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. michael


    May 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Glad to see you have finally come to terms with your $exuality.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
  2. mac101

    "...[his] intent was not to condone infidelity or to cast blame..." Of course that was his intent – to shrug off a husband's infidelity AND imply that it happens because of something lacking in a wife. What a hypocrite, among other things.

    Bet his take on a wife's infidelity is very, very different – bet he advocates getting a pile stones to throw at unfaithful wives.

    Keep reading the bible Pat, although you might want to try the part about taking personal responsibility for one's actions...if you even know where that part is.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Chris

      Let he who casts the first stone... Pick a heavy one!

      May 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • boredofceleb

      Yeah, so it can be shrugged off and explained only if it's the MAN doing the cheating. Sounds like maybe he has something on HIS conscience. Talk about hypocritical. Adultery is adultery regarding of the gender of who is cheating.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
  3. michael

    If you post to this site and they do not post this is a first amendment right violation and you should record it your posting for legal action ! we will keep you up to date!

    May 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Are you kidding? You're kidding, right? Because nobody could possibly be that ignorant.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • ksmary

      I am pretty sure CNN is a private corporation and not a government agency. Ist Amendment refers to Congress not making laws to limit free expression.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm |
    • The real Tom

      I would bet michael just finished his sophom ore year in high school and wasn't paying much attention in his civics class, or he'd know that nobody is required to publish your words or anyone else's. Get a clue.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      It is a public blog, owned by a company. They post anything anyone says, as long as the post passes the automatic word filter.
      You have no lawsuit, you only have your temper tantrum.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    Pat Robertson s gross! What is interesting about CNN is that they never post stories that are negative about Islam. There are so many more stories about dangerous factions in Islam but CNN refuses to portray Islam in is true lit as it does with Christianity. CNN is a propaganda network with wealthy elites dictating the news cycles. Religious societies are not relevant in a 21st century world.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • yep

      christians and muslims are freaks.. I agree

      May 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • PeteZ

      Could it be because the Muslims are less than 1% of the US population?
      The point is all religions were written by men thousands of years ago and you will go nuts (and blow yourself up in cases Muslims) if you try to literally follow in your life. As you have seen in cases of Taliban and Pat Robertson, the religion mostly could be interpreted in any way you like to justify uncivilized behavior.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Yo

      Yo, Cynthia, maybe you should try the search feature. Tons of stuff about islam, not all of it +ve. But Christianity deserves all the negatives; it's alll nonsensical stories for the hard of thinking. You'd have to be pretty stupid to fall for either religion.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  5. Grafted Olive Branch

    Pat understands mankind’s true human nature and tries to give advice under those conditions.

    May 18, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • gary

      Pat is a dork who attracts the like-minded.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • yep

      Agrred,, he's a dork. As other christians and muslims

      May 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Gary and Yep, I love you both despite your ignorance.

      May 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
  6. ug

    The US did kill Chavez...we got that oie right! LOL!

    May 18, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  7. Joseph Bragotti

    And what about his close connection with former Guatemalan dictator Rios Montt and the CIA's plot to help him during the Reagan years?

    May 18, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  8. calvin

    I've never seen his show and never will. He's obviously an ignorant fool and an idiot. The poor lady who can't forgive her husband should never have asked him for any advise, although when you're in a position like hers, you're very vulnerable. She has some hard decisions to make. Either leave him, or try to go on. Wonder if Pat has ever wandered off himself ? What an ass.

    May 18, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  9. STA STA

    If you were married to the hairy wench that is Mrs. Robertson, you'd understand what Pat means.

    May 18, 2013 at 11:29 am |
  10. Sal

    And of course robertson would also approve of horse face mark sanford and his being elected to congress by the dumb people in south carolina! 

    May 18, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • calvin

      Amen. It's like people from South Carolina condone this kind of behavior.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  11. saukrhiann

    This is why organized religion today is a farce; even our priests, ministers, evangelists and other religious leaders ignore the commandments in their holy books and focus only on what they consider unholy. If you're going to talk the talk, then walk the walk. You either live the life or you're an unforgiven sinner.

    May 18, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Heidi

      It was foretold that Christianity would become corrupt: But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. 2 Tim.3:1-5. Notice it says "having a form of godliness..." clearly it is talking about the church. It's no wonder so much of the world has such a dim view of Christianity. Gandhi hit it on the head when he said, "Oh, I don't reject Christ. I love Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ."

      May 18, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • WhenCowsAttack


      Heidi, human beings have always been that way- the early church was in fact arguably more corrupt than the modern one!

