM!! $$$$$$$$$".....

    May 18, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  11. Barronius

    I only got one rule....

    Smoke 'em if you got 'em!!

    May 18, 2013 at 10:05 am |
  12. Capone

    Forgive me, I'm not a Bible scholar but I could have sworn that there was some sort of a list of big no no's dictated by God that people should never break or they'd go to hell.

    If memory serves me correctly, I think there may have been 10 things on this list? I'm sure it was an even number. And I thought that list had something about cheating on your spouse...

    Maybe I'm wrong.

    May 18, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Buddy Holly

      Naw, you are right.

      May 18, 2013 at 10:32 am |
  13. Mack

    Washed up old mountebank. Does he have notches on his bed post for all the brainless lemmings he's inspired?

    May 18, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • lol??

      Oh-me, oh-my, oh-you
      Whatever shall I do
      Hallelujah, the question is peculiar
      I'd give a lot of dough
      If only I could know
      The answer to my question
      Is it yes or is it no

      Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
      On the bedpost overnight
      If your mother says don't chew it
      Do you swallow it in spite
      Can you catch it on your tonsils
      Can you heave it left and right
      Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
      On the bedpost overnight

      Here comes a blushing bride
      The groom is by her side
      Up to the altar
      Just as steady as Gibraltar
      Why, the groom has got the ring
      And it's such a pretty thing
      But as he slips it on her finger
      The choir begins to sing

      Does your chewing gum lose its flavour
      On the bedpost overnight
      If your mother says don't chew it
      Do you swallow it in spite
      Can you catch it on your tonsils
      Can you heave it left and right

      May 18, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  14. CBP

    Pat Robertson's words gave many people the impetus to comment. Seems to be a little hypocritical to denounce others and then make the statements that adultery isn't too bad. He seems to forget that adultery is cruel. The hurt and rift that it causes lasts forever. He is not consistent in his views of adultery. However, it seems that it depends who commits adultery. He can overlook the actions of some folks like the ex-governor of South Carolina. His politics were conservative enough to warrant understanding and acceptance.

    May 18, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Angel Moronic

      Adultery is well accepted only by the extremists

      May 18, 2013 at 10:31 am |
  15. michael

    It is simple : for every action there is a reaction the choice you make will have results !
    As for weather the choices man makes that have an effect on the weather will have an effect.
    If you decide to cheat on your wife there will be a reaction from her. If you decide to be Gay and sleep around then the odds of getting something like aids is greater then if you don't. . And you become a bad example for young adults.
    That this is saying is that the decisions you make will effect you and the people around you.

    May 18, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Buried in your simplistic ramble is a lie. No one decides to be gay!

      May 18, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • molosar

      When did you decide to be straight?

      May 18, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      I am male. I made a decision to be straight when I was hit on by my male English teacher in high school.

      May 18, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • mama k

      No one decides to be straight either.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:05 am |
  16. Wes Scott

    There is not, nor has there ever been, a bigger hypocrite and fraud than Pat Robertson. This is the same "christian" who owns gold mines in South Africa that are worked by slaves for slave wages to enrich him so he can continue to spout his vile, hate-fill brand of "christianity." If there truly is a god and a hell, then Pat Robertson should burn for eternity as a punishment for all he has done to harm people in the name of his god.

    May 18, 2013 at 9:39 am |
  17. oggie

    i don't think he's a charlatan or some evil scheming man. I think he's just a simpleton, who like all simpletons thinks the first thought that pops into one's mind is the right one. And like simpletons, he wants easy, simple, black and white answers so that his mind doesn't have to be does not have to be troubled and cluttered up by grey areas and conflicting thoughts. In other words, like so many, he prefers falsehoods that make him feel better than truths that confound and frighten. The truth WILL set you free but it's not an easy or painless process getting there.

    But I do agree with his views on pot legalization.

    May 18, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  18. June

    I do hope you are not home schooling children. America is suffering from the results of such right-wing ignorance.

    May 18, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Honey Hush

      June if you are talking to yourself, I totally agree or you could STFU.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      "right-wing" this, "left wing-that.

      This Eagle can't fly without both.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • ed dugan

      June, disregard the comments from the evangelicals. They would excuse anything one of their own does or says. Then they will quote that work of christian fiction they call the bible to back them up. It never fails. If they didn't go to church every Sunday to get told how to live their lives and what to believe they wouldn't have a single original thought. They are on the run now with more and more young people refusing to buy into their BS, One of these days they will become an endangered species and I can hardly wait.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  19. DANGER beware of





    May 18, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  20. Colin

    Contrary to popular belief the Ten Commandments do not contain a rule against adultery. There are two full sets of Ten Commandments contained in the Bible. Their origin has been traced to earlier Hitti.te and Mesopotamian civil codes and one school of thought is that the Jews were pressed by the Persians to come up with a code of law in order to maintain a degree of autonomy while (what is now) Israel was part of the Persian Empire. The first set is mentioned in Deuteronomy and in Exodus Chapter 20. It is familiar to most people:

