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

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  6. Renee LePage

    Hi,Pat and Terry could you please start reading my "Bring it on guestions" on the 700 club.I've been watching the 700 club everyday for my reguests to be answered.I really need a lot of prayers.

    August 15, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
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  12. Nate

    Robertson is a false prophet. In the bible days he would have been stoned.

    June 14, 2013 at 12:58 am |
  13. Moses

    Pat Robertson is a senile old fart and anyone who takes anything he say seriously is as deluded as Robertson.

    June 12, 2013 at 12:11 am |
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    Poor Pat is the best friend of the liberal left, socialism and Athesist everywhere. At least he did not condone the killing of the wife as with Islam's interpretation of the OT.

    June 10, 2013 at 11:23 am |
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    Pat Robertson. The best thing to happen to Atheism in a long time. We don't need to say a thing. Pat handles it so well!

    June 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • bumblebee


      Just by reading this, I can tell what he was saying. He was Answering the Question!

      She "Wanted" to forgive her husband, No One Said She Had To.
      She Said She was Having Trouble doing so. What? How can she Accomplish this, and go on with Her Marriage?

      He Told Her To Focus On The Positive things, things that made her fall in Love with Him. To Save Her Marriage.

      This was HER CHOICE, She was Merely Asking His Advice on "How To" and that's it!

      Keep taking EVERYTHING Out of Context. He Answered Her. Question, Period. When were in Heaven, and your not, need I say more.

      Adultery is One of ONLY a couple of Valid Biblical Reasons for Divorce. Anyone can Tell You That!

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    Actually I kind of agree with all those statements. Especially the gay earthquakes – they are caused by all that hoofing in Broadway shows.

    June 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
  19. shelia

    Pat Robertson, Where's your racist comments about the tornados in Oklahoma? The Black Wall Street Race Riot in Tulsa Oklahoma in the late 1920's. There was no Earthly punishment for your people evilness. Maybe, you're are reaping the sad tragedy of what your ancestors did.

    June 3, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  20. Kieth T. Maxwell

    Pat Robertson and his ilk are the great deception.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:45 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.