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25 killed in Sandy Hook, the world mourns. 500 Christians burned alive in a Nigerian Church, *yawn*

UPDATE: I have determined that this image DOES NOT go with this event, so I think it unlikely that the event itself did not happen. I await further clarifications. In the meantime, the post remains the same as it was for posterity’s sake.  Details.

bannedimage facebook 25 killed in Sandy Hook, the world mourns.  500 Christians burned alive in a Nigerian Church, *yawn*

What happened in Sandy Hook was a horror upon horror, but there are many horrors in the world–so many that there is no way we can keep track of all of them.  So many that if we knew even a handful more than we know already, we would be overwhelmed.  But how is it that we know of the ones we do know about?  I think this question is important.

Some horrors are better made for television broadcast.  Some horrors fit prevailing narratives better than others.  Some horrors feed into private agendas better than other.  To what degree this might be the case in any particular choice by the media to highlight something will be forever cloaked to the majority of us.  Probably only 1 person out of 10,000 knows by name 5 TV or radio producers or story editors.

Of course, while these people are thinking about what motivates them (personal agendas and financial reward being high on the list, of course) they are also thinking about what motivates us.  They know that we prefer the clean, tidy narrative with a clear enemy that is safe to to target.  The NRA is safe to target.  Peaceful, law-abiding gun owners are safe to target (eg and eg).  White male Christians are safe to target, because despite what everyone says or implies, deep down they know that they are least likely to retaliate.

The intrinsic problem with this arrangement is that it is entirely possible that we will remain ignorant of real threats in our communities and in the world.   There are atrocities that don’t fit the narrative or are not easily televised that may be committed by people who will retaliate that do not surface for our attention.  Thank God for the Internet… but then, that takes a little effort, while getting spoon fed from the media is, well, getting spoon fed.

So below I give you an atrocity that I was just made aware of through one of sources of information.  500 Christians (because as it turns out, Christians of all makes and models are safe to target, not just the white male ones) were burned alive by Muslims in a church in Nigeria.  Here is a pic to feast your eyes on:

nigerian church burning 25 killed in Sandy Hook, the world mourns.  500 Christians burned alive in a Nigerian Church, *yawn*

Note, my understanding is that Facebook has banned this from its site, so be careful in posting it. Please let me know if you post it and how it fares.

I believe we might be able to find 20 children in there, somewhere.

Nothing about this story fits into the formulas that would put it into the major media news cycles and of course this kind of picture would be printed or displayed.

In my estimation, there is also the problem of the culprits:  they were Muslims.  And if you call attention to the violent nature of Islam, or speak negatively about it at all, really, it is well known that you risk being stabbed on the street, beheaded, or otherwise targeted for destruction.  So, this is a story that one will likely want to avoid… a bit like how the tragedy unfolding in Egypt has largely been forgotten by the media, now that Egypt’s dictator has been toppled and replaced by Islamic militants.

Also of note, these people were all burned alive– not gunned down by a white male psychopath.  It would be most difficult to outlaw or regulate fire, and an outright ban is out of the question, so there isn’t even much hope that such a story would resonate with the personal agendas of any or our media elites.  So, if not for the blogosphere, you would not know about this, or many, many other horrors, perpetuated in many cases by people who represent real threats.

Caveat:  one theoretical benefit of having the mass media cover something is that they can validate and document particular claims and such.  Precisely because this incident hasn’t aroused the interest of anyone, it is difficult for me to be absolutely certain of the details.  I trust  my source, and include his comments below, and the link to a site in another language that seems to be talking about it.  God willing, more information will come to light on it.  If clarifications become necessary, I will make them.

I hope this post might help fuel a new narrative that aims to protect the people who are really vulnerable to attack from the people who are actually most likely to carry them out. At the very least, I would hope that it would serve as a warning to us not to be played for dupes, drinking up the talking points of whatever our mass media chooses to distribute today.

