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. gahh

    If men cheat, they're called players, if women cheat, they're called -hores! Nothing but a 2 faced hypocrite, and people believe his crap, and send him money. There's a fool born every minute. TV Evangelists, count on it.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  2. Sunnysmom

    I love how he says the woman should "make a home so wonderful he doesn’t want to wander.” BWAHAHAHA is this guy for real? As adults, we are responsible for our actions regardless of how "wonderful" the home is..as if only "wonderful" women don't get cheated on. Oh, and please Mr. Robertson, define what wonderful means.

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

      Lessee, typical male response would be: Husband snaps fingers, wife drops to her knees = wonderful.

      May 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
  3. Dorothy

    Oh well, I suppose 9 Commandments is better than nothing.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
  4. Dorothy

    I'm sure Pastor Robertson never intended to offend anyone. It's just that he–to be quite honest–is an idiot.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Sighko Sis

      An idiot with power is a monster.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
  5. Texas Anne

    First, all you commenters ragging on CNN, you can always go to CNBC or Fox if you don't like CNN's stories.
    Second, Pat Robertson is just another self centered know it all televangelist who should have never gotten the time of day from the media. But there are still dimwits who hang on his every word because they can't seem to actually think for themselves. He's a crutch for those unable or unwilling to take responsibility for making their own decisions– reminds me of Jim Jones of Guyana fame.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      Texas Anne,

      Self-centered? Seems your centralistic nurturing is leaking! Thanks be to mankind you were born! I send you my praises and will glorify your days aloft in these celestial seas of the atomically engineered! May your body's maker think kindly when your journey ends and you meet your body's creators!

      May 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Trevor

      Not to mention the folks that think that his actions/words actually emulate what being a Christian "really is" and attempt to use it as ammunition to say to all those "on the fence": "you see! God is a "fake", a "liar" and/or you're delusional to have anything to do with such a terrible set of beliefs. Just like OneOne saying "typical" religious nonsense. "Typical" tactic that the Devil loves to "use".

      May 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • One one

      I have no problem w CNN. this is great entertainment

      May 17, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
    • One one

      Hey Trevor, suppose you tell us what a Christian "really is".

      May 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • sam

      There's no such thing as the devil, Trevor. You need a new excuse to be butthurt.

      One one – Trevor's going to describe himself as a good typical christian (and probable add a bonus bible quote!).

      May 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Trevor

      Sam- "butthurt" ...classy and mature.
      OneOne and Sam: simply to be "Christlike".

      May 17, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • nik green

      Jim Jones – thats another story. A far cry from how it was presented in our corporate "weasel" media.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • sam

      Then Trevor, why the hell is it so very hard to find a single chrisitian that acts anything like Christ?

      May 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm |
    • Trevor

      Sam- Hard to find a person that acts "anything" like Christ? Really? I don't know your situation, who've you've associated with in you attempt to "find" Christians and you've very well may have had bad experiences with folks that call themselves Christians only to see that through their actions and words and it turned out to only be a "show". But trust me their out there and I guarentee you if you came to my church (I can only speak for what I know) they fill the building...not fake, not two faced, but genuine and real. Are they perfect? Of couse not, and I hope that you're not looking for a "perfect" Christlike person...that is impossible, we're ALL BROKEN...hence the very reason we need a savior in Christ and why he came to this earth in the first place. But to say that you've found hardly anyone that acts even remotely like Christ I find that extremely hard to believe. LOTS of fake people out there, but they are there and if you're set on finding them keep looking. Churches would be a good place to start...will you find "fake" Christians there? Yes, but you will find the genuine ones if you're keep your eyes "open" and not shut due to running across the fake ones.

      May 18, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  6. One one

    I love it ! The devil frees slaves and god kills thousands . Typical religious non-sense.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  7. no nonsense

    What's the difference between a dog and a man?...Integrity. Obviously this moron has none. Dog's don't have the mental capacity to have integrity so they go after any female dog they can. So if sleeping around is what 'men' do, then according to him, it shouldn't be expected for a man to possess integrity. Someone needs to keep this guy from speaking publicly.

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

      No, the only difference is that men can't get stuck during sex like dogs do. And I'm really glad about that.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Single

      You're right Sam, even when a man becomes a father, a large portion of them don't understand responsiblity. The run at the first sight of it. Same thing as with male dogs, they father and disappear. So No Nonsense had it right....there's very little difference between dogs and man.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  8. Grafted Olive Branch

    This page is full of the typical insults hurled by people with no knowledge of what they are talking about. Not even the very beginning of wisdom...the fear of God.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      says the ignorant ass who supports man cheating on his wife.

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

      Don't you mean "I can't believe no one agreed with me that my brother totally needed to be forgiven for cheating...even though he couldn't forgive his wife for being a fat bitch." Is that a little closer to your point?

      And thanks for the bonus "don't forget GOD IS WATCHING."

      May 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      sam: All this idiot has left are empty threats...he knows his ass has been handed to him, so he resorts to fear tactics. Hope you're enjoying that popcorn, this could get interesting. 🙂

      May 17, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • sam

      Hell yeah, this is the BEST popcorn. LOL

      May 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      And freedom from fear is a BAD thing? OOooooo, the Bogey Man is gonna get me! Be afraid, be very afraid!

