Anti-Christian Bias?

Baptist I.D. Shows Anti-Christian Bias


An October 6th story by the Associated Press provided a small, odd but disturbing and undeniable illustration of the bitter anti-religious bias that’s become too typical of the mainstream media. The story’s lead paragraph proclaimed: “ALEXANDRIA, La – A 63-year-old Baptist deacon shot five people in a law office here on Thursday, killing two, before being killed by police officers early Friday...”

Later in the article we discover the name of the shooter (John Ashley) and that “anger over a divorce settlement may have prompted the shooting.” We also learn that the killer was a “retired city maintenance worker” who had given no signs of violent behavior before his rampage.

Why, then, did the AP decide that the most important factor in identifying him was his status as a “Baptist deacon”? This is not a professional position – it is a volunteer activity. Wouldn’t it seem odd if they began their story about the tragic shooting by describing Mr. Ashley as “a 63-year-old golfer” or “a 63-year-old Democratic volunteer” or a “63-year-old synagogue board member”?

If Associated Press began their account of a chilling crime by identifying the perpetrator as “63-year-old Asian American” or a “63-year-old African American” there would be howls of protest – recognizing that the press service demonstrated bigotry by choosing to stress his racial identity over his professional background, family status, health record, or anything else. (I actually have no idea of Mr. Ashley’s racial background, nor does it seem particularly relevant to the crime).

Doesn’t the choice to spotlight a killer’s participation in a Baptist church demonstrate the same sort of bigotry?

The fact that this peculiar, indefensible decision seems so unremarkable simply shows how much we now take anti-religious and, in particular, anti-Christian prejudice for granted.

Comment: Here's the AP story in the Boston Globe


ALEXANDRIA, La. - Anger over a divorce settlement may have driven a 63-year-old Baptist deacon to shoot five people in a law office, killing two, then exchange gunfire with police during a standoff, authorities said yesterday.

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