      May 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
  12. ssurtsord

    Nice to see Pat Robertson showing his true colors.

    May 18, 2013 at 11:28 am |
  13. Gail

    Wow. Such a black eye for the church!

    May 18, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • lol??

      What's a church??

      May 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    May 18, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • STA STA

      ...so stop starvation. Otherwise, shut up.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • .

      humans were left to care for one another in the area of feeding i guess YOU are falling way short if there be starvation sta sta nice try at passing the buck you gutless loser

      May 18, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things
      Prayer changes things,

      May 18, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Lying is not healthy for anyone...you claim proven?...back it up...where is your proof?

      May 18, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • No God


      May 18, 2013 at 11:57 am |
  15. yep

    and people still believe in voodoo gods and jesus..

    christians need to GROW UP.

    May 18, 2013 at 11:23 am |
  16. lol??

    What Pat learned from his democratic dad,
    It's not whether the USA wins or loses, it's how you play the servant. Old political saw. I doubt he ever forgot that.

    May 18, 2013 at 11:10 am |
  17. Rich

    Did anyone else miss the part of the Ten Commandments where it said, "Thou shalt not commit adultery if thy wife works really hard to talk thou out of it" ?

    May 18, 2013 at 11:02 am |
  18. Grafted Olive Branch

    If asked the question point blank, Robertson would say that Adultery is wrong. However his advice was to the wife of a man who already crossed that line. Now consider Pat’s comments in light of that woman’s desire to remain married. First thing required would be the forgiveness of the man’s weakness and failure to restrain himself from temptation. The next thing would be to make his home life more pleasant so as to diminish the risk of temptation. This appears to me to be what Robertson was saying. However I understand that there are those who love to beat up on this man and what he represents at every chance they get. So be it. Pat can handle it. So can true believers.

    May 18, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      "true believers"...another good one.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Prayerful

      Jesus told me that you're as delusional as Pat is.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • christina

      he told a guy to divorce his sick wife. even when the other person in the room asked him "what about the vows to God they took when they got married?" and Pat said, "well, this is a type of death."... WHAT??? Sickness is not death! death is death, and your vows say in sickness and in health!

      May 18, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Valerie

      That's great! And you know that works BOTH ways then of course.....after all, woman is fashioned after man and is open to temptations also. So hopefully when the wife goes out selfishly finding a little "somethin, somethin" on the side, her husband will willingly forgive her, and work ever so much harder at being the very "best-est" husband he can be!

      May 18, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Pat understands mankind’s true human nature and tries to give advice under those conditions.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • SkepticalOne

      True believers is the PC term for idiots.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Way to try to justify this wackadoodle. Face it- he's evil, and corrupt, plain and simple. Did you not see the other things he said as well?

      May 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
  19. christina

    I would hate to be in his (pat's) shoes on judgement day. the Bible says preachers will be judged more strictly and if you cause someone else to sin you will be held responsible. I'd hate to know how many men will cheat on their wives just because they trust what pat says to be true. This is why I say people should read the Bible for themselves instead of sitting in church listening to someone else read bits and pieces and interpret it. we all have to deal with different temptations in our lives. cheating is a temptation that many people have to deal with, but it isn't impossible to turn away from it. The path to heaven is narrow, because it's not the easy way.

    May 18, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • snowboarder

      are there really people ignorant enough to follow this shyster?

      May 18, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      So you don't want someone else to interpret the bible, you want to read it for yourself...strange because the bible is nothing more than men's interpretation to begin with...you are far better off NOT reading the bible, and simply go with what YOU think...no books required.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      I would agree with your point of reading the bible for yourself. Practical application of those truths to life is another subject altogether. That is why we have Christ. Solely because of our weakness and failings.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • christina

      richard, i wasn't posting that for the non-believers.. of course they probably wouldn't read the Bible OR go to church (imo) but I meant it for the ones who do believe. I think it's better to read the Bible yourself instead of listening to people like Pat who.. well, you see what he does.. In my experience, anyway.. the Bible (if you read the whole thing) really teaches love and tolerance to everyone.. not the hate and intolerance that you see coming from a lot of Christian groups. .. and now this pat guy... that's HIS words, not the Bible's.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • CueBallSTL

      @Grafted Olive Branch – You have Christ?? You'd better let him go, there have been people looking for him for a very long time without success.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:28 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I have read the bible many times over. It is nothing more than the words of men. You say you don't want others to interpret it for you, but the bible itself is nothing more than interpretations of men. You see, men put in the bible what they wanted you to believe. You are better of finding your own answers...the bible is full of love, it is true, but just as much hate. The god of the bible is an impossiblity. Seek your own answers. Wasn't it your jesus character that told you you do not need the church, that if you move a stone you will find him?...The book is only other mens interpretations of what THEY thought. Put the bible down for the same reason you have stated to not listen to Robertson. You want the real truth of what you seek? Put the book down, and go into the world and find it...no books, nor religion are needed....they only get in the way.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Dave

      Hail Satan!

