Hate Crimes

DAVID SISLER

Question: When is a hate crime not a hate crime? Answer: (a) when the crime is perpetrated against a Christian, (b) when the crime is committed against a heterosexual by a homosexual, (c) all of the above.

On November 13, Nicholas Gutierrez punched, kicked, and mutilated Mary Stachowicz with a knife until he got tired. Then he placed a garbage bag over her head, strangled her, and jammed her body in a crawl space under the floor of his apartment.

Gutierrez confessed to the crime and has been charged with first-degree murder, attempting to conceal a homicide, and burglary.

Mr. Gutierrez says he murdered Mrs. Stachowicz because she asked, "Why do you have sex with boys instead of girls?"

According to Chicago Police Cmdr. Lee Epplen, Gutierrez said in a videotaped confession that while quarreling with Stachowicz he was reminded of debates with his mother.

Gutierrez "said he has issues with his mother and the way Mrs. Stachowicz talked to him gave him flashbacks to his mother," Epplen said.

"Those of us who knew her immediately hear her soft voice saying something like, 'God wouldn't approve of the way you're living your life,'" said Mary Coleman, a friend and neighbor. "That's how Mary did things."

Why is Mary Stachowicz dead? Because she said something to a homosexual that he did not like.

I am certainly not the first person to point this out, and I certainly hope I am not the last, but does that sound similar to another murder case, one that was labeled a hate crime?

Four years ago Matthew Shepard was killed because he, a homosexual man, had propositioned some heterosexual men. Offended by his words, they tortured and murdered Shepard.

LexisNexis is a searchable online data base which is the authoritative source for news records. According to Rod Dreher, writing on National Review Online, Andrew Sullivan, "the most articulate gay-rights advocate in journalism," searched Nexis for stories about the Matthew Shepard murder. In the month immediately following Shepherd's death 3,007 stories appeared about the crime.

In 1999, Jesse Dirkhising, a 13-year-old boy from Arkansas, was raped, tortured and murdered by two homosexual men. In the month after Dirkhising's death, Nexis recorded 46 stories about the crime. "The Boston Globe, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times ignored the story completely. In the same period The New York Times published 48 stories about Shepard, and The Washington Post published 28. The discrepancy isn't just real. It's staggering."

Sullivan the gay-rights advocate continues. "Some deaths if they affect a politically protected class are worth more than others. Other deaths, those that do not fit a politically correct profile, are left to oblivion."

I searched LexisNexis for articles about Mrs. Stachowicz's murder. In the three weeks since she died, 13 items have appeared. Two of those were obituaries. The 11 news articles ran to barely 5,000 words in total. Only four of the news pieces made the two Chicago dailies. The Chicago Sun-Times, on November 18, headlined, "Arrest in funeral home death." The day before it said, "Body found in funeral home was stabbed." On the same day, the Chicago Tribune said, "Body identified as missing woman." The last piece published in the Tribune (also on November 18) headlined, "Quarrel preceded slaying, officials say." The subhead, small print, gave the only hint in Chicago about what really went on: "Suspect's lifestyle allegedly at issue."

Can you imagine the frenzy if the 51-year-old Catholic woman had murdered the 19-year-old homosexual? How long would it have taken the media mavens to have screamed, "Hate crime?"

Franklin Graham, who is himself under attack for daring to say that Islam is "a very evil and wicked religion," recently remarked, "When Jimmy Carter announced in the Pennsylvania primary that he was a born-again Christian, it caught the attention of the nation. It was a very popular thing to talk about back then. But today the church of Jesus Christ is under attack. There's an onslaught against the church. Being an evangelical Christian is not a popular position any more, and it's getting worse, not better."

The media attention to the brutal torture and murder of Matthew Shepard, a homosexual man, by heterosexual men, was explosive, and still produces copy. The media attention to the brutal torture and murder of Mary Stachowicz, a Christian who believed that the homosexual lifestyle is a violation of God's Word, by a homosexual man, has been all but ignored, producing barely enough copy to fill the front page of most daily papers.

Commenting on Mrs. Stachowicz's murder, a murder to which Nicholas Gutierrez confessed, a writer (at a homosexual advocacy website) identified only as "Barry" said, "Is this good for the gays? Probably not, but maybe it will strike fear in the hearts of a few fundamentalists. Where do I send a check for [Gutierrez's] defense fund?"

When is hate not hate? When the one hated is a follower of Jesus Christ.

 

 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

David Sisler. "Hate Crimes." Catholic Exchange (December, 2002).

This article reprinted with permission from Catholic Exchange.

THE AUTHOR

David Sisler's newspaper column, Not For Sunday Only, is in its 13th year of weekly publication. For reprint permission, or to subscribe, contact Mr. Sisler at david@mirkids.com.

Copyright © 2002 Catholic Exchange




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