Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

These Victims Are People, Too - What hate crimes have wrought.
National Review Online ^ | 11/26/02 | Rod Dreher

Posted on 11/26/2002 6:35:24 AM PST by Fury

November 26, 2002 8:30 a.m.
These Victims Are People, Too
What hate crimes have wrought.

arlier this year, I was on a flight from New York to Dallas, and found myself sitting next to an older couple who sported 9/11-related pins on their clothing. They were Southern Baptists returning home from working in Manhattan as part of a 9/11 relief effort. As a New Yorker, I thanked them for what they'd given to our city, and they could hardly have been more gracious.

Before long, though, they were asking questions about my personal life I found intrusive and unwelcome. They wanted to know about my relationship with God. The pair were witnessing to me, which as Evangelicals is a duty of faith. I hastened to assure them that I was a believing Christian, but that didn't dissuade the two, who wanted to be sure I was the right kind of Christian. Not wanting to tell the kindly couple that I was a mackerel-snapping papist — I never would have heard the end of that — I simply took the pamphlet they offered me, smiled, thanked them and returned to my book. And that was the end of it. They were good country people who had done my city a charitable turn, and there was no point in my making a scene.

You are asking: Rod, why didn't you strangle them and stuff their bodies in the overhead bin?

Good question. After all, this couple was advocating an exclusivist brand of Christianity, one that cannot be comfortably reconciled with my own beliefs. Their beliefs are also held by such well-known enemies of humanity as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. They may even have been Republicans. Clearly, had I murdered these people, and had been tried by a jury of my peers — that is, journalists — I would have gone scot-free, provided my attorney had kept hidden from the jury the fact that I am neither a sexual or racial minority, a Muslim, or a member of any certified victim class requiring them to suspend normal standards of ethical judgment.

I reach this conclusion based on the deafening media silence around the savage murder of Mary Stachowicz, the middle-aged Chicago churchgoer allegedly killed by coworker Nicholas Gutierrez, a 19-year-old homosexual who reportedly snapped when the Catholic woman told him he should quit sleeping with men. According to Chicago police, Gutierrez confessed to killing Stachowicz in his apartment after arguing with her about his lifestyle. According to Chicago authorities, Gutierrez confessed that he set upon Stachowicz when she asked — are you ready for this? — "Why do you [have sex with] boys instead of girls?"

Obviously, this woman was a Nazi. As a state's attorney told the Chicago Tribune, "He got upset with her. The defendant punched and kicked and stabbed the victim until he was tired. He then placed a plastic garbage bag over her head and strangled her."

He reportedly then jammed her body into a crawlspace under his floor. A 19-year-old man allegedly did this to a 51-year-old woman, who came to visit him after receiving communion at a nearby Catholic Church, not because of anything she did to him, but of what she supposedly said to him. He didn't say, "Ma'am, my private life is none of your business, now please leave," or even, "Begone, bigot!" — both of which are understandable and defensible responses. No, he allegedly tortured the poor thing to death.

Where have we heard of this sort of thing before? Why, when three redneck men killed Matthew Shepard a few years ago, after the homosexual young man propositioned them in a bar. Understandably, the men found Shepard's words offensive. They should have told him to get lost. Instead, they tortured and killed him.

There is no moral difference between these acts. Both were heinous, and both deserve publicity. Yet the American media made Matthew Shepard an overnight cause célèbre, and have so far said very little about Mary Stachowicz — just as the media said very little about Jesse Dirkhising, the 13-year-old Arkansas boy raped, tortured, and strangled by homosexuals in 1999. Andrew Sullivan, who is probably the most articulate gay-rights advocate in journalism, explained in a 2001 New Republic article how stark the media bias was in these cases.

"In the month after Shepard's murder, Nexis recorded 3,007 stories about his death," Sullivan wrote. Sullivan continued:

In the month after Dirkhising's murder, Nexis recorded 46 stories about his. In all of last year, only one article about Dirkhising appeared in a major mainstream newspaper. The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times ignored the incident completely. In the same period, The New York Times published 45 stories about Shepard, and The Washington Post published 28. The discrepancy isn't just real. It's staggering.

"What we are seeing, I fear, is a logical consequence of the culture that hate-crimes rhetoric promotes," Sullivan wrote. "Some deaths — if they affect a politically protected class — are worth more than others. Other deaths, those that do not fit a politically correct profile, are left to oblivion."

