On March 7 Montréal’s Roman Catholic cathedral, Mary Queen of the World, was attacked by a band of feminist pro-abortionists taking part in International Women’s Day festivities. They screamed obscenities at worshippers, spray-painted anti-Christian slogans on the high altar, ripped hymn books, turned over flowerpots, stuck tampons and sanitary napkins – some soiled – to pictures and walls, and threw condoms and women’s undergarments around the church, as well as apparently stealing two altar cloths. The raiders then burned crosses on the church steps, according to reports in the National Post.

The Post cited a participant saying that the demonstration was organized by local feminist activists who wanted to set a more radical tone to International Women’s Day. This incident was generally ignored by the rest of the mainstream national media. The only other papers that I’ve heard reported this attack and desecration were the Sarnia Observer, the Guelph Mercury, and theMontréal Gazette, which buried the story on Page C9, among classified “adult personals.”

Apparently the Montréal Urban Community police considered the assault to be as much of a non-event as the media did. National Postcolumnist Ian Hunter, a law professor, notes that while these tampon commandos committed at least five serious, criminally indictable offences, the seven persons arrested were merely charged with the minor summary offence of “unlawful assembly” and released on their own recognizance.

Now think about this for a moment. What if a gang of hooligans stormed into a Jewish synagogue, spray-painting anti-Semitic slogans on the walls, or a bunch of thugs entered a mosque and stuck used feminine hygiene products on Islamic holy objects? A flying squad from the Human Rights Commission would be on the spot before you could say “hate crime.” The perpetrators would have been nailed with every criminal charge remotely applicable, and the liberal media would be indulging in paroxysms of righteous indignation on front pages across the country.

However, in this instance, according to Prof. Hunter, a MUC police spokesman said hate crime charges would not be laid because “the elements were not there for charges of that kind.”

Say what? Under section 319 of the Criminal Code it is an offence to communicate statements in a public place inciting hatred against an “identifiable group.” Section 318 (4) defines “identifiable group” as “any section of the public distinguished by … religion.” Prof. Hunter says that the police rationalize that the exemption in s. 319 (3)(b): “in good faith, attempting to establish by argument an opinion on a religious subject” applies. Yeah, right; vandalism and theft are now protected free speech, I guess.

“Where is the outrage?” asked a National Post editorial. Generally speaking, there isn’t any. The fact is that anti-Christian persecution is coming to be considered commendable in Canada, traditional Christianity is perceived, accurately, as being antagonistic to the values of today’s self-styled cultural elites and the mavens of popular low culture alike.

At its very essence, Christianity contradicts the moral orthodoxy of liberal humanism, which has become the de-facto official un-religion of our society. Christianity makes exclusive truth claims, affirms uncomfortable moral absolutes, and preaches the “heresy” that self-denial – rather than self-esteem and the pursuit of worldly pleasure – is the path to salvation. Consequently, anti-Christian bigotry is the one tolerable intolerance under the aegis of political correctness.

Tolerance is extended to everyone except Christians, who are publicly slandered, belittled, ridiculed, and reviled with enthusiastic abandon. Human rights watchdogs are mysteriously transformed into zealous defenders of “free speech and expression” whenever the object of hate speech is Christianity.

“Whoever has not the humble courage to dare to believe [the Gospel], must be offended by it … and at last cannot be contented with less than getting this thing rooted out, annihilated, and trodden in the dust,” wrote Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. And so the battle is joined in the culture wars.

A fellow journalist tells me that if the church “persecutes” women and gays (that is, refuses to accept and affirm the moral adequacy of abortion and homosexualism), then women and gays, in his opinion, have a “moral right” to persecute the church. I applaud his forthright articulation of the generally unspoken liberal ethos.

Liberal modernism, Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc noted, “is indifferent to self-contradiction. It merely affirms. It advances like an animal, counting on strength alone.”

Christendom’s modern adversaries won’t be satisfied until the Church is reduced to an irrelevant, toothless shell. Liberal-humanism will not and cannot tolerate the Gospel, and Christians are mistaken in the notion that they can tolerate a cultural environment dominated by liberal humanism without profoundly compromising their Christian Faith. In Belloc’s words: “We must attempt to destroy [the modern attack on Christianity] as being the fully equipped and ardent enemy of the Faith by which man lives. The duel is to the death.” Charles Moore