Why Joy Behar Doesn’t Owe Us An Apology

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.

This is How I Voted and Why

voted

In case you can’t tell by the lack of posts on my blog, this is my first entry, and what better way to start blog than by ruffling some feathers in talking about the election? This Thanksgiving has the potential to be the most tense and awkward holiday in history for so many Americans. It is likely going to be the first time that friends and family have seen or talked to each other since the circus that was the 2016 presidential election ended. I predict there will be multiple handfuls of stuffing that fly across tables in America on Thursday.

In order to avoid a face full of stuffing, I am going to go ahead and state my piece now so that people have some time to calm down. You may ask, “why should I care how you voted?” I don’t care if you don’t care, but you might like to know that I am part of the reason why there was so much shock and surprise on November 8th. Uh-oh, I may have just shown my hand.

It may also come as a shock to you that I voted for Donald Trump and that I am not a racist, or bigot, or sexist. Also, I didn’t and still don’t support Trump. And if you are still tempted to call me names, let me tell you why I voted the way that I did if you are still reading and still care. I am not so much going to address the candidates themselves as much as what their positions are on certain issues because everyone knows that neither candidate is up for any moral achievement award. There were many issues to consider in this election, but there were two primary issues I had in mind when I voted: Abortion and the Supreme Court.

Why abortion?

The discussion on this particular issue should be reserved for another post, but I see the great holocaust of our time in the form of a search and destroy mission on the unborn. We would rather refer to it in more euphemistic terms like “pro-choice”, “women’s health”, or “reproductive health.” Call it what you like, but we all know what really happens. Those against Trump have cited that he is the first presidential candidate endorsed by the KKK, which is certainly appalling, but I have not yet seen Trump celebrate their endorsement. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton was the first presidential candidate to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood,which is certainly appalling, and we have seen her celebrate their endorsement. You can read the whole transcript from the third presidential debate here, but this is just part of what Clinton said on the issue,

“Well, I strongly support Roe v. Wade which guarantees a constitutional right to a woman to make the most intimate, most difficult in many cases, decisions about her health care that one can imagine. And in this case, it is not only about Roe v. Wade. It is about what is happening right now in America.”

I actually agree with that last sentence, it is about what is happening right now in America. What is going on in America right now on this issue is something that I hope future generations look back on in disgust and horror. Due to the extreme stance that Hillary Clinton has decided to take on the issue of abortion, I could not bring myself to connect the line for the arrow next to her name (that’s how we do it California).

Let me be clear and say that I am not at all impressed by Donald Trump’s position on abortion either.  He claims to be pro-life, but he cited his reasons for being pro-life more so out of disgust for late-term abortion (see transcript). He was also quoted as saying in an interview with Raymond Arroyo for EWTN that he is pro-life because he knows a magnificent person who was almost aborted, which is hardly a convincing reason to be against abortion if at all. What if that person wasn’t a magnificent person? Would it have been okay for them to be aborted? In the end, on the issue of abortion it came down to who would be more likely to protect the lives of the unborn. What helped is Trump’s claim of the type of justice he would likely appoint to the Supreme Court, which brings me to issue number 2.

What about the Supreme Court?

First, Americans on all sides should be worried at how the Supreme Court has functioned in recent years. The latest example is last year’s Obergefell decision. This is not my slip to talk about same-sex marriage, rather, it is to point how the court acted in making the decision.

The Supreme Court functions to ensure that there is a balance of power and striking down laws that are unconstitutional. Justice Kennedy stated that the majority made their decision based on the idea that same-sex couples cannot be denied according to the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The problem with that is, marriage is not mentioned in these clauses, let alone mentioned at all in the Constitution. In the end, the court made their decision based on philosophy of policy rather than law. They ultimately made a decision that the Constitution leaves for the people to decide. That, like I said, should worry Americans on all sides.

We had better start now in learning how to get along because our cultural and political landscape is looking grim for the near future and it will not get any better until we start talking about issues.

If you read the first part of the transcript of the third presidential debate, it is clear what Hillary Clinton intended for the Supreme Court. She stated that she wants justices who will be on the side of the American people, but she said nothing about the justices and what they are supposed to do with the Constitution, which was the question she was supposed to answer. She only mentions the constitutional process of nominating and selecting justices. If she were to have had her way with putting forward progressive liberal justices, we could guarantee that the court would continue to function the same way it has in recent years.

On the other hand, after watching the debate and reading the transcript, I was not entirely impressed with Trump’s take on appointing justices because he babbled mostly about people saying mean things about him. Surprise! But, he finally got to what I had hoped he was going to say about nominating justices, not in the most eloquent fashion,

“They will interpret the constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted and I believe that’s very important. I don’t think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear. It is all about the constitution of, and it is so important. The constitution the way it was meant to be. And those are the people that I will appoint.”

This would at least be a move in the right direction to get the Supreme Court back to how it is supposed to function, not because I do not agree with many of the progressive liberal ideas being put forward, but because of the way that the court is being used to propagate those ideas. I would have issue if the conservatives tried to do the same. Either way, the candidate who was to win the 2016 presidential election was going to have a significant say in how the Supreme Court was going to function for the next 25 or so years.

In conclusion

At this point, some people may agree with what I have said so far. Some people might be disappointed that I am not giving Trump enough credit for what he accomplished. Frankly, he did not accomplish much, yet. The Democrats are probably the most culpable for how the election turned out, not because Trump ran a magnificent campaign. There also may be some people who are seething if you have read this far and will jump down to the comments to vent. I would encourage you to do so, but just be civil in how you do it. This brings me to my last point.

There was a video put out by Jonathan Pie (Tom Walker) that I came across after the election. I am not going to link it because he says some vulgar things. But, he said exactly what many of us have been feeling for a while, and he is in no way a conservative. Many of the progressives yelled and bullied people into not speaking their minds on the election. If they knew they were going to vote Trump but did not exactly support him, they didn’t want to be called a racist, bigot, and sexist for saying who they were going to vote for. This is why I did not tell anyone who I was voting for until right now. Many of the liberals were saying, “Anyone but Trump.” Many of the conservatives were saying, “Anyone but her.” Both sides have good reasons for taking those stands. What it came down to in this election, at least for me, was not which candidate was better, but the issues that were at stake. And this is where the great divide lies: where do we stand on these issues?

This would be a great opportunity for liberals to practice what they preach: Tolerance. We all have differing opinions and ideas according to our worldview. Just because we disagree does not mean we have to belittle everyone who has a different opinion. The essence of tolerance is to treat people cordially and respectfully despite differences of opinion or ideas. And for you preachers of tolerance– tolerance does not always go with acceptance and affirmation. If you affirm and accept something, there’s no need to be tolerant of it.

In conclusion, for real this time

No doubt there will be temptation to talk about these issues at our Thanksgiving gatherings. Some may enact the policy of no political talk. I would encourage you not to do that. Use it as an opportunity to have meaningful discussion about things that really matter despite the differences that you may have. Don’t focus on how childish the Trump protesters are, or the ones going to Starbucks and telling the barista that their name is “Trump” just so that they have to yell it out when their drink is ready. Seriously, can we stop with this nonsense and have actual conversations? Oh yeah, that was my point. We had better start now in learning how to get along because our cultural and political landscape is looking grim for the near future and it will not get any better until we start talking about issues.

Lastly, make sure you take a few moments this Thanksgiving to be thankful that you live in a country where you can exercise the political freedoms you have, because it’s tough to tell how long they are going to last.