At one time, the New York Times was considered the newspaper of record in this country. It soberly proclaimed "All the News That's Fit to Print." Aspiring journalists looked at the Times as the gold-standard for writing and reporting. If an item appeared in the Times, it was serious business. Statesmen routinely consulted the Times, especially when it came to foreign news that might affect U.S. policy.
But in recent years, new questions have been raised about the credibility of the Times. A reporter named Jayson Blair disgraced the paper through plagiarism. In an interview at the time of Blair’s exit from the Times, Blair said, "I am sorry to hear that more people have fallen in this sequence of events that I had unleashed. I wish the rolling heads had stopped with mine."
But there was more wrong with the Times than just Jayson Blair. Time and time again, it has proven to be a publication with an extremist editorial policy and a radical left-wing news agenda. The concept of "fair and balanced" simply does not enter into the editorial mind-set of the Times staff. To the Times, Republicans are simply lying ideologues who are completely out of touch with the American people. For Times reporters, a strong defense is unnecessary; abortion is simply a rite of passage for women; and homosexual marriage should not simply be tolerated, it should be celebrated. The Times never met a conservative it ever liked.
Still, one would think that the Times would try not to alienate members of an entire religious group. Nevertheless, it has. And the paper's editors went out of their way to do it.
The Times refused to print Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad -- cartoons which are considered extremely offensive to Islamic believers. Yet, the Times had no qualms about printing an image of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in elephant dung. That's right -- elephant dung.
Some Catholics are so offended by this that they have launched a boycott of the Times. Yet, it's not just Catholics who should be concerned about this. Next, the Times might decide to print a picture of Jesus covered in manure. In essence, the Times has no problem respecting religious beliefs -- as long as those beliefs belong to a group other than one that claims Jesus as its savior.
As one member of the clergy, Father John Trigilio of Pennsylvania, said, "Toleration of such sacrilege is not diplomatic, it is cowardly and irresponsible. We must peacefully but steadfastly express our outrage or suffer the consequences of becoming completely irrelevant and incredible."
Let's face it. There are far too many Christians today who are willing to turn a blind eye to media reports that mock their religion. They don’t want to make waves, and they consider the attacks to be "no big deal." But what has such an attitude brought us? "Holiday" trees at Christmas time, an absence of prayer in schools, and a ban on the posting of the Ten Commandments inside courthouses. They forget that the founding fathers didn’t want freedom FROM religion -- they wanted freedom of religion.
It's time that the hypocrisy stops. We owe it to our children to defend our faith in the public square -- and in the pages of our major newspapers. Certainly, if the Times printed a picture of Anne Frank covered in elephant dung, Jewish readers would be outraged -- and rightly so. We need to show similar outrage whenever a newspaper such as the Times attacks Christianity.
After all, faced with such a situation, what would Jesus do?