———————————————————

Note from my source:

How can America lift her head with pride knowing that our tax money and our military are supporting the ideology that burned the Christians whose charred remains are shown below?
The nation that wept over the horrors of Hitler’s gas chambers is turning a blind eye to the savage murders of people who truly share our values and our faith.

BTW, I was able to verify this story by going to the Spanish language site where the original text appears (see below this commentary). Nigerian Christians have had their churches burned by the local Muslims for many years so this is nothing new. It just happens to be perhaps the first time a photo of the charred remains has been sent to the public.

Here is the link he provides:  http://www.religionenlibertad.com/articulo.asp?idarticulo=25283

———————————————————

This appears to be a translation of that page:

    Statement by Father Juan Carlos Martos
All%20Don%20Hank?number=168989653&part=1.2&filename=ATT00075 25 killed in Sandy Hook, the world mourns.  500 Christians burned alive in a Nigerian Church, *yawn*

This is a brutal example of how far the struggle between Muslims and Catholics in Nigeria has reached.
Muslims are determined to impose their ‘religion’ all over Africa as well as in other continents and countries
of the world. Islam has but one goal: to rule the world at any cost!

And where are the International Human Rights’ Organizations?

Christians are burnt alive in Nigeria: a horrific Holocaust right in front of International indifference! as denounced by Father Juan Carlos Martos, on behalf of the Missionari Clarettiani, via del Sacro Cuore di Maria, Rome, Italy.By publishing this graphic document on Facebook, I have intended to make the world aware of certain terrible events totally ignored or minimized by the mainstream media; an authentic genocide so cruel and inhuman only comparable with the most hateful and vile acts in the Nazi extermination camps.

To my great surprise, Facebook has criticized me for the publication of this graphic document as a proof of the Holocaust that Christians have been suffering in Nigeria in the last ten years. According to Facebook’s
Security policy of the ‘social’ Network, this photo has been classified as ‘pornographic’, ‘violent’ or ‘inappropriate’ and hence I was disallowed to publish any picture for a week. And I was threatened drastic measures if I insist publishing any document that prove the terrible violations of Human Rights in Nigeria.

This attitude by the (Spanish) Facebook Management is an attack to the freedom of expression as much as a shameful insult to the 500 victims (only in this horrible episode) slaughtered by Islamic terror only for being Christian.
I thought that this social network, originated in the United States, would not bend its knees in front of terror. Especially, when still healing their wounds suffered in the gruesome 9/11 attack, just as our own 3/11 at Madrid railway station, all innocent victims of the wild fury and insanity of Islamic terror.This seems even more unacceptable in Spain, a Democratic state, where the rights of opinion, expression and religion are guaranteed by the Constitution (Art. 16 and 20), if there is an attempt to limit such rights, let alone through threats and coercion thus weakening their freedom of expression by condemning as “inappropriate” a graphic document
(not a photomontage) which reflects a brutal reality in all its crudeness.Contrarily, the Administrators of Facebook Spain should welcome this public protest advocating that such a barbarian act will never be replicated and that its perpetrators will be brought to justice. This is a right and duty of every citizen: a service to society, ultimate goal, I feel, of any network that defines itself as ‘social’. 

Regrettably, if the murders continue, this is greatly because truth is always hidden to the sovereign people, so that they may not be aware and ‘disdained’ by it: complicit silence by the mainstream media leads to the indifference of the
international political community facing this unspeakable Holocaust! Let alone the cowardice already rooted in the western world facing the Islamic terror. A consequence of the stupid “Alliance of civilizations”: another regrettable incident of our former Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero. 

Can you imagine the reaction of the Islamic terrorist organization in the (impossible) case of a massacre of Muslims in a mosque, by the hands of Christian terrorists? And how widely would our media cover and condemn the crime and the criminals??

Therefore, from this modest blog, I ask a favor from all people who are reading me: please distribute this photo and its comments using all the media you have. If only for commemorating these martyrs since, unfortunately, Facebook seems to be on the side of the executioners by preventing the publication of such tragic events.

