Thursday, September 09, 2004

Spreading The Gospel is Hate Crime?

Ok... lemme get out my soap-box and jump on it. Grrrmmph... Ok... now I'm up on my box, lemme get started.

Reference a story on KCRA TV news, and the KCRA Channel website, entitled Fliers On UOP Campus Called Discriminatory.

STOCKTON, Calif. -- Gay students at the University of the Pacific are mobilizing in response to defaced fliers that school officials call an act of discrimination.

The controversy started when a campus group made up of primarily homosexual, transgender and bisexual students posted fliers around campus. Fifty of those fliers were covered by another flier that featured a skull face and the message "Satan: the god of this world."

Every student KCRA 3 spoke with was outraged that the pamphlet could be littering their campus.

There was no specific working that targeted homosexuals, nor was there a local group claiming responsibility. But there was an address from the Fellowship Tract League in Ohio.

This isn't the first attack on Pride Alliance. Two years ago, the group's rainbow flag was stolen during gay pride week. It was found in a plastic bag soaked with urine. Despite the two incidents, students from the Pride Alliance say the fliers won't intimidate them. (emphasis all mine)

What a bunch of biased reporting and blatant anti-Christian slant. Infuriating to me.

The main complaint seems to be simply the cover art and the title. Quote the story, it "featured a skull face and the message "Satan: the god of this world."
Everyone has a knee-jerk reaction to anything having to do with Satan, especially if they think it's directed at them, so this part of the report is downright inflammatory. The cover art IS startling, as is intended. It's an eye-catcher, just like the Pride Alliance poster.

The problem with the reporting is in both how the tract is described, and how it isn't.

The story says the tract is an "attack".

The fact is, just as the story says, there was "no particular wording that targeted homosexuals". How can this be an attack when the "attack" doesn't even attack you? It's not a neo-nazi pamphlet, it's a gospel tract. How do you feel "attacked" by a gospel tract? Offended? Disgusted? Disagree? Fine. But attacked?

Grow up people.

Channel 3 completely ignores the fact that the "flyer" is a Christian tract. It has an admittedly startling, eye-catching cover, but stating that Satan is "the god of this world" is basic Christian doctrine. No mystery or surprise here. Certainly nothing hateful. Certainly not an attack. It's simply an effort to spread The Gospel, something that's been ongoing for nearly 2000 years.

To call this "discrimination", "litter", or an "attack", without exploring the other side of the issue, goes to the basic bias the reporter has against Christianity; an absolute shame when it comes to fair reporting. To report that the Pride-Alliance students were offended by the tract, and disagreed with it, would have been fair reporting; just not very compelling. It's not a crime to be offended. To report that someone feels attacked is much more compelling, and holds the attention of many more viewers.

A more balanced reporting of the event would have gone something like:

"The controversy started when a campus group made up of primarily homosexual, transgender and bisexual students posted fliers around campus. Fifty of those had Christian gospel tracts tacked to them, that featured the Grim Reaper and the message "Satan: the god of this world."

More truthful, but less compelling. Students being "intimidated" by Christian tracts just doesn't sound newsworthy.

I think the Pride-Alliance students simply don't like what the Christian message says, and they found a willing outlet in the media. They don't like hearing from anyone who says their lifestyle is sinful, and they don't want Christians to even be allowed to state as much. They want complete freedom to do as they want without anyone passing judgment because, they feel, to judge is to attack.

The Bible talks clearly about the gay & lesbian lifestyle (read Romans 1 some time), and to talk about what the Bible says is simply FREE SPEECH, not hate speech. In fact Christians are commanded by Jesus himself to speak boldly what they claim as truth: all people are sinners (including gays & lesbians, trangenders, etc, as well as every other living soul on earth), and Jesus died to bring each person who will accept it, eternal life. To define Christian evangelizing as hate speech is just plain wrong. You might think it personally annoying or irritating, but it's not hate speech.

The truth of the matter is, KCRA didn't report on the content of the tract. They didn't try to find anyone who supported the Christian view, and they didn't try at all to be balanced or truthful.

For an outlet such as KCRA (Where The News Comes First- Ha!) to show such blatant bias is just sickening. They should be downright ashamed of this terrible piece of reporting.

(Disclaimer: I am not anti-homosexual, or a gay-basher. Gay-bashing and -baiting sickens me. It is clear, though, that many people use "Christianity" as a rod to do just that: brow-beat people, tell them that God hates them because they are evil, etc. As a result, many have a negative view of Christians, and what Christianity is about. This is sad. It is very wrong when "Christian" people use the Bible as a hammer, and ought to be decried every time it happens.

Jesus taught his followers to love all people, and treat each person decently, with respect for them as individuals. The Gospels are replete with examples of Jesus talking to people of all standings, and treating each with great dignity. This is the whole reason He was crucified: so that each person, no matter who they are, would have the chance for Life, if they so chose.

Jesus also taught that He is The Way, They Truth, and The Life, and that no person comes to the Father, except through Jesus. To not speak the truth as The Bible states it, to me, is even more sickening. Jesus never shirked from the truth, or watered it down, or made it politically acceptable.

He told it as it is, and let people make their choice.)

Ok, lemme step down off my soap-box now. My feet are getting tired..... ;-)

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