November 21, 2010
Incoherent ViewBy Peter Heck
Had Dante penned his opus The Inferno in our time, there is little doubt in my mind that he would have replaced the punishments for Judas, Cassius, and Brutus in his ninth and most dastardly level of Hell. Rather than being devoured by one of Lucifer's three heads, they would have been strapped to wooden chairs and subjected to an unending loop of episodes from ABC's "The View." Even joking about such a penalty causes me to cringe.
Attempting to find a more vacuous, more irrational mixture of moral idiocy, intellectual bankruptcy, and mind-numbing contradictions is a futile task. Consider as but one example the recent exchange between The View's queen of incoherence, Joy Behar, and mega-minister Joel Osteen.
Having previously seen Osteen's weak performance on CNN's Larry King Live, when the mild-mannered host pressured him on the issue of homosexuality, I wasn't expecting a rigorous defense of moral truth when that same subject was raised by Barbara Walters.
True to form, Osteen began a very tepid response by saying, "I mean, the main thing, Barbara, is we are for people. Sometimes we get stuck on -- " That's as far as he got before the Behar badgering commenced.
"You know it's not a choice, Pastor," she interrupted. "I don't think that God would look askance at homosexuality in that way." She continued, "They're born this way...they are what they are."
Try as he might, the affable minister couldn't get a word in as Joy kept pouring it on. "And so the Christian church should embrace that notion." Joy Behar: philosopher, scientist, theologian.
Then came the inevitable moment that almost makes watching this show tolerable. After throwing out enough rhetorical rope, Ms. Behar promptly hung herself. "You wouldn't reject somebody that had a deformity," she reasoned. Quickly realizing she had just likened the very cause she was supposedly defending to a warped abnormality (can you imagine the righteous indignation she would have expressed if Osteen had made such a comparison?), Joy tried to distract the audience and blanket her gaffe with what has become the tired accusation of left.
"When you say that the Bible is against gays, that makes people get bullied, and bad things happen to people because of what the people say about that," Behar thundered.
This is the biggest problem with The View. It takes so much time and energy to respond to all the logical fallacies in that simple soundbite that most rational minds don't even bother. But rather than discourage or embarrass the feeble mind that produced it, being dismissed is interpreted by the Behar crowd as validation. It feeds the beast.
And so as someone who is quite convinced that the beast needs to be starved rather than gorged, let me address these misstatements.
First, the Bible is not "against gays." The Bible condemns the activity of homosexuality, as well as many other sexually deviant behaviors. In fact, the Bible doesn't even recognize the existence of a group known as "gays." It acknowledges the existence of males and females and the moral expectations for their sexual behavior (and yes, Joy, behavior is always a choice).
Second, the Bible never commends or advocates bullying of any kind. Whether through the Golden Rule, the fruit of the Spirit, or the parables of Christ himself, Christian principle teaches respect and dignity for all those made in the image of God.
Third, there is a profound difference between moral objection to the behavior of homosexuality and the physical intimidation or abuse of those tempted by same-sex attraction. Warning against and opposing the societal embrace of certain sexual behaviors is not bullying.
If it is, Ms. Behar, I look forward to your upcoming show in which you will chastise First Lady Michelle Obama for being a willing accomplice in the brutal bullying of obese children. After all, the most bullied group of young people in our country remains the overweight children. Mrs. Obama's warning against the societal embrace of unhealthy eating habits is only ostracizing and stigmatizing the fat kids, thus inviting more bullying. And her opposition to overeating couldn't be born out of love and concern for those kids' well-being, could it, Ms. Behar?
Finally, to put the last nail in the coffin of incoherence that defines those dames of disinformation, simply stop and think what happened on The View almost exactly one month prior to the Osteen exchange.
That was the day that Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg stormed out of the studio, outraged that guest Bill O'Reilly had stated the seemingly obvious fact that the 9/11 hijackers were Muslims.
That's all you need to know. On The View, Bible-inspired bullying is a given. But Koran-inspired terror is such an unmentionable thought that the hostesses can't tolerate it.
This show should come with a mental health advisory.