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. Surf_Dog

    Mr. Robertson is right up there with those freaks that refer to themselves as the Westboro Baptist Church. He's a very close second to those wackos.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  2. Deuteronomy 23:1

    No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
  3. oldowl

    He was just pulling our legs. He just wanted to see how far he could cast the bait, and watch us swim out to catch it and try to pull it off his hook without getting snagged by his wit and humor. In his more sincere moments, Dr. Robertson certainly realizes that men are @$$ holes–all of them!

    May 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • therapy

      Been hurt? I can help.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
  4. Deuteronomy 25:11-12

    If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • michael

      stay out of my fights! gangster!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
    • Howard Hunt

      When you've got them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
  5. faith

    what we don't want is a sense of shared responsibilities and to honor differences between the secksus. that would be a bore. we don't think it wise for females to dress modestly (a filthy biblical form of commanded repression) and we do want to indulge young men their every whim for secksual expression w/o considering anything (or anyone) but their powerful desires and their right to fulfill their longings.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • michael

      Everything you desire has been tryed and failed! study histrory before inserting foot in mouth!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • michael

      satin wants his freedom where does freedom end maybe we should take down all the stop signs in your town and stop the repression!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
    • mmmmmm

      I have satin at home – it's slick! My bed never felt better.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Observer


      Rather than study "histrory" on your "satin" sheets, maybe work on English so it will look like you "tryed" harder.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • faith

      Everything you desire has been tryed and failed! study histrory before inserting foot in mouth!

      iow women are poor helpless creatures who allow men to perpetrate all manner of crimes against them because men have all the power in this world

      May 18, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  6. ninure

    Reblogged this on Ninure da Hippie's Blog.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  7. Hookay

    What is wandering "a little?" Enough to bring home a harmless STD? Oh, such a minor thing.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • PeteZ

      Wondering a little means one night stands.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  8. michael

    He does not speak for God!

    May 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • michael

      He speeks about God!

      May 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      So who does?


      May 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Roger that

      Who speaks for God?

      May 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Observer


      If he didn't "speak for God" he wouldn't have the huge network with God's people watching him.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • michael

      And god said does a woman and a woman make a child?

      May 18, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • michael

      Does a man and a man make a child?

      May 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • michael

      No ! thats not the way i made them!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      @ michael- when did god say those things?

      And what does that have to do with the article?

      And are you obsessed with gay people?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Observer


      No, he didn't. God did say, however, that marriage should be FORCED on virginal r@pe victims, slaves, and men whose brothers died leaving a widow.

      What was your point?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Roger that

      And god said does a woman and a woman make a child?

      I guess the omniscient god wasn't aware of in vitro when he wrote that.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Ken

      Literally millions of 700 Club fans have believed that he does, indeed, speak for God. Makes you wonder what else he got wrong for the decades he has been on that particular pulpit, eh?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
  9. eigenklarg

    Remember, "Though shall not commit adultery" was replaced with "Deficit spending for military expenditures, corporate welfare, and tax relief for the very wealthy is OK!"

    May 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  10. TexaSam

    Oh Pat! You're so funny, pretending to forget the 10 Commandments. What a card!

    BTW, the Haitian people I met last month were kind, compassionate & generous. One Haitian man, Daniel, cared for me when I fell ill – never left my side, comforted me, gave me water, patted my back while telling me I will be ok. I will never forget his kindness & compassion from that day.

    Daniel is not a Christain but he clearly represents Jesus' message better than Old Pat.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  11. UnAustin Powers


    May 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  12. Observer

    A Christian who is a pick-and-choose hypocrite.
    Pat Robertson saying something ignorant.

    Neither of these are anything new.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
  13. Joseph Bragotti

    What happened to my Post about the man's connection to former Guatemalan dictator Rios Montt who has just been condemned for genocide? Perhaps it was not "politically correct?"

    May 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
  14. Sharon

    Adultery is adultery. c'mon Robertson it is a commandment. Christiann males will not stray and if they do will seek God's forgiveness. Males tend to stray is the most absurd statement ever made.

