Joy Behar's Inner Rosie: Conservative Pols Who 'Use' Christianity Have 'Same Syndrome' as 9/11 Terrorists

On Saturday night, HLN replayed Joy Behar’s Tuesday interview with Broadway and TV star Kristin Chenoweth, when Joy celebrated how the actress is “standing tall in the face of criticism from her fellow Christians for her public support of gay rights.” But Joy went further than that. She channeled her inner Rosie O’Donnell and suggested politicians who "use Christianity to make their point" are using the “same syndrome" as “these terrorists who used Islam to kill 3,000 people on 9/11.”

This impaired doozy came at the end of a discussion about how Chenoweth feels she is the better, more compassionate Christian for embracing homosexuality (and after all, how is she going to be a Broadway star without doing that?) Oh, and since the 9/11 thing wasn't enough, Joy also suggested a "slew" of kids committed suicide in Michelle Bachman's district because of the "anti-gay" attitudes there (thank you, New York Times).

BEHAR: What about these politicians who use Christianity to make their point? That bothers me.

CHENOWETH: You know, there is a reason.

BEHAR: Any religion. Any religion.


BEHAR: It doesn't have to be just Christianity. I mean, you can talk about these terrorists who used Islam to kill 3,000 people on 9/11, it's the same syndrome.

CHENOWETH: I just feel like there is a reason they should be separate. I heard my whole life, separation of church and state.

BEHAR: Right. There's a lot of mixing of that right now going on I think.

CHENOWETH: It's a little frightening to me.

It's somehow not a little frightening to try and preach what the Bible teaches and be compared to a mass murderer who flew a plane into a skyscraper. Then Behar turned to a story gay activists are pushing.

On Tuesday, The New York Times began a story "This sprawling suburban school system, much of it within Michele Bachmann’s Congressional district, is caught in the eye of one of the country’s hottest culture wars — how homosexuality should be discussed in the schools...the school district has suffered eight student suicides in the last two years, leading state officials to declare a 'suicide contagion.'"

BEHAR: That just happened, I was reading about a whole slew of kids who just committed suicide in Minnesota.

CHENOWETH: Are you serious?

BEHAR: Yes. I'm not saying that she had anything to do with it. It happens to be in Michele Bachmann's district.

CHENOWETH: Are you kidding?

BEHAR: And they're very anti-gay in that community there.

CHENOWETH: Haven't we learned, though, anything, Joy?

BEHAR: I don't know. The Christian groups over there, the conservative Christian groups say it's not OK to be gay. So if you're not OK to be gay, there was something wrong. I mean, I was bullied, but for a different reason. I was nerdy, I realize now -- I didn't even know it at the time. But you don`t really feel that bad about yourself as somebody saying it's not OK to be something that you know you are.

CHENOWETH: That you are. And that's what kills me. You know, it doesn't matter, like you said, whatever faith you are, we have these rules of how you have to be. And if you're born a certain way, it's the truth.

Then they discussed other TV shows in the works:

BEHAR: But what about Chaz Bono now? He`s on "Dancing With the Stars," and I understand he`s getting all this hate mail and all these people are furious -- and this guy, Keith Ablow, who is a shrink was on Fox, I was reading this, and he was saying that the children who are watching see -- watch a transgender dance, that they are going to think that they can be transgenders. That is quite a leap.

CHENOWETH: OK. First of all, why are we still having the conversation? That would be -- can you imagine feeling like you`re born in the wrong body?

BEHAR: It can be -- I know that`s got to be very difficult.

CHENOWETH: That has to be very hard in and of itself. Why do we have to persecute and talk badly about, why can`t we just say, OK, this is a person, a man now that has changed into what he feels like he was supposed to be. I can`t imagine how hard that is on his family, on him alone. Why do then we all have to judge it? "And he shouldn`t be on "Dancing With the Stars," and that is going to affect my niece or my nephew or my neighbor." No, it`s not. Kids are way more accepting than adults.

BEHAR: Let`s just see if he can dip a girl.

CHENOWETH: You know what, if he doesn`t drop anybody on its head, then he`s a hero.

BEHAR: There you go. But you know, before I go, I don`t have too much time, you have this new sitcom, "Good Christian Belles." Tell me about that. [It was originally to be titled "Good Christian Bitches."]

CHENOWETH: It`s about a group of five women who grew up in the Bible Belt in Dallas, Texas. And it does deal with spirituality and it deals with how they deal with each other, their Christianity, their demons, all the things that go on as human. It shows the human side of Christianity and it does it with a lot of humor. And I am very proud of it.

BEHAR: And it sounds like it`s edgy.

CHENOWETH: It`s very edgy.

BEHAR: Love that.

CHENOWETH: I love it.

Finally, this is the what-would-Jesus-do portion of the interview, which came earlier, in which we're told being gay is like being short:

CHENOWETH: I just want to say, that if Jesus were alive, what would he be doing? Well, he would probably be accepting and loving people how they're made. And I always say this and it`s really the truth. If being 4'11 was a sin, what would I do? Well, I could wear heels and I could add a wig.

BEHAR: You mean being short.

CHENOWETH: Yes. I`m 4'11. What would I do if that was a sin? I couldn't do anything about it because that's the way God made me. And I do -- make no mistake, I am a Christian and I believe in God, and I don't believe he makes mistakes. So I don`t believe that being gay is not a sin, and in fact it's how you`re made.

BEHAR: Well, isn't the rap that they're not committing a sin as long as they don`t do anything about it?

CHENOWETH: It's like not doing anything about being short. What would I do, hide?

BEHAR: Yeah. So you're gay but you're not supposed to have any kind of sexual behavior in your life, and yet you can't even masturbate. What are you supposed to do? Put a gun to your head? What are the alternatives?

CHENOWETH: The thing is that I am a very spiritual person. But I also am -- you know, I`m a sexual being. That's the way God put us together. I'm not promiscuous. I think that's a different topic, if that's what they`re talking about, that is a different topic.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis