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. Common Sense Sam

    Religion is a suckers game. As is always the case, the ones running the game take everything they can from the suckers. And is always the case, the one running the game and sitting on piles of cash has no moral compass. But I guarantee you he's a terrific liar.

    May 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Rhiannonyoucry

      I feel sorry for you. You are one of those who focuses on individual human weakness, and applies it to all who practice religion. Jesus didn't come for those who were perfect (no one is); the whole point is to try to be a good and better person. And I've got news for you – those of us who believe will always be here, no matter how much you persecute us, ridicule us, and try to destroy us.

      May 19, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      I don't know if you noticed but there's an entire political party that's dedicated to pursuing your at-times ludicrous Christian agenda. Maybe you also noticed that we have an entire two weeks a year to your mythological worship of a fake birthday for your mythological savior. Seriously, you Christians who claim to be persecuted need your head examined, and not just because you believe in invented invisible super-beings. If our national currency read "Rational Though Above Religious Extremism" rather than "In God We Trust" you might be beginning to make an argument. But your crocodile tears are just that.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      And I've got better news for you. Those who are able to think rationally will always be here. And we will always tell you the same thing about your religions beliefs and your religion. It's a hoax and a suckers game. It's unnecessary and ultimately does more harm than good. And it's because can't seem to extricate yourself from it that you are the one we all should feel sorry for.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
    • Inconvent truth

      Faith and religion are two different things. You can have faith that Jesus was the son of god and you can follow his teachings without being religious. Religion is about power and control. If you really have faith you don't Ned pat Robertson, the pope, an imam or a rabbi to tell you what god wants you to think. They are just trying to control you for their own benefit.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:11 pm |
    • Jay David

      Jesus came to teach humans to be sheep.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  2. Jerome Horowitx

    I find, to my surprise, that I agree with the man on one thing.
    Legalize weed.

    May 19, 2013 at 9:48 pm |
  3. kissmyas

    Religion is the root of all evil...and this joker proves it in spades.

    May 19, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • Rhiannonyoucry

      Who are YOU to condemn religion?

      May 19, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      Wait. Why shouldn't he/she?

      May 19, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
  4. SokrMom

    It's a mystery to me how what Robertson said could be "misunderstood." He pretty clearly suggested that men cheat all the time and it's their wives' fault...

    May 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • lol??

      Makes it tough for men to get custody, but hey. the Beasties don't care and the attorneys get richer. The kids lose even more of their inheritance.

      May 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  5. Jim Weix

    Just keep sending him money, so you can be a part of the "700 Club".
    There is a sucker born everyday, unless they are into this type of religion. Then one is born every minute.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  6. Hung

    when God speak to him that often, you know God must have given him the wisdom and authority to say what is on his mind. Can you all raise both hands and say Halleluia.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
  7. Teri

    That's right! Blame infidelity on the victim! She must have been asking for it, right!? She didn't have the pot roast ready on time and the martini she made for him wasn't up to par. There was a smudge on her apron, so he has a right to be unfaithful. How archaic and disgusting is this man? In what past century is he living?

    May 19, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  8. Black Dynamite

    Thanks for condoning adultery, Pat. I couldn't have written a pass on adultery any better than that.

    Nice job. Way to go......

    May 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
  9. Hilda

    Pat Robertson fuucckkked my aunt throughout the 1970s and early 80s. I hate him. Someone confront Pat Robertson about Debra Ann Mahooney.

    May 19, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
    • gorgegirl

      Why don't you write to his wife. Perhaps she might not take infidelity as light as he does.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:06 am |
  10. elucidated1

    Too bad Christians don't call out CBN, a non profit mega system, to censure Robertson. Then, again, maybe it is best for the truth to come out and allow the world to see the Cafeteria Christian hypocrisy.

    May 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Eric Sotelo

      The reason that Christians won't is because we agree 100% with all of his statements. Or at least I do. LOL.. I'm not perfect, and this is what I believe to be the most truest of all statements. I am human first, and Saved by Grace altogether.. LOL

      May 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • gorgegirl

      I see that Eric thinks he is a "Christian" and agrees with this goofball that women are second class citizens. He doesn't realize that "Christian" is just a word if you don't act and speak like one.

      May 19, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  11. Sean

    What a creep.

    May 19, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
  12. Karin

    This guy freaks me out!

    May 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm |
  13. beachgalone

    makes me sick. this double standard exists in the industry I work in as well. Any time a business (my industry is insurance) spouts of how they are faith based, red flags arise. all they are saying is men and women are treated differently.. men are excused for their behaviors, women to serve the the men. 2 agencies I've seen this in, 1st time I thought it was a fluke. 2nd time, a confirmation. Now I run far away from any business that just doesn't stick to business. Leave your politics and religious beliefs at home.