    I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me
    Thou shalt have no graven images or likenesses
    Do not take the Lord's name in vain
    Remember the Sabbath day
    Honor thy father and thy mother
    Thou shalt not kill
    Thou shalt not commit adultery
    Thou shalt not steal
    Thou shalt not bear false witness
    Thou shalt not covet

    As the Exodus story continues, however, after receiving this set of commandments from God, Moses descends from Mount Sinai only to find his people worshipping a golden calf. Moses’ anger “waxes hot” and he smashes the Ten Commandments in a fit of rage. He then returns to the mountain and God orders him to “Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.” Unfortunately, it seems God’s memory was off that day, because the replacement tablets he gave Moses contained the following Ten Commandments:

    Thou shalt worship no other god.
    Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
    Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread .
    All that openeth the matrix are mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. But the firstling of an ass, thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then thou shalt break his neck.
    Thou shalt rest on the Sabbath.
    Thou shalt rest in earing time and in harvest.
    Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
    Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the Passover be left unto the morning.
    The first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
    Thou shalt not seethe (cook) a baby goat in its mother's milk.

    If one believes the Bible, the Jews perambulated the Sinai Peninsula and the Negev for the rest of their forty years of wandering, lugging the Ark of the Covenant weighed down with these timeless pearls of wisdom!

    While the Ten Commandments (at least the first, destroyed set) is well known, there are, in fact about 613 commandments sprinkled throughout the Old Testament. If you are a Jew or Christian, they contain rules from the creator of the Universe and its billions of galaxies (each with billions of stars and planets) on how you should live your life.

    I don’t know that they are particularly helpful, though. They include rules for tending crops indigenous to the Greco-Roman Middle East; raising domesticated animals common in the Greco-Roman Middle East; sacrificing said animals; preparing and eating food that was consumed in the Greco-Roman Middle East; (not) having se.x with virgins, slaves, non-Jews, animals and relatives; cross-dressing and prohibitions against eating maggots, non Kosher insects or worms that have fully left the fruit.

    Interestingly, while these 613 laws laid down by the creator of the Universe go into painstaking detail on how Greco-Roman Jewish farm life should be lived, none of them address how the Apache or Sioux of North America should hunt bison, how the ancient Russians or Chinese should treat any Mongol slaves they take or how the Australian Aboriginals should hunt and prepare kangaroo. The ancient Scandinavians, Celts and Sub-Saharan Africans were also left totally in the dark about whether it is acceptable to God for them to seethe a deer in its mother’s milk and the ancient Inuit had to take a stab in the dark as to whether any first born reindeer should be sacrificed to God.

    The rules from God also say nothing of how any aspect of life that developed after the Old Testament was written should be conducted, such as modern communications, computing, medicine and transportation. It makes one wonder, did God make the Jews or did the Jews make God?

    May 18, 2013 at 8:40 am |
    • Science

      Education works for children..................Hey lol?? you know the question........do you have any ?

      Where do morals come from?.............the answer is not the bible read and find out !

      By Kelly Murray, CNN


      Gravity is not up for debate ! ............E = mc2..........(U–Pb).................two math formulas..........that do not lie !

      May 18, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • jim

      the law was a shadow of the things to come which Jesus said he fulfilled and then set down 2 commands and a golden rule which when applied cover all the laws ever needed. read them for yourself at Matt.7:12; Luke 10:27; Matt 22:37-40 and Mark12:28-31

      May 18, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      The "golden rule" is one of mens general principles. There are no religions in the world that do not have it in one form or another. It is not unique to your bible.

      Like many other things, men's principles and rules were written into the bible( and many other religious texts)
      Men put them into the bible, the bible does not dictate them to us.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • ed dugan

      I allways knew christians were a little crazy and I want to thank you for making my point. All of that crap you quoted only shows how very badly you need to go into therapy. There may be a chance for you to recover your sanity. The first sign that you have begun thinking for yourself is that you will become an athiest.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:24 am |
    • AJW3

      Dang........you gotta lot of rules.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Herkules

      Colin... There is no God. You are wasting all of your time and energy on something that does not exist. I'm sorry – but that is simply the truth. I hope someday you see the light.

      May 18, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Woody

      Herkules, you must be new to this blog. Colin consistently posts some of the most intelligent items that you'll read here. I suggest that you re-read his post. He is one of the best deflaters of mumbo jumbo balloons on the Belief Blog.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • jim

      dik,ed&jerk; wow! how could I have been so wrong? oh yes that's right i am not wrong at all. you guys or gals need to get some help with your approach to truth. to start you need to understand what it is and where to find it. next, read the Bible and study it and next? get back to me when you are done.

      May 18, 2013 at 4:12 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.