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. Marton Heart

    The height of hypocrisy almost always comes in the form of someone claiming to be "Christian". What would Jesus say to this charlatan? Maybe something like: "Go to Hell"? Not judging – just making a prediction.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You mean a "projection"

      May 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
    • Ignoranceisgodleness

      @Bill, No, no, a prediction is correct.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      " What would Jesus say to this charlatan? " He would leave for a few minutes, then return with a whip and drive the moneylenders out of His temple.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      ignorance A prediction is stating something will happen. Obviously that isn't the case here.

      A projection is something Marton would say but wants you to think Jesus would

      Conclusion: your screen name is just a tad too long

      May 20, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  2. Kweso

    Hearing Robot-Son speak makes me feel shame to be a man.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  3. Misty

    This "man" is nothing more than the proverbial Wolf in Sheep's clothing and spews the giz of hate speech under the cloak of being a follower of the Christ. He is a blasphemer and should get a good ole fashioned stoning! Maybe in Madison Square Garden where tickets can be sold and satellite providers can make it a Pay-per-View event! Now that would be worth dropping a wad of cash to witness!!!

    May 20, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Aerin

      I'd pay to see that!

      May 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • lol??

      Misty sayz,
      ".....................should get a good ole fashioned stoning!..............."

      That can be arranged by the Beastie mob. On the street or in court. Your choice.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  4. Misty

    What Mr Robertson is saying is that men cannot exercise any self control or self restraint and if EVERYTHING is the fault of the female gender, then by GOD what power we women have (Hail to the V!) If anything, I think just as many men as women should be infuriated with this blow-hard who is old enough to have been instrumental in the planning and orchestrating of the Spanish Inquisition!

    May 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
  5. lol??

    Fathers should teach their son's that it's foolish to say your bored with your wife's bod. Just have patience. It'll change, faster than you think! It's like you married a thousand women.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm |
  6. Bill Davis

    All this nut is saying isbthatbhe cheated and all his GOP friends have too.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  7. Brian Park

    They forgot the one where he said, "if your spouse comes down with Alzheimers you have the biblical right to leave them because they no longer remember you and they are no longer the person you married." This guy is an absolute looney, can we just ex-communicate from the Christian church already? Sheesh.

    May 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
  8. gladiatorgrl

    “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.”

    WHY is anybody still listening to these neanderthals. They make excuses for any man Gingrich, Sanford, Guilliani etc... (except Clinton or Dems) BUT women must stay these virtuous nuns and forgive.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
  9. Godoflunaticscreation

    We are due for another BBQ Waco style!

    May 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
  10. He'sToast

    This person is headed downhill. Not only does he not know his Bible, he is dead wrong on everything. Feel sorry for his congregation and those that pay attention to this Pharisee. He's a hypocrite and not a follower of Jesus. He's anything but. Satan has him around the throat.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Oh sure...and you do?! Your cult is a joke!

      May 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • sam stone

      he is not wrong on pot

      May 20, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  11. Godoflunaticscreation

    Pat is just spreading the teachings of the bible. This is what happens when your education is limited to ancient mythology. Im sure the muslims understand his statements.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • lol??

      They support planned parenthood, fer sure, fer you!

      May 20, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
  12. lewwho

    So Pat R is saying that a man cheats because a wife didn't keep a happy home? R U kidding me, another christian man blaming a woman for his mistakes. Is always someone elses fault isn't it? Hey, cheaters out there, stand up and take responsibility for your own actions. It's time too grow up and quit blaming the woman in your life. It never changes, even in the bible, the first thing Adam did after eating the apple, blamed eve. Freaking bunch of idiots.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
  13. oh please

    Hey...he is BASICALLY screaming at you saying ya know...its YOUR fault your husband cheated on you cause hey....you kept a dirty house...or hey....ya know what....people cheat GET OVER It,...TYPICAL christian BS.....typical..

    May 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • Bev

      Dont you DARE say the words of a freak are a "typical Christian response". it is most CERTAINLY NOT! You are every bit as ignorant and judgemental as Robertson is. he is a moron and DOES NOT speak for Christians worldwide.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Bev, you need to read your bible. Pat has and thats why he is saying what he is saying. You are a mans property. If you don't like it Get back in my rib cage!

