Everything toxic about the culture we have created was on display Tuesday morning.
Jedidiah Bila, an author and political commentator, returned to “The View” — a show for which she once served as co-host — where she was met with a bombardment of character assassinations carried out by co-hosts Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin, both of whom were quick to categorize Bila as too dangerous for polite society.
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Bila was on the show to discuss her new book, “Dear Hartley,” but that certainly wasn’t the focus of the conversation.
Right out of the gate, Behar mentioned “the elephant in the room, because you were supposed to join us in the studio weeks ago, but you couldn’t, because ABC has a very strict policy,” referring to the fact that “The View” requires everyone in attendance to show proof they are fully inoculated against COVID-19 before allowing them into the building.
Behar then antagonistically asked Bila why she isn’t vaccinated. In response, the 42-year-old TV host, who left Fox News in May of this year, emphasized she is not at all opposed to vaccinations but explained she has a “medical exemption that’s been written by my infectious disease, vaccinated specialist in New York City,” noting it has been co-signed by three other medical doctors.
She went on to say she is “not a candidate for this vaccine” and has “sky high, multi-tier, multi-faceted natural immunity” to COVID-19, claiming the inoculation “poses a greater risk than a benefit” to her as a result.
Bila, who recovered from COVID-19 in spring 2020, added she opposes vaccination mandates and pointed to the fact that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccines — while very effective at reducing the severity of infection — do not necessarily prevent recipients from contracting COVID-19 or transmitting the illness to others.
“Oh, my goodness!” Behar shot back. “That’s not so. C’mon! You have been at Fox TV too long.”
That’s when Hostin — who repeatedly claimed Bila was “a friend” — chimed in, shaking her head scornfully. She told Bila she doesn’t “think we should allow this kind of misinformation on our air.”
“I just don’t know why you choose to prioritize your personal freedom over health and safety of others,” she said. “I just really don’t think we should allow this type of misinformation on our website.”
As Bila tried to respond, Hostin just continued to shake her head dramatically, repeatedly saying, “I’m really sorry, my friend.”
The Tuesday morning segment put on technicolor display just how deeply we have eroded our culture over the last year and a half. The polarization in our society has led people to otherize those with whom they disagree, tethering people’s value to their level of compliance. Contrarian opinions outside the mainstream — even if they are fully acceptable, logical, and sensical — are to be rejected not only as wrong but dangerous.
In this upside down world, Bila has been branded too dangerous for a daytime talk show simply because she is unvaccinated (and can logically explain why). Meanwhile, all kinds of sexually explicit and violent content airs on TV hour after hour, every day of the week. But again, it’s Bila who is too dangerous for society.
As Christians, we ought to entirely reject this siren call to division.
We should follow the countercultural model of Scripture, which says to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19) and to see ourselves and those around us as “remarkably and wondrously made” in God’s image (Psalm 139:14).
The best way to overcome our presiding toxic culture is to reject it in favor of a redemptive, Gospel-centered culture, where we speak truth in love, because without it, we are nothing more than “noisy gongs or clanging cymbals” (1 Corinthians 13:1).
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