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. 1 Timothy

    Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies.
    LOL: pot meet kettle

    May 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  2. 1 Cor. 11:6

    If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
  3. Observer


    "only a profit speaks for God"

    CLASSIC LINE! Yes Pat Robertson claims to be speaking for God for all the PROFITS he can make off his audience.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • gary


      May 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  4. Ray Gray

    Pat Robertson was kicked out of Israel for his comments and this is no surprise.
    He is an Anglo Raciest hiding behind the bible,as are many others.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  5. 1 Tim. 2:15

    But women will be saved through childbearing.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  6. 1 Cor. 11:7

    A man is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • michael

      In the same a woman was made from a man so both are in his image!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      michael: Can you provide the evidence for that?

      May 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  7. 1 Peter 2:18

    Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • michael

      Pick your master well let no man deceive you there is only one that is good!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
  8. michael

    if you read your bible only a profit speaks for God and he always says repent confess save your self from the judgement that comes with your decisions!

    May 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • midwest rail

      No question Robertson has made quite a profit from pretending to be a prophet.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Howard Hunt

      My prophet wanted the congregation to buy him a Mercedes Benz, like the song says, a prophet for profit indeed. Michael stop already you are just making a fool of yourself.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  9. Deuteronomy 20:10-14

    As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  10. 2 Chronicles 15:12-13

    They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • michael

      And by them not seeking his wisdom there decisions lead them into there death!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Observer


      "there decisions"

      You might be better off spending less time reading a Bible and more time on learning English. You might not yet have formed one complete correct sentence.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
  11. Teamski

    Gotta love Evangelistic Hypocrites. They are what is wrong with this country. Do as I say, not as I do. And they oppose gay marriage as being sinful. Truly pathetic people.


    May 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  12. MagicPanties

    My invisible pink unicorn also "wanders" and I don't know if I should forgive her.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
  13. Leviticus 21:9

    A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  14. Proverbs 20:20

    If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  15. Pantheist

    Pick and choose which scriptures apply to you and your life! Typical Christian!

    May 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  16. Zooropa

    Robertson's off-the-cuff zingers here are nothing. Like anybody, to see how they really think and act you follow their money. And Robertson's money is vast and dirty-dirty, in strangely bi-partisan ways he acquired it.

    Robertson's under-the-table shenanigans for diamonds etc. with the likes of Liberia's Charles Taylor are morally rancid, for instance. And Robertson wasn't the only one, other shady preachers included the likes of Jesse Jackson (if you want to see Jess Jackson wildly unpopular among a crowd of black people, parachute him into Sierra Leone) doing business with Mr. Taylor.

    So I find it odd CNN reporters fixate on Robertson's stupid quips when there are so many ugly – and better – stories to learn about Mr. Robertson if one goes gumshoe digging.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  17. Timothy 2:11

    I permit no woman to teach or have authority over men; she is to keep silent.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • mique

      Now there is a good reason to not be religious. I ask you, what unbrainwashed woman in her right mind would say ok to this?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  18. Deuteronomy 23:2

    A bitched shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  19. Luke 16:18

    Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  20. Psalm 137:9

    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

    May 18, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Science


      May 18, 2013 at 1:28 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.