What do you think would happen if the terms, “Christian” or “Christianity” were mentioned every time a crime was committed in the United States. by an everyday, church going American citizen?  For example, the “Christian Rapist” or the “Christian Bomber” committed this crime today.  I mean, this is what happens when a Muslim or someone from a non-European country who falls outside of the Christian faith commits a crime.

For example, whenever a terroristic act occurs, we frequently hear that the perpetrator was Islamic or a Muslim terrorist or an Islamic extremist.  This is often followed by a litany of well-chosen words designed to instill fear in the listener.  If this treatment was the same in all cases, how do you think Christianity would be viewed?  Might it be viewed in the same vein that Islam is today?  With that in mind, we have to ask ourselves if there a campaign to give Islam a bad name while preserving the name of Christianity?

Let’s face it; a lot of our understanding of our society is largely shaped by television and other mass media.  Our views are framed by what we have been told.  Whether you admit it or not, when you are on the train or on a bus and someone of Middle Eastern descent boards, you instantly feel nervous, especially after 9-11.  If the Middle Easterner has the audacity to be wearing a backpack, he could clear off the entire front row if he just pretends to be even slightly agitated!

Nevertheless, when it is a homegrown terrorist, such as Timothy McVeigh, religion often does not come into play.  Why not?  Timothy McVeigh was labeled a lone devil and Christianity got to maintain its good name even while its members continue to commit egregious crimes and horrible social offenses in the United States on a daily basis.  Somehow, Christianity is never discussed when any crimes occur.  So, when a crime is committed by a good old, Sunday-going Christian, their religious background is simply left out.  We may hear that the offender was “slightly off” or “bored” or “socially disaffected/awkward” or simply “wealthy” with nothing better to do then to construct a bomb and use it in a crowded arena.  The one thing we won’t hear is whether the criminal was Baptist, Catholic etc.  No, we won’t hear that.

Can anybody hear me?

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