It’s the reason for the season, so naturally, attacks on Christianity tend to pick up around this time of year. The mocking and sacrilege gets a bit more pointed in the media. The sneering contempt from entertainers and lefty activists gets a bit thicker.
But insulting Christians is a year-round sport, like bowling. Unlike bowling, you’ll find all the best people doing it, from the New Yorker to Comedy Central, from CNN to Hollywood. Whether it’s a “beef baby Jesus,” “climate change Christmas carols” or simply slandering core beliefs as “bigotry,” media liberals haven’t held back when it comes to Christians this year.
Unless there was serious or good news to report. Then there was mostly silence.
If you didn’t know anything about Christianity and its place in American culture and history, and had to learn it from the mainstream and entertainment media in 2014, what would your takeaways be? These would probably be your top five:
1. Christians Shouldn’t Be Seen or Heard
In 2014, the media did their mightiest to censor Christians both here and abroad. While ABC, NBC and CBS placed ISIS in headlines, the three broadcast networks turned a blind eye towards the terrorist group’s “convert or die” oppression of Christians abroad. Hosts stayed mum even as nuns who aided Middle East Christians slammed the media for refusing to report on Christian torture and rape of “misused” girls as young as five-years-old.
Across the Middle East, some of the oldest Christian communities in the world have been wiped out at the hands of Islamists, while Muslim extremists have killed and kidnapped Christians across Africa.
While far less destructive, censorship of Christianity in the Unites States also erupted. Disney.com deemed the word ‘God’ a profanity while a California charter school banned Christian books from its library.
Fox and smaller media outlets covered those stories – but where were they in the mainstream? And where were they when the openly lesbian mayor of Houston subpoenaed the sermons of five city pastors to make sure they weren’t speaking against a newly passed transgender rights bill? Silence.
2. Christians Make for the Best Jokes
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Christians – according to the media. Just in time for Christmas, Comedy Central created a “beef baby Jesus” made out of meat, feces and semen. “Don't forget to wrap that beef baby in swaddling clothes, before laying him in a manger,” said host “Tosh.0” host Daniel Tosh.
For his part, comedian Stephen Colbert played a prank at Comic-con this year where he told the story of a banana’s crucifixion. He explained how “all of mankind is saved by the banana.”
Comedian Seth Meyers got straight to the point by joking that Catholics are “creepy perverts.”
Then there was the fall finale of “Family Guy” entitled” “The 2000 Year-Old Virgin.” In the episode, Peter set out to find Jesus a woman after Jesus reveals he’s a virgin. (Or, in other words, after Jesus awkwardly describes his favorite women as "hot ladies, horny ones who … sex on you … yeah you know they come over to your house and sit on your…butt.”)
Meanwhile, The New Yorker won points for creativity by rewriting “Silent Night” into a “climate-change Christmas carol” about cannibalism, while a CNN host compared the Islamic creed “some terrorists use” to the Lord’s Prayer.
Oh wait, that last one wasn’t a joke…
3. Christianity Is Synonymous with Hate
CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield really did equate the Lord’s Prayer with the Islamic creed, and did so in discussing the terrorist siege in Sydney, Australia. Because so many Christians recite the Prayer before they kill innocents.
Banfield isn’t alone in equating Christianity with violence. Ironically published just as Islamist terror attacks were rocking Canada in October, a USA Today column by Mary Zeiss Stange warned “Beware the Christian Extremists.” Christian “religious extremism taken to potentially lethal ends” is really the “primary threat to homeland security.” There is a “pervasive reality of hate-based Christian extremism,” that is ignored because “It is easier, after all, to blame the un-American other.”
According to Washington Post columnist Sally Quinn, Christians spew the most “hateful internet speech.” Her proof? She explored a white-supremacist site and comments on her articles to conclusde that Christian “haters” “need a place to unleash their dark sides.”
Christians were to blame for the world’s problems, according to MSNBC – like terrorism and the oppression of women (Fox’s “The Five” called the network out). An ESPN writer on CNN expanded the Christian blame to include the judging of gays, while an ACLU member went as far as tell media that Christians are just as extreme as ISIS.
In contrast, media criticism for gay group lists of “extremist” Christians leading to death threats wasn’t as popular for journalists to report (surprise, surprise).
4. Christian Families Are Bright Red Targets
When the media look at Christian families in entertainment, they see a bullseye. When 21-year-old Jessa Duggar, whose family stars in TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” went public with her pro-life stance on Instagram, Cosmo (a magazine that boasts about being for women) lambasted Duggar for her “radical,” “deranged” and “extreme” views.
The socially conservative Duggar family also encountered a petition battle after mom Michelle Duggar spoke out against transgender men entering girls’ bathrooms. They won – and the poor-loser media responded by accusing the family of “stabbing gays” with “daggers."
5. Christian Businesses Are Fair Game, Too
While the media accused Christians of hate, they themselves hated – and no better case exemplified their contempt for Christian businesses than Hobby Lobby.
The craft store’s refusal to provide free contraception and abortifacients to employees sparked outrage from Al Jazeera columnist Paul Roseberg who called the Hobby Lobby fight a “religious civil war” with female “slavery” in a piece for Salon. A Washington Post columnist compared Hobby Lobby supporters to “segregationists” on MSNBC while a New Yorker staff writer compared Hobby Lobby to a “Taliban” corporation.
As if that wasn’t enough, the media, including The Washington Post, hyped Hobby Lobby hijinks by activists as a trend.
The media called out other Christian businesses, such as those who refused to take gay wedding photos, for “bigotry,” as MSNBC did. Since 2013, the networks have ignored the gay rights movement’s growing threat to Christian businesses.