    May 19, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  14. sagewy

    Pat Robertson needs to be retired off the air. I really think he is having cognitive issues- love of money though.

    May 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Clyd Sore

      Robertson is an ass hole what do you expect?

      May 19, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
  15. faith

    the AnViL™

    those who believe in imaginary men in the sky are delusional.

    delusional thinking is a form of mental illness.

    these people who profess these delusional beliefs should be prohibited from voting, serving on a jury, running for or holding any public office, purchasing or owning firearms, teaching public school, or having contact with any children under the age of 18.

    tolerance of religious idiocy is worse than religious idiocy itself – and it has to end.

    enough is enough.
    the AnViL™

    mentally deficient retards like "r4t" are mired in their stunted understanding of darwinism, and demonstrate their complete lack of education.

    for the good of humanity and future generations – these are the people who need to be sterilized.

    again – tolerance of religious idiocy has to end... the sooner the better.



    May 19, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • faith

      nazi god-hating fascist denounce all xtards because
      1 all r delusional
      2 all r mentally ill
      3 mentally ill should be banned from interacting with children and should not vote or participate in the government or be allowed to teach in public school
      4 they demand prayers be said at sporting events
      5 they r all retarded
      6 completely uneducated
      7 should not be permitted to own firearms

      May 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
  16. mustangally1

    WHAT A PIG... No, wait. That gives pigs a bad name.

    May 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • gorgegirl

      I sure wish they had a "thumbs up" or "agree" mark. I would give you 10 of them!!!

      May 20, 2013 at 12:08 am |
  17. Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

    Doesn't Robertson have a celestial tee time with Falwell sometime soon?

    May 19, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  18. faith

    nazi fascists love the golden rule and they want an immediate end to christianity because they despise the 10 commandments being forced into all public schools by screaming reborners.

    1 has 2 respect their sincerety

    May 19, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • faith

      that's y i'm thinking of converting and joining the first church of the god-hating congregation. bunch of lovely god-hating down to earth folks attending there.

      May 19, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Nicodemus Grumpschmidt

      We atheists don't hate god. We simply have never been given any proof that he/she/it exists. Or if it does, you bible thumpers have failed to prove the existence of this figment of your collective imaginations. We implore you. Give us some proof/evidence. And I don't mean your hocus-pocus explanations. I mean hard evidence that is causally traceable and empirically provable. Good luck!

      May 19, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • Colin D

      Nicodemus it is not on us to show you proof of God, it is on you to find your faith. If you are right that is just fine, no afterlife and I am happy on earth, but think for a second if I am right, you had so much knowledge in front of you but refused to believe even knowing that in order to be All Just God must judge. Personally I hope I don't have to suffer for my sins so I hope you are right, BUT if I am right, God help us all

      May 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      Actually Colin D you couldn't be more wrong. The burden of proof lies on the one making the extraordinary claim. The claim that there is an invisible superbeing that requires your worship and recognition is an extraordinary claim. It's non-existence is presumed until proven otherwise. If you can't agree with that, then you must also be forced to believe in any infinite number of similar fantastical claims including the existence of bigfoot, the loch ness monster, leprechauns, etc.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
  19. joe

    This is same guy who said that God told him the night before election that not only would Romney win the election-he would win by a landside...........think about it....

    May 19, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Common Sense Sam

      Religion doesn't require thought. It requires faith. If it required though, there would be far, far fewer faithful.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • gorgegirl

      Apparently God isn't communicating with this sinner. But he won't admit that he failed the "Christian" test a long time ago when he was having an affair with Debra Ann Mahooney.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:10 am |
  20. thegadfly

    Well, I sort of have to agree with Mr. Robertson, that "Males have a tendency to wander a little bit." Although I have been in an awful marriage for 20+ years and have never wandered. The only thing that makes this story newsworthy is that the Religious Right is generally inclined to condemn such "tendencies", and to insinuate that they are a guarantee of eternal damnation.

    For that matter, I think it is the Religious Right's inclination to condemn in general that is their only claim to fame. I say again: "their ONLY claim to fame." Christianity, after all, was founded on the ideas of forgiveness and redemption - the notion that in an imperfect world, ALL goodness had to come from imperfect people.

    May 19, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • faith

      you make a strong argument. and i haven't seen any god-hating fascist nazis condemn anyone

      May 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
    • gorgegirl

      "Christian" is just a word if you don't act and speak like one.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:11 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.