Imagine the roles were reversed. An employee of the Christian conservative Family Research Council goes over to the D.C. Center for the LGBT Community. He shouts, “It’s not you, it’s about the policy!” He shoots a security guard. The FRC leadership expresses remorse, but the media are out for blood. The story is above the fold in the major newspapers. It leads on every network news program. MSNBC runs a banner all day: Christian hate group attempts mayhem against gays. The president goes on camera to deliver remarks on tolerance and goes to the bedside of the wounded LGBT security guard. The hue and cry goes up for FRC to shut its doors. Its “hateful rhetoric” is responsible for the violence, we are told. Sponsors of FRC are targeted for harassment, and groups that donate to FRC are denounced as well. This must end!
It’s entirely believable, because we’ve seen variations on the theme so many times. But of course in reality the FRC security guard was shot, and the incident doesn’t make the front pages of most newspapers. No one would dare hold the LGBT community responsible. And the White House press secretary had a statement from the president, who didn’t publicly speak on the incident itself.
The coverage was bizarre in some instances. Take the local ABC affiliate, which said that some advocacy groups were “casting” it as a hate crime. Umm, didn’t the shooter say it was about FRC’s Christian conservative policies?
Why did the press not swarm the offices of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tagged FRC as a “hate group” and routinely vilifies FRC? Why not query the anti-Chick-Fil-A boycotters? The double standard is jaw-dropping. Those who instantly and falsely attribute violence to tea partyers, Sarah Palin and conservative talk-show hosts refuse to consider the shooter’s motives, even though he announced he was there because of FRC’s policies.
This is in keeping with the media’s lack of interest about the plight of Christians in the Middle East in Arab countries, a phenomenon that is well known, except to “60 Minutes.” The president largely has ignored pleading from religious freedom groups to speak out against atrocities in Arab countries like Egypt.
Moreover, overt anti-Christian bias in the media is still acceptable in a way that anti-gay bias is not. Consider the anti-conservative pundits who opine on the “Christianist takeover” and routinely label Christian conservatives as “bigots,” “fanatics,” and “outside the mainstream.” And Think Progress, the left-wing talking-points manufacturer, is turning itself inside out to insist killing someone for his or her religious-based views is not a hate crime. (You can Google, if you must.)
When the identity of a terrorist is inconvenient, the left plays dumb, pretending for days and weeks, for example, that the motive of Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, who shouted “Allahu Akbar,” was a mystery or guessing that the Times Square bomber who trained in Afghanistan was a housing crisis victim.
To be clear, I don’t blame the LGBT or the anti-religion rhetoric spewing from the left-wing blogosphere for the shooting. And when the motive for murder is explicit we shouldn’t mince words. I do, however, object strenuously to the blatant double standard in blame-assignment and the assumption that Christians can only be perpetrators of hate crimes, never the victims. And for those screaming for “civility,” it would be a good idea to look at their own Web sites and their own rhetoric about people of faith. It’s not a pretty picture.