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. Anton Dubinski

    The guys' such a doucbe_bag_g

    May 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • faith

      amen bro.

      so. i agreed wit chas

      May 21, 2013 at 7:56 am |
  2. 29realblackman29


    May 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • faith

      o man. preach it bro. amen bro.

      May 21, 2013 at 7:57 am |
  3. heywood

    Who cares what he says, keep sending money.

    May 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • faith

      how much more a this can sambo tolerate? huh? she ain't gonna be happy

      May 21, 2013 at 7:58 am |
  4. Shellie

    He really just needs to shut the Hell up. He makes all Christians look like nut jobs. Why do they keep him around???!!!!

    May 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • faith

      its a conspiracy

      May 21, 2013 at 7:59 am |
  5. Gutsy333


    May 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm |
    • faith


      May 21, 2013 at 8:04 am |
  6. Galileo Galileo

    He's rewriting the Ten Commandments? He ran for President once, or at least he tried to. Now he wants to run for God?

    May 20, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Bill Deacon


      Then the LORD said to me, "Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the LORD still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them."

      May 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • faith

      i no i no

      it be a hootin and a hollerin big show!!

      May 21, 2013 at 8:05 am |
  7. Agnosit57

    THOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY. Hey, Robinson, you freakin' bible beatin' idiot - how is it you think you can just "shrug off" one of the Ten Commandments? Especially offensive and hypocritical because you have the AUDACITY to call yourself a man of god!! PEOPLE! WAKE UP! HE'S A CHARLETAN! A LIAR! A FAKE!

    May 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Agnosit57

      Typo - meant to write "Robertson".... like it really matters....LOL

      May 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Gutsy333


      May 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
  8. ShawnDH

    No wonder Christianity is dying. These extremists are disgusting, ignorant, vile human beings.

    May 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      It sounds to me as if he meant to make a sensible comment about men being easily-tempted and his mind wandered off while he was talking. Put him out to pasture.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  9. K

    HE WANDERS, DOES HE? Well this is what I say:

    "Girl, girl, get that cash,"
    "If it's 9-5 or shakin your @#$%^!"
    "Ain't no shame ladies, do your thing"
    "Just make sure you're ahead of the game!" Lyrics, Missy Elliott

    The moral of this story is SPEAK SOFTLY, CARRY A BIG FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY!

    May 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Fikken Dü

      Put that thing down, flip it, and reverse it.

      May 20, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
  10. faith

    i anm an xtard and proud o fit

    May 20, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      good for you. jeebus is waiting

      May 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  11. Reality

    Dear Pat,

    o Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another three- five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

    What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, biology, biochemistry, archeology, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

    1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

    2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

    3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

    4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

    5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

    6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

    7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode cataclysmically at any time ending life on Earth.

    8. Many of us are part Neanderthal and/or Denisovan.

    Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

    And for $199, you can find out if you are part Neaderthal- not kidding:

    As per National Geographic's Genographic project:

    For your $199 and a DNA swab:

    "Included in the markers we will test for is a subset that scientists have recently determined to be from our hominin cousins, Neanderthals and the newly discovered Denisovans, who split from our lineage around 500,000 years ago. As modern humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals and Denisovans were still alive and well in Eurasia. It seems that our ancestors met, leaving a small genetic trace of these ancient relatives in our DNA. With Geno 2.0, you will learn if you have any Neanderthal or Denisovan DNA in your genome."

    o More details from National Geographic's Genographic project: https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/
    "Our spe-cies is an African one: Africa is where we first ev-olved, and where we have spent the majority of our time on Earth. The earliest fos-sils of recognizably modern Ho-mo sapiens appear in the fossil record at Omo Kibish in Ethiopia, around 200,000 years ago. Although earlier fossils may be found over the coming years, this is our best understanding of when and approximately where we originated.

    According to the genetic and paleontological record, we only started to leave Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. What set this in motion is uncertain, but we think it has something to do with major climatic shifts that were happening around that time—a sudden cooling in the Earth’s climate driven by the onset of one of the worst parts of the last Ice Age. This cold snap would have made life difficult for our African ancestors, and the genetic evidence points to a sharp reduction in population size around this time. In fact, the human population likely dropped to fewer than 10,000. We were holding on by a thread.

