Religion

Christian Radio Hosts Defend Greg Gianforte (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Some Christian radio hosts are defending newly-elected Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana who was accused of body-slamming a reporter, Ben Jacobs, on May 25 (video below).

Sandy Rios stuck up for Gianforte, who was charged with misdemeanor assault, on her American Family Association radio show on May 25, reported Right Wing Watch:

I’m sure Ben Jacobs is probably delighted about what he caused to happen. How do you handle that? The press is so aggressive with you, and rude, which they are. Do you have no rights at all to fight back? I don't know, maybe you should not be knocking them over, if he did that, but what else are you to do.

Rios then recalled how men in old movies used to fight each other (which was scripted and staged):

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I remember when men used to actually settle things between themselves, not killing each other, but just settling. But now, in this culture, if you respond in any way with any kind of anger, that’s a terrible thing...

I'm not saying we should be the wild west, but has something been lost in us becoming maybe over the line in terms of every touch, every glance, every attempt at settling a circumstance is punishable by law? It all sounds very grade school playground-y, doesn't it? The kids that go, "He hit me." That's what [Jacobs] sounded like to me.

Jacobs recorded audio of the incident, which does not include Jacobs asking Gianforte to hit him; several eyewitnesses backed up Jacobs' version of the violent incident.

Rios admitted she did not have all the facts, but added that she was not likely to change her mind. She went on to offer more defense for Gianforte's alleged assault:

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There is a natural anger that comes when someone invades your space and abuses their ability to do what it is they’re doing, they’ve gone across a line. And it seems to me this may have been what happened with Gianforte and this Ben Jacobs. But William, what do you think about men fighting? Do you think that we’ve lost some ability to settle things on our own by having this kind of girly-man response, and this litigation, and calling the police instead of just settling it?

Gianforte's campaign initially accused Jacobs of being the aggressor, but after Gianforte won the special election on May 25, he offered an apology to Jacobs, noted NPR:

[Wednesday] night I made a mistake, and I took an action that I can't take back, and I'm not proud of what happened. I should not have responded in the way that I did, and for that, I'm sorry.

I should not have treated that reporter that way, and for that, I'm sorry, Mr. Ben Jacobs. That's not the person I am, and that's not the way I'll lead in this state.

"Coach" Dave Daubenmire shared Rios' sentiment on his Christian Internet radio show, "Pass The Salt Live," on May 26, notes Right Wing Watch.

"The only thing that is going to save Western civilization is a more aggressive, a more violent Christianity," Daubenmire told his audience.

Daubenmire defended President Donald Trump pushing some world leaders out of the way during a recent visit to NATO headquarters, and then praised Gianforte:

People are sick and tired of it! They’re saying, "Yes, a fighter! Go, dude, go!" That's the times in which we live. I'm telling' you. That's the heart cry. That should be the heart cry of Christian men...

Who won? The dude who took the other dude to the ground. That's who won. Come on folks, open our eyes and see what's going on. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of God has suffered violence and violent men take it by force. Do you understand that Trump was violent against those guys?

Sources: Right Wing Watch (2), NPR / Photo credit:Jim Winstead/Flickr

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