Over the years, a lot of faithful Christians have noticed a curious trend in the secular media: They frequently publish dubious articles blaspheming, questioning or belittling Jesus Christ right around the Christmas and Easter seasons, the holiest times of the year.
Last Easter, of all the possible days to run a story that wasn't breaking or time-sensitive, the Daily Mail chose Good Friday as the day it would publish an article featuring the work of an atheist activist who claimed Jesus never existed. Instead, the activist argued, Jesus was a mere allegorical fiction. And the disciples? They, as the article described the view, "were also probably not real and their names only later attached to the gospels to lend them credence."
Two days earlier, the Sydney Morning Herald selected an even more blasphemous op-ed and published a bunch of mindless speculation about Jesus being a woman.
And the day before that, Jezebel opted to honor the Christians of the world during Holy Week by featuring an article called "The Passion of the Bieber," a trivial piece of pop culture that drew ridiculous parallels between Justin Bieber's rising career and the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Topping the article was a blasphemous image of Christ's crucifixion with the head of Bieber superimposed over that of Jesus.
Months earlier, in 2014, one week before Christmas, when millions upon millions of Christians celebrated the birth of the Incarnate Word, the Washington Post considered it appropriate to run a piece by the author of a book titled "There Was No Jesus, There Is No God." His article proceeded to lay out the case that the historical Jesus never in fact walked among us. The subtitle asserted matter-of-factly, "There are clearly good reasons to doubt Jesus' historical existence."
How about in 2013? On Easter Sunday, the Daily Beast attacked the history of Christian persecution in the Early Church by highlighting the theories of Notre Dame's notorious "progressive" theologian Candida Moss. She wrote an article for the website detailing the thesis of her book "The Persecution Myth," which argued that early Christians greatly exaggerated their alleged persecutions under the pagan Roman empire.
The year before that, CNN's religion website hosted a debate on whether the historical Jesus ever existed. (It generously included the affirmative side in that debate.)
The tradition goes on with countless similar stories. But what about this year? Did the secular media decide to tread the same path? Well, in just the last few weeks, we've seen:
"Was Jesus really nailed to the cross? Artefacts suggest tales of the crucifixion may have become myth and tradition," by the Daily Mail (again);
"Scholars Debate: Was Jesus Really Nailed to the Cross? But Evidence Suggests Other Unspeakable, Horrifying Details About the Crucifixion," a piece by Inquisitr "debunking" what Christians have always held about the Crucifixion;
"Why doubting the Bible is good for Christians" by the Washington Post (again);
"Why Easter Is Actually Kind of a Feminist Holiday" from Bustle.
It would appear the secular media did in fact tread the same ground as in years past. Maybe Christians wouldn't be so suspicious of the secular media if similar articles were as predictable around the major holidays of other religions. Needless to say, when the next "breakthrough evidence" "proving" Christianity false comes out about nine months from now, be prepared to take it with a grain of salt (preferably blessed).