Joy Behar of “The View” caused a big stir when she suggested that Vice President Mike Pence has a mental illness because he says Jesus talks to him. Her comment came after remarks made by former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman trashed Pence during her time on the reality TV show “Big Brother.”
On “Big Brother,” Omarosa called Pence’s devotion to his Christian faith “extreme” because he “thinks Jesus tells him to say things.” She added that Pence as president is a far scarier prospect than Trump as president because of how he practices his faith.
After a video clip of what Omarosa said was played on “The View,” co-host Sunny Hostin joined in, saying a vice president who speaks in tongues makes her nervous, even though Omarosa never mentioned Pence speaking in tongues.
But Behar took things way further by remarking, “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.”
She also jokingly asked if Pence is allowed to “talk to Mary Magdalene without his wife in the room,” according to CBN News. Behar did later retract her comment on Pence being mentally ill after another guest explained that Christianity is a two-way relationship where believers do communicate with Christ through prayer.
Neither Dallas First Baptist Church Pastor Robert Jeffress nor evangelist Franklin Graham was impressed, though. Jeffress, who also serves as President Trump’s faith adviser, warned Behar that the more she attacks Christians, the more Christians will want to re-elect Trump and later elect Pence to be president. Graham praised Pence for being public about his faith.
Now Pence himself has weighed in during an interview Wednesday with Axios.
“I actually heard that ABC has a program that compared my Christianity to mental illness, and I’d like to laugh about it but I really can’t,” the vice president replied. “I’m a believer. Tens of millions of Americans today [Wednesday] will have ash on their foreheads to mark the beginning of Lent. An overwhelming number of Americans cherish their faith.”
“And we have all different types of faith in this country,” Pence continued. “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.”
He added, “My Christianity is the most important thing in my life. But I’m not unusual. I think I’m a very typical American, whatever your faith tradition. People understand that. But I just think it demonstrates how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people that you have a major network like ABC permit a forum for invective [abuse] against religion like that.
"And I call them out on it. Not because of what was said about me. But it's just simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance,” he said.
Pence concluded, "We're better than that. Our country's better than that. I'd like to be light about it, but I really can't. Not for my sake, but for the tens of millions of Americans who cherish their faith, I can't be silent."
Watch Pence give his thoughts below:
What do you think of this? In other news, an Olympic snowboard broke his neck during competition but kept snowboarding.