Apparently, people actually watch The View hosted by ABC. In case you don’t, it’s a show where a handful of women sit around a table to discuss the hot topics of the day. It’s mostly an ideological echo chamber due to the fact that all but one person on the show is liberal. Even the one “conservative” on the show is only conservative by comparison. Regardless, the point is that we should not be surprised if one of the co-hosts on the show says something that might offend someone who doesn’t fit into their same worldview mold.
Well, one of them did say something that offended Christians and, more specifically Vice President Mike Pence. The offending party was the co-host Joy Behar, who many say equated Christianity to mental illness. She didn’t exactly say that, but it is easy to see why many people took it that way. This is what Behar said in response to what former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault said about Pence claiming that Jesus talks to him,
“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus, it’s another thing when Jesus talks back to you… That’s called mental illness if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”
It was said that Behar made the comment while making a circular motion with her figure around her ear adding to the mental illness jab. Behar also claims that she meant what she said as a joke, but many did not take it as such. In fact, ABC was inundated with tens of thousands of calls and emails to have something done about it. Needless to say, the backlash was massive.
Behar personally called Mike Pence to apologize. Pence spoke about the incident to Sean Hannity on Fox News stating that he had forgiven Behar, and did so because he has been forgiven. He then stated that he encouraged Behar to use her public platform to apologize to the millions of Christians in the country that she offended with her comments over a month ago now.
I think it’s great that Behar is trying to make right what she said, however, she really didn’t have to. The truth is that Behar does not owe Christians an apology and we should not demand one from her. Joy Behar simply said exactly what all non-Christians think about Christians. Because seriously, we Christians do believe some bizarre stuff. Our ultimate hope is in a guy who claimed to be God, was killed by the Romans on a cross 2000 years ago, rose from the dead three days later, and ascended into the sky in front of his disciples. Let’s not forget walking on water, turning water into wine, feeding 5000 people from some scraps of food. Let’s also not forget all of the weird stuff that happened in the Old Testament. Oh, and we believe we are indwelt by God’s Spirit who convicts us, speaks to us, and empowers us.
Is it any wonder why people who do not believe the things we believe would think that Christians have mental illness and would actually say that? Practically speaking it should come as no surprise. But it is also exactly what the Bible says about the gospel. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the word of the cross is FOLLY to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God” (emphasis mine).
What we believe is utter foolishness to the world around us, and we should not demand them to think otherwise. If the secular world is accepting of our gospel without believing, then we are not proclaiming the right gospel. The gospel, for what it is, should look very stupid to people like Joy Behar, probably along the lines of mental illness. While she may have meant it as a joke, what she said was very honest and should not surprise us. And we certainly should not demand an apology.
The truth is, I don’t like what Behar said and it wasn’t very nice, but in a day where you wouldn’t even want your five-year-old to read the president’s tweets or repeat the nicknames he gives to certain countries, who cares about being nice anymore? As Christians, we do need to care about being nice to people, but we should not necessarily expect people to be nice to us. We should actually expect them to hate us. Jesus said it himself in John 15:19, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
As Christians, we cannot claim immunity to getting offended. Being offended, hated, and persecuted is the essence of the Christian life, and is also the fuel that keeps it going. Also knowing that most Christians in the world live in persecution, the fear-for-your-life kind of persecution, we really should be able to get past the thoughtless remarks made by a co-host of a bad TV show who was simply saying what everyone else should think about Christianity. If we can’t, then we are not really cut out for the Christian life.