May 17th, 2013
12:12 PM ET

Pat Robertson shrugs off adultery, CBN regrets the misunderstanding

By Eric Marrapodi, Co-Editor CNN Belief Blog
[twitter-follow screen_name='EricCNNBelief']

(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. Chad

    @Chad ""You'll need to do some reading on the purpose of the Law, and the purpose of the atoning work of Christ."

    @Colin "Enlighten me. Don't retreat to mysticism. If you have a point, make it. What do you mean by "the purpose of the law and the purpose of the atoning work of Christ."

    @Chad "A. you clearly dont know what mysticism means.
    B. How is it that you dont know what the purpose of the Lawis
    C. How is it that you dont know what the purpose of the atoning work of Christ is
    D. Why are you on here day after day criticizing a belief system you arent familiar with at all
    E. Given your lack of knowledge of the basics of Christianity (the purpose of the Law, the purpose of Christs atoning work), why would you feel any of your criticisms have any credibility.

    I would say @colins post captures the CNN belief blog atheist in a nutshell.

    May 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Law & Grace

      @Chad, great analysis.
      "A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion."
      –Francis Bacon

      May 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Observer

      Unfortunately, Pat Robertson's world class hypocrisy too often captures the CNN belief blog believer in a nutshell.

      May 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • cassius

      my sky spirit can beat up your sky spirit. thats pretty much it.

      May 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
  2. Reality

    The Holy Roman "Empirers"/Popes/Kings/Queens/Evangelicals et al continue(d) the money grab selling access to JC and heaven resulting in some of today's richest organizations on the globe i.e. the Christian churches (including the Mormon Church) and related aristocracies. Obvious greed!!!

    May 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
  3. Ozzie

    He's a typical Pro-Life Republican. Of course, for most Republicans life begins at conception and ends at birth. After birth, Republicans simply find so many to hate.

    May 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Observer

      It must be killing Republicans to see new all-time highs for the stock market and not be able to give Mitt Romney credit for it.

      May 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Reality

      The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      See also: http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/26/opinion/bolan-se-xual-health/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

      And from:

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about (even though is becoming a major cause of throat cancer)," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (Maybe it should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":

      – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)

      Followed by:

      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

      May 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
  4. Bb

    Look evil

    May 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  5. Kathy

    llol ... I only got as far as the headline and stopped there. Ole Pat probably has a mistress or two in the vestibule closet and, perhaps a few illegitimate children too.

    God gave us free will and a mind of our own yet people follow these pied pipers right off a cliff. I guess that's a way of cleaning the gene pool.

    May 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      More likely a boyfriend, not that there is anything wrong with being gay.

      May 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • lol??

      Well, what did his PUblic Servant dad teach him?? Besides democratic values.

      May 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  6. lol??

    Fundraisin' by false prophets?? Just a mere pittance compared to what the Beast can do. The Beasties can even turn the Masters into servants!!

    Pro 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender.

    Don'tcha wanna be FREE and Clear by payin' off the national debt, without stealing from the Christians, of course??

    May 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  7. Braindamaged

    I used to watch the 700 club but stoped a long time ago. These stupid tv evangelists don't know the bible from their own asses. They don't study the bible, they only cherry pick certain verses and put their interpretation of what they think the verse means into play and ignoring the rest of the biblical story, taking the bible out of context in a big way. They teach that watered down version of the bible to thousands of people who believe them because those people don't want to study the bible themselves. These "evangelists" really have to start studying the bible, and stop cherry picking the verses cause as I said, they're really taking the bible out of context.

    May 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • lol??

      Studyin' for the test doesn't work??

      May 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
  8. P. Lee

    Any televangelist that lives off from donation in such a lavish and greedy lifestyle are all imposters!
    —It is ironic that they try to preach about sins and all the while Living It Up at the expense of hard working people!
    —I mean, what is really the mission or mission statements from these con artists?
    —And yes, anyone that even listens or ask Robertson for an kinds of advice need their heads examined!

    May 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  9. lol??

    The Beast took over marriage. How's that usurpin' workin' out???? Libbys better ask the pastor in chief for guidance.

    May 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Observer

      Things are working out fine. The stock market sets new highs almost daily after Bush left it plummeting and we're adding new jobs instead of losing a half-million jobs like at the end of the Bush years. And Obama hasn't started any more wars for false reasons like the Republicans did.

      May 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  10. omeany

    At what point do you just stop listening to anything this man has to say? It is demeaning to women to have your husband's cheating minimalized as if it were some moral failing on her part not to be able to get over it. Hopefully people will be able to get over Pat Robertson.

    May 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
  11. Robert

    Haha oh Pat. Thanks for showing the world how ridiculous Christian thinking actually is.

    May 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Syed92

      Christianity or Christian teachings have nothing to do with it. It is the wild mind of Pat Robertson. What he says, is not a quotation from Mar the Virgin nor from Jesus, her blessed son.

      May 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  12. jeff

    Its not an excuse, but he is not wrong.

    May 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
    • Doobs

      He's not wrong about what? That it's the woman's fault if her husband is unfaithful?

      May 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  13. Ross P. Alander

    ...and this guy represents Christianity to the world much like radical Muslims represent Islam to the world. So many untruths in both cases. The wing nuts of all groups do us no good.

    May 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Robert

      The wingnuts in both cases DO represent the majority. Because the majority believe in wingnut ideas. Anyone who objectively reads the Bible or Quran will come to that conclusion vey quickly.

      May 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  14. David

    Yes, agFinder, that is what he is saying. Especially if you are rich and if you are a man. He has so much money and arrogance shoved a mile up his colon that he thinks his word is 'God'.

    May 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
  15. blackhawkmom

    Why does anyone follow/send money to people like this? Why do you need to be "preached" to and convinced your way to heaven is by sending money?

    May 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  16. mama k

    The thing that is the most disturbing to me about all this is that someone would seek advice from Pat Robertson.

    May 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  17. Extra Medium

    It is interesting in the picture that the WhiteHead microphone is stuck in Pat's mouth 😉

    May 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
  18. boredofceleb

    We've heard a lot from "The Real Tom" on this thread......I'd like to hear the "Fake Tom's" opinion. On a lighter note, can't Robertson do something about those ghastly yellow teeth? Like not flashing them into the camera for the world to see and gag? In fact, if he'd keep his mouth shut, we'd be spared seeing them as well as hearing the absurdities that emit from his mouth.

    May 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • The real Tom

      You must be new here. I used another moniker for a long time. Months ago, some troll decided to use my screen name to post his turds here. So I changed the name under which I post. The fake, as is usual for such jerks, is probably posting under someone else's name now, changing its moniker frequently because it's a lamebrain.

      May 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
  19. PaulB

    Has anyone see the trailer for the movie Rapture Palooza? Too funny! Some folks will be very offended that their favorite fantasy is being poked at.


    May 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  20. Reality

    Pat Robertson and his family continue to con the public with their Christian stupidity and oddities.

    And in case anyone missed this on p. 5.

    Gordon Robertson (Pat's son) is Director/Vice-Chairman/CEO of the Christian Broadcasting Network makes $429,644/ yr. in salary and benefits. His retired father is still makes over $100,000/yr.

    Said group has over $35 million in public and other securities and they pay no taxes on the interest, dividends and capital gains from these securities. –


    May 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • breater1


      May 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • higgs bosun

      these people could have their brains removed and sold as unused body parts...pretty low horsepower however...they would need to sell at a substantial dicount

      May 19, 2013 at 1:23 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.