We are seeing the same dynamic at work in the media silence over Mary Stachowicz's sensational murder. One cannot help wondering if the upright citizens who report the news don't privately share the view of gay blogger James Wagner, who said of Stachowicz's strangling:

The woman who did such great evil is dead, but unfortunately the evil and the church and the society which creates it is not, and it will continue to destroy Nicholas Gutierrez and many others. I shake, safely sitting here at home, fully understanding, and fully familiar with, the horrible impact her words must have had for a man already so terribly damaged by his society, and his own mother.

I believe many, and probably most, journalists share the unspoken assumption that Christians bring such trouble on themselves. Paul Marshall, who tracks religious persecution for Freedom House, told me recently that the Western media routinely omit anti-Christian motivation in acts of sectarian violence overseas.

In just the past week, you could observe this dynamic at work in reporting on two widely reported stories. In Nigeria, Muslims angry over a line in a newspaper article destroyed churches, beat and maimed Christians, and even murdered some of them. Yet in many of the press accounts, there was no mention of who started the violence (Muslims), and who the victims were (Christians). Typical of the nonjudgmental approach was a report I heard Monday from CNN correspondent Nancy Curnow, who mentioned "religious violence between Muslims and Christians."

Similarly, consider the headline on a report from Monday's New York Times reflecting on the murder in Lebanon of a Christian medical missionary, an Evangelical Protestant who was murdered last week in her clinic by an unidentified assassin. The Times headline read: "Killing Underscores Enmity of Evangelists and Muslims." But the enmity unmistakably goes only one way. The dead Bonnie Witherall's husband and colleagues proclaimed their love for the people of southern Lebanon, even after the murder. "Whoever did this crime, I forgive them," Garry Witherall said at her memorial service. "It's not easy. It took everything I have, but I can forgive these people because God has forgiven me."

The missionaries, on the other hand, had been denounced by local Islamic leaders, in part because, as one Muslim magazine quoted by the Times put it, "They destroy the fighting spirit of the children, especially of the Palestinian youth, by teaching them not to fight the Jews, for the Palestinians to forgive the Jews and leave them Jerusalem."

Obviously, this story is so tangled that the only thing for a self-respecting journalist to do is declare moral equivalence, and be done with it. What rot.

Admittedly, this kind of thing is an old story, and even a stale staple of conservative journalism. But as long as it keeps happening, it has to be pointed out. The media don't tell us what to believe, but they do set the terms of public discussion. The narrative model that insists Christians can never be victims of bigotry, violent or otherwise, will ultimately have consequences beyond merely angering pious readers and viewers.

In Canada, Christians are having their freedom of speech and worship taken away by hate-speech laws designed to protect homosexuals from having their feelings hurt. Meanwhile, incidents like the radical feminist trashing of Montreal's Roman Catholic cathedral a couple of years ago (they even threw condoms and soiled tampons at the altar, and burned crosses on the cathedral steps) not only merited little comment in Canada's press, it didn't move the Canadian authorities to file anything stronger than minor trespassing charges. Prosecutors said the event didn't trigger the country's hate-crimes law.

This didn't come from nowhere. And one trembles to think of where it's going. This is why we have to talk about Mary Stachowicz.



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; chicago; crime; gay; hatecrime
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-43 next last
Right on the money article. Thank you, NRO.
1 posted on 11/26/2002 6:35:24 AM PST by Fury
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Fury
See, this is another case where Dashole is absolutely correct. Talk radio does have a major advantage. Talk radio will be permitted to discuss the vicious murder of this woman by a fairy and help listeners draw conclusions. The ultra-left wing, extremist liberal media can't! That's right, they can't. The NYT, CNN and the other old media are prohibited from ever mentioning a crime committed by a member of the other team, the fairies.

So, just as Jennings was prohibited from even mentioning the circumstances under which Torricelli quit, he is also unable to mention this fairy murderer or it's victim.

This is why I agree with Dashole. The new Congress must pass legislation that will free the old media from the censorship that prevents them from doing an objective job of informing us. Who knows how many fairy, black or democrat criminals are operating out there? Isn't it about time we were allowed to know?

2 posted on 11/26/2002 6:49:29 AM PST by Tacis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fury
The pair were witnessing to me, which as Evangelicals is a duty of faith.

. . . this couple was advocating an exclusivist brand of Christianity,

They tell everone of any race about it and invite them to join, and this is exclusivist how?

