When was the last time you read an op-ed in a famous newspaper talking about the evils of Buddhism? How about a major paper covering the rampant persecution of Christians by Muslims and secularists? We are told about how religion is evil, yet when asked for examples the examples are solely Christian; the Crusades, the Protestant/Catholic wars, and somehow the Holocaust finds its way in there (though it wasn’t a Christian cause). We hardly ever hear about how violent many Hindus are in India, nor do we hear about the multiple religious wars that have been fought around the world where Christianity was hardly involved. Nor do we hear about the exploits of secular societies that attempted to purge religion in violent fashion. Think of what Che Guevara did in Cuba, or Stalin in Russia, or Mao in China. Yet, the moment a Christian leader says something off-kilter, we immediately hear about it all over the news.
Imagine for a second that the Pope called for the eradication of all mosques in Europe. Or imagine that Richard Land or a high-ranking evangelical in America said that we should burn all mosques in America to the ground. Certainly there would be outrage over such a declaration, and such outrage would be justifiable. We can think of how one pastor of a congregation of hardly 100 people threatened to burn the Qur’an, it gained national attention to the point that the President was commenting on it and those in the administration were contacting the man asking him not to do what he was threatening to do.
I must ask, then, where is the national outcry when grand mufti, the biggest spokesperson for Islam, calls for the destruction of all Christian churches in the Arabian peninsula. When former presidential candidate Herman Cain said that Americans had the Constitutional right to ban mosques (they don’t), the nation went into an uproar. When the biggest voice in the Muslim world says that Christian churches should be eradicated in the Middle East, the Western media simply ignores it. Why is this?
One can put forth a few theories as to why:
- The media is deathly afraid of offending Muslims – why are they afraid? Certainly it’s not because they want to be tolerant. The media has no problem offending Christians (example: ABC’s new show Good Christian Bitches) or making jokes about religion in general. Rather, they’re afraid of death threats, rioting, and the like. Yet, they’ll go on to say that Islam is peaceful, but then cower in fear anytime the opportunity arises to criticize the actions or deeds of individual Muslims. However, I’m not quite sure that this is completely the reason.
- The media feels Muslims are the underdog, so why pick on them? Islam is a minority belief in the United States whereas Christianity is the majority belief (statistically). There is something in the mind of most Americans that it’s okay to pick on the majority, but not on the minority; this is why we tend to root for the underdog in sporting competitions. The media might have sympathy towards Muslims since they are the underdog in America. But this theory only goes so far. After all, white supremacists are underdogs as well, but no one shows them any sympathy. The type of Islam that is truly in the minority is the one that oppresses women, shows complete disregard for its own people, and so on, so certainly our journalists would recognize that this type of Islam is in the minority for a reason.
- The media simply has a bias against Christianity. Having been raised in America, they’ve come to hate Christianity or at least be annoyed by it. Thus, some of the more moderate ones simply don’t care enough to look into stories where Christians are suffering because it doesn’t resonate with them; they were hurt by Christians, so how can Christians suffer? Some of the more radical elements look at what is going on in Saudi Arabia and hope for a time where we can do the same thing here.
I could go on, but I think it should be apparent to the casual observer that in most mainstream media presentations, Christianity is viewed as typically in the wrong. We are called to be tolerant of all other religions except Christianity. It’s anti-semitism to say anything about Judaism, it’s “islamophobia” to speak ill against Islam, it’s bigotry to put down Hinduism, it’s anti-intellectual to argue against Buddhism, and it’s irrational to disavow atheism; but it’s perfectly chice and fashionable to bash Christianity. Thus, is it any surprise that the media is ignoring the plight of Christians around the world?
Regardless, and here is the twist, I actually think the media bias is somewhat justifiable. If we Christians take a step back and look at what the world sees, the Christianity they see is not the Christianity that Christ gave to us. What they see are Christians who want to see the world come to Christ via the Republican party. They see Christians who are far more concerned about protecting the wealth of the CEO than giving their own wealth to the orphan. They see a Christianity that is just like any other religion; one that promotes tradition and ritual, but lacks breath and life. The world has grown tired of the Christianity they see, but they haven’t grown tired of Christianity. To quote G.K. Chesterton:
“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried…Men have not got tired of Christianity; they have never found enough Christianity to get tired of.”
What if Christians lived like our forebears did in our infancy? What if we made the main goal of our ministry to help those who cannot help themselves, while only dabbling in politics and the like on the side? What if our actions backed up our words? In short, what if instead of trying to make Christ the president of the nation we made Him king in our own lives? What if instead of trying to reclaim a “Christian nation,” we worked to make ourselves a nation of Christians? Wouldn’t it be more fitting with the Gospel that instead of beating people with Christ, we became Christ to the beaten?
While the media needs to shore up their bias if they wish to be taken seriously, we should understand that we have contributed to this bias. We need to admit we are wrong. Rather than defending our actions, it is best to simply admit that we’ve been wrong in how we’ve approached this culture and to right our actions. The world isn’t anti-religion, they’re anti-Christian, and looking at how we’ve acted who can blame them?