Barbara Walters Hails 'Very Important' Separation of Church and State, Questions Swearing in on a Bible

 An irritated Barbara Walters on Thursday touted the importance of the separation of church and state. The View hosts discussed a new ad by Democratic Senator Mark Pryor, under fire for supporting ObamaCare, in which he labeled himself a Bible-believing Christian. Walters declared, "The basic tenet in America is the separation. And it's very important. And it's very important, the separation of church and state." Of course, "separation of church and state" is nowhere in the Constitution. Walters didn't mention this.

She added, "We talk about the separation between church and state and almost every president ends up saying so help me God." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Walters recounted, "Now, most presidents swear on a Bible before taking office, even though we have the separation between church and state."

In the ad, Pryor, who has supported ObamaCare, amnesty, abortion and has a lifetime American Conservative Union score of 18, asserted:

MARK PRYOR: I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God and I believe in his word. The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does and neither political party is always right. This is my compass [holds up Bible], my north star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas. I'm Mark Pryor and I approve this message because this is who I am and what I believe.

Whoopi Goldberg introduced the segment bye incorrectly stating, "Mark Pryor wanted to let his constituents know he was sorry he voted for ObamaCare and some think he went too far to make this point."

Pryor has not apologized for voting for ObamaCare.

A transcript of the December 5 segment is below:


11:15

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: You know, there's an Arkansas senator, Mark Pryor wanted to let his constituents know he was sorry he voted for ObamaCare and some think he went too far to make this point. Take a look.

MARK PRYOR: I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God and I believe in his word. The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers. Only God does and neither political party is always right. This is my compass [holds up Bible], my north star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what's best for Arkansas. I'm Mark Pryor and I approve this message because this is who I am and what I believe.

JENNY MCCARTHY: Well, guess what, I don't believe him.

JANE SEYMOUR: I think it's really unfortunate when you have to bring religion into politics. I think religion is a very personal thing, a very personal thing.

BARBARA WALTERS: That is very true but it starts almost with the oath of office which usually ends with "so help me God." Now, most presidents swear on a Bible before taking office, even though we have the separation between church and state. You see it again and again. You don't have to use a Bible. I made some notes. Teddy Roosevelt didn't. John Quincy Adams swore on a law book and Lyndon Johnson took the oath on a book he thought was the Bible. We don't know what the book was.

GOLDBERG: Well, remember where he was. Remember he was on Air Force One when he took the oath of office that time. So they took whatever they could find to swear him in.

SHERRI SHEPHERD: I like –

WALTERS: We talk about the separation between church and state and almost every president ends up saying so help me God.

SHEPHERD: The one thing that I disagree with him because I think you can find something in the Bible that will support your belief anyway, because for me I believe the Bible says you should be trying to care for people and help people and fishes and loafs. But I like where he stands

-- I know where he stands. If he's making– I can't be mad at him if I vote him in and he votes against something that don't believe in because he already -- he's on there with that Bible.

GOLDBERG: I don't think he's saying that he's sorry that he voted for Obama.

SHEPHERD: Did he say that he was sorry he refused ObamaCare?

GOLDBERG: No, he said – I believe that's what we were told but I don't remember hearing him say --

SHEPHERD: He didn't say it. He refused ObamaCare then the commercial came up with him with the Bible.

GOLDBERG: Is that what he said? He refused it?

SHEPHERD: He was saying he refused ObamaCare

GOLDBERG: I missed that. I'm sorry.

MCCARTHY: I just don't believe him. The only good thing I can say is it's a much better commercial than the other politicians just ragging on each other. That's the only good thing in it but I still think it's not authentic.

SHEPHERD: Governor Sanford was too. He quoted scripture and he found his soul mate, she wasn't his wife.

SEYMOUR: I just wish we could, you know, open our hearts to all of this. You know? And realize we're the melting pot of the world here in America and people have a lot of different cultural beliefs you know, when you become an American, which I very proudly did become, that you also accept a lot of cultures.

...

WALTERS: The basic tenet in America is the separation. And it's very important. And it's very important, the separation of church and state.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org