2016 hasn’t been a hot year for discussions of a rhetorical “war on Christmas” in our malls or public schools. Maybe we've tuned out the secular hostility in our culture. We've gone from banning Linus reading from the Gospel of Luke to banning Christmas to banning Santa Claus and now to banning even the thought of a holiday since for others it might not be.
But the deadly truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin gives the phrase “war on Christmas” much more gravity and serves as the latest reminder that the secular media in what used to be called “Western civilization” has shown far too little concern for violent attacks on Christianity, the faith that created Western civilization. This newsroom yawn is inexcusable.
Earlier this year, on March 4, the Associated Press reported “Gunmen in southern Yemen on Friday stormed a retirement home run by a charity established by Mother Teresa, killing 16 people, including four Catholic nuns.” Network coverage? Zero on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox.
Pope Francis was right when he stated that “they were killed by their attackers, but also by the globalization of indifference.”
On August 10, a study released by MRC Culture found ABC, CBS, and NBC mentioned the plight of Christians in Muslim countries in only 60 stories between January 2014 and June 2016 – an average of just one story every two weeks across all three networks. They only called it “genocide” on six occasions, and usually lumped Christians with Yazidis and Shia Muslims as victims, echoing the Obama administration’s reluctance to focus too directly on anti-Christian violence.
On that same day, the State Department released its International Religious Freedom Report, repeating Secretary of State John Kerry’s designation -- finally! -- that ISIS was guilty of “genocide” of Christians (and the others). Still ABC, CBS, and NBC reported nothing. These “news” outlets exploded at Donald Trump saying anything insensitive about vetting Muslims, but they couldn't care less that Christians are being massacred all over the Middle East.
Numbers tell the story. These networks devoted 14 minutes to a 2015 execution of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIS on a Libyan beach. But they offered six times as much attention – more than 88 minutes – to the execution of Harambe the zoo gorilla in June after a child fell into his enclosure in Cincinnati this summer. They obsessed for nearly 93 minutes in 2015 on a Minnesota dentist shooting “Cecil the Lion” on a Zimbabwe hunting trip.
The war on Christmas is now a real security concern. Days before the successful Berlin truck attack, German officials claimed a 12-year-old boy inspired by Islamists tried to set off dual bombs in a backpack near a Christmas market in the southern city of Ludwigshafen. Christmas markets across Europe are on high alert. In New York City, at Times Square and other holiday hotspots, tourists in Santa hats are taking pictures for social media as members of the highly armed NYPD Hercules team have been deployed to intimidate and take down any potential terrorists.
Christians have been called to suffer persecution since the birth of Jesus. What began as a war on Christmas has become a war on Christianity.
Secularists have no moral right to be indifferent to this religious assault, much less treat Islam as the persecuted religion. Christians are deemed sinful if they don't love their fellow man without qualifiers; radical Islamists are deemed holy if they kill you if you're anything but one of them. How many more must be slaughtered for secularists to realize they are fighting the wrong religion?