Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Thousands Protest Bahar’s Comparison of Christianity to Mental Illness

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“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you.… That’s called mental illness … hearing voices,” The View’s Joy Behar said late last week. By Monday, according to the Media Research Center (MRC), more than 25,000 people had called ABC to complain about her derogatory remarks about the Christian faith.

MRC’s President, Brent Bozell, wrote an open letter encouraging the calls. “Make no mistake, the slurs against the vice president’s faith insult millions of Christians and are unacceptable. If there are no on-air apologies after this deplorable episode, Christians will tune out ABC programming across the board. And we do our best to encourage it.”

The backlash is in response to remarks made by the liberal comedian, in response to comments made by Vice President Mike Pence about the power of prayer. Former White House aide Omarsoa Manigault-Newman, usually just referred to as Omarosa, had expressed deep concerns about Pence’s Christian faith, especially if Pence were to ever become president. She said that Pence believes Jesus talks to him.

Of course, Pence is only expressing comments similar to those that have been made by millions. Sometimes it is in reference to a specific biblical passage, while other times individuals make such remarks, alluding to the impression they have received that, after prayer and meditation, they have concluded that this or that is what Jesus would have them do. No one really thinks that when a person makes such a comment, they are referencing a literal appearance of Jesus Christ, like the Apostle John received on the Isle of Patmos, found in the Book of Revelation, or the Apostle Paul’s encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus.

For example, even someone like Oprah Winfrey, a liberal icon, recently said she had no intention of running for president in 2020, saying, “And wouldn’t I know? Because if God actually wanted me to run, wouldn’t God kinda tell me? And I haven’t heard that.”

But Behar did not ridicule Winfrey. Instead, she relegated the idea that someone such as Pence could receive guidance from Jesus Christ as a sign of “mental illness.” She also made fun of Pence’s religious-based belief to not meet with women alone. “Can he talk to Mary Magdalene without his wife in the room?”

Pence responded, “When I heard that ABC had a program that likened my Christianity to mental illness, I just couldn’t be silent. My Christian faith is probably the most important thing in my life. To have ABC have a forum that spoke in such demeaning terms, I think it’s evidence of how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people.”

Behar later attempted to pass off her remarks as a “joke.” Panelist Megan McCain retorted that liberals are tolerant of all sorts of people, “except pro-lifers, except Trump supporters, except gun owners, except in the red middle of the country.” Whoopi Goldberg interrupted her saying, "We don’t want to talk about what liberals are doing.”

While Pence noted that the mainstream media is “out of touch” in their hostility to the Christian faith, it is actually illustrative of a growing trend in American society, in general. The Christian faith is regularly ridiculed, and even called dangerous, throughout the popular culture and in academia. Any Christian who has attended many classes in the United States at secular colleges has stories of a professor who has challenged the fundamentals of the faith, referring to the Bible as full of fables and the like.

Alarmingly, Christians are finding themselves increasingly marginalized in American society. Even Gary Johnson, the 2016 nominee of the Libertarian Party, dismissed religious liberty as just a “black hole.” A regent at the University of Oklahoma was forced out, simply because of his belief that same-sex relationships are morally wrong. At the University of Central Oklahoma, Christian speaker Ken Ham was not allowed to speak (although pressure from the public caused that decision to be reversed) because he also had expressed a Christian viewpoint.

In Boston last July, the Catholic taxpayers of that city saw their tax dollars used in a library presentation with lesbians dressed up as nuns to ridicule the Catholic faith. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted against a nominee for the Office of Management and Budget last June simply because the nominee, Russell Vought, had written one time that only believers in Jesus Christ have salvation.

Sanders’ remarks were incredible: “And do you think your statement, ‘They do not know God because they rejected Jesus Christ the Son, and they stand condemned,’ do you think that’s respectful of other religions?” he asked Vought.

Chillingly, such an attitude is not unique to Sanders. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) questioned the qualifications of a Trump appointee to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, simply because Amy Barrett, the nominee, was a devout Catholic. “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” Feinstein told Barrett. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) even question Barrett’s reference in a publication to “orthodox Catholics.” This caused Durbin to ask her, accusingly, “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?”

Christians who are guided by Jesus Christ are suffering a mental illness; religious liberty is just a black hole; believing that same-sex relationships are immoral disqualifies a person from serving on a university board of regents; being an orthodox Catholic is something to keep a nominee of the federal bench — all of this is evidence that those who hold to a serious form of the Christian faith can expect to be attacked by the secularized and leftist society of modern America.

Photo of Joy Behar: Wikimedia

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