FROM: Juan Carlos Martos cmf Segretariato di PVMissionari ClarettianiVia Sacro Cuore à Maria-500197-Rome
share save 256 24 25 killed in Sandy Hook, the world mourns.  500 Christians burned alive in a Nigerian Church, *yawn*

6 Responses to 25 killed in Sandy Hook, the world mourns. 500 Christians burned alive in a Nigerian Church, *yawn*

  1. Tony,

    You are, of course, absolutely right that there are far too many horrifying things happening all over the world for us to keep track of them all, and further that the way in which the media attends to some of them and not others is definitely not random. However, your conclusion that it is all about the (presumably liberal) narrative, or fear of offending volatile religious groups, seems to me to miss out the effect of the crucially important tribal instinct in humans which your title itself betrays the influences of. We tend to prioritise information about the members of whatever we happen to consider to be our own community, group or congregation, which is why an armed robbery in my part of London gets more attention on the local news here than a murder in another area. It is also probably why you think that the following statement is true:

    “25 killed in Sandy Hook, the world mourns. 500 Christians burned alive in a Nigerian Church, *yawn*”

    The “world” didn’t mourn for Sandy Hook – although i can understand how it might seem like that to someone in America – not even close. Even in the UK, which allegedly has quite a close relationship with the US, I know of relatively few people who were even aware of it except as an item of “World News” in Mid-December. The massacre in Nigeria is a horrible story too, as you observe, but the Western World isn’t yawning about that any louder than it is yawning about the tens of thousands of children dying of malnutrition and preventable diseases every day, and in both cases the reason is that they do not see themselves as being part of the same category as those unfortunate people. They wouldn’t express it that way – doubtless there’d be a lot of “Oh yes, isn’t it terrible” style mumbling – but the deaths of people who look like us, at least superficially, are alas more interesting (and therefore newsworthy) to most of us than the deaths of those who don’t.

    I could congratulate you on overcoming this tribal instinct and noting the media bias towards stories of white western lives, if it weren’t for the fact that you seem to have merely replaced “White Westerners” with “Christians” as being the tribe whose lives and deaths you are motivated to pay attention to. The source you quoted here makes the same elementary moral error, lamenting the public inattention to the fates of “people who share our values and our faith”. If you’re going to critique the media for inequitable treatment of human tragedies then it might be a good idea not to have your own bias towards a particular group so clearly on display.

    As it happens, I was reading something today forwarded to me by a Muslim acquaintance bemoaning the lack of media attention on the persecution and apparent massacres of Muslims by Buddhist groups in Burma. Oddly enough, she also managed to weave this under-reported story seamlessly into her own preferred narrative of group victimhood (see your statement, “as it turns out, Christians of all makes and models are safe to target, not just the white male ones”). No doubt both of you are right in basic terms, in that the events you are referring to surely warrant much greater coverage than they have been getting so far in the Western media. I just find it a little hard to see how your respective brands of religious tribalism are much of an improvement on the national/local/racial tribalism which underlies the journalistic neglect that you are complaining about.

  2. “your conclusion that it is all about”

    That was not my conclusion at all. It is your use of the phrase ‘all about’ that I object to. I even mentioned one that you didn’t list among the ‘all’, and that is financial incentive. Why did you leave that even though I explicitly mentioned it? Perhaps you were trying to fit my blog post into a narrative. ;)

    At any rate, just for the record, I’m not necessarily begrudging the media for thinking of the financial incentive. My point is that we information consumers need to be aware that the media’s choice in covering certain things does not always correlate to the actual importance of those things.

    Surely you can agree with that?

    I hope so. That’s the main point of the entry.

    “It is also probably why you think that the following statement is true: [...] The “world” didn’t mourn for Sandy Hook”

    This is silly. You’re reading way too much into that title and putting way too much weight on it. Waaaaaaaaaaaay too much.

