by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading black pro-life advocate wants former NBA star Charles Barkley to apologize for calling people who oppose abortion "fake Christians." Barkley made the comments on Friday in an interview with CNN’s The Situation Room news show and also referred to pro-life advocates as "hypocritical."
During the interview, Barkley endorsed pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and said he has problems with those who oppose abortion.
"I’m going to vote Democratic. I hope it’s my guy, Barack. But I’m going to vote Democratic either way, because I don’t like what the Republicans have done to our country," he said.
Barkley eventually said, "Every time I hear the word ‘conservative,’ it makes me sick to my stomach, because they’re really just fake Christians, as I call them. That’s all they are."
Wolf Blitzer asked Barkley to explain the term and Barkley condemned them for wanting to be "judge and jury."
"I’m pro-choice. And I think these Christians — first of all, they’re supposed to be — they’re not supposed to judge other people. But they’re the most hypocritical judge of people we have in this country. And it bugs the hell out of me," Barkley replied.
"They act like their Christians. And they’re not forgiving at all," he added.
"I feel very comfortable saying I’m pro-choice," Barkley added later in the interview.
Conservative radio talk show host Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson told LifeNews.com he’s calling on Barkley to apologize for his "bigoted" remarks. If not, Peterson promises to put pressure on TNT to fire him as a basketball analyst.
"If a white conservative Republican commentator called liberal Christians who support Obama and Hillary ‘fake Christians’ he would be publicly repudiated by the liberal press," Peterson said.
"Barkley is getting a pass because he’s a black liberal Democrat attacking Christian conservatives," Peterson explained. "The man is a bigot and has no moral character. He should apologize for his remarks."
Peterson said the press has ganged up on pro-life officials who have made insensitive remarks and now has a double standard when it comes to Barkley.
"So, where’s the demand for an apology and suspension of Barkley for his offensive comments about Christian conservatives?" asked Rev. Peterson.
During the interview, even CNN anchorman Wolf Blitzer realized Barkley was going too far.
"But you can’t lump all these conservatives as being fake. A lot of them obviously — most of them are very, very sincere in their religious beliefs," he said.
"Well, they should read the part about they’re not supposed to judge other people. They forget that one when it doesn’t fit what they want it to say," Barkley responded.
Asked about pressure from pro-life advocates over his remarks, Barkley dismissed any concern.
"They can’t do anything to me. I don’t work for them," he said.