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. mohamed abdulle

    pat Robason is under cover kkk

    May 19, 2013 at 8:47 am |
  2. joseph smith

    i think the soon to be president mrs clinton must of been listening to pat robertson. that is just what she did . she stayed with a cheating husband so she would be taking care of

    May 19, 2013 at 8:44 am |
    • Mirosal

      no, that wasn't the reason. It was for purely political purposes, and to project an image. She knew that if she were to divorce the President, her own chances of any further political office would have been almost nil.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:48 am |
    • LadyMiss Libra

      Mimosas, I think Joseph Smith was being sarcastic; get down off your soapbox.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • LadyMiss Libra

      Oops–I meant MIROSAL.... Thanks Mr. iPad Spellcheck.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Check

      LadyMiss Libra,

      I'm sure that Mirosal will get a chuckle out of being transformed into Mimosas. Perfect for Sunday brunch here!

      (I'd disable that iPad spell-wrecker in a hot minute if I had one)

      Also, I don't think that anyone who says "must of" – and other errors like @joseph smith made – has the ability to be sarcastic or facetious.

      May 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm |
  3. patw

    As long a it is a man and a woman what's the problem?

    May 19, 2013 at 8:42 am |
    • Mirosal

      uh-oh.. sounds like someone's a ho'mo'phobe

      May 19, 2013 at 8:43 am |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      RUN HIDE RUN HIDE!! THE GAYS ARE COMING TO GET US! WE'RE DOOMED! See, patw, you need to capitalize everything to REALLY get your point across. It makes it so much more valid.

      May 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  4. Lou

    “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.”

    Really, Pat?

    Sounds like you're excusing the man's indiscretions while blaming the woman for his philandering ways. Instead of taking her husband to task, he tries to convince her it's HER fault for not making his home life so wonderful, he'd never be tempted to stray. And, which version of The Bible did you get that from, and where does it say it's okay for the husband to cheat if the wife doesn't do her part in creating this fanciful, imaginary perfect home?

    May 19, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • Mirosal

      Actually, up until about the 1600's, the church considered prost'itution a "necessary evil", because in that patriarchal society, it was believed that if a man did not get his "release" on a regualr basis, he would go insane. So there really wa a time when the church ok'd se'x outside of marriage.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:46 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      The woman was trying to forgive her husband. How would “taking the man to task” have helped that? It would have just driven the man further away.

      May 19, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • lilyq

      No he didn't. She asked him, he told her. Whether or not you like the answer, there it is.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • LadyMiss Libra

      Yep! Just don't talk about it! That ALWAYS works. Just stuff it down. "Serenity now, serenity now..."

      May 19, 2013 at 10:24 am |
  5. Observer


    Quote EXACTLY where the Bible says that women stopped becoming pregnant. Looks like you JUST MADE IT UP.

    Also, tell us how the wives of Noah's sons were worth saving but NOT ONE OTHER person in their families were.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:38 am |
    • Mirosal

      I want him to tell us what the unicorns did to warrant extinction.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:41 am |
    • Lou

      Actually there are many references to "barren women"... "For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed [are] the barren, and the wombs that never bare," Luke: 23:26.31

      May 19, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  6. JamVee

    Why anyone still listens to Pat Robertson is a mystery to me. I think the media interviews him so they can get a ratings spike from whatever outrageous claptrap he spouts.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • midwest rail

      Pat Robertson IS the media – he owns his own network.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:38 am |
  7. TPierce

    Clearly this man structured a business plan making it impossible to remove him as Chairman, CEO, President....whatever the case. Otherwise no sane group of business persons, much less CHRISTIAN business persons, would leave such a wack job in place.

    When he is finally placed in a wheel chair and rolled out of his offices ....please FILM THAT and post it.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  8. Observer


    Slow TORTUROUS DROWNING is not "instantaneous". If you have no CLUE what a word means, use a dictionary.

    You are just making a fool of yourself. It took many days of rain to KILL everyone.

