For years, Christian leaders have been stereotyped as hypocritical, money-hungry, snake oil salesmen more interested in cashing in than saving souls. But these days, it seems that attacking Christians has become almost as profitable as preaching to Gospel.
American media companies are raking in millions of dollars from movies, books and TV series that attack Christians and depict Jesus as a fraud. This week’s Newsweek offers a thoughtful piece on whether God even exists , but its respectful approach to a subject once thought taboo is the exception rather than the rule. It seems big media is cashing in on a growing trend to attack God, Christians, and followers of all faiths.
For Christians, most of the attacks come annually around Easter. This year, it was “Titanic” director James Cameron who filmed a special that sought to prove that Jesus was a fraud, and Christianity a hoax. Before that, it was the Judas Gospel, and before that even more piles of conspiracy theories all trying to prove that Jesus Christ was not who he said he was.
“The Da Vinci Code” is the most obvious example of how the publishing world raked in massive profits by selling a story that undermines the most basic tenets of the Christian faith. But messages that are even more offensive to Christian believers are the subject of books that currently dominate America’s best-seller lists.
“American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, The God Delusion, Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, Losing Moses on the Freeway and Letters to a Christian Nation” describes Christians as “murderously intolerant,” “yearning for apocalyptic violence” and “fevered by religious radicalism.”
Eminent historians like Gary Wills are now describing members of the Christian faith as radicals who have more in common with al Qaeda terrorists than our European allies.
Maureen Dowd, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Times, regularly blasts Christians as intolerant zealots who seek to return the United States to the Dark Ages.
And the most respected magazines in America attack the Christian faith with such ferocity—some comparing Christians to members of the Taliban—that evangelicals and Catholics cannot help but feel under siege by America’s cultural elite.
The good news is that America’s cultural heritage allows such intolerance towards men and women of faith—even if that heritage was steeped in a Judeo-Christian tradition that welcomes dissent that the Taliban would answer with torture and executions.
The bad news for all is a small group of cultural elitists in publishing houses, movie studios and network offices has decided that the beliefs of millions of Christians is an inviting target for big profits.
More Americans need to focus on the origins of this religious intolerance and examine the dangers of an intellectual movement that seeks to marginalize over 100 million Americans whose only offense is following the 2,000-year-old teachings of a carpenter named Jesus.
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