by Steven Kokx

As  of the writing of this column, 43 Catholic organizations, including Franciscan  University and Ave Maria University — two schools that stopped  offering health coverage because of the reforms included in the president’s  health care plan — have filed lawsuits  against the Obama administration for infringing on their religious freedom.  Even the University of Notre Dame, a school  that bestowed an honorary degree on the president in 2009, has joined its  Catholic brethren in their fight.

Similar  to the media’s decision to not  report on the half-million or so protesters who attended the March for Life  rally this past January, outlets like ABC, NBC, and CBS — all of whom spent  hours on end drooling over comments made by a 30-year-old law student — have  largely ignored  what has become the largest legal defense of religious liberty in American  history.

“Evidence  of big media’s bias against religion is beyond dispute,” writes  Cal Thomas, a Catholic commentator.  Noting the countless number of attacks  on Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, Thomas concludes that “any faith attached to a  conservative agenda is to be ridiculed, stereotyped and misrepresented [by the  media].  Islam is a notable exception.”

Case  in point: political commentator and comedian Jon Stewart, host of Comedy  Central’s The Daily Show, recently skewered the Catholic Church when he  showed a picture of the Virgin Mary between  the legs of a nude woman.  It’s not the first time he’s done something  offensive, and it certainly won’t be the last.  But according to the  Catholic League, a nonprofit organization who is demanding an apology for the  stunt, Mr. Stewart has a long  history of slamming Catholicism in particular.  In the past, he has  compared the pope to the grand wizard of the KKK, questioned whether or not Mary  and Joseph had oral sex, and claimed that a Norwegian gunman who killed over 70  innocent people was simply living out his Christian faith.

Not  everyone is offended by such words, though.  Sandi Villarreal, associate  web editor for the left-leaning Christian website Sojourners, thinks  Christians should simply turn  the other cheek when others mock the Church.  I don’t disagree with her  sentiments entirely; religious Americans should be lighthearted about certain  issues.  But there is a difference between self-deprecation and allowing  oneself to be persecuted.  When Catholics let others make fun of what they  believe on a regular basis, they act as enablers and become complicit in the  culture’s acceptance of values antithetical to the ones preached by Jesus  Christ.

Not  long ago, ABC decided to air a program originally entitled Good Christian  Bitches.  Though the show changed its name and was canceled  due to low ratings, it proved Cal Thomas’s point about the media’s double  standard when it comes to religion.  Could you imagine a sitcom entitled Angry Muslim Clerics or Cheap Jewish Rabbis?  Such  programs would be offensive, especially to members of the Islamic and Jewish  faiths.  The media, however, trashes the teachings of the  1.2-billion-member Catholic Church on a daily basis.

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