Sarah Stites is a writer and research analyst for MRC Culture.
As a writer and research analyst for MRC Culture, Sarah Stites reports on faith, entertainment and LGBT issues. Ever since ADF represented her in a religious liberty case, she has been passionate about defending first amendment freedoms. Prior to MRC, she interned at the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Management Partners.
Latest from Sarah Stites
On Wednesday, Filipino soldiers discovered seventeen bodies of civilians – five of them reportedly decapitated -- the latest in a string of casualties in the embattled town of Marawi. But the nets didn’t report the news; in fact, although the ISIS-inspired terrorism gripping Marawi – and targeted especially at Christians – began five weeks ago, the network news shows have spent a total of only 25 seconds on the ongoing conflict there.
Joy Behar may not understand the ins and outs of the legal battles surrounding gay wedding cakes, but the host certainly claimed to know how Jesus would handle such situations. On Friday, The View co-hosts welcomed Colorado baker Jack Phillips and Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner to discuss their case, which the Supreme Court will hear next term.
It's been a tumultuous year for Maddi Runkles, the pregnant Christian teen who became a news sensation when her high school wouldn't let her walk at graduation. On Friday, ABC Nightline highlighted Runkles' story which culminated in a special commencement ceremony arranged by her pastor and family.
Discrimination or religious liberty? That was what ABC’s The View was trying to decide about an upcoming Supreme Court case involving a Christian baker’s refusal to participate in gay weddings. The debate resulted in a comment that was strange even for The View.
While feminist media continue to lament the so-called “war on women” in America, the real war is happening abroad – especially in ISIS-controlled regions of the Middle East. In one of the most horrific examples of the terrorist group’s violence yet, a starving Yazidi woman was held captive without food for three days, before being offered a plate of rice and meat. After consuming the meal, she was informed that had just eaten the flesh of her one-year-old son, who had also been captured by the militants.
It’s been one year since the Lebanese Christian village of Qaa was targeted by eight ISIS suicide bombers – an atrocity that killed five and wounded 32. Had this horror happened in the west, it would have garnered copious media coverage. But the American network news shows didn’t mention it.
History repeats itself. And, today, it’s playing out in the “parallels” between the Middle East and Armenian Genocides. According to one former U.S. ambassador to Armenia, the ISIS genocide against Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East is strikingly similar to that which Armenians faced over a century ago.
For the first time, the GOP is evenly split when it comes to support for same-sex marriage. According to a recently released Pew Research Center report, 47 percent of Republicans now support gay marriage, while 48 percent do not. This is a significant shift from 2013, when nearly two thirds of Republicans opposed it. While the exact reasons are unclear, the American news and entertainment media have long and aggressively promoted same-sex unions.
In recent months, Hindu radicals have escalated violence against religious minorities in India, but the network news shows aren’t talking about it. According to advocacy group Open Doors, India is number 15 on the 2017 World Watch List – a compilation of countries with the highest anti-Christian persecution. In April 2017 alone, Open Doors saw 68 instances of persecution against the faithful, including two children. One third of those incidents involved physical beatings.
For two Nigerian girls, tragedy spurred a desire to impact the world for good. Joy Bishara and Lydia Pogu—abducted by terrorist group Boko Haram in April 2014—just graduated from Oregon’s Canyonville Christian Academy. From the bright smiles on their faces as they proudly displayed their diplomas, you’d never know the trauma they had overcome to get to that point.
While many liberal media outlets and activists push an abortion-without-apology perspective, nearly all promote the view that abortion is justified in cases of sexual violence. Thus, it was refreshing when Washington Post reporter Danielle Paquette took a pro-life tone in her report of the stories of young men and women born through the tragedy of rape.
It’s mid-way through Pride Month, a celebration of LGBT rights, but broadcast networks -- no strangers to condemning Russia -- are largely ignoring major human rights abuses against Chechnya’s gay community. This, while in 2014, NBC made 26 mentions of Russia’s anti-gay legislation.
During a promotional tour for her new memoir – Chasing Grace – Christian sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross shared a sobering fact: every female track athlete she knows has had an abortion.
Katy Perry is “woke” now. Or at least, she’s trying to be. The pop star-turned-social activist is as progressive as they come, yet even she has faced the difficulties of trying to be enlightened in this politically correct age.
The LGBT community is anything but monolithic—after all, its symbol is the rainbow. But when it comes to political ideology, Republicans often feel left out. While June is technically Pride Month, this year’s celebrations have focused more on resistance. And that, as NPR digital news intern Christianna Silva pointed out, has alienated many Trump supporters and right-leaning LGBT folks.
Marawi, a predominantly Muslim stronghold on the heavily Catholic island of Mindanao, has been racked by ISIS-inspired terrorism and violence since May 23. Yet, in the three weeks since that date, the big three networks have spent a mere 25 seconds discussing the conflict on-air.
Now that the school year is over, Melania and Barron Trump have officially moved into the White House. Unsurprisingly, several media people were quick to assume an unhappy family reunion. On the evening of June 11, Mrs. Trump tweeted her anticipation of the days she will spend at the presidential mansion. “Looking forward to the memories we’ll make in our new home,” she wrote, along with the hashtag “#MovingDay.”
According to the BBC, the past two weeks have been bloody ones in the ISIS-controlled city. Although Iraqi forces have been able to recapture Mosul’s eastern section, nearly 1,000 ISIS militants and 100,000 civilians remain in the west. While attempting escape, many of the latter have been shot down and used as human shields by ISIS snipers. Since May 26, 231 civilians were murdered in what the UN called a “significant escalation of such killings.” 204 of those individuals were killed within a span of three days.
According to one of the federal prosecutors handling the case, three doctors involved in Michigan’s female genital mutilation (FGM) ring may have performed the procedure on as many as one hundred young girls in the Detroit area in the past twelve years. Despite this alarming report published June 7 by Detroit News, the big three broadcast networks remained silent. When the news of the practice first broke in April, ABC, CBS, NBC network shows said nothing. The top two Spanish-language networks, Telemundo and Univision, were also quiet. Now, as the scale of the crime amplifies, the silence is all the more deafening.
Ever since former FBI director James Comey became inextricably linked with the 2016 election, celebrities have been spellbound by him. They’ve loved, hated, sympathized with and berated him. But during the congressional hearings that took place Thursday morning, nearly all were on Comey’s side.