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Hannity

Catholics mocked at the Grammys: Is there a religious double standard?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," February 13, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: Another awards show, another controversial performance. And last night at the Grammys it was Nicki Minaj who crossed the line by mocking the Catholic faith.

Now to start off the night, the rapper arrived on the red carpet with a man dressed like the pope, and if that wasn't bad enough, she staged a mock exorcism while performing her, quote, new song titled "Roman Holiday." Take a look.

Joining me now with reaction, Fox News contributor and columnist with the Daily Caller, Deneen Borelli. She has a book out called "Blacklash" in about a month. And from the New York Civil Rights Coalition, the one and only Michael Meyers. Good to see you.

You know, this -- as I was watching, the first thing I thought is, let's just pick another page out of the Madonna handbook and you know, let's go after the Catholic faith, that always seems to work.

DENEEN BORELLI, THE DAILY CALLER: Listen, this is another example of an assault on the Catholic Church. Look who's at the head of this list -- President Obama, with the mandate, you shall or else, then you have this chick, Nicki Minaj, whatever her name is. You know, she is playing to the Hollywood crowd. She's playing to the Hollywood and their anti-Catholic beliefs.

But you know what, we as Americans, we have the choice. You don't have to vote for Obama with his mandate. You don't have to buy her products, because I think she's a representative with Mac products, and she also, you know, endorses other things.

So we have that freedom to choose not to buy her music or her makeup.

HANNITY: It's interesting because they started the show off actually with a prayer for Whitney Houston. It's somewhat ironic as this, you know, the show unfolds last night, what --

MICHAEL MEYERS, NY CIVIL RIGHTS COALITION: Look, it's easy for people who are performers to be outrageous. This performer, her trade is being outrageous. They're imitating Madonna. They're imitating everybody who's a (INAUDIBLE) performer.

And guess what? Hollywood and the Grammys and all these folks in the music industry, they are equal opportunity offenders. They will mock religion. They will ridicule it. They will lampoon it. But as Deneen suggests, the First Amendment not only protects religion and to worship it, it also --

(CROSSTALK)

MEYERS: And to criticize what they do.

HANNITY: I don't support boycotts. I don't support silencing them. But there seems to be a double standard. I wonder, and I was debating this with friends today. What if this was against the Islamic faith --

MEYERS: Oh come on. Hollywood, they train on stereotypes. The Passion of Christ was regarded as anti-Semitic. You have lots of movies, they talk about Arabs. They talk about every minority, Jews, blacks.

BORELLI: It's a huge double standard. You're not going to see music videos of people running around in burqas. I don't think that's going to happen.

HANNITY: Why, because this is interesting. Look, if we look at, for example, conservative women are attacked. I don't see liberal women attacked the same way. Catholics and Christians are often attacked. We've discussed this, both of you, in the past -- African-American conservatives. Any name in the book you can be called.

MEYERS: There's one thing about politics. I'm talking now (INAUDIBLE). I mean, the Book of Mormon to somebody is offense --

(CROSSTALK)

MEYERS: The Book of Mormon is a Broadway play and they laugh at the Mormons. And some people find that to be offensive.

BORELLI: It's a huge double standard. With this issue, it's all for publicity. You know, you make this the most outrageous statements or do the most outrageous acts. We're talking about it now. It was in the news cycle today.

HANNITY: All right, what about the accommodation as it relates to the contraceptive mandate? The president, the White House said, we're done, this issue is over.

First of all it's not over because there will be many legal challenges that they are going to have to face. Secondly, you know, the idea that the president can determine its over because he declares it so when it's no different from what the original mandate was, seems to me to be a little arrogant.

MEYERS: Well, no, when he means over, he means he is over compromising and caving, that's what he means.

HANNITY: He didn't compromise and he didn't cave --

MEYERS: He compromised, believe me.

HANNITY: There was no compromise. Who pays for the insurance? The religious institutions, so they are going to say health care providers are going to give it for free.

MEYERS: From Obama's perspective, they believe they are standing on legal ground. I heard some of the best legal scholars say they're standing on --

HANNITY: On legal grounds, you can mandate that a church compromise their core teachings.

MEYERS: Wait a minute. There was an exemption for churches --

HANNITY: For one year.

MEYERS: That is not true. There is an exemption for churches in terms of -- wait a minute. Let me finish my sentence so you can understand what the exemption is for. The exemption is for the religious community.

HANNITY: But not Catholic universities and Catholic charities.

MEYERS: Not the affiliated universities and hospitals that have employees of different faiths, all faiths and no faiths.

HANNITY: But it's still the church that employs them.

MEYERS: But churches have to obey the law, too!

BORELLI: The mandate --

MEYERS: Minimum wage laws --

HANNITY: -- don't have freedom of religion.

MEYERS: Civil rights laws --

BORELLI: It's not a done issue just because he said so. The issue was still on out there. The fact he went to the levels, Obama, the levels that he went through to push this through, to force this on the Catholic Church, is absolutely outrageous.

And the people don't like that and that is why more and more Americans are speaking out and complaining about the growth of government that is going on in our country. It's absolutely ridiculous.

MEYERS: People can speak up and complain about the government and I do it, as well.

BORELLI: It's an assault on our religion.

MEYERS: I don't like the government. Don't push this argument of freedom of religion too far because people have a right to religion, but people who work for hospitals don't have to practice your religion.

HANNITY: The Catholic Church is paying them. This is the foundation of their faith.

MEYERS: It's an insurance policy. The employer --

HANNITY: The government is mandating that they provide something that is contrary to their conscience.

MEYERS: I keep telling you there's an exemption for --

BORELLI: For one year!

HANNITY: Hospitals and charities.

MEYERS: Not for religious affiliations like colleges and universities and hospitals, no.

HANNITY: But they're still run by Catholics.

MEYERS: People who are -- who have religious people in their employment, for example, clergy and nuns, nobody's forcing them to get contraception.

BORELLI: It's a mandate and people are being forced --

MEYERS: Nobody's forcing the priests and the nuns to have contraception!

HANNITY: Last word.

BORELLI: It's a mandate from President Obama and you know, the people are tired of it. He is wrong on this one.

HANNITY: I bring you back, Mr. Meyers.

Your book is "Blacklash."

MEYERS: No name calling.

BORELLI: Yes.

HANNITY: You might be in it. She probably has a whole chapter on you.

(LAUGHTER)

BORELLI: No, he's not in it.

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