OPINION: What Covington Really Revealed — Anti-Christian Bias From The Media To The Halls Of Congress

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Lance Lemmonds Director of Communications, Faith & Freedom Coalition
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A senior member of the United States Senate and I were walking Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C. last Friday alongside tens of thousands of pro-life marchers for the 46th Annual March For Life. The weather was sunny, the mood was optimistic, and everyone was marching peacefully on behalf of the unborn in America.

Someone on the scene pulled out a camera phone to record video, and within hours, without any confirmable information, an online mob was ready to draw and quarter a high school junior. The mainstream media quickly joined the keyboard warriors in the mob, as did the Covington Catholic School leadership. As the short heavily edited clip of the incident starting appearing on Twitter, there was universal condemnation of the teenagers from liberals, conservatives, and almost everyone in between. The cell phone video that first appeared on Twitter and Facebook quickly spread across the national press and was described by the New York Times as “A Catholic high school is condemning the actions of students seen jeering a Native American elder in a video.”

Former governor and regular television pundit Howard Dean tweeted “#CovingtonCatholic High School seems like a hate factory to me. Why not just close it?” Bakari Sellers at CNN said that the boy in the video should be “punched in the face.” The video showed what the videographer wanted the world to see. A young man in a Make America Great Again hat was appearing to stare a hole through an innocent Native American who served his country in Vietnam and was trying to bring awareness to the plight of the American Indian.

However, there was one major flaw in the online mob and media arguments in a rush to condemn the racist, sexist Catholic school kid from Kentucky. None of it was true.

The rush to judgment is commonplace in American culture because of social media and the 24-hour news cycle that requires journalists, politicians, activists and everyday Americans to provide their hot takes before anyone beats them to it. The undoctored video that came to light hours later showed that the Covington kids were waiting on their bus, acting like typical annoying teenagers, when the Black Hebrew Israelites approached them and they were soon joined by the alleged victim of the juvenile taunts, Phillips. The narrative surrounding the poor victimized Native American veteran turned out to be fake news, but was widely spread by media outlets who reported that Phillips felt threatened by a large group of white men wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and chanting “Build The Wall.”

Nathan Philips and the “witnesses” who spoke to the media concocted the entire narrative, and thankfully the more extended form video surfaced that proved the online mob and mainstream media narrative false. The result was a threat to the safety and well-being of an entire school by the online mob that forced Covington Catholic to close for several days.

To millions of Americans of faith the fact that this story was not only built on lies and mass hysteria came as no surprise. Christians have become somewhat accustomed to liberal and media elites condemning and openly mocking anyone who professes faith in God and who chooses to live according to the tenets of their faith, so at first glance, the video showed a Christian teenager mocking a Native American war veteran.

But, the unfair rush to judge young Nick Sandmann and his fellow students from Covington Catholic High School was not caused merely by the speed of the internet or the rise in fake news, but caused by a pre-conceived, systematic, anti-Christian, anti-Catholic bigotry that permeates the modern Democratic Party and much of the current media.

Democratic members of the United States Senate openly displayed their bigotry against Catholic Americans. Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein of California, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut presented these personal anti-religious attacks during confirmation hearings for judicial nominees Brian Buescher and Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Hirono and Harris did not question Buescher’s qualifications to sit on the federal bench but instead claimed that his membership in the Knights of Columbus was disqualifying. Senator Feinstein was even more brazen in displaying her bigotry toward the Catholic faith during a 2017 hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, saying, “when you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you.”

Anti-Christian bias is not the exclusive property of the modern Democratic party; many in the mainstream news media also share it. The most recent egregious and blatant attacks by the press on the Christian faith took place as Second Lady Karen Pence committed the mortal sin of returning to teach at a small Christian grade school in Virginia. Ms. Pence simply wanted to return to her profession on a part-time basis to help educate young people, and she was vilified for teaching at a school that teaches mainstream Christian doctrine as part of its curriculum.

CNN reporter Kate Bennett reported, “the second lady of the United States has chosen to work at a school that openly discriminates against LGBT adults and children.” The Huffington Post declared, “In Virginia and dozens of other states, it is legal for private employers to discriminate on the basis of sexual and gender identity.”

All Americans understand that bigotry exists in our country. Prejudice of any kind against any people is a blight on our national conscious and not tolerated by an overwhelming majority of Americans. However, the only remaining socially acceptable form of bigotry in America today is bigotry targeted at Americans who profess faith in God and Christianity and practice that faith in their personal and professional lives.

People in the public sphere including Second Lady Karen Pence and legal professionals seeking positions on the federal courts understand the scrutiny and bias directed toward their faith. As the events surrounding the young kids from Covington Catholic School at the March of Life prove, no one, even school children, are safe from the anti-Christian bigotry from the online leftist mob, elected officials from the Democratic Party and their allies in the media.

Lance Lemmonds (@Lance_Lemmonds) is director of communications at the Faith & Freedom Coalition, a nonprofit group committed to education, equipping and mobilizing people of faith.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.