As soon as Rosie O’Donnell joined the panel of co-hosts on ABC’s “The View” last year, we knew that the program would provide a forum for the comedienne to spew her anti-Catholicism. What we saw between September 2006 and May 2007, however, exceeded our expectations. On 15 separate occasions, the Catholic Church was attacked on the program—and not just by O’Donnell. What follows is a brief description of the incidents.
The Eucharist was ridiculed twice. On September 28, 2006, O’Donnell mimicked receiving communion and not letting it touch her tongue by contorting her face into various strained positions. In February, O’Donnell was at it again, making grotesque facial expressions and laughing about the Host.
All of the co-hosts had a good laugh at the Christian practice of Baptism in April of this year. After they proved themselves thoroughly ill informed on Limbo and actual Catholic doctrine (though they purported to speak authoritatively on the subject), Elisabeth Hasselbeck mocked the idea of her own child’s baptism, and Joy Behar referred to it as “a nice little sponge bath.”
Showing she can’t pass up any chance, no matter how much of a stretch, to make a lame attempt at comedy at the expense of Christianity, Behar referred to Hasselbeck putting herself in a “Christ-like position” when Hasselbeck stretched out her arms to demonstrate a rule of hunting.
In February of 2007, Behar donned her psychologist’s hat and advised people to “follow their heart” when it comes to celibacy. The sage then intoned, “That is why a lot of the priesthood is so screwed up right now.” Jumping on the bigoted bandwagon, O’Donnell chimed in: “Celibacy is not part of the human condition. It is not normal, right, everyone is a sexual being.”
According to these two ex-Catholics, Catholics in general don’t read the Bible. In March Behar offered this excuse as to her own ignorance: “I never read the Bible as a child because I was Catholic.” O’Donnell concurred, saying, “I didn’t know anything about it. Again, Catholic, you just read the Missalette.” The following month, Behar suggested that the Catholic Church fosters superstition, saying, “When I was a kid I used to be [superstitious] because the Catholic Church has a lot of that sort of thing in it, but then I sort of grew out of it.”
The Holy Father has been slandered more than once. Despite the fact that then-Cardinal Ratzinger was put in charge of investigating cases of abuses after the sex abuse scandal broke in 2002, O’Donnell claimed in October that “the person who was in charge of investigating all the allegations of pedophiles in the Catholic Church from the eighties until just recently was guess who. The current pope.” Later that month, O’Donnell again misstated the facts, alleging, “The current pope was the person who was supposed to investigate these charges of sex abuse in the Church in the last 20 years.”
These supreme wits have trotted out the bigoted cliché that all priests are pedophiles. During a discussion in May about male nannies, Behar jokingly asked Walters if she would have hired “a priest perhaps” to watch her daughter.
O’Donnell took the occasion of the Supreme Court upholding the partial-birth abortion ban to question the right of Catholics to participate in public life. She fumed, “You know what concerns me? How many of the Supreme Court judges are Catholic, Barbara?” Walters then responded, “Five.” O’Donnell said in reply, “Five. Five are Catholic. Separation of church and state, America.”
The panelists have frequently cast the Church as repressive. In September, O’Donnell astonishingly claimed that “Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state.” In October, Behar made a crack about “the Sisters of Mary Magdalene” grabbing up porn stars and putting them in convents.
In a discussion about a pastor who asked the parish organist to quit her post when he learned she also sold sex toys, the ladies felt very free to involve themselves in a private matter between a priest and a church employee. Behar moaned, “She is selling [the sex toys] to married couples, which the Catholic Church wants you to procreate. How do they think we have been doing it all these years? With sex toys, that’s how.” Guest host Whoopi Goldberg falsely asserted that the woman now “can’t get a spiritual advisor” because she has “a different way of doing things.” Walters backed up Goldberg’s twisting of the truth by saying, “Why can’t someone who is a hooker at night…on Sunday go to whatever church or temple and try to get spiritual?” Hasselbeck complained about “probing into your private life in terms of how well you can do your job or keep your job.”
On October 12, in a very telling moment about the show’s attitude toward Catholics, Behar actually defended anti-Catholicism. When Walters read a letter from a viewer pointing out that it’s considered okay to say bad things about Christians, but not about Jews, Behar replied, “You can arouse people’s anti-Semitic feelings very easily and it is not like just a joke. It becomes ‘Let’s round them up and kill them.'” In other words, certain groups are protected, but the Catholics are fair game.