'The View' Panelist: 'We Go Too Far With Putting Our Religious Beliefs On Other People'

The July 11 edition of ABC’s The View began with a discussion on a Kentucky bank teller fired from her job for violating the “high ethical standards” of US Bank. Her transgressions apparently were wishing patrons to “have a blessed day” after her interactions with them and, on at least one occasion, chastising a customer for taking the Lord’s name in vain.

While co-host Sherri Shepherd, a professing Christian, spoke to the discretion needed when Christians “are commanded to go out and tell the good news,” to others, guest panelist Sunny Hostin of CNN strangely brought up the “history, in our society” of people hiding “behind religion to do some really terrible things to other people.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

That’s right, the “terrible things” in this case being a Christian employee wishing customers “a blessed day” and admonishing a customer for rude, offensive language. After all, children sometimes accompany their parents during brief runs to the bank, and one imagines regardless of the religion of those parents, they would appreciate a bank teller chiding a customer not to throw out a “Jesus Christ!” or “God dammit” in such a setting.

The CNN legal analyst also claimed earlier in the segment that “we go too far with putting our religious beliefs on other people and forcing them on other people. I don't like it.” Whoopi Goldberg, for her part, joked that when she’s in the bank, “all I want to hear is, all your money is here, and if it's not there, you're going to hear Jesus Christ! Where is my money?!”

ABC did its best to mute out Goldberg’s profanity.  

See transcript below:

ABC
The View
July 11, 2014
11:03 a.m. Eastern
2 minutes and 29 seconds


WHOOPI GOLDBERG: How about this. A northern Kentucky bank teller who worked at a branch for 24 years was fired for telling customers to "Have a blessed day," and for talking to them about her religious beliefs. Now she's now suing the bank, claiming that they’re stifling her religion. But the bank says she violated their code of ethics when it comes to customer relations.

JENNY MCCARTHY: I guess there was some customers that also complained that she said, you know, “did you just take the Lord’s name in vain?” She said some other scripture lines. So I think that’s when they thought she went overboard. For me, bless me. I need as much blessings as I could possibly have. Bless me away, I don't have a problem with that.

SHERRI SHEPHERD: I think we feel like with saying...Because you have to use discretion when you’re proselytizing--is that the word–proselytizing, but you got to use discretion. I think that people want to, when you say have a blessed day, it gives people hope. Now I know one thing people have never turned down when I have said to people, “can I pray with you?” Because I think people want to feel like somebody cares, even if you don’t believe. I’ve never had anybody say “I don’t want you to pray for me.”

SUNNY HOSTIN: But it can go too far, I think–

GOLDBERG: I don’t want to hear it at the bank.

HOSTIN: I don’t want to hear it at the bank either. It’s too much.

GOLDBERG: I don’t, I don’t, give me my money. Give me -- give me my money. I don't mind hearing have a blessed day. That I don’t mind. But don't ask me how I feel about Jesus?.Because you don't know if I believe in Jesus. I don't want to be uncomfortable.

HOSTIN: We go too far with putting our religious beliefs on other people and forcing them on other people. I don't like it.

SHEPHERD: But you know a lot of people can say God, they can say Allah, the higher power. They don't get crazy with that, but when you say Jesus–

GOLDBERG: What the problem is with most people, is what I find with what this lady is doing. I don't mind you wishing me a good day. That’s okay. Do not go further than that. If you and I are like, chilling on the bench and you look and say, hey, you look like you could use some help with Jesus. That's a different conversation. In the bank, all I want to hear is, all your money is here, and if it's not there, you're going to Jesus Christ [ muted ]! Where is my money?!

HOSTIN: And Sherri the bottom line is, unfortunately, in history, in our society, people have hidden behind religion to do some really terrible things to other people and to justify the stuff they’re doing to other people.

SHEPHERD: It’s hard being a Christian and Jesus, because we're, you know, as Christians we’re  commanded to go out and tell the good news and if I find that you're down and I want to talk to you about Jesus, you got to, you got to use wisdom.

GOLDBERG: That’s right.

Laura Flint
Laura Flint is a 2014 summer intern for the MRC's News Analysis Division.