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. Bible Clown©

    Alzheimer's or simple senility? Get him off the air. This is just sad.

    May 20, 2013 at 9:02 am |
  2. Sparknut


    May 20, 2013 at 9:01 am |
  3. Chester

    The pot comment might be the only thing I can recall him saying that kinda makes sense.

    May 20, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  4. myway

    Robertson has proven once more he's a fossile belonging in a museum. In a country where networks get punished for a wardrobe malfunction, someone like Robertson should know you can't get away with saying anything offensive. Perhaps his excuse is his meds were malfunctioning.

    May 20, 2013 at 8:53 am |
  5. Honey Badger Don't Care!

    What is the misunderstanding? This senile old fool has been doing a lot of this lately. Do some searches on YouTube and you'll find very similar foot-in-mouth situations such as this.

    May 20, 2013 at 8:48 am |
  6. john

    The fact that mr. robertson makes it seem that just because he is a man gives him a scapegoat for the cheating, is horrendous at best. As jesus said "{those without sin can cast the first stone", none of us should judge each other because we all sin, no matter how big or small man sees it. On that note, the man did break one of Gods ten commandments and to me he broke his bond with that woman. The woman, if she finds the strength within her heart to forgive but that in no way means she has to stay. He broke a sacred bond, not her.

    May 20, 2013 at 8:31 am |
    • Dude

      Dirty old man.

      May 20, 2013 at 8:44 am |
  7. styymy

    Misunderstanding?? Better yet, why would you seek advice from someone who's never had mac-n-cheese?

    May 20, 2013 at 8:22 am |
  8. stars of my jesus

    Not again every time I turn around there is something about Justin Bieber or this Robert Patison on TV or news they need to stop! Taylor is fine they need to leave Robert Pattison home who cares what he thinks about adultry is he even married?

    May 20, 2013 at 8:07 am |
    • clarification

      I believe you are confused.. This article/story is of the televangelist Pat Robertson.. not the british Twilight actor Robert Pattinson

      May 20, 2013 at 8:46 am |
  9. ally buster


    May 20, 2013 at 7:51 am |
  10. Reality

    Pat Robertson and his family along with the Grahams 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. –

    ( Then there are the Grahams

    Rev. Franklin Graham $800,000+/yr.

    Rev. Billy Graham, $400,000/yr,–salaries paid to them by their "non-profits")


    May 20, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • Robert

      You want better than those examples? Check out Joyce Meyers. She's a champion of the religion tax free scam.

      May 20, 2013 at 7:55 am |
  11. crabman1

    a con man a cheat and a liar -– i'm a beleiver

    May 20, 2013 at 7:27 am |
  12. Richard Bergstrom

    Considering elected officials say wacky things about pretty much everything, most of Robertson's stuff is relatively tame.

    May 20, 2013 at 7:24 am |
  13. Mike

    Here's a fun game... look up just how many of Pat Robertson's past "dear friends" have since been convicted of 'crimes against humanity' (genocide etc)...

    (seriously, how does one person become "dear, personal friends" with so many different monsters? It's almost like Satan himself is making the introductions....)

    May 20, 2013 at 6:37 am |
  14. Kate

    He's nothing but an ancient, ignorant moron. He says so many stupid things, only a fool would consider this man as anything other than a living cartoon. He's a joke.

    May 20, 2013 at 6:25 am |
  15. faith

    Jesus never got into juvenile name-calling but preached the Golden Rule. Obviously you are nothing like him. He was no hypocrite."

    well well well. lookie thar. it do blieve

    May 20, 2013 at 5:08 am |
  16. Hung

    1st. PR (Pat Robertson that is, not Public Relation) is a holy person that's why God appears and speaks to him regularly. So he has the wisdom from God for the things he says. So, people, trust the man of God, Okay.

    2nd. Any cheater who does not embrace him as his "personal" favorite pastor is a no good cheater because when a holy man gives you the green light to screw around and you still don't thank him, that not grateful.

    3rd. if God give the church the power to bind and unbind anything on earth so why can't PR or any thousand of other denominations pastors for that matter, say what they want and do what they want?

    So anytime a protestant pastors open their mouths,you suppose to raise your hands and say Amen, Halelluia, Praise the Lord.

    May 20, 2013 at 2:43 am |
    • well said

      thank you PR, I appreciate god saying my peice on the side is no biggie

      May 20, 2013 at 6:09 am |
    • Nick Smith

      God says He is no respecter of persons, so He certainly would not speak personally to PR. QED.

      May 20, 2013 at 7:38 am |
  17. benny

    Pat Robertson? I was more interested when I thought Robert pattenson was in this.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:48 am |
    • Honey West

      Interesting – if Eve as a woman transgressed or as PR likes to put it "wander a bit," would it not be logical to extend the same thought to a wife who "wanders"?

      I think what PR is saying makes sense. By extension a wife who cheats should be treated the same as a husband who cheats, as they both have the tendency to wander. The wife's tendency as witnessed by the Bible, and the husbands as confirmed by the Honorable Pat Robertson.

      In case of marital infidelity where the wife is the initiator the husband then should simply focus on the positives of the relationship, like she was so beautiful when I married her, she is the mother of my children, she is still so desirable , and she is still beautiful? By extension of course.

      Thank you Pat for clearing that for us.

      May 20, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  18. lol??

    He ever get any t*o*p*l*e*s*s* protesters?? Bet CNN would go for that. CBN maybe, too.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:38 am |
  19. shelly

    Nothing wrong with his weed stance. But I bet he has a wide stance in the john...

    May 20, 2013 at 1:26 am |
  20. shelly

    Nothing wrong with his weed stance. But he probably has a wide stance in the john...

    May 20, 2013 at 1:25 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.