CUMBERLAND, Md. — Last week Joy Behar, co-host of the ABC show “The View,” did something that has become an escalating trend in our popular culture over the past 10 years — she mocked religiosity.
In a segment about Vice President Mike Pence and his belief that he hears the voice of God, Behar quipped: “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.”
The audience of “The View” clapped and laughed along with her.
But outside the entertainment bubble, in places like Cumberland, people were horrified.
“I am not sure what shocked me the most, that Behar mocked one of the core beliefs of Christianity or the reaction of the studio audience,” said Tim McGregor, pastor at the Lighthouse of Hope, a non-denominational Christian church here in western Maryland.
“It is troubling to me how much they responded to her. They were affirming it with laughter and clapping, and I’m like ‘What are you people.’ I mean, “What do you believe in?” McGregor said.
McGregor said most Christian denominations believe in the same thing Pence does — that Jesus can speak directly to members of his flock. “If anyone knows anything about the Christian faith, the gift of the Holy Spirit is God speaking to us and through us,” he said, adding, “It’s not like [Pence] thinks he’s Moses or something. You know what I’m saying?”
McGregor finds this intolerance and lack of empathy from celebrities and the media both startling and predictable. “It is as though in popular culture being a person of faith has gone from being a virtue to a liability,” he said.
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