It seems a long time ago now, but the day that Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik committed his horrible crime was one that few of us will forget. Nor will we forget the aftermath, and how as soon as it became apparent that the man was not a Muslim and not motivated by Islam – a rare event in recent terrorist attacks – the usual attack dogs in mainstream media set about to discredit Christians, pro-lifers, and anybody else who could be caught up in the net of hysteria.
As pro-lifers we know exactly what all this is about. Even though an act of violence by an opponent of abortion is about as common as an objective show about life issues on the CBC, as soon as some extremist does do something physical, we are all blamed. As has been said several times before, there are far, far more abortionists shot on TV detective shows than in real life, and those of us who have attended pro-life demonstrations know from whom the violence comes.
Still, the unhinged Breivik was not a Muslim, he called himself a “cultural Christian,” and this was apparently more than enough. Of course, those of us who take faith seriously know that “cultural Christian” actually means, “only a cultural Christian” or describes a person who is “supportive only of Christian culture.” Thus it should in fact have disqualified the murderer from being called a Christian, but the opposite was the case.
Remember, while many in media are bathed in malice, there are others who are simply ignorant. In the Toronto Star in early August, for example, a reporter named Murray Whyte, wrote the following: “Though most in the Coptic Orthodox community send their children to Catholic school, they are not Catholic themselves. The differences are slight – they use the same liturgies, though Orthodox Christians differ from Roman Catholics in their belief that the Pope is a human being, not a divine figure – which has meant Coptic Orthodox children most often are sent to Catholic school.”
So Catholics think the Pope is not human, but divine. Funny, absurd, annoying, worthy of Monty Python? Yes, but also entirely typical. So the fact that the first major photograph of the Norway killer used by the media showed him dressed as a freemason – and that freemasonry is forbidden within fundamentalist Christianity and Roman Catholicism – was irrelevant. The icon of evil was now, to mainstream media, “a fundamentalist Christian.”
It was then made public that Breivik had written: “Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I’m not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God.” He was also, it seems, pro-abortion, pro-gay, and had not been to church in almost two decades.
But the Timothy McVeigh syndrome was not in full swing. McVeigh was a fascist, racist, hateful madman. He was an atheist who wrote that science was his religion. So what? The media called him a Christian, and all of us today will hear his name and those of his poor victims, many of them pro-life Christians, exploited whenever a debate takes place about Islam, life, terrorism, Christianity, and all matters related.
How different from the treatment of Islam and Muslims, where numerous newspapers, magazines, and television and radio stations officially forbid phrases such as “Islamic terrorism.” Instead, a gang who behead children or rape and murder women are described as “militants.” Not so anybody who can be tenuously or loosely connected to Christianity or the pro-life movement. Thankfully, in Canada we now have Sun News on television, the Sun chain of newspapers, and The National Post, to try to provide some balance. But it’s an uphill struggle. Do not expect any of this to change dramatically in the next few years, but know that more and more people are simply rejecting the agenda of those in positions of influence. Remember the victims in Norway, and remember the victims of truth after the slaughter.
Michael Coren’s new book, Why Catholics Are Right (McClelland & Stewart), is available at stores and at amazon.ca. He can be booked for speeches at michaelcoren.com.