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. Jason

    Well, Pat has pretty much been an idiot. OK?

    May 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
  2. Jim

    Even though it's for lousy reasons, at least he's closer to the truth than most. The truth is that cheating is in men's and women's DNA. All horrible things that exist are built in right there in all humans DNA. The only thing that keeps them in check is the tradition of civilization. It's a fallacy that we're born good. We're not. 10,000+ years of building what can best be referred to as collective societal common sense is what makes us even want to be good. The knowledge that raising a bad egg would lead to a parent being ashamed and ostracized by the community they like fitting in with provides the motivation to not raise their children to act on whatever spontaneous impulses they feel like acting on.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  3. Sal

    I'd like to ask him what he thinks of Mark Sanford and the SC voters that put him into congress. They all have family and republican values, remember? Whatta joke! 

    May 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
    • lol??

      Soul mate sounds like Monica talk. Get the Beast outa the marriage business. Maybe these alpha males can take more than one woman off the streets with polygamy.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      @Sal ... Very well said!!!

      May 17, 2013 at 4:42 pm |
    • faith

      i think little fatty sambo urging xtards to commit violent suicide is wonderful. i particularly enjoy the way not one god-hating Nazi fascist has ever posted any criticism of their beloved Nazi for her disgusting posts and sick mind.

      i also find myself warmly amused when dodo plays the role of ms integrity and chastens reborn xtards for being mean. that is beyond hilarious.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • sam

      faith, you need to take your meds.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • LadyMiss Libra

      WOW faith...."xtards"?? No wonder you like Pat so much: you're both such SHINING examples of Christianity! ROFLMAO.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:53 am |
  4. Pat

    I wonder, would he give similar advice to a man whose wife had strayed?

    May 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • Gutsy333


      May 20, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Who is Richardson ?

      May 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Here's an indication:

      Then the LORD said to me, "Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the LORD still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them."

      May 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      BillyD, Sunday Indoctrination School time, please explain that Babble fragment for us hopeless atheists.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  5. Antonio De La Ossa

    Does this guy really believe he is God's spokes person?

    May 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • asdrel

      Can there be much doubt that he does. I think most mega-evangilists think they are speaking directly from God (or the part of Him that they beleive in).

      May 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
  6. tony

    One of the many right wing Americans the Taliban would likely praise rather than kill

    May 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • lol??

      Isn't that a bit far left to say??

      May 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • faith

      god hating nazi fascists hate the way christians stereotype people. just hate it.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  7. BillyD

    What's really sad isn't that this old cook believes all these things. It's that he influences others.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • lol??

      Don't be sad. You don't REALLY know that.

      "Jer 17:9~10 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, [I] try the reins, ............"

      May 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • fred

      As do some atheists on this site.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  8. Dyslexic doG

    Every word of the Bible must be obeyed right?

    Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. – 1 Corinthians 14

    I can see why women love being Christian.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • lol??

      Can't give em an inch or they'll take a mile.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • henry

      Thiis statement by Robertson is an example of the Church getting so involved with politics that it compromises it original mission which is to spread the love of Jesus Christ to the nations

      May 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • lol??

      He started a Church, too??

      May 17, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
  9. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    Well, he does have a point. It's perfectly natural for women to cheat. A husband will stop caring how he looks, lose the 6-pack abs in favor of the beer belly. A guy lets himself go...what's a woman to do? Cheat, of course. It's all the man's fault anyway.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Ryan

      Abused feminist?

      May 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • asdrel

      Does that mean that it's OK for the man to cheat if the woman lets herself go?

      May 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • The GOP need to pack up and leave

      To Ryan: No, just showcasing the utter lunacy of Pat Robertson who is spiraling into madness.

      May 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Bruno Cruz

      asdrel: Pat Robertson actually made a comment to the effect a year or two ago, suggesting it was the woman's fault if her husband cheats because she has let herself go.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
  10. sftommy

    OK Pat guess you've given up on Jesus and are now endorsing the other side. Shouldn't his followers be warned about the road to perdition Pat Robertson is taking them on?

    May 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  11. Ellen

    I tend to disagree with Pat 100% of the time but, I actually agree with him on #2 ... too bad they backtracked on that one.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  12. Iron Mike

    Diamond mine slave owners wander a little bit. We just give him a religious tax exemption so wonderful he won't have to wander.

    May 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  13. Alias

    Come on now. The bible doesn't like divorce.
    How else should a right wing nutjob address the situation?

    May 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • sftommy

      ...ask for more money from his followers: a weeping "I have sinned" on air confession, with rose petals falling from the sky, and crashes of thunder (special effects team on standby) as he raises his hands in the air asking for forgiveness and money!

      May 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
  14. Jon

    Don't know why people are surprised when Robertson puts his foot in his mouth with his outrageous statements. Like most ultra-religious individuals, he is dumb as a post.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  15. Andrew

    This tool is utterly devoid of christlike values.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • Ryan

      what are Christlike values?

      May 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
  16. Meatwad

    I like Pat Robertson ya'll. He is a smoooooth operator yo.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Andrew

      Smooth like boulders in a parking lot.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • Master Shake

      He is a fine lookin' woman and he is all mine so back off!

      May 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  17. Kris L

    Oh, I didn't mean to say Orlando should fear God's Wrath. I said "ORLANDO SHOULD FEAR GOD'S WRATH".

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

      What does Orlando Bloom have to do with anything?

      May 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • SurelyUjest

      Let me spell it out for you Orlando Bloom played Legolas who is an Elf. Elves have pointy ears, are magical creatures, defend the forest and live for a very long time therefor they are satanic which means Orlando Bloom worships Satan....come on man keep up!!

      May 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Fear Santa's wrath or....no toys for YOU!

      May 18, 2013 at 11:40 am |
  18. Smarter than U

    More from this crooked sack of poop. Scammed his followers into financing his personal investments. Then he scammed them into joining his pyramid scheme. What a phoney.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  19. Erlo

    This guy provides me with great laughs.

    May 17, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  20. snoozie

    Okay, good on the weed stuff. The rest is absolutely ridiculous if not downright stupid, and the comments about women accepting mens' dalliances with a vow to "do better" is the corker. So, once again we see hypocrisy from a representative from the religious right, which is basically "your human failures are sins, but mine are just the way it is, and God doesn't mind". Pfft!

    May 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • lol??

      Maybe he just ad-libs a lot. You know how libs are.

      May 17, 2013 at 3:54 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.