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. Wildernessyes

    Another republican wacko.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • lol??

      democratic roots. They can be all they want to be.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  2. goldencr

    The best thing that will happen in the country in a while will be when this horrible excuse for a human being dies.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • lol??

      That's the best you can come up with??

      May 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • faith

      you want him silenced

      May 17, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • LadyMiss Libra

      Faith and loll, how can you condone the damage this d-bag has done? Not only is Robertson a senile old misogynist, he's made millions scamming the poor and elderly around the world. If THAT'S not enough for you to denounce him, he's turning people away from Christianity in droves.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  3. Madtown

    "I believe in working with the hearts of people, and not locking them up,"
    When it came to the story on weed, for the first time I agreed with him fully.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  4. lol??

    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 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  5. phil

    But, no. How bad is weed... really? Religion and drug use can inspire wonderful vessels for spreading the love of God.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  6. Anne112

    Never trust a religious man with teeth like Chiclets.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  7. Jerrold Fink

    You omitted Rev. Robertson's comments with Rev. Jerry Fawell as to a contributing cause fo the 9/11 attacks upon the U.S.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  8. lol??

    Morons, from wiki:
    "Absalom Willis Robertson (May 27, 1887 – November 1, 1971) was an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives (1933–1946) and the U.S. Senate (1946–1966). He was a member of the conservative coalition during his congressional career."

    Pat grew up in a pampered Public Servant household where pleasures had the sky as the limit. It made an impression on him.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  9. Observer

    Pat Robertson's comments do tie in with the Bible commanding that virginal r@pe victims must marry their rapist and can never divorce.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Mark

      LOL, love it. Thank god ( or someone, maybe Xenia, Warrior Princess) that society as a whole, at least in the U.S., has advanced beyond that.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  10. Mark

    So, bottom line, it's O.K. for guys to stray and as usual, it's the woman's fault. LOL Really progressive thinking here. Back to caveman days.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • sam

      When women stray, though, or do crazy things like use birth control/have sex outside marriage....they are whoooooores.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  11. rosehips

    He endorsed weed? So what?

    May 17, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Evangelicals claim that the Beast of Revelations smokes a cigar or a blunt, because "out of his nostrils cometh smoke." They don't smoke because it is The Mark of the Beast. Or were Credit Card Numbers The Mark of the Beast? No, that was Social Security Numbers.
      So many things have been The Mark of the Beast and The Antichrist that I can't keep them straight. Oh yeah, mood rings were The Mark of the Beast too.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • lol??

      Beasts are gubmints.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  12. Bible Clown©

    Just retire, Pat. You've lost your mind and the 80s are over. Go hang out with Boy George down at the Losers Club.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  13. pete

    he needs to go away. he is old and just saying stupid things.....

    May 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  14. CommonSense


    The most interesting thing about this whole article is the ironic name on the microphone ...

    May 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
  15. Ugh....

    As a Christian I cringe every time this guy opens his mouth I'm inclined to renounce my faith (not really). He does not speak for all Christians.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "He does not speak for all Christians." Actually, he speaks on their behalf and they don't disagree. Same thing. It would be nice to see some Christians openly disagree with him, but it won't happen.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Cara

      i respect your comments, however what you fail to understand is that he DOES speak for all Christians and religious believers as whole. You cannot distance yourselves from this as much as I know you want to. I pity you.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • RP

      Shoot, I'm actually starting to like this guy !

      May 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • Josh

      I see lots of folks denouncing him on these boards. I don't see how you could possibly think that he speaks for all christians unless they denounce him. Your lack of logic is astounding.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " I don't see how you could possibly think that he speaks for all christians unless they denounce him." Same way you claim every atheist is a spokesman for some imaginary church of atheism. They are just using your playbook. And when Robertson is taken off the air by Christians, it will prove he doesn't speak for all of them. Until then, enjoy your spokesman!!

      May 17, 2013 at 3:47 pm |
    • ken in MO

      Reply to Cara.

      He does not speak for all Christians. Where did you get that garbage? I loved this man as a child until I learned later in my life that he is a wolf in sheeps clothing. He preaches hate and bigotry with a smile on his face but hatred in his heart. I believe he, and Jerry Falwell, have hurt Christianity in unspeakable ways. They focus on the "dark" side of Christianity and completely take things out of context. They are nothing more than a political party pretending to be Christians. He is sick and it breaks my heart.

      May 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  16. Jeff

    Give me a break...

    He only says these silly things cause he wants viewers to tune in. He's like the Howard Stern of CBN. People will watch to see what stupid thing will come out of his mouth next..and that's what good ol Pat is hoping for.

    Lest we forget..he ran for President in the 80's...so he knows a thing or two about trying to get people to watch him.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • GreenTimer

      Jeff, you called it! And here we all are making sure his name is not forgotten.

      The way to beat stupid is ignore it. But that's not the American way – we wouldn't want stupid to just die when it makes us all feel so superior by pointing it out.

      In the spirit of sarcasm, let it be noted that I, of course, would not deign to comment on such stupidity. I'm only trying to educate everybody else.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      Actually, lately he sounds more like he has a brain tumor or something. I like a good joke, but I feel we may be kicking him when he's down here.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
    • sasha

      To Cara: you have been brainwashed beyond belief. I would bet you have had some experience with someone in your family cheating. This is your way of coping. I am a Christian and no way in he## does he represent me. I pity you!!

      May 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  17. Turtle

    To his credit, he did say that he believed in evolution and radiometric dating.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
  18. benji

    God must be shaking his head in shame at this fool.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • AB Negative

      God has a "head"?

      May 17, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • CommonSense

      God is a "he"?

      May 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "God is a "he"?" Mary was pretty positive about it.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
  19. Ann

    The only "misunderstanding" that happened here was, "Pat, you KNOW you're not supposed to say that crazy stuff when the mikes are on, right?"

    May 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  20. Sean

    If you're a real Christian and you believe in Pat Robertson, you must have some head damage...

    May 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • AB Negative

      "real" Christian?

      May 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • LinCA


      You said, "If you're a real Christian and you believe in Pat Robertson, you must have some head damage..."
      Believing in Robertson is not required to meet that standard.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • sasha

      LOL Serious brain disturbance!

      May 17, 2013 at 8:44 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.