The same-sex “marriage” controversy is once again heating up newspaper columns. And once again, some in the liberal press are mocking people of faith. Columnists have led the charge, for it would seem that on the whole, editors show more restraint.

A recent striking example was an attack piece written by Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette published on August 5. To be sure, this column was aimed at skewering Prime Minister Harper more than anyone else for his failure to attend the First World Outgames and by his willingness to open the same-sex “marriage” question by allowing a free vote this fall. But, along the way, Todd makes it clear that he is an equal opportunity insulter. And conservatives of any stripe -Christians in particular – find themselves vilified by the former Vietnam war deserter, who has become a darling of the Montreal press.

What stands out in the piece by Todd is his insulting, patronizing and morally superior tone. Nowhere does he even attempt to deal with the issue behind same-sex “marriage.” Rather, his intent is to slander and skewer people who still hold to moral categories different from his own. He states at one point, “If this were my planet to run as I chose, then Tories, Republicans and right-wing born-again Christians would be forbidden to marry and spawn children. If such edicts were put into place, this would be a much better world in a generation or two. But as much as I would like to see this Earth freed of the yoke of greedy, narrow-minded, religious hypocrites, I will always defend their right to marry just like normal people.” Later on in the article, Todd slanders Christian conservatives in the United States by cleverly speaking of “the mullahs of the Christian right”. Well-known Jewish columnist Denis Prager rightly says, “The liberal world fears – and much of it loathes – fundamentalist Christians …”

In my view, this article by Todd is a new low in the slander and attack on Christians. To those tempted to excuse Todd by saying he was writing “tongue in cheek,” I say: look again. Hate speech written “tongue in cheek” is still hate speech. If someone were to write, “I believe that Jews should be forbidden to marry and spawn children,” that journalist would be hauled up before a human rights tribunal on a charge of hate. If someone were to write the same of Islamic people because of their opposition to same-sex “marriage,” that writer would also be rightly accused of hate speech. Todd cannot be accused of anti-Semitism, or of Islamophobia, but he has certainly crossed the line and identified himself as Christophobic.

I am mindful that some reading this column will think that I am overreacting to the idle words of an over-enthused journalist who has a bee in his bonnet about seeing gays and lesbians legally married. However, it is crucial to see that Hitler’s anti-Semitism in Germany began in small ways and was carried out incrementally over a period of years. The hatred began with words, but over time led to action. Near the beginning, swimming pools and restaurants had signs that said, “No dogs and Jews allowed.” Rights and privileges that Jews enjoyed were systematically stripped away. They were insulted in the press, vilified, called all manner of names and falsely accused of monstrous things. Do we really think it wise that in Canada at this time, Christians should be slandered and insulted merely for holding true to the 2,000-year-old faith that has been bequeathed to them? When all is said and done, Jesus affirmed and confirmed marriage between a man and a woman, but never between two persons of the same sex.

Now, let’s be clear that in no way do I believe that Canadian Christians are near to experiencing the persecution that the Nazis perpetuated upon the Jews. Nevertheless, it is prudent to remember history. And it is of signal importance to appreciate that hatred expressed through words will sooner or later find expression in action if it is not challenged.
Journalists who slander and defame Christians should be challenged. Believers should expose Christophobia by letters to the editor. Such letters should be written with humility and gentleness, but with firmness.

There are those who would delight to affix yellow badges on Christians if they could. But we must never allow the culture to come close to that. So let us defend truth now. Let us resist now, while there is yet sufficient time. Even “tongue in cheek” hate talk is too dangerous to ignore.