NASHVILLE, Tenn. A prominent conservative group is asking Christians to contact ABC and request an apology and a reprimand after "The View" co-host Rosie O'Donnell compared "radical Christianity" to "radical Islam" during the Sept. 12 program.
"O'Donnell was saying there is no difference between the radical Muslims who kill in the name of Allah and Bible believing Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus," a statement from the American Family Association says. "Neither O'Donnell nor ABC apologized for the comments. Had she made similar comments about minorities or homosexuals, there would have been an apology and she would have probably been fired.
AFA concluded that the "message from ABC is that bashing Christians is acceptable, even comparing them with murderers who kill in the name of Allah." The organization asked conservatives to e-mail "ABC asking for an apology and a reprimand."
O'Donnell, who joined "The View" this season, was discussing President Bush's address to the nation delivered on the fifth anniversary of 9/11.
"We were attacked not by a nation," she said. "And as a result of the attack and the killing of nearly 3,000 innocent people we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries."
Moments later she added: "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state. We're a democracy."
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, another co-host on the program and a Republican, responded, "We're not bombing ourselves here."
O'Donnell retorted, "But we are bombing innocent people in other countries. True or false?"
Another co-host on the program, Joy Behar, then said, "But Christians are not threatening to kill us.... There's a difference."
O'Donnell's comments sparked a strong reaction from conservatives on Internet weblogs, radio and television.
"Apparently Rosie believes that the federal government is a branch of 'radical Christianity,'" Scott Whitlock of Newsbusters.org wrote. "... [H]as she never heard of World War II and the innocent civilians that unfortunately died in the struggle against Nazism? Was that war wrong? ... [P]erhaps Ms. O'Donnell is unaware of exactly where the Taliban trained and plotted."
On MSNBC's "Scarborough Country" Sept. 14, two hosts defended O'Donnell's comments by labeling abortion clinic bombers as "radical Christians." But host Joe Scarborough said the last abortion bombing was in the 1990s.
"[W]e're talking about Rosie O'Donnell saying that Christian extremists are as much a danger as Islamic extremists, and The New York Times just reported a few months ago that Muslim radicals killed on average 110 civilians every day, on average, in Iraq," he said. "That's 110 people killed every day not by American bombs but by Muslim extremists. And if you add up all of the people that have been killed by Muslim extremists through the years ... there's no proportionality."