'View' Panel Discusses Naming a Teddy Bear Jesus

After discussing the British woman in Sudan charged for naming a class teddy bear Muhammad on Friday’s "View," with no outrage directed towards the Sudanese government, the ladies again discussed the topic. Barbara Walters inquired to the panel what would happen if someone named a teddy bear Jesus in the United States.

Unlike Rosie O’Donnell, who exclaimed "radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam," Joy Behar, to her credit, said "Christians in this country would not be as uptight about it." Later she added "in the Sudan is that it’s, it’s state sanctioned there. Here it would just be an uproar from certain people."

The transcript of the conversation is below.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Now Sherri, one of the things we wanted to do was to mention something that happened that we talked about several days ago.

SHERRI SHEPHERD: Right, we had talked about Gillian Gibbons, who was the British teacher who let her children at the school name a teddy bear Muhammad. And we were talking about whether she was going to-

JOY BEHAR: In the Sudan.

SHEPHERD: In the Sudan and whether she should get the lashes or not-

BEHAR: Which is a Muslim country.

SHEPHERD: In the Muslim country, and she’s been pardoned, so she will not get lashes, she will not get-

[applause]

BEHAR: She was about to go to jail also.

SHEPHERD: She was going to jail too.

BARBARA WALTERS: But, you know, we were, we were talking here, and, and I said well, I wonder that if in a public school here, a school teacher allowed, not allowed, but said that the children could name the teddy bear Jesus, would there be any reaction? And you-

GOLDBERG: Only in a public school.

SHEPHERD: I think there would be a reaction.

BEHAR: Well, that’s interesting.

WALTERS: A public school, you said- say what you said.

BEHAR: I would think that in a Catholic school, they would-

WALTERS: No, in a public school, not a Catholic school

BEHAR: I think they probably would object to it because-

WALTERS: You said no, earlier you said no.

BEHAR: Well, first I thought that most Christians in this country would not be uptight about it.

GOLDBERG: I would think that they would be.

SHEPHERD: I would think that they would be very-

BEHAR: There are groups in the public schools who may object to the fact that you’re giving preferential treatment to the teddy bear.

GOLDBERG: Yeah, but if it’s the child’s teddy bear, what difference does it make if-

WALTERS: See I do, but you see-

GOLDBERG: Wait! Wait!

WALTERS: Okay, but just the fact that we’re having this discussion. I mean we think, "isn’t this horrible that they’re doing this in the Sudan?" And it is because they were going to put her in jail and beat her. But the concept of it, the fact that we’re doing it here, I’m - even though it’s allowable and nobody’s, nobody’s going to whiplash and so forth- I think that there would be parents and people who would say "it’s irreverent to name a toy or a teddy bear after the Lord."

[...]

GOLDBERG: But I do think that if you say to a child "what would you like to name your teddy bear?" and the child says "Jesus," I think most people would say "you know what, good because you keep that teddy bear near you and that makes you feel good." I don’t think anybody would deny a child who says "I want to name this Jesus, because it’s mine and I can be with that." I don’t think anybody would have an issue with that.

WALTERS: I think there might be some who would say this is wonderful-

GOLDBERG: I’m not saying we can’t have a love affair.

[laughter]

WALTERS: But let’s have a real discussion.

GOLDBERG: I’m serious.

WALTERS: You give your point of view, which is you don’t think anyone would object.

GOLDBERG: Yes.

WALTERS: And perhaps they should, and perhaps they shouldn’t. I am saying there may be some people who might say to the school that you should-

GOLDBERG: Absolutely!

WALTERS: you know, that this is reverent, and we don’t want it. I’m just trying to say that even though we are, that what happened in the Sudan is outrageous, but it is in, if you try to put in, in your own head, it is not something that is so, "oh my goodness, how could they possibly do that?"

BEHAR: In the Sudan is that it’s, it’s state sanctioned there. Here it would just be an uproar from certain people.

WALTERS: No, I’m talking about that. I’m talking about it being offensive to some people. That’s all.

BEHAR: Right, right.

WALTERS: It’s not that far fetched.

BEHAR: Everything’s offensive to some people.