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. Colin

    Wasn't it God who siad, "For I so love the World that I had my only begotten son become flesh and be gruesomely tortured and executed for my amusement, even though I am God and could forgive the sins of the World without doing so"?

    May 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Sighko Sis

      Yep, that's the one.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch


      May 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • sam

      Yes, of course. He impregnated a teenager (without asking first) with himself, so he could later sacrifice himself TO himself over rules he invented. He is a great guy!

      May 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Zeus

      The Greek Gods are making more sense than ever.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      No, I think that was Santa. Or was it the Easter Bunny? Harry Potter?

      May 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  2. David

    Amazing what someone can get away with in the name of God. . . or maybe not. It's just incredible to me that anyone would care what this old moron would say or think.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Doctorstrangeluv

      you obviously care enough what that Moron thinks to post a message about it

      May 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • BobPitt

      I told my we and works at the wife that would be her fault if I wandered with the cutie with the small tosh and works at the seven eleven...

      Pat told me to do it..!!!! is in the bible..!!!

      May 17, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  3. Charles Gannon

    Are those his real teeth?

    May 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  4. Doctorstrangeluv

    Gee, a Christian re-molding and re-interpreting biblical laws to fit their own individual beliefs ... exactly why Christianity is full of it !!!!!!

    May 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  5. PushingBack

    This just in – Pat Robertson destroying straight marriage!

    May 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  6. The_dude

    Ok he's wrong about adultery but right on about chavez

    May 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
  7. mary

    This guy is a total and utter white/male egomaniac. A Republican with the same agenda as the ones in office.. Ripping the poor and middle class to shreds while touting the bible.. He is anti religion.. Pro MONEY~!
    He is the last person anyone needs to get their religious "schooling" from.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Jason

      What does race or money have to do with it? Pat clearly says some stupid things from time to time and this comment about adultery is off the charts stupid. Adultery is a serious sin and all Christians. Maybe in his advanced age, he didn't get his point out very well. I heard a pastor say once (and it made a lot of sense). I do not condone adultery at all. However if your husband has been unfaithful it may be helpful to ask why. If the wife is unwilling to have "relations" then the husband may find another because of the way he is programmed. That is not to say he isn't sinning and at fault. However the blame may not be his alone. I would NEVER cheat on my wife of 25 years, but understand the words of that pastor.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Ken Margo


      If we men are "programmed" that way, why does marriage even exists? If we men are "programmed" that way why are people upset when we cheat. If we men are "programmed" that way stop with the sin crap, accept us for who we are and move on.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:41 pm |
  8. Gaytim

    I am a gay man and have been with my partner almost 6 years. Never once have we cheated on each other.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • AB Negative

      What is your point?

      May 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • sam

      So it's NOT in the DNA?? Holy crap.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Gaytim's Partner's Secret Lover

      Want a bet?

      May 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Jason

      Good for you. Won't stop you from going to hell though. You may want to consider reading the bible and trying to let the words work on your soul. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. You can still be saved. I pray you will.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • sam

      Don't worry, Jason. One day you'll meet a boy who can find your prostate, and you'll change your tune.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • .

      here's Jason, couldn't mind his own goddamn business, just like a good christian.

      no one ASKED YOU Jason. crawl back in your bronze-age hole.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • .

      qu eers don't need to commit adultry to be among the filthiest sinners ever to exist even an aids dripping qu eer can repent of its filthy sins and find salvation

      May 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Ken Margo


      How do you know? Do you think he'll tell you if he cheated?

      May 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  9. Dave

    Men also have it in their DNA to cuss, spit on the sidewalk, drink demon rum, and shoot their guns in the air. It can't be helped. Forgive them.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  10. Bradley Olsen

    So, who is surprised by this right wing christian's statement? He's a leader on the right and only expressing views they have long felt. Women, spruce up the home and pretty yourself because men are genetically predisposed to wander. It's not their fault. It's yours. Ha

    May 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • mary

      Didn't he even say women should keep themselves looking desirable if they want to "keep" their man?
      What a jerk he is.. He is nothing but a white/male rich guy.. With a over blown ego.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
    • lol??

      You Knighted him as a leader??

      May 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  11. brian

    Robertson should know. People who served with him in the Marines said he spent his free time "consorting" with ladies of the evening. He tried to sue them for slander but backed off when they came up with proof.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Master Shake

      Oh yeah baby! Now you are talking my language!

      May 17, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • lol??

      When the Big O keeps expanding the SS powers remember their little scandal.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  12. DNS

    And Grafted Olive Branch – what did your brother replace "for better or for worse with" when he took his vows?

