A conversation on “The View” about God, Christian nationalism, and guns sparked a Fox News story and a rebuke from at least one of the show’s co-hosts that the resulting article was “dishonest and inaccurate.”
The heated scenario kicked off Wednesday when co-host Sunny Hostin discussed on-air a social media post from gun manufacturer Daniel Defense that she found particularly disturbing (see an archive of the gun company’s controversial tweet here).
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“They are marketing to children and families,” Hostin said, noting that the ad, which featured a young child holding an AR-15 and was reportedly shared just days before the Uvalde shooting, included text from Proverbs 22:6. “I found this so insulting.”
The Old Testament verse reads, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
After Hostin derided the ad and the purported marketing of guns to children, guest co-host Tara Setmayer broke into a discussion about “Christian nationalism.”
“It’s part of the Christian nationalism — this rise in violent Christian nationalism, that we have seen, which is also disturbing. They use biblical principles; they pervert them to justify this,” Setmayer said. “Particularly in Texas, this is a growing movement: It’s God, guns, and Trump. Or God, guns, and whatever. It’s a part of their ethos.”
Those comments spawned the Fox News headline, “The View Co-Host Blames ‘Christian Nationalism’ for Mass Shootings.”
But Setmayer, who is vociferously pushing back against this framing, took to Twitter Thursday to decry the headline and ask for a correction, claiming her comments were specifically about the ad, not mass shootings.
“Correct your headline [and] story. It’s dishonest [and] inaccurate,” she tweeted. “My comments [regarding the] rise in violent Christian nationalism referred to the gun maker’s ad marketing AR-15s [with a] kid [and] using a Bible verse to justify it not ‘blame’ for Uvalde. Big difference.”
Hey @SilversteinUSA @FoxNews— Tara Setmayer 🌻 (@TaraSetmayer) June 2, 2022
Correct your headline & story.
It’s dishonest & inaccurate.
My comments re: rise in violent Christian nationalism referred to the gun maker’s ad marketing AR-15s w/a kid & using a Bible verse to justify it not “blame”for Uvalde. Big difference. pic.twitter.com/H5tR5f01rM
Setmayer then shared a clip from “The View” to contextualize what she said.
“My comments are in the context of the gun maker’s ad featuring a child [and] using a Bible verse,” she said in another tweet. “I never tie violent Christian nationalism to Uvalde.”
Here’s the actual @TheView clip. Starts at 4:15 @SilversteinUSA @FoxNews— Tara Setmayer 🌻 (@TaraSetmayer) June 2, 2022
My comments are in the context of the gun maker’s ad featuring a child & using a Bible verse. I never tie violent Christian nationalism to Uvalde.
Correct this now. https://t.co/ilJAmqMlFC
It should be noted lead co-host Whoopi Goldberg also jumped into the mix, building on Setmayer’s comments to explain her view that some historically used the Bible to justify mistreating black Americans.
“It’s always been this; this was the way it was down south,” she said. “They used to use the Bible and say, ‘You’re not people, God doesn’t see you as people, so we don’t see you as people.'”
The conversation on the ABC talk show comes as the nation grapples with the horrific May 24 school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where a gun-wielding attacker killed 19 children and two teachers.
It also comes as the term “Christian nationalism” frequently emerges in sociopolitical conversations. The relatively new label is oft-times tricky to define and practically apply. This sometimes makes its use in these scenarios problematic, triggering, or ill-suited, depending on the context and understanding, especially when it is interpreted to place blame for violence on Christianity.
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