    Once the climate started to improve, after 70,000 years ago, we came back from this near-extinction event. The population expanded, and some intrepid explorers ventured beyond Africa. The earliest people to colonize the Eurasian landma-ss likely did so across the Bab-al-Mandab Strait separating present-day Yemen from Djibouti. These early beachcombers expanded rapidly along the coast to India, and reached Southeast Asia and Australia by 50,000 years ago. The first great foray of our species beyond Africa had led us all the way across the globe."

    May 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  12. right

    Robertson's gaffes are in line with main-line Christian thinking. Which means he is adored or forgiven, and still a man made rich on the backs of foolish disregard for facts.

    May 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
    • faith

      dono do prrt bonobo don't let the dog eat my '

      May 20, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  13. papaw nick

    What he could have said is be like Hillary Clinton. Apparently she is the poster child for wives of adulters. Just think the media loves both of them. Hey I like the responses of most to stories like these as they show how little they know and understand of the Bible. Most have only a one second sound bite knowledge.

    May 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • midwest rail

      He could have – what he DID say was asinine enough.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
  14. brian

    Wonder if Robertson goes to Jimmy Swaggart's church.

    May 20, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  15. Randy

    Call it the way he sees it. Honesty is always in style.

    May 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Ignoranceisgodleness

      But ignorance and bigotry never is.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      But it's NOT the way he sees it. Pat Robertson five years ago would be outraged. He's become a pitiful wreck and needs to retire fast.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • ShawnDH

      Yeah, he's honestly an evil religious fascist pig. So stylish.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • ceciloni

      Males do have a wondering eye and so do females. That's why we're here. That's the way god made us. Even the nuns and priests. Right?

      May 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      "That's the way god made us." Yep, He gave us a gland that gradually fills up until it is an itch that needs scratching, and that causes available females to seem even more jiggly and attractive until it's relieved. Not that I'm complaining or anything, but it sure is tough to concentrate sometimes. Especially since they all started wearing those yoga pants.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  16. Epacific

    Really? No mention of Pat Robertson's heartless statement that Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans because it was a city of sinners? This is not memorable?

    May 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  17. denman838

    The guy's a flake. Always has been, always will be.

    May 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • dinaanid

      You're being too kind. D u m b as a box of rocks is a little closer to the mark.

      May 20, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
  18. the secret

    The secret is: stop reading your bible, start thinking for yourself.
    once you begin to exercise your little grey cells, you will begin to see things more clearly, and wont have to stand for a cheating husband. you will begin to realize " you can do better".

    May 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • lol??

      That's a secret?? Sounds like a rigged TV game show.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
  19. The GOP need to pack up and leave

    So how many times has Pat cheated on his wife?

    May 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • lol??

      When did you stop??

      May 20, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • bczu

      I've never cheated on my wife. Never will either! However, you would expect more from a person like this. But I mean come on! This is the guy that spoke to God and was told Romney would win by a landslide. I hope their is a heaven....so people like this will burn in hell.

      May 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • bczu

      long day.....*there

      May 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • The 666 Club

      80's flashback... Jimmy Swaggart; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1OXAi7rNMg. Nice follow-up to this is Ozzy Osbourne's "Miracle Man" song/video.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  20. lol??

    And here's to you, Mrs. Robertson
    Jesus loves you more than you will know wo wo wo
    God bless you please, Mrs. Robertson
    Heaven holds a place for those who pray
    Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

    We'd like to know a little bit about you for our files
    We'd like to help you learn to help yourself
    Look around you all you see are sympathetic eyes
    Stroll around the grounds until you feel at home

    And here's to you, Mrs. Robertson
    Jesus loves you more than you will know wo wo wo
    God bless you please, Mrs. Robertson
    Heaven holds a place for those who pray
    Hey hey hey, hey hey hey


    May 20, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • Bible Clown©

      So you think his wife might be jumping the young men in her congregation? Got any proof of this, or was it a revelation? And aren't you one of the "Christians?" How come you are accusing his wife so quickly? That's pretty harsh.

      May 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • lol??

      No, but might be a friend of Churchill. Ya know, Scotch, the KJV.

      May 20, 2013 at 5:43 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.