    NO DROWNING is ever INSTANTANEOUS. Your lungs fill with water and you slowly DIE.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:36 am |
  9. Rozeller

    He and Joe Biden would make a great comedy team.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:29 am |
  10. Seek Truth

    So who appointed this crazy religious nut? Want to know his true religion? Globalism, NWO and The elites.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:24 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      "true religion"....good one.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:27 am |
  11. usresham

    It is okay to ignore one of the commandments and still claim to be christian. We are more hypocritical then before.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  12. bobbie

    All of Pat's "gaffers" are not all that bad...some he hits on the head quite well, and should not apologize.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:05 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch


      May 19, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • midwest rail

      Some have been harmless, some not so much. This one is indefensible.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:16 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Even a blind squirrel gets a nut occasionally.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      Too bad his guffaws outnumber his semi-intelligent utterances by about 100-1.

      May 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  13. Science

    For all creationists ................ID believers...........bible thumbers.....

    Question...............if you SH-IT can the red horn-y devil...................what happens to your fairy in the sky ?

    Clue.............evolution is the way.

    May 19, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      I would like to see the complete fossil record as proof of your evolution theory.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Then look it up. At least all we have to this point. All confirms evolution. The only logical argument you could possibly make is that it is part of "gods design....but that of course would destroy your Adam and Eve myth, and the Noah's ark myth....That's OK...genetics has already proven them wrong anyway.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:20 am |
    • Science

      It is online go for it !

      http://www.ted.com/playlists................might help Chad and the gang if you view them ALL........you know ?

      May 19, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • jim

      That's funny, graftedolive. Evolution has been been shown to occur in numerous situations. It has been proved. It is a fact. Deal with it. The *theory* of evolution refers to the mechanism by which it occurs; i.e., natural selection. What I'm curious about is whether you apply the same rigorous standards of proof when looking at your Bible, since there are so many things in there for which there is absolutely no evidence–Adam and Eve, the Great Flood, Josuah's long day, God making the sun move back in the sky during the rein of Hezekiah, the virgin birth, the resurrection of Jesus. Did Jesus have a Y chromosome? You show me something special about Jesus' DNA (since Mary was supposedly impregnated by the Holy spirit) and I'll get back to you on the full fossil record.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:35 am |
  14. Me

    Studies have been done and what usually happens is women get bored with their partner around ten years. They then start to neglect them and then when the man finds another woman who starts to take care of them then the wife cries "he cheated on me" and acts all hurt. The studies show Men do not get bored with their woman. Now this is not a 100%, its about 60% of the women. My advice to women do not get bored with your guy! If you start to Woman up and dump him or Find away to relight the spark! If you don't some other woman just might.

    May 19, 2013 at 7:48 am |
    • Johnny

      I'd like to read one of those studies. Do you have a link?

      May 19, 2013 at 7:55 am |
    • Reasonable

      Pat's response would have been different if the wife had committed adulery. But you both succeed in blaming women. Whta else is new?

      May 19, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • Gwen

      If these cheating men had treated their wives the way they should, their wives would not have gotten bored. No cheating. Problem solved!

      May 19, 2013 at 8:31 am |
  15. TopperG

    All I can do is laugh. Over the years, this guy spus all kinds of garbage, why do we continue to put it on the news.

    May 19, 2013 at 7:47 am |
  16. Mr Dalloway

    View Zeitgeist on Netflix or dvd

    May 19, 2013 at 7:46 am |
  17. Mr Dalloway

    Another wonderful creation of the christian church, in other words a pig

    May 19, 2013 at 7:39 am |
  18. Trevor

    Who cares what Pat Robertson says anyway?

    May 19, 2013 at 7:38 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Far too many people to be sure.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  19. Saints, sinners and forgiveness

    " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us today our daily bread.
    Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us,
    And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ' For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
    But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    May 19, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Grafted Olive Branch


      May 19, 2013 at 8:06 am |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      Why bother with prayer? Has it ever done any good? Those are both rhetorical questions.

      May 19, 2013 at 8:44 am |
  20. ArgleBargle

    Old coot.

    The only reason he's not dead already is neither God nor the Devil want him.

    May 19, 2013 at 7:11 am |
    • Sun

      Hahaha, I said the same thing! 😀

      May 19, 2013 at 7:32 am |
    • Mr Dalloway


      May 19, 2013 at 7:42 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.