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Pence Fires Back at 'View': Faith Is Not a Mental Illness

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrives with his wife, Karen.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrives with his wife, Karen. (REUTERS/Toru Hanai)

Vice President Mike Pence hit back Wednesday at comments made on ABC's The View comparing his hearing from Jesus Christ to mental illness.

On Tuesday, the panelists on the talk show discussed former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman's recent comment on the reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother about Pence's faith. She said, "I am Christian, I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things."

On The View, Joy Behar commented, "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."

Pence said during a broadcast with Axios journalist Mike Allen, "I actually heard that ABC has a program that compared my Christianity to mental illness. And I'd like to laugh about it, but I really can't."

"It's just wrong," Pence continued. "And it's an insult not to me, but to the vast majority of the American people who, like me, cherish their faith. My Christianity is the most important thing in my life."

Also on The View, Behar went on to joke, "My question is, can he talk to Mary Magdalene without his wife in the room?"

Another member of The View team, Sunny Hostin, said of Pence's faith, "I'm Catholic, I'm a faithful person, but I don't know that I want my vice president speaking in tongues."

Pence also stated during the Axios interview, "I try to start everyday by opening the Good Book. My wife and I try to have a prayer together before I leave every morning. I can honestly tell you my faith sustains me in all that I do, and it's just a regular part of our lives. But I'm not unusual. I think I'm a very typical American, whatever your faith-tradition; people understand that."

"But I just think it demonstrates just how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people that you could have a major network like ABC permit a forum for invective against religion like that," Pence continued. "And I call them out on it. Not because of what was said about me. But it's just simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance."

"We're better than that. Our country's better than that," Pence concluded. "I'd like to be light about it, but I really can't. Not for my sake, but for the tens of millions of Americans who cherish their faith, I can't be silent."

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