Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Once again, the ladies on The View crossed the boundaries of American decency by likening Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith to “mental illness” which has sparked outrage across the country.
Newsbusters is reporting on the episode in which View played a clip of an interview with former Trump White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman who called the Vice President an “extreme Christian” because he claim to have conversations with God in prayer. After the clip, View hosts Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin lit into Pence.
“When you have a Mike Pence who now puts this religious veneer on things and who calls people values voters, I think we're in a dangerous situation. Look I'm Catholic. I'm a faithful person, but I don’t know that I want my vice president, um -- speaking in tongues and having Jesus speak to him,” Ms. Hostin said.
Behar took it a step further. “Like I said before, it's one thing to talk to Jesus. It's another thing when Jesus talks to you. . . . That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct. Hearing voices.”
Obviously, Hostin and Behar don’t spend much time in prayer because if they did, they would know that Christian prayer is supposed to be a dialogue with God – we pray, then we listen for God to speak to us which is never about "hearing voices." Instead, God speaks to us through Scripture, an interior inspiration, something we hear at Mass, etc.
Behar is obviously unschooled in the ways of the supernatural, which is why she believes that every Christian who practices authentic Christian prayer is mentally ill.
Fortunately, she and her co-host didn’t get away with it and the show is coming under fire from all quarters, including from the Vice President himself.
Newsbusters is reporting on an interview he gave to Axios on Ash Wednesday of this week in which he called the comments made on the show “religious bigotry” that were “just wrong.”
“I’m a believer,” the Vice President said. “Like tens of millions of Americans today will have ash on their foreheads, to mark the beginning of Lent, overwhelming majority of Americans cherish their faith. And we all have different types of faith in this country. But I have to tell you. To have ABC, maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness, is just wrong. And it's an insult not to me, but to the vast majority of American people who like me, cherish their faith. I mean, my Christianity is the most important thing in my life...My faith sustains me in all that I do."
He describes his daily prayer habit, which involves the reading of Scripture and praying with his wife, a practice that is not unlike millions of American Christians.
"I’m not unusual, I think I’m a very typical American...It demonstrates how out-of-touch some in the mainstream media are, with the faith and values of the American people. That you could have a major network like ABC permit a forum for invective against religion, like that. I call them out on that. Not because of what was said about me, but its just simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance. We’re better than that. Our country’s better than that,” he said.
Others are speaking up as well. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, sent an open letter to ABC demanding that Behar and Hostin issue an on-air apology.
“Bigotry against any group is hateful and ugly," the letter reads."Unfortunately, anti-Christian bigotry seems to be the last acceptable bigotry. A simple unqualified apology will go so far. Our country is so divided right now, why make things worse? By apologizing you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”
If this apology doesn’t come, ”Christians will tune out ABC programming across the board. And we will do our best to encourage it," Bozell warns.
The intensity of the backlash caused Behar and Hostin to go on the air yesterday to make amends, but they did little more than dismiss the criticism, claiming their comments were just “a joke.”
Behar insisted she wouldn't say such a thing because "That would make me mentally ill since I'm a Christian myself," she said.
"It would make my mother mentally ill, my mother, my aunts, my daughter, of course not. I don't mean to offend people but apparently I keep doing it. It was a joke. Comedians are in danger these days."
She goes on to applaud herself for helping Christians with her "pocketbook."
Hostin, who refers to herself as a devout Catholic, made a similar lame excuse, saying that the "notion that we're intolerant is just not true."
Behar added that “there is a first amendment in this country” and, just before going to commercial break, added, “So there!”
Click here to let ABC know what you think (respectfully, so that we don’t stoop to their levels), or write directly to Mr. James Goldston, President, ABC News, 47 West 66th St., New York, NY 10023. You can also call 888-994-8384 to voice your concern over this offensive broadcast.
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