A FOX News columnist says a viral photo showing several teenagers in prayer before their prom night dinner is “sparking anti-Christian hatred”… but there’s little evidence of that.
Douglas MacKinnon, a former White House and Pentagon official and author of the memoir The Forty Days: A Vision of Christ’s Lost Weeks, wrote that the teens saying grace inspired “a wave of anti-Christian prejudice” without citing a single concrete example or quotation showing that to be the case.
MacKinnon played up the victim card, saying hatred and discrimination against Christians is “proudly embraced by some on the left in America.” And this photo, apparently, was an example of that.
A journalist in Oakland, California innocently posted the photo sent to him by the mother of one of the teens and — much like Kanye West “breaking Twitter” because he dared to actually think for himself and say something nice about President Trump — this heartwarming photo is blowing up Facebook.
With so much carnage, pain, heartache, and real and manufactured personal division in our news on a daily basis, why is so much hate, anger and fear directed at such a simple and uplifting photo? Shouldn’t we be celebrating the goodness depicted in such a scene?
MacKinnon goes on to emphatically claim that commenters on the photo “instantly assumed that these young people were anti-gay, racist and against equal rights in general.” I took a look at the original post, however, and I couldn’t find any such comments.
I’m not saying some trolls didn’t exist, but that if they do, they’re in no way representative of most non-Christians who see that photo. Most of what I saw were benign statements like this one:
My kids would never say grace, since we’re not religious. I don’t really see what that has to do with being well behaved, though …
I also noticed that a few people posted about how some Christians pray and behave peacefully in public while living sinful lives in private, but I certainly didn’t see anything rising to the level of outrage conveyed by MacKinnon in his Fox News
hit piece essay.
There were also a lot of commenters talking about anti-Christian prejudice on that post, alluding to other people on the thread, but the originial comments themselves were noticeably absent. It’s entirely possible that the author of the post merely deleted the negative comments or that the nasty comments were buried under longer threads.
The point is: What these kids do is their own business. Their praying before dinner doesn’t make them any better than kids who don’t. It also doesn’t mean they’re more respectful. It just means they wanted to say grace.
If there are atheist activists outraged by this photo for some reason, my advice to them would be to chill out. This isn’t a big deal. But at the moment, I have nobody to say that to.
And neither does Douglas MacKinnon.