This from Pastor Ken Klaus's daily devotion from The Lutheran Hour:
NewsBusters is an Internet site which has dedicated itself to pointing out how our news is biased, unfair, inaccurate and, occasionally, idiotic. Recently, one of the NewsBusters' investigations had implications for the Christian community.
The story begins with a gorilla. Yes, you guessed right. We're talking about Harambe, the gorilla we spoke about last week in our devotion. You remember Harambe who was shot when he started mauling a little boy who had climbed into the animal's enclosure.
Well, NewsBusters did a survey of the story as it had been carried by the major networks, you know, ABC, CBS, and NBC. The total time dedicated to the telling of the gorilla's story came to one-hour, 28 minutes, and 17 seconds.
Remember that number.
Next, NewsBusters added up the news time which had been dedicated to the ISIS shooting of some 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. The ISIS film footage showed how these Christians were forced to kneel and then they were murdered. Before they died most of these martyrs called out their confidence and faith in Jesus Christ.
So there we have two news stories.
One gorilla who was shot and 21 unarmed Christians, who were executed, mob style, by members of another faith. The only thing you don't have is how much time the networks were willing to dedicate to the telling of the believers' plight. Well, I am prepared to give you that number. Compared to almost an hour and a half for the gorilla story, the Christians got 14 minutes and 30 seconds.
No wonder the martyrs in heaven call out, "How long before You will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Actually, "mob style" is putting it mildly. Some were shot, but most were beheaded.
I am an animal lover who has all the sympathy in the world for Harambe. I am even guilty sometimes of being more affected emotionally by the suffering of animals, who tend to lack our resources for self-defense, than for that of humans. But there is something obscene not about the attention given to Harambe's tragic death, but about the martyrdom of 21 Christians at the hands of humans who behave like animals and about the fact that we're more moved by Harambe's death than by theirs.
I am more than a little irritated by those who jump from the reprehensible things the Koran says about deceit and murder and the treatment of women to the conclusion that all Muslims strictly follow the teachings of the Koran because they are Muslims any more than all Christians (who should) strictly follow those of the Bible because they are Christians. I recently had a knock-down, drag-out fight (which did none of us credit, if the truth is told) on Facebook with a couple of LCMS pastors who took the bizarre position that because these things are official Muslim doctrine it's somehow fair or even rational to assume (contrary to what we know to be the fact) that everyone who calls himself a Muslim agrees with them. Christians, too, are sinners, and often to obey the Ten Commandments somewhat selectively. That includes the one against bearing false witness. And thankfully, there are indeed Muslims who take a liberal view of the most horrific parts of the Koran as well.
But there is something outrageous about the studied efforts of the White House and the media alike to avoid saying anything which might even hint at the elephant in the room: the fact that Islam has a problem with people who do follow the more demonic teachings of the Koran, or even that there is a connection between this problem and the Koran itself. And there is something even more outrageous about the American media virtually ignoring the martyrdom of 21 human beings who share what is at least the nominal faith of most of their readers and listeners while obsessing so relentlessly about the death- however tragic- of a single gorilla.
"Flung to the Heedless Winds"
by Martin Luther, 1483-1546
1. Flung to the heedless winds
Or on the waters cast,
The martyrs' ashes, watched,
Shall gathered be at last.
And from that scattered dust,
Around us and abroad,
Shall spring a plenteous seed
Of witnesses for God.
2. The Father hath received
Their latest living breath,
And vain is Satan's boast
Of victory in their death.
Still, still, though dead, they speak,
And, trumpet-tongued, proclaim
To many a wakening land
The one availing Name.
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Acts 7: 59
Author: Martin Luther, 1523 st. 9
Translated by: John A. Messenger, 1843
Titled: "Ein neues Lied wir heben an"
Composer: Charles J. Dale, 1904