3 posted on 11/26/2002 6:51:35 AM PST by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fury
Arm yourself. One day that might be the only thing that'll save you thanks to these "laws."
4 posted on 11/26/2002 6:57:57 AM PST by KantianBurke
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DManA
The truth is, in this writer's misuse of the word, inherantly exclusivist. Evangelical Christianity (of which I am an adherant) and Roman Catholic Christianity (for which I have great respect but with which I disagree on some fundamental theological issues) are both exclusivist in this writer's understanding of the word, because both make truth claims and reject the relativistic (and nonsensical) view that if we are talking about religion two non-reconcilable views can both be true. I have a lot more respect for my Roman Catholic friends who say "I love you, but you should come back to the one true church" than ones who say "Whatever you believe is right for you."
5 posted on 11/26/2002 7:07:49 AM PST by coramdeo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: KantianBurke
Arm yourself. One day that might be the only thing that'll save you thanks to these "laws."

10-4. I can't imagine anyone believes it's OK for someone to physically attack a person for simply expressing his beliefs. Shows there are more dangerous wackos out there that it appeared earlier.

Of course, some of us believe that always being armed and aware of possible threats is simply a wise decision that preserves life in most cases.

6 posted on 11/26/2002 7:58:13 AM PST by toddst
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Fury
The Stachowicz murder and the national media response to it filled me with a terrible urge toward despair.

I've been saying for a long time that the only respectable prejudice remaining in America is anti-Christian prejudice. This horrible event, and the way it's been treated by the media in general and homosexual partisans -- that is, pundits who are determined to make homosexuality a political interest group with special rights and privileges -- in particular are evidence to that point. This, in a country that's 74% Christian and supposedly upholds the equality of all persons before the law.

Are Jehovah's Witnesses fair game, now? I mean, they come to your doorstep. They quiz you about whether you read your Bible. No non-Witness really likes that sort of thing.

What about Mormon missionaries? All Latter-Day Saints do two years' missionary work; it's required of them by their church. The Mormons are as concerned about homosexuality's hazards to your spiritual health as we Catholics are. Is there a target pinned to their backs, too?

Catholics, of course, are always bottom-of-the-pile when it comes to respect for rights or tolerance for their convictions. The great irony of this is that American Catholics have so completely pulled in their horns. An American Catholic is less likely to talk religion to a non-Catholic than any other Christian denomination.

The Mystical Body of Christ has taken some temporal wounds.

With regard to "exclusivism": I understood Dreher to mean the word in its application to one's prospects for salvation. The Catholic Church concedes that one need not be a Catholic communicant to be saved. There are other Christian denominations that aren't that broadminded. This is entirely separate from the "one true church" claims that all religious denominations make.

Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
Visit the Palace Of Reason:

7 posted on 11/27/2002 2:59:50 AM PST by fporretto
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: american colleen; Domestic Church; EODGUY; patent; nickcarraway; Askel5; AKA Elena; Maximilian; ...
When a homosexual tortures and kills a Catholic woman, why isn't that news? And why aren't we all sounding every available alarm?


8 posted on 11/27/2002 1:17:10 PM PST by Siobhan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ThomasMore; NYer; saradippity; Desdemona; Siobhan
FYI - Homosexual tortures and kills Catholic woman.

May she rest in peace.


9 posted on 11/27/2002 1:20:51 PM PST by Siobhan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Siobhan
Thanks for the ping, Bernadette!

This is an awful crime that will be thrown into file thirteen by the media.
10 posted on 11/27/2002 1:30:04 PM PST by ThomasMore
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Siobhan
It is a tragic reminder of how politically correct and how far away from God the media is. The only place I have read about this story is on the Internet.

May that poor woman rest in peace and God have mercy on her killer.

11 posted on 11/27/2002 1:53:54 PM PST by american colleen
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: *Catholic_list
FYI - Homosexual tortures and kills Catholic woman.
12 posted on 11/27/2002 1:54:36 PM PST by Siobhan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: american colleen
It is a tragic reminder of how politically correct and how far away from God the media is. The only place I have read about this story is on the Internet.

Where else would you get your news? It would never even occur to me to watch television news. Isn't that an oxymoron to begin with?

Rod Dreher mentions that no "major news outlets" like the Boston Globe, New York Times or Washington Post covered the Arkansas story. Well how would you know? Would anyone even consider reading those rags?

Before you think that I'm just out in the middle of flyover country and don't understand the necessity of reading these papers when you live on the East Coast, I did live there for many years, but I never felt obliged to contribute to the support of the liberal establishment.

Give me Howie Carr and the Boston Herald any day! And there's always the Wall Street Journal which is a much more useful paper in any case. If I lived in DC I could survive with the Washington Times just fine, thank you.

I know very conservative friends who insist on subscribing to the Washington Post because they claim they need to stay informed. Give me a break. Misinformed is more like it. And you'll be 100 times more informed if you get your news from the internet.

