Earlier this week, the so-called mainstream news media were up in arms over a statement I made last weekend at the Values Voters Summit. During my speech, I remarked that if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton were the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, it would induce evangelical Christians to oppose her more than if the devil himself were running.

Oh boy, the liberals don’t like that kind of talk.

Of course this was a tongue-in-cheek statement, made to emphasize the fact that the Clintons serve as a motivating factor with conservative people of faith.

But Christians aren’t supposed to have a sense of humor. Watch a network or cable TV show depicting a Christian and you’ll see a morose individual on the verge of breaking out in a fire-and-brimstone sermon at any moment.

Conservative Christians are continually defined by the media as humorless individuals who want to convert the world into mindless Christian zombies. So if someone like me utilizes irony or utilizes a whimsical phrase, it is taken as a threatening statement.

On the other hand, Hollywood personalities can make far more malicious statements and nobody questions it.

Take, for example, actor Alec Baldwin’s proclamation on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show a few years ago in which he called for the stoning of pro-life Rep. Henry Hyde, R, Ill.

On the broadcast, Baldwin stated: “I’m thinking to myself, if we were in other countries, we would, all of us together, all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would go to their homes, and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families.”

Funny stuff, huh?

But Baldwin got away with it because he later said he was joking. So the media largely excused him with a yawn.

Actor Ian McKellen, who plays Gandolf in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, was quoted on Salon.com as saying he routinely rips up Bibles in hotel rooms.

“Whenever I stay in a hotel, I always check to see if they have a Gideon’s Bible, and if they do I tear out a page. I turn to Leviticus 18:22, which is directed against homosexuals; it is one of the Leviticus Laws. I don’t know if anyone ever even notices, but I really take exception to that section and I think by now I must have ripped out a few hundred pages. Who knows? There might be someone who has insomnia who stays awake all night who reads the Bible because they have nothing else to do and who might be especially vulnerable to what I really think is Leviticus’ pornography, so I just remove it.”

But McKellen was not condemned by the mainstream media because its members have largely adopted a stance that is defensive of homosexuality, even when it means the destruction of the Holy Bible.

Imagine if Billy Graham or Dr. James Dobson stated that they frequently go to Barnes and Noble and rip up homosexual publications. The outcry would be rightly thunderous. But there is no media objection to a prominent actor destroying Bibles.

I guess, like flag desecration, this is a free speech issue for liberals. But what about the free speech of those who print those Bibles? Apparently they don’t matter.

The double standard here is obvious, except to those in the mainstream media and their dutiful defenders.

We will continue to see the American mainstream media and Hollywood depicting evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics as objects of ridicule. There is no level playing field or even marginal attempt at honesty when it comes to the portrayal of conservative people of faith.

And so we return to my statement on Mrs. Clinton.

I certainly don’t believe her to be the equivalent of Satan. I simply believe that if she is the Democratic presidential candidate, her nomination will truly energize the evangelical community, just as the possible presidential candidacy of Newt Gingrich or Sen. Sam Brownback or Gov. Mike Huckabee would galvanize liberal voters.

Maybe I’ll call for the stoning of someone in my next speech and really get the media in an uproar. And then I’ll tell them I was just teasing. I’m sure they’ll let me off without objection.

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