Will the Oregon Shooting Prompt a ‘National Conversation’ on Anti-Christian Bigotry?

Will the Oregon Shooting Prompt a ‘National Conversation’ on Anti-Christian Bigotry? October 3, 2015

In Oregon, the news quickly emerged that the shooter at the community college located in Roseburg asked his victims what their religious affiliation was before deciding how to shoot them.  If they said they were a Christian, he shot them in the head.  If they were a different affiliation, he shot them in a less lethal body part.  In the end, ten martyrs confessed their faith in Christ.

Imagine for a second, if the shooter had killed only Muslims. Only black people.  Imagine the outcry, the national handwringing, the constant conversations by talking heads about we need to rid the culture of anti-Christian rhetoric and language.

David French writes on National Review:

After all, we’re accustomed to National Conversations after mass murders. The horrific 2011 shooting that left six people dead and one congresswoman wounded in Tucson led to a National Conversation about civility — including the widespread and vicious vilification of Sarah Palin — in the absence of any evidence at all that political rhetoric had anything to do with the murders. The racist massacre of a black Bible-study group in Charleston earlier this year led to an extraordinary, sustained burst of commentary on racism, the South, and the Civil War — not to mention the public cleansing of Confederate symbols, a move that included a planned exhumation of Confederate bones and the toppling of Confederate statues.

If recent history is any guide, in the days following an explicitly anti-Christian hate crime, the National Conversation will be mainly about gun control. The unmistakable rise of a particularly contemptuous brand of discourse directed at Christians will be an afterthought in the face of the “real” issue: America’s failure to confiscate guns like Australia. But if the gunman had asked Muslims to stand before shooting them, what would the conversation look like today? After all, we’re still talking about the brief detention of a young Muslim student who made a clock look like a bomb. Will we talk about anti-Christian bigotry after Roseburg as much as we discussed “Islamophobia” after Ahmed? I doubt it.

Of course, the above examples aren’t intellectually serious examinations of the relevant cultural issues.  They don’t deal with the underlying, cold, hard truth: there are evil people in the world.  David writes:

No rational person believes that the Tea Party caused the Tucson shooting, yet that didn’t stop the Left from spending weeks browbeating the Right over its political rhetoric. No rational person thinks that a flag flying on the South Carolina capitol grounds caused the Charleston murders, but CNN transformed itself into the Confederate News Network in a weeks-long crusade against symbols of the Old South. White supremacists have long since been rightly banished to the fringes of American life, and making them an even fringier fringe will not have any real-world effect. Here’s the cold, hard truth of many, if not most, American mass killings — there is, in this nation of 320 million souls, a certain small number of evil young men who have convinced themselves that the path to greatness lies over the bodies of the innocent. Some of them hate African Americans. Some of them hate Christians. Some of them hate indiscriminately. Finding these young men is like finding a needle in a haystack, and it’s just as hard to deprive them of access to weapons.

In other words, a “national conversation” isn’t going to stop a shooter… but the lack of this conversation shows the flimsy posturing of the previous “dialogues.”  David continues:

I woke up this morning awed by the courage of men and women who stood and affirmed their faith in the face of death itself. Compared to the love and approval of the Creator of the universe, the respect or acknowledgment of the New York Times or the president is meaningless indeed.

Read more on the Patheos Faith and Family Channel, follow Nancy on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Browse Our Archives