‘Chris­tians are the new Jews’

Fol­low­ers of Christ are fair game for PC me­dia

The Washington Times Daily - - CLASSIFIED - By Larry W. Poland Larry Poland spent more than three decades con­sult­ing with ex­ec­u­tives in Hol­ly­wood and New York me­dia on the Chris­tian com­mu­nity as a mar­ket for me­dia prod­uct.

On May 12, Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence spoke on the global per­se­cu­tion of Chris­tians at a con­fer­ence spon­sored by the Billy Gra­ham As­so­ci­a­tion. The geno­cide, mur­der, rape, kid­nap­ping, church burn­ing and tor­ture play­ing out around the world against fol­low­ers of Je­sus was sup­ported with dra­matic sta­tis­tics and anec­dotes. The re­al­ity — as a rabbi from the Si­mon Wiesen­thal Cen­ter de­scribes it — is that “Chris­tians are the new Jews.” Sta­tis­ti­cally, there is more per­se­cu­tion of Chris­tians to­day than of the “cho­sen peo­ple.” What the con­fer­ence did not ad­dress suf­fi­ciently is the grow­ing per­se­cu­tion of Chris­tians in Amer­ica.

In the 1970s, when Bernie Gold­berg was a jour­nal­ist for CBS tele­vi­sion, he was on a con­fer­ence call with other CBS jour­nal­ists and ex­ecs when one of them made a vi­cious ver­bal as­sault on Gary Bauer, then the head of the evan­gel­i­cal Fam­ily Re­search Coun­cil. Not one of the news peo­ple on the call said any­thing in de­fense of Mr. Bauer or re­acted to the at­tack. Mr. Gold­berg noted in his book, “Bias,” how stunned he was that, some­how, it was clearly OK to at­tack an evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tian when, he as­sessed, a sim­i­lar com­ment about a leader of an­other re­li­gious, eth­nic or ide­o­log­i­cal camp would have met with some level of out­rage from those on the call.

Along the way, there have been a num­ber of na­tion­ally rec­og­niz­able ex­plo­sions of ha­tred for be­liev­ers in Christ. More than the deranged in­di­vid­ual mass killers like those at Columbine, Colo., who asked their vic­tims if they were Chris­tians be­fore mur­der­ing the ones who said “yes.” More than the killer who slaugh­tered nine be­liev­ers at a Bi­ble study in Charleston, S.C. There is a grow­ing pat­tern of pub­lic hos­til­ity to Christ fol­low­ers that can­not be ex­plained by in­di­vid­ual men­tal ill­nesses.

I re­mem­ber well — be­cause they were my friends — what singer and Trop­i­cana Orange Juice spokesper­son Anita Bryant and her then hus­band, Bob Green, went through in the late ’70s af­ter she pub­licly fought an anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion de­ci­sion by the City of Mi­ami. Stress from the stalk­ing, death threats, concert bomb threats and such were cred­ited by her hus­band as sig­nif­i­cant fac­tors in de­stroy­ing their mar­riage. Gays who ac­cused Anita of hate and screamed “Nazi” to dis­rupt her con­certs gen­er­ated sub­stan­tial ha­tred of their own.

In 1988, Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures re­jected the pleas of 25,000 be­liev­ers out­side the stu­dio gates not to re­lease Martin Scorcese’s “The Last Temp­ta­tion of Christ,” which — among other blas­phemies — por­trayed Je­sus hav­ing sex with Mary Mag­da­lene. The stu­dio re­leased the movie any­way.

At a San Fran­cisco Gay Pride pa­rade at Easter time a few years ago, gays held a com­pe­ti­tion in which nearly naked Je­sus fig­ures — some car­ry­ing crosses and wear­ing crowns of thorns — danced in per­verse mock­ery of the one who is God and Sav­ior to bil­lions. YouTube chron­i­cled the hate-filled demon­stra­tion.

In 2011, when Time magazine did a cover story on min­is­ter Rob Bell’s book say­ing there is no hell, the edi­tors pulled out a let­ter to the ed­i­tor in the next is­sue and put it in brack­ets to high­light its mes­sage: “We all know that hell would be to spend eter­nity with evan­gel­i­cals.” The com­ment would prob­a­bly not have been high­lighted if it had re­ferred to Jews, Mus­lims, gays or blacks.

In 2012, ABC tele­vi­sion launched a se­ries ti­tled “Good Chris­tian Bitches” with the se­ries art­work show­ing a woman’s cleav­age with a cross pen­dant hang­ing promi­nently in the crease. Feel free to sub­sti­tute an­other group for “Chris­tian” in this se­ries ti­tle to see if it would pass PC muster.

Then this most re­cent TV sea­son, Hulu launched an orig­i­nal se­ries based on Mar­garet At­wood’s dystopian novel, “A Hand­maid’s Tale.” Ab­sent from any of the Hulu pro­mo­tional hype and crit­i­cal raves about the se­ries is that it is clas­sic Christo­pho­bia. In a post-nu­clear holo­caust, an oli­garchy of Chris­tian tel­e­van­ge­lists and other evan­gel­i­cal lead­ers take over the United States. In a na­tion in which most women are left in­fer­tile by the nu­clear fall­out, the “Com­man­der” and his com­rades im­ple­ment a reign of ter­ror in which all fer­tile women are brought at gun­point into monastery­like en­claves. Once there, the “hand­maids” serve as con­cu­bines of the oli­garchs.

In a most vi­cious as­sault on Chris­tian be­liefs, the lead­ers of the new regime quote pas­sages of Scrip­ture to jus­tify their treachery. “Blessed are the meek” de­clares one mother su­pe­rior-type per­son as she zaps an un­co­op­er­a­tive hand­maid in the face with a cat­tle prod or stun gun. The beloved Chris­tian hymn “On­ward Chris­tian Sol­diers” plays in the back­ground as the com­man­ders im­preg­nate a bevy of the maid­ens — an evan­gel­i­cal gang rape — in a monthly “cer­e­mony” to “al­low the women to ex­pe­ri­ence ‘God’s plan for all women,’ the bear­ing of chil­dren.”

The pri­mary story line — hand­maid Of­fred’s pur­suit of her kid­napped daugh­ter by the ma­chine-gun-bear­ing thugs who en­force “tra­di­tional val­ues” — gets lost in the de­pic­tions of the aw­ful hell re­sult­ing from an evan­gel­i­cal­run Amer­ica.

Such a me­dia as­sault as Hulu’s on the faith or val­ues of any other re­li­gious, racial, eth­nic or ide­o­log­i­cal group would be un­think­able to most film and TV pro­duc­ers. But, ap­par­ently, con­ser­va­tive Chris­tians are an ex­cep­tion to the PC po­lice — and fair game. Hulu re­newed the se­ries.

ILLUSTRATION BY HUNTER

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