The Media Doesn't Want to Talk about the 26th Victim of the Texas Church Massacre

Crosses for members of the Holcombe family are part of a makeshift memorial for the victims of the church shooting at Sutherland Springs Baptist Church placed along the highway in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Media outlets across the country are apparently having difficulty counting. They can’t seem to get the number of victims right in last week’s horrific Texas church massacre. While many correctly reported that 26 people were killed during Devin Patrick Kelley’s maniacal rampage, many others went to great pains to avoid reporting that an unborn child died at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last Sunday. Or, if they did report the baby’s death, they reported it as a footnote, careful to separate the unborn child from other victims.

Take, for instance, the Chicago Tribune, which wrote, “Kelley shot and killed 25 people at the church. Authorities have put the official toll at 26, because one of the victims was pregnant.” The newspaper didn’t want to get caught recognizing the humanity of the unborn baby, so they deferred to “authorities.” There wasn’t a deceased baby, there was a pregnant victim, according to the Tribune.

CNN wrote that “the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs will reopen its sanctuary as a memorial on Sunday, one week after a gunman killed 25 people and an unborn child.” In other words, 25 real people and one blob of tissue.

At USA Today, they didn’t even try to cloak their hostility toward unborn babies in clever wording. “The memorial ceremony was a block away from the First Baptist Church, which is slated for demolition after the massacre during Sunday services Nov. 5 that killed 25 people including a pregnant woman and wounded 20,” an article declared.

The same with the New York Daily News, where they reported: “Michael Kelley, who lives just 35 miles away from Sutherland Springs, where his son killed 25 people and an unborn child at the First Baptist Church, told ABC, ‘We are grieving, our family is grieving.'” And an unborn child, as if it’s a creature belonging to another species.

Time opted to go with word gymnastics: “Kelley shot and killed 25 people at the church. Authorities have put the official toll at 26, because one of the victims was pregnant.” Which is it, 25 people or 26? Time wouldn’t dare recognize the humanity of the slain child, though they dutifully reported what “authorities” said.

CBS News did the same thing: “The victims included eight males and 17 females ranging in age from 1 to 77. Authorities said the 26 dead also included the unborn baby of a woman who was killed.” So 25 victims plus one unborn baby. See the subtle subterfuge?

That “plus one” baby had a name: “Carlin Brite ‘Billy Bob’ Holcombe.” John Holcombe, who was shot in the leg but survived the shooting alongside two of his children, wrote on Facebook that the name “includes [his wife] Crystal’s pick for a girl, a boy and the nickname the kids gave the baby.” Holcombe lost a total of eight family members in the shooting.

“Crystal was very thoughtful when coming up with these names. Carlin means small champion. ‘Billy Bob’ is the nickname the kids gave the baby,” he wrote.

John Ellis noted earlier this week at PJM that a Texas law enacted in 2003 recognizes the humanity of unborn children, affording them all the protections of the criminal code at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth. (The law does not apply to murders committed during a legal abortion, however.)

Why can’t these media outlets simply say that 26 people — human beings — were killed in the attack? The answer should be obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention to the culture wars for the last 40 years. They can’t say it because they’re so firmly tethered to their lie — that the unborn child in his mother’s womb has no personhood and no rights. It’s merely a blob of cells that can be destroyed at will. Even in a time of great national tragedy, they must lead the way in defending — and even advancing— the right of a woman to choose to kill her unborn baby. To recognize that tiny baby in Texas as a victim would let to the mask drop and reveal the 40-year-long prenatal holocaust they’ve aided and abetted. As PJM’s Michael Walsh is wont to say, “The never stop, they never sleep, they never quit.”

As Ellis explained, “Pro-abortionists get it. They will fight tooth and nail to prevent our legal system from acknowledging the personhood of babies still living in their mother’s womb. They have to wage that war in the legal realm because the fight would be over before it even started if the battle took place in our neighborhoods.”

They fight it only in the legal realm, but also in the media and across all segments of our culture, including K-12 and higher education. They must continue to push the lie that what’s contained in a mother’s womb is not a human being, despite all evidence to the contrary. The tragedy in Texas exposes their deception — and their desperation — as more an more Americans understand that abortion is the intentional killing of a human being made in the image of God.

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