    May 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Temporary indulgence in lust. She divorced him. When one becomes a Christian, one does not automatically become perfect. Only forgiven by God. When people also forgive, it solves many problems. That is why I am merciful, because I require much mercy.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
    • sam

      He replaced it with 'cheat on that bitch when she gets fat, then expect her to stfu about it.' Can't you see how this is the chick's fault?

      May 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
  13. dot

    Pat Robertson is an evil, evil man.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  14. timelord7202

    So this means every time Pat has ranted against cheaters and that the world has no morals when it comes to interpersonal relationships, he's now admitting he's been wrong all this time? Not sure what he's trying to say, except for the apparent belief that it's okay for men to cheat...

    Not sure his supporters will be liking him anymore...

    May 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • xcop

      I think he's trying to say that "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" and that we all need to forgive the sinner, not the sin.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  15. Ash

    Even in religion double standards work well!

    May 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
  16. DNS

    Why does ANYONE give this man a microphone? It's appalling that he blames the wife for the husband's infidelity. How can these "Christians" place themselves as judges on our country's morals, withhold equal rights from fellow Americans who WANT to marry and express love and loyalty, and then stomp all over marriage. CBN has no excuse so must agree with him despite their apology for the "miscommunication". Incredible!

    May 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Jennifer

      You do realize that he's insane, right? And he owns CBN, so there's not much anyone can do.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  17. Grafted Olive Branch

    Pats point is that none of us are infallible. My brother told me the reason that he is divorced today is that when he made the mistake of having a tryst; his wife would throw it up in his face for every other little offense. She would use it as a weapon against him. She would hammer him with it every chance she had. In other words, she would not forgive. Forgiveness is the fundamental underlying principle of Christianity.

    And I will also add; the reason he had the tryst to begin with is because she was not the same person he fell in love with. She put on about 100 pounds after they married. She was no longer attractive to him. These are practical matters of the flesh. If wives strived to stay attractive to their husbands, I dare say that most husbands would not stray.

    Still; adultery is wrong and is sin, but forgiveness is the healing power of any strained marriage, for any reasons.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • sam

      I'm just going to pull up a chair and grab some popcorn for this one. It's too easy.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Jeremy

      You don't realize that it is your religion that created that hate in the first place by placing offenses into the realm of the supernatural instead of the physical where they belong.
      Any mistake immediately becomes an unholy "sin" and the imagined proxy wrath of your "god" is expressed without rational support by the believer, leaving "forgiveness" to be applied willy-nilly without any discretion at all.
      You think there will be justice, but only after you are dead. This is why religious people's morals are worthless.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Bradley Olsen

      Spoken like a true christian. If he hits her , she should turn the other cheek. I'm more for an eye for an eye.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Yeah, like Elin Woods got fat and ugly too, right? I know plenty of men who cheat on their beautiful wives.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • cookie

      No, Pats point is that men cheat and that its natural so women should get over it. And your brother was too cowardly to take responsibility for his deeds it was much easier to blame his wife.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • xcop


      May 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • JC

      He needs to be judged by the moral code he pretends to abide by.

      May 17, 2013 at 5:51 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      "the reason he had the tryst to begin with is because she was not the same person he fell in love with. She put on about 100 pounds after they married. She was no longer attractive to him."

      And????? He should have been a man and did the proper thing-been honest with her and ended the marriage...there are such things called divorces in this world and after all is said and done, according to your myth, all he has to do is repent for his sin (something that doesn't exist in reality) and your imaginary friend will forgive him.
      You're an ass for supporting him.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Ed

      GOB, Here I thought Christians had a dim view of divorce, of lying, of sticking with 'better or worse', of the beauty of one's soul not their weight (which does not indicate beauty or desirability).
      And why should forgiveness be easy? Maybe she didn't think it was a 'little offense'.
      I condense, 'Your brother cheated because his dick couldn't get hard and that's her fault due to her looks and she couldn't trust him anymore and didn't let him treat her like dirt and make his failing easy on him it's again her fault'.
      Sam, I'm with you, pure entertainment.

      May 17, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  18. Ken Margo

    Pat Robertson is a salted nut. Only brain dead religious whack jobs will give him the time of day. WHY? Because he can still con people out of their money enough to relevant.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
  19. Hey! You!

    I always liked that picture of Pat. Looks like he just squeaked one out, much to the dismay of the dude behind him!

    May 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
    • OvernOut

      Best comment here!

      May 17, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  20. lol??

    It you get to be his age without despising the world you weren't trained.

    "1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

    May 17, 2013 at 5:36 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.