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. Jeff

    Pat Robertson is irrelevant.

    May 30, 2013 at 12:55 am |
  2. James Show

    ""We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability" says he.

    Get rid of this rancid excuse of a Christian!! I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up somewhere like another disgraced televangelist somewhere down the line. He's definitely making us all look bad.

    May 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
  3. EdL

    CBN should not regret the misunderstanding. They should regret the understanding.

    May 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  4. faith

    report science anvil tom

    they r criminals.

    they are perverts

    the r sick


    they will be jailed for longer terms

    report them now

    May 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
  5. WVLady65

    Telling the truth gets you vilified. Telling the truth makes you politically incorrect. Telling the truth enlightens the throngs of the ignorant. Telling the truth is shunned by people who cast a blind eye to everything that is heinous. Telling the truth isn't accepted or wanted by the millions of non-believing, Hedonists who are going to Hell. All of you out there who condemn Pat Robertson just keep doing it, he has thick skin just like the millions of us who are politically incorrect and proud of it. As long as you go along with anything in Society today, you are okay, going with the flow, politically correct. If you believe in truth, honor and political incorrectness you are the Devil incarnate. If you disagree with the politically correct, you are crucified for exercising Freedom of Speech. As long as you agree with everyone about everything and anything, you are okay, differ with themu and you are torn to bits by the teeth of the politically correct.

    May 23, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • midwest rail


      May 23, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • GonzoG

      I am perfectly willing to accept the concept that sinners go to hell. Pat, however, SEEMS to be saying that the Almighty is a poor marksman and has no problem with taking out large swaths of good Christians to send the sinners to hell now.

      May 24, 2013 at 11:56 am |
  6. Douglas

    Pat Robertson...

    You are a fraud and not a Christian.

    Start living a celibate life and get on your knees and beg for forgiveness.

    The sin of fornication is never OK for believers.

    May 23, 2013 at 12:22 am |
  7. Hawke

    Robertson's a typical white male chauvinist bubba. Why anyone would "follow" this jerk is beyond a logical person's ability to understand.

    May 23, 2013 at 12:16 am |
  8. Penny Wright

    The first priest was the first rascal that met the first fool. – Voltaire

    May 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
  9. Big red

    Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, Benny Hinn, Jess Duplantis, on and on and on... fools and thieves

    May 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • al91206

      Not to mention their followers.

      May 22, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • lol??

      if they are thieves they won't pass. so by A&A standards they've done better than you. why call em fools?? does not compute.

      May 22, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
  10. Ah

    I remember when Pat R made the statement about hurricanes and Disney World Gay Days, one of the first hurricanes of the season came much closer to hitting his office in Virginia Beach than Orlando.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  11. Greenspam

    I wish more women will listen to such wisdom from Pat Robertson!

    May 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Michelle

      I listen....then I laugh or vomit depending on how far out on the limb he goes! Women are human beings too and we don't have to allow a man to wander and make a house better for him! we are his equal. Although not big on religion myself–remember God made Eve from Adam's rib–his side–to walk beside him, not to be over or under him!

      May 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  12. CJG

    Being Robertson's spin doctor/clean up guy must be a very tiring job!

    May 22, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  13. Bill

    Keep sending him and other so-called televangelist money and they will continue making a mockery out of Christianity. There is absolutely no cure for stupid.

    May 22, 2013 at 8:17 am |
    • sam stone

      sure, but the stupid can sure be entertaining

      May 22, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  14. Bob Jarvis

    So – "boys will be boys"? And it's the woman's fault for not making such a "wonderful home" that the guy won't screw around? Oh, HAIL yeah!!! Take me now, Jesus! (And you too, Sharon, and Amie, and Nancy, and Sonja, and Cheryl, and...)

    May 22, 2013 at 7:37 am |
  15. faith

    like what this guy says matters.

    May 22, 2013 at 6:38 am |
  16. Robert

    Google "Pat Robertson Rios Montt" to see his relationship with this Guatemalian ex-leader convicted of war crimes and genocide against the Mayans. Robertson has blood on his hands from Rios Montt's actions.

    May 22, 2013 at 6:24 am |
  17. john-j-roberts

    Well, now, what'd'ya expect? A Boob, who spends all day talking through a lens to a tube, speaking to boobs, who spend all day staring at the tube, brain relaxed, almost comatose, beta waves prevalent, while life passes them by. It doesn't matter if you're a creationist or an evolutionist, this blathering idiot is taking up, "spending" your precious time, and then has the gall to ask for money to continue to support this fraud: If you love the LORD and Church; go to church. If you love life outside; go outside. You have no business, idly sitting, listening to nonsensical blatherings which could be revealed in scripture, or life outside your door. Try music and reading: Read the bible, read classics, read whatever. If someone, like this tv personality, errr preacher, errr poitician, errr; "I just want your attention – I need more money" charlatan is fueled by idiots.... "Well, what'd'ya expect?"

    May 22, 2013 at 5:55 am |
    • clemrac

      Amen to that john! Its not just kids that are wasting time watching tv.

      May 22, 2013 at 8:08 am |
  18. E.Lee

    Anyone who blames a god or victims for natural disasters has no compassion and no hold on reality. PR is an idiot with too much to say about nothing.

    May 22, 2013 at 3:18 am |
  19. spk

    This guy is a joke
    the lodestone for bad theology

    he said exactly what he believes

    May 22, 2013 at 1:23 am |
  20. Jebus Wubs Me

    Christians have been putting words into their god's mouth for 2000 years. Robertson just does it with much more wack-a-doodle flare.

    May 21, 2013 at 11:30 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.