Yesterday morning on “MediaBuzz” with Howard Kurtz, I was asked to explain how so many journalists could have gotten the Covington boys story so terribly wrong. I responded that the problems started with many in the media’s bigotry against Christians, conservatives, and pro-lifers.
In recent days we’ve seen reporters attack Karen Pence for volunteering at a Christian school, attempt to dig up dirt against Christian schools, and viciously attack 16-year-old Catholic boys who were being harassed by adults spewing racist and homophobic slurs. It is into this context that The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz tweeted the following:
Christ’s triumph over death is the central historical event in the Christian faith. It is the source of Christian hope for humanity. It is recorded in multiple sources from the ancient world based on testimony from eyewitnesses and those close to the event. You can read about it in the Synoptic Gospels, the Gospel of John, the letter of James, the letters of St. Paul, and the letter of Peter. This teaching accounts for the persona transformation in the lives of the apostles, and the spread throughout the world of Jesus’s teachings ever since.
Lorenz was dunking on Pope Francis for a tweet about Jesus’ mother Mary. It is a free country, for the time being, and she has every right to do so. I’m unclear what her religion is, but the notion that Jesus Christ couldn’t possibly have been crucified and resurrected is one with long lineage. St. Paul references the substance of Lorenz’s scalding hot take in a passage on the wisdom and power of God when he wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:23-25:
but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to the Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
The Christian teachings of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection are central to the faith, but not everyone is called, as St. Paul puts it. And those who don’t believe view this central teaching as a stumbling block, as Lorenz does.
All that said, the mockery and disrespect in the anti-Christian tweet — and its favorable reception from other journalists — tell us something about the way many in the media treat Christians. As the media lean into their progressive political ideology, they are becoming more and more anti-Christian. “Anti-Christian Ideology Is an Emerging Aspect of White Progressive Populism,” David French observed recently.
In addition to the tens of thousands of Lorenz followers who retweeted and liked the tweet, many journalists gave her atta-girls and other support. This includes The Hill’s Niall Stanage, who said it was Lorenz’s “greatest tweet.” Bloomberg’s Sarah Frier, Axios’ Felix Salmon, Wired’s Meghann Farnsworth, journalist Patrick Hruby, BuzzFeed’s Brandon Wall, The Week’s Navneet Alang, New York Magazine’s Abraham Riesman, The Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern, NPR’s Brandon Carter, and many others.
We all know that journalists would not mock others as they mock Jesus and his followers.
If not for her error-ridden article falsely claiming men and women’s brains are not different, Lorenz is perhaps best known for doxxing the children of someone whose views she disapproved of. As the children’s controversial mother faces serious and ongoing death threats from Islamist radicals, this was not an insignificant doxxing. Thus far, her article has only resulted in their firing, thankfully.
The doxxing didn’t harm Lorenz’s career. The Atlantic was so impressed with the work, it hired her for their publication at the same time it fired the just-hired conservative NeverTrumper Kevin Williamson for his long-held, if controversial, views on abortion.
Editor Jeffrey Goldberg quickly succumbed to a social justice mob demanding Williamson’s firing before his first piece could be written. The magazine had recently been purchased by Emerson Collective, the progressive media group founded by the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The mob claimed Williamson made them feel unsafe.
But if The Atlantic and other media outlets wonder why they have lost their reputation recently, it can look to the disparity in how it treats conservatives and their ideas and how it rewards the journalism and anti-Christian bigotry of their liberal staff.