      May 20, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Observer


      Pat Robertson reflects the hypocrisy of many of his millions of fans. Many CHOOSE to pick on gays while ignoring the much greater number of adulterers in their churches. They CHOOSE to pick on pro-choice supporters while ignoring the fact that the Bible never mentions abortion.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Bev

      Dear "godoflunatics"
      I do read my bible, for myself and with my Christian friends. I do not belong to ANYONE but Jesus. This has nothing to do with an argument YOU are trying to create. It has everything to do with someone lumping all Christians together under one "spokesman" – namely Robertson. I will not argue theology with you because you obviously have a mindset opposing mine and the bible clearly says not to engage in arguments with fools.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Observer


      The Bible supports:

      Discrimination against slaves
      Discrimination against women
      Discrimination against handicapped people
      Discrimination against gays

      At least it is consistent.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Godoflunaticscreation

      Bev, if you don't bow down to your masters who you owe your life to then you are a fake christian. I still heard no thanks for taking my rib! I hope you're having fun pretending you're actually a christian.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Bev

      as stated earlier, i don't argue with fools, or trolls

      May 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      She sounds angry – she must be an atheist!

      May 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Observer


      "as stated earlier, i don't argue with fools, or trolls"

      So why haven't you responded to my comments? Are you defenseless?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  14. Pam

    typical Conservative hypocrite!

    May 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • lol??

      Only Christians have the capacity to be hypocrites. Are you callin' him a Christian??

      May 20, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  15. realist512

    This guy is irrelevant.

    May 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  16. faith

    i never liked pat anyway. who cares? dad used to recite the litany of offenses committed by "the church" and xtards throughout history. 4 his entire life- except the last few weeks- he used it and the bloody mess left by all religions to shield the reality of the god-man from view. me, too. jesus was at best a santa claus type myth. he certainly wasn't god for peter's sake. what a joke. ridiculous. pathetic. absurd. don't waste my time with that silly garbage.

    pain is a wonnerful, wunnerful tool. i hate pain. don't like pain at all.

    when he knew 4 certain only drowning men could c him, he said all men shall be sailors then, until the sea shall free them.

    there ain't no evidence of any kind, whatsoever, anywhere, anytime for gawwwwd. none. stop lookin. stop askin others to show u. ain't there.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • TiredOfPaying

      There certainly is no evidence of God in your spelling and grammar. No evidence of schooling, either.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • faith

      i no i no

      ain't it spectacular?

      gawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwd done it.

      There certainly is no evidence of God in your spelling and grammar. No evidence of schooling, either."

      May 21, 2013 at 7:44 am |
    • faith

      it is a miracle

      May 21, 2013 at 8:41 am |
  17. DQuinn

    One has to wonder if this "man of God" is trying to boost ratings. He, and others like him, are an embarrassment to the christian movement. I always thought preachers belonged in the local church pulpit, not on the airwaves where ultimately they are unable to cope with the spotlight. The Reverend Billy Graham, in my opinion, is the only minister that brought credit to the Faith, not humiliation.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Billy

      The game with Christian evangelists always seems the same. Most of them at some point reach the tipping point of ridiculousness. That's when their own kind call them out as if there was something to salvage from the whole lot.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • Alan S

      Billy: I am not religious, but I wonder if you're drawing too critical a conclusion about Christian evangelists. Maybe the great majority of evangelists don't reach a tipping point of ridiculousness, but the media only publicizes those who become ridiculous. Maybe most evangelists remain quite restrained in their comments, and we never hear about those.

      Put another way, maybe this story says more about the media than it does about evangelists.

      May 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      How much credit to his cult did Billy G's conversation with Nixon about jews bring?

      May 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      "One has to wonder if this "man of God" is trying to boost ratings"

      Aren't they all interested in more followers?

      May 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      "He, and others like him, are an embarrassment to the christian movement. "

      As are christians

      May 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
    • faith

      u seen da light bro

      May 21, 2013 at 8:42 am |
  18. bibledoctor02

    the only true church is the westboro baptist church if you don t preach hellfire your a heathen in wraps

    May 20, 2013 at 11:37 am |
  19. Anti-Christian

    Imagine the mental state of the worthless sub-humans who listen to him!

    May 20, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  20. gracielake

    He continuously does obnoxious things and attracts a whole bunch of attention. This is something we teach in online marketing and PR. Hmmmm. Has he been manipulating the masses? Oh hell yes.

    May 20, 2013 at 11:09 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.