One of the co-hosts of ABC's "The View" who regularly calls for tolerance is being blasted for her intolerant rant criticizing Vice President Mike Pence's Christian faith.
It came after playing a video clip of former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman discussing the vice president and warning people that Pence "thinks Jesus tells him to say things. Scary." Co-host Joy Behar (pictured) then chimed in:
Behar: "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. My question is: Can he talk to Mary Magdalene without his wife in the room?"
That last quip is in reference to the vice president's explanation last year that out of respect for his marriage and his wife – and out of a desire to remain above reproach – he doesn't dine with women alone or attend functions without his wife if alcohol is being served.
"Fox & Friends" this morning sought reaction from two Christian leaders. Dr. Robert Jeffress – a Fox News contributor and senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas – called Behar's comments a "despicable" attack on the vice president's faith.
"If Joy Behar had attacked a devout Muslim for his faith, ABC would have fired her in a nanosecond. But to the left, when it comes to attacking conservative Christians, it is always open season," the pastor said.
"Scratch beneath the surface or read what they've said in the past [about Pence's faith]," he continued, "and it's very clear [why they have a problem with his beliefs]: Mike Pence has committed the unpardonable sin – when it comes to the left – and that is he still maintains the personal belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman....
"But you can hardly call that an 'extreme' perspective when it's the belief of the three major world religions – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam – which have taught that for thousands of years.
"The left cries for tolerance – and yet they are the most intolerant people when it comes to beliefs with which they disagree," Jeffress concluded.
"The hostility towards Christianity in America is growing – and this is just one more example of it. If we think that's not occurring, we're very naïve; and if we think this is just an anomaly or is just something that just happened because of politics now, it's not that. It's not because of Mike's faith being more devout than other political leaders. It's this growing hostility towards Christianity that I believe is undeniable and is on the rise in America."
Micah Clark, executive director
Kathy Barnette, founder of Truth Exchange Ministries, described Behar's remarks as "really sad" and typical coming from individuals who are "just blind" to things of faith.
"And what we typically see from the left, if they don't understand something, is they have a tendency to try to despise it or mock it," Barnette added.
"They don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ ... they don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ," she repeated for emphasis. "They want to mock those who do.
"But we know that America is a Christian nation. Despite what Joy says, despite what even President Obama declared many years ago, this is a Christian nation."
Fox News commentator Jesse Watters also offered his take on the matter this morning, pointing out that Democrats like Behar are "okay with Reverend [Jeremiah] Wright speaking to Barack Obama, but they don't want Jesus talking to Mike Pence."
Editor's note: Comments from Micah Clark added after story was originally posted.