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.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Just wanted to say I really appreciate the way you two dialogued there. It was nice to see.

            Also wanted to just add that with all the Easy-Believism/Seeker-Sensitive false gospel nonsense out there today we have to be careful not to leave sound theology behind for the sake of “influencing some”. I’m referring specifically to the “not sure we should all them His enemies” and “turned off by Christians”.

            All of us Believers were at one time enemies of God. God says so. God says the Unbeliever is spiritually-dead (Eph. 2:1-3), does not seek Him (Rom. 3:10-12), that no one comes to Christ unless The Father draws them (Jn. 6:44), that the Cross is an offense (Gal. 5:11), and that Christians are like the stench from death to death to them (2Cor. 2:16). Seems like that right there would be enough of a turn off itself.

            Moreover, God says the Christian must die to himself, pick up his cross, and be a slave that follows a new Master. God says the Christian WILL suffer, have trials and tribulations, and be hated.
            Now why would anyone think Christianity is supposed to be “enticing”. But that is the way much of Christianity is presented today. Remember Osteen’s “Your Best Life Now”?

            Christianity is not “enticing” or perhaps even “appealing” apart from an Eternal perspective but it is Salvific. And all the above pales in comparison to the torment one will endure for ALL Eternity in the Lake of Fire.

            All that said, however, when one contemplates and just simply focuses on the majesty and magnificence of Almighty God and being in His presence forever coupled with how our sin separates us from that it is not hard to see why one would lay it all down for Christ.

          • Kathy

            I am in full agreement with you. I do tend to get defensive of the Jewish people, perhaps because I had many Jewish friends growing up. Since I became a true follower of Christ, I am even more so, to the extent of supporting ministries who witness to Jews.

            Funny that you should post this…I have been beating myself up after visiting a city where JW’s set up their “booths” at numerous locations. It made my blood boil and told them they were deceiving people that were not biblcally grounded and that they were reprehensible for doing so. I was pretty rude and of course, they were as nice as could be, just saying they respected my opinion. Of course, it was not my opinion.

            That is how they draw people into their cult, by being warm and welcoming. What is your take on that?

          • Hmmm…

            And that’s how he draws people into his cult, sadly, by butter not melting in his mouth. Say one disagreeing thing and his true colors come blazoning out. This is a religious troll, who easily condemns and overbears posters on multiple sites.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            Well, I see you enjoy being an abomination before the Lord. Even after I cited the Scriptures for you to take a look at. I’ll make it easy for the person who hides behind an anonymous profile, their computer screen, and hurls fiery darts from his daddy at the children of God who dare speak the truth.

            “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord” (Proverbs 17:15).

            There are six things that the LORD HATES, seven that are an ABOMINATION to him: haughty eyes, a LYING TONGUE, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a FALSE WITNESS who breathes out LIES and one who sows discord among brothers. (Prov. 6:16-19)

            “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape.” (Prov. 19:5)

            “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish.” (Prov. 19:9)

            ““For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, FALSE WITNESS, SLANDERS.” (Matt. 5:19)

          • Hmmm…

            Here you go, true to form. I see where you have been kicked off two forums and begged pathetically to be reinstated on Disqus. This and your previous tirades are likely what cost you that expulsion. Like what you are spewing here, your posts are combative and accusatory, condemning. People who disagree with you are not devils eligible for immediate condemnation. You treated a person there as malignantly I notice who confronted you with this behavior. You have no entitlement to do so.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I see you are still so foolish as to not understand you are continuing to reveal yourself. Why do I post this? So folks can learn! There ya go, folks! Just look at what he wrote. Does that sound like a “troll” to you? Pretty obvious who’s trolling who and that he’s following me from site to site just to harass. Screenshot taken. Case is building. It’s only a matter of time before he crosses a line here too.

          • Royce E. Van Blaricome

            I am somewhat “defensive of the Jewish people” myself. While I don’t excuse their sin and rebellion, I still believe they are God’s chosen people, the “bless those who bless you/curse those who curse you”, and that it is God who has blinded them for a time. I am humbled by the aware that to much is given to much is required.

            I understand your second paragraph and paradox. The idea of anyone creating a different Jesus and intentionally trying to lead people to eternal torment in the Lake of Fire while all under the guise of Love and God’s service should make one’s blood boil. But, simultaneously, we should have a heart for the Lost. That is something I’m sure we could talk about for a long time. Suffice it for now to say when we look to Jesus we see that in Him.

            Interestingly enough, I recently had a JW woman and her daughter show up on my door on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago. It would take too much time and space to detail it all here so I’ll just say they caught me at a time where I wasn’t prepared for or able to have a lengthy discussion. In about 5min I had her so befuddled by taking her to her NWT with verses just off the top of my head that she became so rattled she just asked me if she could come back with her husband.

            I told her sure but to call first so I could be prepared to spend some time with them. Well, they show up unannounced, of course, a couple weeks later. So there I am again unprepared. But we had a nice, cordial conversation though it wasn’t what I had really hoped for where we could sit down and thoroughly exegete the Scriptures as I was readying myself for an egg customer and then some folks to come by and get some chickens.

            Finally, he got a bit agitated and animated when I think he saw I may have been making an impact on his wife with the verses I offered to rebut his suppositions. It got to a point where he wanted to camp on John 17:3 as evidence that Jesus is a created being and not God. After I addressed that he says, “Well, I can see we’re probably not gonna make any progress here so we can just agree to disagree as both Brothers in Christ.” To which I replied, “With all due respect, and with NO offense whatsoever intended, no we can’t. You have a different Jesus and a different gospel and therefore we just aren’t Brothers in Christ.”

            That’s when he got a bit miffed, we shook hands, and he left. Btw, take a look at just two verses down fro John 17:3. I hope you’ll join me in praying that will speak to them the next time they bring up 17:3.

            I would agree with you that being warm and welcoming is one way they draw people in. Just another form of Satan being disguised as an angel of light. Also, just like Satan, they do the opposite of what God has set up and ordered. They send their women out first, oftentimes during the week when they think the men are off to work, and hope to find a woman at home they can speak to woman to woman. God’s order is for the man to be the Head and it should start man to man.

            But you are right in that their “hospitality” is a magnet to some. Much like the Mormons and their “family values” and image.

  • 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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