I Forgive You, Joy!

By Al Perrotta Published on March 13, 2018

The View‘s Joy Behar has “sincerely” apologized publicly for comparing Mike Pence’s Christianity to “mental illness.” Finally. 

Joy’s public mea culpa came after The View played a clip of Pence recounting on Hannity his private apology from Behar. 

I said to Joy, ‘Of course, I forgive you.’ That’s a part of my faith experience. I did encourage her. And I’m still encouraging her to use the forum of that program or some other public forum to apologize to tens of millions of Americans who were equally offended.

Behar responded: “So, I think Vice President Pence is right. I was raised to respect everyone’s religious faith. I fell short of that. I sincerely apologize for what I said.”

The Stream‘s Dr. Michael Brown predicted earlier Tuesday that should Behar take vice president Pence’s advice she would receive an “outpouring of forgiveness.”

I can’t speak of an outpouring. (Though that is happening.) But I can speak for me. Apology accepted.

I’ve Got Her Beat, So I Have to Show Her Grace

Dr. Brown’s subtitle quotes 1 Peter 5:5: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Given my background, I have to show Joy grace, even more than most. I wrote comedy professionally for 20 or so years. I wrote somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 one-liners. My funny bone has arthritis. 

Sometimes I crossed the line. In fact, a couple times I soared past the line like a mad bomber, landing in a field called “What in the World Were You Thinking?!?!”

The worst example is indelible. I actually wrote jokes about Columbine … the day of Columbine. All together now: “What in the World Were You Thinking?!?!”

Made perfect sense to me at the time. This was the height of shock jock Howard Stern and I thought it possible some of our DJ clients would go there. Most obviously wouldn’t. I, personally, wouldn’t. But, I figured, somebody might. My rationale was not rational. 

I can’t even use the excuse of gallows humor in the face of overwhelming grief and horror. (I’ve definitely been there. Ask my wife about the jokes flying between my nephew and me when a man died behind us at a baseball game … three days before my mother’s funeral.)

No. The day of Columbine my brain was thinking, “Two guys armed to the teeth with guns and explosives walk into a crowded cafeteria and scores and scores aren’t killed? We got off lucky.” Somehow, “only” 13 dead was good news.

And out spurted the jokes. Sure, I added all sorts of warnings about inappropriateness and offensiveness, but that’s no excuse.

So unless you’ve got footage of Joy wise-cracking about the Parkland shooting while the wounded are still being dragged out of the school, I’ve got her beat. Who would I be to reject her apology for mocking my faith?

Except I Don’t Accept Her Apology for Making Fun of My Faith

Actually, though, Joy’s jokes were not the problem. I understand that most people feel different, but I wasn’t horribly offended by what Joy actually said. And I say that as someone, who, like Pence, does hear the voice of God. 

Here are Behar’s jokes: 

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?

A few word changes, more context, different set up, and I could see even a Christian comedian saying something in the same ballpark. In fact, some denominations would even agree with the first joke as a statement of fact. 

What really offended me is the malice behind Joy’s words. This was no lighthearted riff on religion. A thought that popped out of her head. This was an attack meant to draw blood. As her daily dose of bitterness towards anything connected to Trump or Pence attests, she was out to damage.

Behar was not using her humor to bring understanding and healing. Or even levity. She wasn’t using her God-given gift to amuse. She was using her God-given gift to hurt. And that effort to injure extended towards those who share Pence’s faith. 

Malice. Disrespect. That is where Joy “fell short.” 

And that is what needs to be forgiven. She has sincerely apologized. Apology accepted, the injury forgiven.

Loss of Humanity

Now the forgiveness needs to be turned to prayer. We need to pray for Joy Behar. Pray that she can embrace the humanity of those she disagrees with. 

When Joy mocked Pence, she mocked a target. When she apologized to Pence, she spoke to a person. 

She was forced to recognize his humanity. There was a soft-spoken human being on the other end of the line. Do what she and the late night hosts do on a daily basis, and people stop being unique beings fearfully and wonderfully made by God. They become mere set-ups for punch lines or punchlines themselves. Props.

Ask Monica Lewinsky. 

Ask me. I said earlier I wrote over 150,000 jokes. It feels like 98% of them were about the Lewinsky scandal. (Stop right there. It was not the “Lewinsky” scandal. It was Bill Clinton’s scandal. She was a kid who fell under the charms of an older, powerful figure. If you haven’t read her new essay, you should.)

I doubt I was ever mean to Monica. Certainly I never felt any malice. In fact, I was always struck by how much she was like Clinton’s mother. (Think I’m nuts? Look it up.) However, I did write countless jokes involving her. Even as a Clinton supporter that was the job.

However, somewhere along the way, Monica stopped being a flesh-and-blood young woman caught in a dreadful situation. Most days, she was as human to me as the banana peel on the sidewalk in all the old gags. Scarier, it wasn’t just her humanity being lost.

Back to Columbine

Back to Columbine. That experience shook me to the core. I remember being in my boss’s office the next day. Larry was more dumbfounded than angry. I was actually frightened. Not for my job, but for what I had become. In the non-stop search for the next funny line I’d lost a chunk of my humanity. 

I see that in Joy Behar’s “mental illness” schtick. I see it in the toxic spew from late night. I see it in my Facebook feed. I see it hundreds of times a day on Twitter. So today I ask God, “Forgive us, Father. For we know not what we’ve become.” 

Joy, join me in this prayer. You don’t want to become what I became. 

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  • Chip Crawford

    I like the part about Mike Pence becoming a person when Joy Behar spoke to him rather than a target. Yes, more of that needs to happen. I wonder if she will soften now in some respect anyway. And the Mary Magdalene thing I can see as a joke, but the mental illness comment seemed malicious to me as well.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Well, Joy was only speaking from out of the abundance of her heart when she made that insanity call on the VP. That being the case, was it a change of heart that produced a public apology from her for her sincere ( heartfelt ) representation of those who claim a two way relationship w/a transcendent being ?
    I was not offended by her remarks. In fact unless that apology came from a true sentiment I may be tempted to be offended by that apology ….!

  • Robert Browning

    The reaction from the general public is most interesting to me. White Christians are getting tired of being attacked by Jew media and are beginning to fight back.

  • Hmmm…

    I had to go to YouTube and see the apology — very sincere. It’s a good thing. She may have been forced by the Network due to the outpouring of protest, but something good happened here. There is a time to speak up. Christians mirrored the value of their faith by this strong reaction. We need to let our voice be heard more often on positive things.

  • Paul

    Repentance is revealed over time.

  • Tim Pan

    First : BE NOT DECEIVED. Joy Behar is not a Christian. Please carefully consider a excerpt from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians:

    Galatians 5:22-23 New International Version (NIV)
    “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

    Does Joy Behar ever exhibit any of these attributes? No. She is a vicious , malevolent hater. Ms. Behar dramatically and very publicly demonstrates every day the spiritual truth that the darkness hates the light.

    • stan schmunk

      She’s also lost and needs to be found. God loves her and sent Christ to die for her. Have you forgotten that? She’s the lost sheep in Luke 15.

      • Tim Pan

        I agree, but my duty is to inform new and immature Christians when a wolf comes dressed in sheep’s clothing.

  • Tim Pan

    I tried to post a response to a hurtful anti-semitic remark that has been removed , nevertheless I thought my response worth considering. Thank you.

    “Would you consider using the the term ‘enemies of Christ’ instead of ‘Jew media’?”

    • Kathy

      Not sure that would be appropriate, Tim. There are many Jewish believers in Yeshua who are known as Messianic Jews.

      Joy is not a poster child for most of the Jewish population. A contributor on this website, Michael Brown, has written a very disturbing book called “Our Hands Are Stained With Blood…The Tragic Story of the “Church” and the Jewish People”. It would give you some insight as to why some Jewish people have problems with the Christian faith. We have, and still do at times, behave badly towards God’s chosen people.

      Christ came for the Jew first, then the Gentile, so we should concentrate on witnessing to them about their promised Messiah and not making matters worse by demonizing them.

      • Tim Pan

        I was not specifically identifying Jewish people. But rather the group of people who do not know the Lord and as such they are His enemies. As to the book. There are no blood stains on my hands. I am a new creation in Christ and what transpired prior to my salvation is not my burden. I am responsible for ME.

        • Kathy

          Thanks for clarifying that! I see what you’re saying. Was just thinking if we want to influence people for Christ, not sure we should call them His enemies. I do realize if they are not fully on Christ’s side, they’re actually on Satan’s side. Most people think they are just “on the fence” on the issue…I know I used to. Concerning the Jewish people, Romans 11 explains their unbelief very well.

          Certainly, you and I had nothing to do with the abuse of the Jewish people years ago. The book is good to gain some insight as to why they may be turned off by Christians and to keep that in mind if we witness to them. I learned this at a Messianic Jewish synagogue.

  • sc_cannon

    Maybe a joke will star you and your contradictory philosophy and actions in the Columbine incident as some sort of incongruence. I think we want to understand what is funny, when somebody says something like, ” some people think that heaven is an endless church service” why do some people think that is funny as that would be terrible. Maybe the deep seated root of humor is a belief that things are not as serious as they seem and in the end there is sure to be a happy ending no matter how stupid and incongruent things seem.

  • Jim Walker

    Whether she sincerely did that or doing it to protect her paycheck, let God be the Judge.

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