    “but the Western World isn’t yawning about that any louder than it is yawning about the tens of thousands of children dying of malnutrition and preventable diseases every day,”

    You are only making my point. However, I tend to think that you are trying too hard to take away from my point. The ‘world’ may not have mourned about Sandy Hook, but you heard about it, didn’t you? I tend to think that even in America, if 500 Christians were intentionally burned alive it would be covered and you would hear about it. If the perpetrator was a Muslim, though, I personally don’t think that would come out in the major media until the blogosphere made it impossible to avoid, much like the Fort Hood shooting.

    By the by, we in America heard loads about the shooter in Norway who killed 80ish people. That fit the narrative.

    Maybe the narrative is different in the UK than the US. Ever thought about that?

    “if it weren’t for the fact that you seem to have merely replaced “White Westerners” with “Christians” as being the tribe whose lives and deaths you are motivated to pay attention to.”

    I think you are here showing your own tribal bias. In the tribe of America, the bias against white Christian men is clear and indisputable. We even have government reports released showing just how dangerous we are. In the tribe of England, I can see how this seems foreign to you. In England and Europe in general, Christianity no longer poses any kind of force to reckon with. They are a minority that can be safely disregarded. They’re not going to go off the deep end if someone writes something unflattering about Jesus.

    “it might be a good idea not to have your own bias towards a particular group so clearly on display.”

    I think here again you are being unreasonable and ‘tribal.’ This is a blog written by a Christian that happens to have as many Christian readers as it does non-Christian. Unlike the American media, I don’t pretend to not have a bias. You know that I have a bias and that I have readers such that I have. A more mature approach by you would have been to simply take the bias into account. I am afraid I have to use the word ‘silly’ again. Can you imagine me going to the Huffington Post or Common Dreams websites and criticize them for having a bias? The idea is silly and absurd–for a reasonable person. I know going in what I’m going to get there, don’t I?

    Likewise, you know what you’re going to get here.

    (For liberal websites and the like, my argument would not be with their bias, but about the substance or lack thereof of their claims and perspective which give rise to their bias).

    This whole argument of yours smacks of something I sometimes hear atheists say about the New Testament, that it cannot be believed because the disciples actually believed what they were writing. As if someone would document events that they did not actually think happened! No, the mature thing is to accept that bias is inevitable and factor that in, not do as the American media does, and pretend that they are not biased at all.

    “lack of media attention on the persecution and apparent massacres of Muslims by Buddhist groups in Burma.”

    Interestingly, I think I heard about that. At least, I was aware that such things were happening over there. I have friends who are involved in ministry work in Burma (they prefer Myanmar). I hear LOTS of things.

    I think you have your perspective completely skewed here. Let me ask you this: who better and more appropriate to make sure that people know about some important event than people connected somehow to those people, eg, fellow ‘tribemember’? If something were to happen to my family, for example, should I wait until some atheist friend of mine in Britain finds out about it and he alerts the world? Obviously, that is absurd. I, as a member of this family, will be the natural person to dispense with this news, and even my atheist friend in Britain won’t likely find out about it at all unless I tell him. What you see as some reason to distrust and dismiss I see as a natural and even obligatory thing to do: If I, as a Christian, do not speak up and out for my fellow Christians, who will? The atheists? You make me laugh. ;)

    What do you propose? From now on, Christians shouldn’t raise any issues that concern them? Instead, we will bring in Muslims, Buddhists, and atheists to do that. Muslims, Buddhists, and atheists likewise can’t raise issues that concern them. That would be bias. Given our mutual predicaments, I suppose we should just swap. Henceforth, you alert the world to issues that concern me, and I’ll alert the world to issues that concern you.

    Deal?

    ;)

  3. Dear Mr. Horvath,

    I am a journalist who intended to publish a piece featuring your photograph of the burned corpses. However, it turns out that the photo has been misrepresented. It actually is a photograph from a 2010 gas-tanker explosion in the Congo.

