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FIRST-PERSON: ABC bleeps out ‘Jesus’

LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP)–The Media Research Center (MRC), a conservative media watchdog group, has reported that ABC officials recently chose to bleep out the word “Jesus” on the West Coast broadcast of its morning talk show, “The View.”

The daily show is hosted by Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Lisa Ling and Joy Behar, who commented on a broadcast on her successful weight-loss program. She exclaimed, “Yes, and thank you, thank you, Jesus, is all I have to say!”

MRC (www.mrc.org) reported that her words were aired unedited across most of the nation, but edited only in the West Coast telecast. After learning that ABC had edited her reference to Jesus, Ms. Behar addressed the situation on May 28: “For the West Coast, they took it out. They would not allow me to say ‘thank you Jesus.’ I think that’s wrong.”

As you might guess, I think it’s wrong too. And I appreciate Ms. Behar saying so.

The Media Research Center noted that “the name of a religious figure apparently instills fear with some at ABC.”

Apparently it does, but I imagine that “fear” (or possibly hostility) applies only to the name of Jesus. I’m sure ABC officials would excuse their action by saying they don’t want to offend anyone (the typical line in these debates these days). But the fact is that there are millions of Americans who would be offended that a major television network determined the name of Jesus must be edited from a broadcast.

This secular sentiment is the result of a nationwide slew of ACLU-inspired lawsuits that have targeted the Ten Commandments, nativity scenes and state mottoes bearing God’s name.

Many people in our nation have subsequently become convinced that we must exist in a completely secularist society where the name of Jesus cannot be mentioned. While this is a blatantly false notion, public school students are frequently prevented from mentioning Jesus in graduation speeches, disallowed from singing traditional songs such as “The Lord’s Prayer” and prohibited from holding Bible study meetings at their school.

People in the workplace are prevented from holding prayer groups during non-work hours at their place of business. And now, at least on the West Coast, they can’t even hear the name of Jesus at ABC.

It is apparent that we are the pariahs of the secular society.

This is, in my opinion, a national tragedy. And officials at ABC are falling right in line with this religious interdiction by determining that the name of Jesus must be banished.

What makes this problem all the worse is the fact that many cable networks have adopted policies in which the name of Jesus is habitually blasphemed. Tune in to Howard Stern’s broadcast on the E! Network one evening and you’ll hear the Lord’s name uttered countless times — and not in reverential terms, I might add. Watch a movie on American Movie Classics or BRAVO or any number of cable networks and you will frequently hear the name of Jesus Christ blasphemed and reviled.

Conservative Catholics and evangelical Christians are expected to accept this double standard and keep our mouths shut. Sadly, it has been the silence of Christians that has led to this hostile climate. I am encouraging my friends to become proactive, as never before. Can we not stand up for Jesus, as the old song says?

I urge my friends to contact the ABC Network ([email protected]) and cordially urge officials not to edit out the name of Jesus in future broadcasts. The only way we can hope to change this anti-religion tone in our nation is to make our voices heard.

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  • Jerry Falwell