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. joepublic1

    Im sorry but it is people like him making statements like these that make God look bad. When a person continually makes stupid statements rooted in cultural ignorants and religious prejudice, it is clear that he is just another man no different from you, me, a congressman or other elected official.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:00 am |
    • uckermanf

      Excuse me, but I am nothing like Pat Robertson. Pat Robertson is barely human in my opinion. I certainly have never said any of the crap he seems to spout on a regular basis.

      It really is time for him to meet his maker and see exactly what side he has been playing for all this time.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:33 am |
    • the Dan Quayle of the church

      I like what he had to say, good perspective to laugh at

      May 20, 2013 at 6:13 am |
    • nclaw441

      Joe, I think Mr. Robertson is just another man no matter his statements. He, like all of us, is a sinner, a human and will continue to make mistakes. He surely isn't the first church leader to make serious mistakes, much less the first person to do so. While I am not an adulterer, I have committed my share of sin, and more. I imagine that none of us are capable of judging him or anyone else.

      May 20, 2013 at 7:23 am |
    • midwest rail

      Surely, nclaw, we can judge his statements ?

      May 20, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • Nick Smith

      Where the rule includes what we think as well as what we do, we cannot be too careful.

      May 20, 2013 at 7:41 am |
  2. Gil Nodges

    Well, at least he was right about the weed.....

    May 20, 2013 at 12:02 am |
  3. hubert39

    I tried to send a post about Robertson. CNN said I already sent the post. I just signed on. What's up?

    May 20, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • hubert39

      It's because I'm here posting under your name.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:48 am |
    • hubert38

      I am trying to post under your name but am not your equal

      May 20, 2013 at 6:15 am |
  4. Mack

    Raise your hand if you're an ardent Robertson supporter and will also openly support his pro-adultery stance in your circle of friends. Yeah...that's what I thought...crickets. Hypocrites.

    May 19, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  5. KKosiewicz

    surprisingly half-assed decent advice!

    May 19, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  6. afnmvet

    In the world of Pat Robertson as long as the checks clear that keep rolling in everything is good.

    May 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  7. kevin

    He said hurricanes would hit Florida because of "Gay Day". And he was right. One point for Pat!!

    May 19, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
    • Observer


      "He said hurricanes would hit Florida because of "Gay Day". And he was right. One point for Pat!!"

      Wrong. There is no proof that "Gay Day" had anything to do with this random event.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • MC

      Right, moron. Because hurricanes had never hit Florida before that.

      May 20, 2013 at 8:10 pm |
  8. allenwoll

    FiM-disease strikes again ! !

    May 19, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  9. Jay David

    I shrugged off Jesus and all His lunatics. I'd rather burn in Hades than spend a second anywhere, on Earth or in Heaven, with Pat Robertson. Although I'm pretty sure that if I go to Hades, Pat will also be there. Scary!

    May 19, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
  10. CTexas

    I think most people have shrugged off Pat Roberson.

    May 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
  11. Robin Jones

    A hypocrite TV evangelist? How is that surprising? How is that news?

    May 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
  12. mis t

    Our "mythological savior?????" in the words of Antoine Dodson.."you are so dumb. You really dumb"every time you write the date you are acknowledging the existence of this "mythological savior" every event in history revolves around B.C. or A.D. and that all revolves around Jesus Christ!! Get a clue!

    May 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • MC

      My god, you are an imbecile.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Frank

      That's your argument for the existence of this mythological being? The use of BC and AD!?! Wow. Talk about functionally developmentally disabled.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Observer

      mis t,

      YOU are the one who needs to get a clue.

      Remember that on Wednesday, for instance, you are acknowledging the existence of the god Woden.
      Thursday you are acknowledging the existence of the god Thor, etc.


      May 20, 2013 at 1:08 am |
  13. Jo Black

    Stupid in a convenient ready to use packet.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
  14. lol??

    Socie marriage:

    A chicken in every pot
    A cop in every kitchen

    May 19, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
  15. HFM

    this charlatan is so full of excrement that it continuously runs out of his ears....if our Congress ended tax exempt status for phony religious (actually, ALL religious organizations!) organizations like his PTL (Pass the Loot) 700 club (which is the combined IQ of all of their listeners and financial supporters), then we'd see the true side of this clown (and others like him)...love to see that biblical quote that states that religious organizations are not required to pay income taxes...

    May 19, 2013 at 10:35 pm |
  16. DEAN

    Robinson is a fraud. Anyone that lies about being in combat while sitting safely in a rear area completely out of danger can't be taken seriously about anything.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
    • David Blanchard

      That's the problem, DEAN, millions of people take him seriously no matter what he says or does, And that's frightening.

      May 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm |
    • MC

      Evangelical Christians are really. really stupid.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Frank

      @MC: Although I'm not a believer, I know the head of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai hospital in LA is an evangelical Christian. That one example alone completely negates your ignorant assertion.

      May 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • MC

      No, moron, actually it doesn't. There are a lot of stupid doctors.

      May 20, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • MC

      Aside from which, half-wit, the head of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai is Dr. Eduardo Marban, a Catholic, as a quick web search will prove. Apparently your moron friend, if he even exists, is exaggerating his qualifications a bit.

      May 20, 2013 at 8:06 pm |
  17. Terence Gaffney

    It is quite obvious that Pat Robertson is SENILE!

    May 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm |
    • Jackie

      He's not senile, he is just an idiot bigost!

      May 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
  18. Terence Gaffney

    It is quite OBVIOUS that Pat Robertson is senile!!!!!!!!!

    May 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
  19. Alex

    Sounds like a preemptive strike to me. Maybe someone has the goods on this old fart.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm |
  20. james of the house

    Why would he be worried? His god knocked up a unsuspecting married jew girl 2,000 years ago and we haven't heard the end of it yet.

    May 19, 2013 at 10:01 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.