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

      Actually, all studies point to the evidence that humans of both se.xes tend to stray, in large numbers.

      And yes, of course "Christian" males stray. "Christian" females, too. I've seen it myself many many times. Atheist li'l ole me and my atheist husband are far more honest and faithful to one another than many of our Christian friends. Isn't that ironic? Best part is, if one of us were considering it, we would actually talk with the other about it.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
  15. faith

    let's make every effort to increase the level of consciousness about the im med iate gratification available through s cks and do our best the feed the appe ti t es for s e cksual expression among are youth. we hope to make our society as safe as possible so that females need not worry as much about se cksual az a ults

    May 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • faith

      every public school should have designated displays with the finest, most endowed, gorgeous nude women exposing their genitals in many and varied ways up close and in great detail to show just how serious we are as a nation about freedom of speech and the societal benefits of the arts

      i know many young men would grow in their love for the fine arts. it would teach them to respect and value females for their intrinsic worth and more than just a means to satisfy the raw animal urges jarring their bodies 24/7.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I predict boredom.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
  16. PeteZ

    Pat, did Mrs.Robertson always keep a "wonderful" house?

    May 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  17. michael

    its not about publishing words its about not publishing on a public blog!

    May 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm |
    • michael

      the key word is public!

      May 18, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Actually, you're wrong. Dead wrong, but please let us know how your crusade and lawsuit goes- should be entertaining.

      I would especially like to know exactly how hard the attorney laughs when you explain the matter to him.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
    • ksmary

      This site is a private blog owned by CNN.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @michael –

      religion.blogs.cnn.com is privately owned.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You posts are likely not passing the automatic word filter.

      you cannot post the word const!tution without altering it because of the word t!t in it.
      you cannot post the word h0m0$exaul without altering it because of the word $ex and the h0m0 portion...good luck posting your bigotry.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Dippy


      May 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
  18. WhenCowsAttack

    I like Pat, personally. He is always good for the occasional laugh, just when you'd thought you'd heard it all from the wackadoodle Christian right.

    And it is funny to watch the other Christians squirm uncomfortably and mutter to themselves "Um, dude, that was your outside voice...again", and then frantically try to distance themselves from him.

    And I also believe that leaders like Pat actually cause more Christians to question their faith- and frankly it's better if that faith-questioning happens over something that comes from the mouth of one of their own than from a nonbeliever. After all, how many of us started our lives as believers, fully indoctrinated, and then eventually ceased belief from either the behaviors of the church leaders or simply listening to the teachings of the bible and gradually realizing "Hey, wait a minute, this smells like BS"?

    Yes, sometimes Christians themselves present the BEST argument for atheism, it's true.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
    • Alfranken

      Personally, I don't like the guy at all and he acts like a jerk most of the time.

      But he has been pretty forthright in his opinions about infidelity which I respect and agree with:

      The problem with the argument coming from this extreme left wing video mocking him is that open-marriages exist in the liberal base far more than they would like to admit and in Hollywood it is practically a necessity if you want to advance in your career. Young beautiful actresses doing married men up the chain all the time while the wife does the same.

      So liberals have nothing to say about this and Pat can go to the old testament and find verses all day that suggest men have been breeding with multiple women since the beginning of time.

      Look at the Mormons.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • WhenCowsAttack

      Open marriages are a matter between consenting adults. And frankly a much better alternative than the Christian way- lie lie lie, sneak around, invoke God when questioned, when busted blame the devil. What a joke.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  19. PeteZ

    There is not a whole lot of difference between Pat Robertson and Taliban except that Pat wears expensive suits and lives in a palatial mansion where as Taliban live in a cave and hardly every brush their teeth.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
  20. Dee

    This is horrible, male chauvinistic advice. Not Christian advice.

    May 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • PeteZ

      Religions are male chauvinistic.

      May 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Terry

      Sounds like pretty typically Christian advice to me. Fairly sexist religion and very bigoted generally. Par for the course for these man-made god stories, pretty much. You'd have to be pretty stupid to believe any of it.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Howard Hunt

      Honor among Christians is hard to find.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:30 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.