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On Tuesday, ABC’s “The View” co-host Tara Setmayer appeared to blame mass shootings on a “rise in violent 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,” she continued. “It’s God, guns and Trump. Or God, guns and whatever. It’s a part of their ethos.”
Setmayer, who serves as a senior advisor for the anti-Republican group the Lincoln Project, was filling in as the guest host in the lone conservative spot on the show.
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg added on to Setmayer’s point, appearing to blame Christians for slavery and racism.
“It’s always been this. This was the way it was down south. 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,” Goldberg said.
“I don’t care NRA. You got to give that gun up. You can have your other ‘ye-ha guns’, whatever you want. The AR-15 is not a hunting gun. It is not a gun where you are going to go out and shoot your dinner,” Goldberg said. “This gun is meant to kill people. That’s what it’s for. And you can’t have it anymore.”
The conversation was sparked when co-host Sunny Hostin criticized Daniel Defense, a gun manufacturer, for a since deleted tweet that featured a child holding an unloaded gun with a biblical verse attached.
The View’s comments reflect a pattern by some in the media to label Christianity as a vehicle for violence and white supremacy. Last month, TIME published an article titled “It’s Time to Stop Giving Christianity a Pass on White Supremacy and Violence.”
Similarly, a LA Times columnist slammed Christians who turned to faith in response to the Uvalde shooting, accusing them of supporting a “return to the kind of faith that allowed brutal enslavement to be the law of the land for centuries.”
President Biden has faced criticism for repeating a false and debunked narrative that the 2nd Amendment did not allow people to own cannons at the time of the United States’ founding.