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Candace Cameron Bure Defends Public Right To Pray on 'The View': 'The Power of Prayer Would Make a Difference in This Country'

( [email protected] ) Oct 20, 2015 12:55 PM EDT
Former "Full House" actress Candace Cameron Bure defended the right of Americans to voluntarily pray in public during a recent episode of "The View" and asserted that there would be a "great difference" in the United States if people would "put more effort into prayer than to fight prayer."
Actress Candace Cameron Bure appears alongside Raven-Symone during a July episode of ABC daytime talk show "The View" YouTube/ScreenGrab

Former "Full House" actress Candace Cameron Bure defended the right of Americans to voluntarily pray in public during a recent episode of "The View" and asserted that there would be a "great difference" in the United States if people would "put more effort into prayer than to fight prayer."

On Monday, the women of the ABC daytime talk show were discussing the story about a high school football coach who recently defied a lawsuit threat demanding he stop praying on the field after games.

According to Fox News, the coach, Joe Kennedy, is claiming the post-game prayer session is not mandatory and is therefore protected free speech under the First Amendment: "I'm going to be bold in my faith, and fight the good fight," he said.

"The separation of church and state does not mean that we cannot pray publicly," Bure said on Monday. "It actually guarantees our free exercise of religion so that if it is voluntary, we are allowed to pray wherever we would like to."

Another co-host on "The View", Raven Symone, immediately took issue with this statement, asking Bure, "So why did they take prayer out of the beginning of school and now it's just silence?"

"I don't know, I wish they wouldn't have," Bure responded.

"But that's not fair to somebody who doesn't pray," Symone, who has previously outed herself as a lesbian to legendary daytime show host Oprah Winfrey in 2014, added.

"You don't have to - it's voluntary," Bure said. "If people would actually put more effort into prayer than to fight prayer, you would see a whole difference in this country to see that power of prayer."

Bure proceeded to praise the football coach for holding to his beliefs and said schools need to hire "more men like this who are willing to pray for our students, for our athletes, for protection, for safety."

This is not the first time Bure and Symone have publicly sparred on "The View." In July, the two disagreed on whether the Christian owners of Sweet Cakes Bakery in Oregon violated any anti-discrimination laws by refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

"The Oregon law bars businesses from discriminating against sexual orientation, race, disability, age or religion, and to me, it's the same exact thing that they did back in the day saying that black people couldn't do certain things because it's my 'religious belief,'" Symone said.

Bure contended that Symone was "comparing apples to oranges" in this case. "I don't think this is discrimination at all. This is about freedom of association," she said. "It's about constitutional rights. It's about First Amendment rights. We do still have the right to still choose who we associate with." 

"I refuse to associate with you right now," Symone heatedly responded.

In August, a source told Page Six that Bure, who is also a "Dancing With the Stars" alum, was hired in an attempt to feature a "controversial conservative" personality, similar to that former co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who left "The View" in 2013 for a position at Fox News.

According to E! News, Bure took to Facebook shortly after joining "The View" to ask her fans to show her some support and give her encouragement as she is often criticized by "nasty" liberal viewers.

"Please encourage me if you watch the show. Please tag The View on your social media outlets if you have anything kind to say about me or my viewpoint," she wrote.

"The majority of the feedback I get from "The View" audience is from liberals (whom I love) but are mean, hateful and downright nasty toward me. It's incredibly disheartening to read." She added, And while I know I have the support of many, most of those supporters don't vocalize it on social media," she added.

"So all I read and "The View" hears are the negative and discouraging comments I'm tagged to that call me a vile, disgusting, worthless and bigoted human being."

The mother-of-three asked her friends and followers on Facebook to "speak up" if they agree with her opinions and viewpoints on the show. "Don't do what many often do on voting day...not show up," she ended her post. "Be a voice-if not for me, but for a show like this so they can hear more than one point of View! If we don't speak up, they'll never know."