This might sound like groundbreaking news to some people, but it's entirely possible to live without EVER participating in support of the liberal news establishment. I haven't seen the faces of Rather, Brokaw or Jennings since 9/11 (well, maybe 9/12). I would no more think of watching them then I would consider having a voluntary root canal for fun.

Dr. Johnson said "Clear your mind of cant." It's impossible to do this while you are listening to non-stop regurgitated pap 24/7, no matter how discerning a listener you believe you are. It's much better to simply free your mind from the vice grips of the establishment.

If anyone thinks we have to read and listen to them in order to combat their message, they need to get a life. Life is too short to waste time listening to evil propaganda. My mom used to get annoyed when my dad would watch Dan Rather just to shout at him. Look, the TV doesn't hear you. Much better just to turn your back on the whole kit and caboodle, ignore them completely, make them totally irrelevant.

It's already happened to TV news. No one watches them. All 3 major stations plus CNN are money-losing sinkholes that long ago sold away the intellectual justification for their existence, and now have no commercial justification either. If the networks CARED about the news, they would have replaced those 3 buffoons years ago when the ratings started to drop. But they treat the news department like a slightly batty old uncle that you keep around for old times sake.

The same thing can happen to the Boston Globe, the New York Times and the Washington Post if conservatives shun them entirely. There wouldn't be enough liberals to support them if the conservatives didn't buy them as well. Don't feel obliged to keep up with the Joneses. Just say "No" to liberal media.

13 posted on 11/27/2002 4:48:26 PM PST by Maximilian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: coramdeo; *Catholic_list; .45MAN; AKA Elena; al_c; american colleen; Angelus Errare; Antoninus; ...
The truth is, you missed the writer's entire point. It is much more important than the first three paragraphs lead you to conclude.

Read the rest of the article, and examine the real issues he is addressing.

It will be worth your time if you do.


14 posted on 11/27/2002 7:56:32 PM PST by Polycarp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Maximilian; dansangel
I agree with you completly We have not read a paper for 10+ years "just say NO to the Liberal media" would make a great T-Shirt.
15 posted on 11/28/2002 1:09:50 AM PST by .45MAN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Fury
They want to destroy faith, they want to destroy people privileging the world and they prove muslims and gays are against faith and freedom since they never attack their "faith".
16 posted on 11/28/2002 1:47:37 AM PST by lavaroise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: coramdeo
Indeed, the author tries to point blame at the left yet fails to understand that what he promotes, the mere tolerance of intollerable behavior, is what puts us in this situation in the first place.

Not tolerating gayness does not mean hating and does not mean wanting to kill these people. Not tolerating gays means having faith that these people have to change, they have to stop fighting for their privileges and lifestyles, and give recognition to those who have families and fight for their right to preserve them, to give them a chance to privilege the world in their own ways.

Hate crime law is all about legalising hate and destroying the sort of faith that enables one to fight back in self defense. Had this 51 year old lady gunned down this goon in self defense in his home, she would have been a hate criminal. Let us face it, the victim here is not a mere Christian or mere speech, but self defense.
17 posted on 11/28/2002 1:55:42 AM PST by lavaroise
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: coramdeo
And we RCs of that sort for you.
18 posted on 11/28/2002 7:21:39 AM PST by BlackElk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: BlackElk; Polycarp; Maximilian; .45MAN; american colleen; sandyeggo; Askel5; patent; AKA Elena; ...
So many on this are missing the most important point: the point is that a Catholic woman was tortured and killed by a homosexual man and almost no one is shouting mad about this. Where are the Cardinals, the USCCB, the priests in their pulpits, the K of C, the 3rd Orders, the laity in the pews (or chairs, as the case may be)? Where are my much loved "voices of orthodoxy" - why aren't they condemning this and banging pots and pans together until this evil is exposed for all the nation to see?

Maybe no one really cares - not even on this forum - about the murder of a Catholic woman at the hands of a homosexual man.


19 posted on 11/28/2002 8:14:44 AM PST by Siobhan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: lavaroise
Not tolerating gays means having faith that these people have to change, they have to stop fighting for their privileges and lifestyles, and give recognition to those who have families and fight for their right to preserve them, to give them a chance to privilege the world in their own ways.

Why not just leave gays alone? In return, I expect them to leave me alone as well. I don't want to know about their lifestyles, or have to approve of their lifestyles.

Gays don't "have to change." They just have to stay out of my face, and I'll stay out of theirs.

20 posted on 11/28/2002 8:31:06 AM PST by sinkspur
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-43 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson