Periodically the left tries to make an appeal to Christians and other religious voters. Democrat campaigns hire people to do outreach to religious communities in an attempt to win over as many of the faithful as possible. After the campaign, liberal rhetoric about religion typically goes back to a point somewhere between ignorant and insulting. That is the case with Joy Behar’s recent attack on Vice President Mike Pence.
On “The View,” Behar joked about a statement by former White House staffer and “Apprentice” contestant Omarosa Manigault-Newman who had implied that Pence was mentally ill. Omarosa said of Pence on “Celebrity Big Brother” that “he thinks Jesus tells him to say things … Scary.”
Behar responded, “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.”
“As a Christian, that’s just par for the course,” said Sherri Shepard. “You talk to Jesus, Jesus talks back. What concerns me is, how long is the conversation with Jesus?”
Behar, an agnostic who was raised Catholic, expresses the popular view among liberals that rational and reasonable people must reject the notion that God cannot be real simply because he cannot be seen or touched. For people like Behar, it isn’t enough to simply question the existence of God, it is also necessary to mock the beliefs of the faithful and question their sanity based on their own prejudices.
Behar’s condescending comment, which reflects either a total ignorance of Christianity or a willful misinterpretation of prayer, is insulting to Christian believers on both sides of the political spectrum. In contrast to the assumptions of Behar and other liberal elites, more than half of Americans say that they pray “at least daily” per the Pew Religious Landscape Study. Less than a quarter of Americans never pray. Most probably expect an answer.
Perhaps shockingly, the number of Americans who pray frequently cuts across political lines. The share of people praying daily is split almost equally between Republicans and Democrats (42-40 percent). Democrats have a slight edge in the share of people who pray weekly or monthly.
Although the poll shows that far more conservatives and moderates pray than liberals, when leftists like Behar insult religious believers they chip away at their own base. The left’s hostility to religion in general pushes moderate voters away from the Democrats, the party that once booed God at their 2012 convention. Ironically, it is these moderate voters that decide most elections.
For the benefit of Joy Behar and other liberals (and moderates and conservatives) who believe that prayer is a sign of mental
illness, allow me to explain. When praying, Christians do not typically have a “burning bush” moment where we hear the literal voice of God. We aren’t usually visited by angels and we don’t normally have visions either, although the Bible definitely teaches that such moments can and do happen.
Instead, God and Jesus speak us in a still, small voice. We can hear from God through reading the Bible, from listening to a sermon, a conversation with a friend, or a thousand different ways. It can simply be a reassurance and comfort that Jesus is with us and provides us with guidance as we go through life.
It isn’t surprising that people like Joy Behar would mock believers. The Bible predicts that scoffers would ridicule believers. Peter wrote, “In the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’”
The Bible also gives encouragement to the believers who are mocked. Paul told his followers, “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise” and that “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The power of God and prayer is something to which many on both the left and right can attest. For those who have experienced it, the opinion of Joy Behar and other mockers is inconsequential.