    Of course, there is a lot of violence perpetrated by Muslims against Christians in Nigeria; the photo just isn’t an example of it.

    I just wanted to let you know because it’s plain that you’re a man of good will.

    Feel free to delete this post after you read it.

  4. Tony,

    “Perhaps you were trying to fit my blog post into a narrative.”

    Hey, we all have a narrative, and we all have confirmation bias which inclines us towards information which fits that narrative.  If you exhibit signs of doing that in a post where you also rail against other peoples bias then I will be likely to point that out – sorry!  To take that as a statement on my part to the effect that no one who holds ANY point of view on a particular topic should be allowed to speak about it in a public forum, and to then go on to elaborately parody that strawman with a quasi-humorous blog post about rocks, would seem like a slightly worrying overreaction.

    “…the media’s choice in covering certain things does not always correlate to the actual importance of those things.”

    Amen brother!  As I said in my first response, I am in complete agreement with that.  However, to my eyes, the main root cause of this mismatch between relative importance and relative media coverage is the ethnic and/or local tribalism which I have already drawn attention to, NOT some pernicious bias on the part of journalists and editors against White Christian males – that’s your (not-at-all-self-centred) narrative.

    “The ‘world’ may not have mourned about Sandy Hook, but you heard about it, didn’t you?”

    I’m not saying people in the UK didn’t hear about it.  We did, and I probably payed more attention to it than most because I’m interested in American news.  But American news does get more priority in the UK than, for example, Nigerian news, because it often concerns people of European descent – people who therefore look like us, and whose circumstances we can easily empathise with.  I honestly think you are kidding yourself if you attribute the mismatch in coverage between Sandy Hook and the Nigerian massacre to anti-Christian bias.

    “By the by, we in America heard loads about the shooter in Norway who killed 80ish people. That fit the narrative.”

    It also concerns white people.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s all black and white (haha).  There is an awareness in certain parts of the media and the public about this historically-entrenched ethnic bias, and attempts are sometimes made to redress it.  Some of those attempts, ironically, fuel your conviction about an anti-white christian male bias.

    “Maybe the narrative is different in the UK than the US. Ever thought about that?”

    Sure.

    “In the tribe of America, the bias against white Christian men is clear and indisputable.  We even have government reports released showing just how dangerous we are.”

    Yes!  Soon there may be none of you left in positions of power.  The election of a US President who doesn’t, for the first time in history, tick all three of those boxes is a clear sign that the genocide against y’all could start any day now. :-)

    I’m afraid that I am going to have to return that word “silly” to you with my compliments.

    “Unlike the American media, I don’t pretend to not have a bias.”

    :-) Are you saying that the slogan FAIR AND BALANCED annoys you too?

    “A more mature approach by you would have been to simply take the bias into account.”

    Usually I do.  But in this case some old saying about removing the beam from your eye before calling attention to the mote in, let’s say, the media’s eye kept coming back to me.  Do you recall who is supposed to have said that?

    “Let me ask you this: who better and more appropriate to make sure that people know about some important event than people connected somehow to those people, eg, fellow ‘tribemember’?”

    That’s fine, although to be honest I would prefer to foster a more humanist sense of “fellow tribesmembership” with all other human beings, not just the ones who we happen to share (in my case, a lack of) religious beliefs with.  I am not, despite your apparent conviction to the contrary, saying that you shouldn’t talk about things which matter to you, or that you believe strongly about.  That is such an obvious absurdity that I feel it is hardly necessary to disclaim it, or respond to the “rocks” thing, entertaining though it was.

  5. Hi Selwyn,

    thanks for your comment. I had in fact determined that and today have posted this that discusses it.

    I won’t delete your comment or this post, as it can hopefully serve as a corrective if the blogosphere rediscovers it.

    http://sntjohnny.com/front/500-christians-burned-fake-image-or-story-or-both/2111.html

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