We read and hear a great deal about the violence of pro-life fanaticsso much that if we didn't know better we might conclude this is normal behavior for Christians. Of course, that's absurd. Almost all Christians condemn such behavior. But what about when pro-life activists are the victims of violence? Can you even remember reading about an instance of that? Two men, Fred Hart and Jim Dawson, were peacefully protesting the Family Health Care Clinic in Little Rock, Arkansas, in May 2001. Two women drove by shouting obscenities from their vehicle. One emerged from the truck, grabbed Hart's sign and began running. When she tripped and fell, Hart reached down to retrieve the sign and she allegedly stabbed him in the side with a knife. The lady's story was that during a discussion over abortion Hart "threw her to the ground" and somehow got cut in the process. Fortunately for Hart, his fellow protestor Jim Dawson videotaped the event. But weeks after Dawson turned the video over to police, the investigation was still open. Some believe that if this had involved a pro-lifer stabbing a pro-abortionist, the media would have spread it all over the front page. Laura Echevarria of the National Right to Life Committee says the media's lack of interest in the story is indicative of their bias against abortion foes. "It's not surprising," she said. "There have been many instances where our affiliates and other individual pro-lifers have had death threats and bomb threats, and the media don't cover that."
And where was the media outrage when middle-aged Chicago churchgoer Mary Stachowicz was allegedly killed by her nineteenyear-old homosexual coworker, Nicholas Gutierrez? Chicago police said Gutierrez confessed to killing Stachowicz in his apartment after she questioned him about his lifestyle. She asked, "Why do you have sex with boys instead of girls?" This allegedly prompted Gutierrezaccording to a state's attorney-to punch, kick, and stab her until he got tired, at which point he put a plastic garbage bag over her head and strangled her. Next he crammed her body into a crawlspace under his apartment floor. As columnist Rod Dreher aptly noted, there was no moral difference between this act and the murder of homosexual Matthew Shepard by three rednecks.
Yet the media went wild over the Shepard murder and virtually ignored that of Stachowicz, just as they did that of Jesse Dirkhising, the thirteen-year-old boy who was raped and murdered by homosexuals in Benton County, Arkansas, in 1999. Dirkhising's attackers drugged him, strapped him to a bed, gagged him with his own underwear, repeatedly sodomized him, and then tortured and strangled him. Following the mayhem, one of the murderers left the bedroom to eat a sandwich, and by the time he returned, Dirkhising had died. The murderers were living together in an apartment that "reeked of excrement and was littered with drug paraphernalia and residue." But this murder didn't fit the politically correct formula and was virtually ignored-only forty-six stories in all. But when Shepard was murdered in 1998, the media shamelessly exploited the tragedy, using it to advance their agenda. The media published more than three thousand stories, including forty-five in the New York Times and twenty-eight in the Washington Post. The case became a driving force for homosexual rights, hate crime legislation, and antiChristian feelings.
Journalist Andrew Sullivan, a self-professed homosexual, analyzed the media's contrasting treatments of the Shepard and Dirkhising cases in an article for the New Republic. I quote at length:
Difficult as it may be to admit, some of the gay-baiting right's argument about media bias holds up You might argue that the Shepard murder was a trend story, highlighting the prevalence of anti-gay hate crimes. But murders like Shepard's are extremely rare... the murders of Shepard and Dirkhising are both extremely rare, and neither says much that can be generalized to the wider world. So why the obsession with Shepard and the indifference with regard to Dirkhising? The answer is politics. The Shepard case was hyped for political reasons: to build support for inclusion of homosexuals in a federal hate crimes law. The Dirkhising case was ignored for political reasons: squeamishness about reporting a story that could feed anti-gay prejudice, and the lack of any pending interest-group legislation to hang a story on."
The media also didn't draw lasting attention to the 1997 murder of ten-year-old Jeffrey Curley in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One of the two men convicted of the murder and now serving life sentences testified that he was incited to molest and kill the boy based on literature put out by the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) that he accessed on his computer. Jeffrey Curley's father sued NAMBLA in federal court for $200 million.
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