      May 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
  9. nik green

    "Christian" is the least appropriate way to describe this man's behavior and philosophy. He is a fake, a fraud, a scammer, a charlatan and an opportunist. No wonder he's done so financially well in capitalist America...but as a human being, he's a nonstarter.

    May 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      Please inform us as to what your idea of a Christian is?

      May 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      Grafted due with the drafty brain: We probably know more than you EVER will....you do know it's breaking a major commandment to commit adultery-right???

      May 17, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Truth Prevails :-)

      due should have read dude

      May 17, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Grafted Olive Branch

      My idea of a Christian is one who realizes he/she has made mistakes in life, i.e., sins. A Christian is one who realizes that there is a higher power that they will answer too, in due time. A Christian realizes that he/she can never stand before a Holy God and be judged righteous of their own works. A Christian depends on Jesus Christ to plead their case before God. A Christian stands before God in judgment in the shoes of Jesus Christ.

      I think Pat would answer the same way.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • nope

      @liar prefails

      May 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • hannah

      Christianity, as are all other "religions" is devised by man. In the beginning it was used to control human behavior; ie be good here on earth, give money to the church and you will go to this place called heaven and "live" forever after. What a disappointment when people get to dieing and find out that it's all over after the physical life here on earth and that it is what you do on earth that makes for a happy well rounded life. It's all a sham, a ponzi scheme. Granted there are "churches" that do good things to justify their existence, but if religions didn't exist, people might be of one mind and work together instead of continual wars and strife.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • nik green

      So, Grafted Olive Branch, Pat Robertson must knows he's a sinner...but he keeps on sinning. Very good. The trouble with the modern US interpretation of Christianity is as a "spiritual convenience getout"... you can be a total jerk-off during a lifetime, knowing that at the end you have the safety net of being able to turn to Christ and confess your sins....

      NO – it doesn't work like that!

      May 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
    • Trevor

      Hannah- You've not passed from this world and BILLONS believe you have no more creditabilty than the ones you accuse of believing in a "ponzi scheme". You contradict your own statement when you state you'll "find out that it's all over after the physical life here on earth". You say its "all over" when you physically pass from this earth...how EXACTLY do you "find out" if you don't exist to make that evaluation? I'd rather have hope in eternal life and because IF you're correct and "its all over" at death, you won't be able to say I told you so and tell me to my face that I was wrong. On the other hand, if I'm correct,...not that I'll be able to tell you're wrong, but you'll certainly know I'm right and you'll have regret that will last forever.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Single

      Basically Hannah's right.... The original ideology worshipped women, because in prehistoric times, they didn't understand conception and birth, so it was seen as a miracle that women could give birth and men couldn't. Then as time went on and man realized he was stronger, he began to dominate. Once cultures began to form communities then villages, towns and cities. The church was formed, dominated by men to control the herd. You and I, in simple terms. If they could keep us ignorant and poor, then we'd bend to their will and that's exactly what we did. We're still doing that today, not just in theology, look at society. They want to make cuts on education and social services. They've made college almost to expensive for the average person to afford. They would rather the poor die, than have to support them. It's easy to get more sheep to fill the need. They simply prevent us from being able to control our own reproduction. This world is dominated by a few very powerful men. They got there by manipulating people, governments and money. Their plans are to keep us down, chained in 21st Century slavery. They take and take, just because they can. The sad thing is, we let them. We believe in the dogma they've brainwashed us to believe. We have to follow rules. We have to believe in god. Question you should be asking yourself..........why?

      May 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • sam

      Trevor, you're being a judgmental prick. That's not very Christ-like. Or...is it?

      May 17, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  10. yourmothercalling

    People still watch the 700 Club lol?

    May 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  11. HawaiianOhana808

    Does anyone really care about what this religious freak says???????????
    Aloha 🙂

    May 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  12. sally

    Both partners tend to stray and always have. Even during the early days with the pilgrims, DNA among family members showed that. It's not okay for either if one wants to have a happy, lasting marriage with tranquility at home!

    May 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  13. Annie


    May 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm |

    Double standards......as I always say, if you're going to spew words from Leviticus, don't have pork on your breath from your morning breakfast......

    May 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  15. jimcolyer

    CNN has its head up its butt.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Eric

      You meant Pat Robertson and CBN, right?

      May 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  16. abbadon

    this guy is a major league tool.

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

      I laughed when I saw this, it was the very first thing I thought as I read it.

      May 17, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
    • Ze Leader

      Zsa IS deceased but she'd most likely say we women do it too!

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

    CNN, is this what you call news? Of course it is.

    May 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
  18. lol??

    What's with all the white racist talk. Looks like a mob forming, err coagulating.

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


      May 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
  19. breater1

    Why do we pay any attention to this dried up slog anymore?

    May 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  20. Sighko Sis

    I didn't know that Pat Robertson was still alive! Not to mention the idea of actually listening to him. I wonder what Zsa Zsa Gabor thinks?

    May 17, 2013 at 5:52 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.