      May 18, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • christina

      richard, you and I may never agree on this.. i believe in Jesus, and it seems you don't.. but since I do believe in Jesus, I can see that he was a good man and never did anything for personal gain. he loved everyone.. i think if more believers would read his words and try to live that way, it would be a lot more peaceful instead of all the finger pointing that you see from so many christians.. it hurts me when i see comments that talk bad about christians because of people like pat, and it hurts even worse that so many people listen to him and follow him.
      also, richard, i can't say i believe in God because I have read the Bible, or because my parents believed. I havent had an easy life or riches i can claim are blessings from God. I can't tell you an exact reason I believe in him, but I do know he has been with me my entire life. it's not a choice for me.. and i'm not one of the closed minded people who believe something no matter what.. i don't understand some of the things in the bible.. if someone asks me a question, i won't make up an answer based on what i think.. i have to say i don't know a lot.. i hope you can see that my beliefs are not a bad thing and they don't threaten anyone or any group.. i understand that you don't believe and I don't feel any negative feelings toward you in any way. I do hope that you will keep a part of your heart open though, just in case 🙂 never say never.

      May 18, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I have many friends who are believers as well. Where i volunteer is run by a minister. Whenever I get the answer " I do not know why I believe", I can understand that answer, and have respect for it.

      The minister and I have had many long discussion about the nature of faith, and he has always given me the " I do not know why I believe, I just do answer". I do not question your beliefs,your beliefs are as individual to you as anything there is. I question why you have the beliefs you do. I do not know why is the best answer I have ever heard.

      You do not need religion nor faith to be a good , decent person. I have studied and will continue to study various religions from every part of the globe. My mind is open to those who know why they believe, even if the answer is I do not know. At least it shows they have questioned their own beliefs...studied them.
      The truly ironic part is that all of my friends, including the minister tell me that I am in action the most christian person they know, ironic since I am an atheist.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @christina and @Richard Cranium

      "I do not know why" should be a beginning, not a conclusion.


      May 18, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • christina

      richard, you seem to be very wise and a good person. I'm glad we had this discussion. I'm not sure what kind of volunteer work you do, but thank you whatever it is... perhaps God may be working through you even though you don't realize it yet? ;P sorry, i had to say it lol.. best wishes with everything you do!!!

      May 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I know full well what I believe and why...I have been an atheist since the age of..well forever, acknowledged at age 6.
      My beliefs are based on the scientific knowledge we have gathered, and it gets adjusted as we learn more. I do know that the bible is wrong, and many sciences have proven it to be wrong. That is not to say there is not some wisdom within it, there is, but no more than in any other study of men's behaviors and social laws.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Richard Cranium –

      Agreed. I would, also, like to say that @christina appears to be a fine example to which Christians should aspire. I believe I would enjoy attending a Sunday-after-church-picnic if the congregation was of her kind. I tend to avoid Christian gatherings as my (somewhat limited) experience indicates they are dominated by the likes of Chad, rather than @christina.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I volunteer at an addiction/chemical dependancy treatment center.

      It amazes me how often people with addiction disorders get addicted to religion, subst!tuting one addiction for another...at least religion is not as harmful as the chemicals they use. It still becomes an obsession with many, and any obsession is a bad thing.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Richard Cranium –

      Addiction/chemical dependency is a tough nut to crack. You must have a high frustration tolerance. Props.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      I've done it for years..it is rewarding when things work out..As a musician, I dealt with many substance abuse cases, found I had a high tolerance for what was required to break the addictions,. Believe me, many, many late nights holding people shaking uncontrollably. I learned to do it for some dear friends, and since I was able to help them, i figured I could help others I've since helped more than I can count, often just a venting point for those dealing with the addicts. It is always rewarding when you see someone come in that you don't at first recognize, since the last time you saw them they were such a mess, and they come in to return the favor for someone else. Unfortunately we also lose some too, but not for lack of trying.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
  20. snowboarder

    this guy just proves that people that are overly religious are nuts.

    May 18, 2013 at 10:56 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.