- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 4, 2002

The savage murder of Mary Stachowicz, the middle-aged Chicago churchgoer allegedly killed by 19-year-old coworker Nicholas Gutierrez, has met with a deafening media silence.
Gutierrez, who is homosexual, confessed that he set upon Stachowicz when she asked him, "Why do you [have sex with] boys instead of girls?" A state's attorney told the Chicago Tribune: "The defendant punched and kicked and stabbed the victim until he was tired. He then placed a plastic garbage bag over her head and strangled her."
Gutierrez then jammed Stachowicz's body into a crawlspace under his floor. A 19-year-old man did this to a 51-year-old woman not because of anything she did to him, but of what she supposedly said to him. He didn't say, "Ma'am, my private life is none of your business," or even, "Begone, bigot." Instead, he tortured her to death.
Where have we heard of this sort of thing before? Why, in 1998, when three men killed Matthew Shepard after he propositioned them in a bar.
Understandably, the men found Shepard's words offensive. They should have told him to get lost. But instead, they tortured and killed him.
There is no moral difference between these acts. Yet the same American media that made Matthew Shepard a celebrated cause have said very little about Mary Stachowicz just as they said very little about Jesse Dirkhising, the 13-year-old boy raped, tortured and strangled by homosexuals in 1999.
Andrew Sullivan, probably the most articulate gay-rights advocate in journalism, wrote in a 2001 New Republic article:
"In the month after Shepard's murder, Nexis recorded 3,007 stories about his death. In the month after Dirkhising's murder, Nexis recorded 46 stories about his. In all of last year, only one article about Dirkhising appeared in a major mainstream newspaper. The Boston Globe, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ignored the incident completely. In the same period, the New York Times published 45 stories about Shepard, and The Washington Post published 28. The discrepancy isn't just real. It's staggering."
One cannot help wondering if our media don't privately share the view of gay blogger James Wagner, who said of Stachowicz's strangling:
"The woman who did such great evil is dead, but unfortunately the evil and the church and the society which creates it is not, and it will continue to destroy Nicholas Gutierrez and many others. I shake, safely sitting here at home, fully understanding, and fully familiar with, the horrible impact her words must have had for a man already so terribly damaged by his society, and his own mother."
Paul Marshall of Freedom House told me recently that the Western media routinely omit anti-Christian motivation in acts of sectarian violence overseas. Last week in Nigeria, for instance, Muslims destroyed churches and beat and murdered Christians. Yet in many of the press accounts, there was no mention of who started the violence (Muslims), and who the victims were (Christians). Typical of the nonjudgmental approach was a report I heard last Monday from CNN correspondent Nancy Curnow, who mentioned "religious violence between Muslims and Christians."
Or consider a New York Times report on an Evangelical Protestant missionary who was murdered in Lebanon. The headline read: "Killing underscores enmity of evangelists and Muslims." But that "enmity" unmistakably goes only one way. "Whoever did this crime, I forgive them," the victim's husband said at her memorial service. "It's not easy. It took everything I have, but I can forgive these people because God has forgiven me."
The missionaries, meanwhile, had been denounced by local leaders in part because, as one Muslim magazine put it, "They destroy the fighting spirit of the children, especially of the Palestinian youth, by teaching them not to fight the Jews, for the Palestinians to forgive the Jews and leave them Jerusalem."
In Canada, Christians are having their freedom of speech taken away by hate-speech laws designed to protect homosexuals from having their feelings hurt. Yet in 2000, when radical feminists threw condoms and soiled tampons at the altar of Montreal's Catholic cathedral and burned crosses on the cathedral steps prosecutors said the event didn't trigger Canada's hate-crimes law.
That didn't come from nowhere. And one trembles to think of where it's going. This is why we have to talk about Mary Stachowicz.

Rod Dreher is a senior writer for National Review Online.

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