Buy the truth, and do not sell it; Get wisdom and instruction and understanding~ Proverbs 23:23 AMP
I have been burdened with more than a few pet peeves and irritations. I loathe cheap socks and people who are mean to dogs. I get super cranky when I encounter a seemingly intelligent person who knows exactly what they need to do to solve a problem or fix a situation and yet they refuse to do it. I hate it when motorists will not get their stupid, egocentric selves into the other lane so drivers can merge on to the freeway in a civilized fashion. If you really want to see me go a little crazy-town just leave an empty cereal box in the cupboard (an empty box is basically just a lie sitting in the pantry).
I have a longstanding peeve that is quickly becoming my most intense non-church peeve of all time. I am sick to death of being manipulated and lied to by people who are supposed to be unbiased reporters of the facts.
For the record, I believe this mess is much bigger than our current president and his disputes with the media. Ultimately this issue is about truth and whether or not truth matters enough to fight for it. It has enormous spiritual, political and practical implications (more on that later).
My frustration boiled over this past week when every news agency in the universe reported that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) arrested an illegal immigrant for the sole purpose of deportation. According to the storyline the poor man was simply minding his own business and driving his wife to the hospital to have their baby when ICE arrested him for no good reason.
If the story were true it would be legitimately awful, an enormous waste of tax dollars and clear evidence that ICE needs to rethink their priorities. However, the story was factually incorrect on just about every level. It turns out that the guy is not a squeaky-clean family man just trying to make a better life for himself and his family. It is true that he was wanted in Mexico for murder. It is also true that ICE arrested him at the request of the Mexican government. Immigration enforcement chose a traffic stop because they felt it was the best way to ensure the safety of others.
There is simply no way so many journalists (who are trained to uncover facts) could be so wrong about so many details. There is simply not that much stupid in the world. Facts were deliberately omitted in the hopes that no one would check them out.
The situation at the Southern border is yet another example of deliberate deceitfulness. Hardly a day goes by when we are not reminded (usually a dozen times or more) that there are still children in custody who are separated from their parents. What we aren’t told is that those children share no DNA in common with the person claiming to be their parent. Those children have been traveling in the company of human traffickers who plan to sell them to perverts for sex. That’s the real outrage. We are being purposefully misled in order to stir-up hatred and pit people against each other.
Refusing to report the facts is just one way we are being deceived. It has become all-too common for politicians to refuse to answer the question they have been asked. Instead they point out that the other party (or another politician) has done way worse things than they have done. Even “conservative” commentators allow politicians and pundits to get away with this childishness. This willful stupidity confuses the ill-informed and creates an atmosphere of laziness and excuse making among the political class (like we need more of that).
The political, social, and spiritual implications of this situation are massive. Millions of people are being manipulated into thinking a certain way about issues (Deuteronomy 32:28). I saw the results of this firsthand this past week when I visited my eighty-year-old father (a scientist with a college degree). Thanks to certain “news” networks he believes (among many other weird things) that the KKK is growing rapidly and that gangs of white people are roaming every city in America searching for victims to harass and terrorize.
Insert eye roll here.
This idiocy could easily lead to a civil war. If decent people really believe that what is being reported is happening they will at some point feel honor-bound to do something about it. At that point we will have a vicious revolution based on fabrications and deceit.
On a spiritual level this situation is seriously troubling because Scripture clearly teaches that it is truth that sets us free (John 8:32) and that lies are the devil’s work (John 8:44, Revelation 12:9). If enough people believe enough lies for long enough it will shrivel their souls, harden their hearts and alter the landscape of our country permanently.
We ought to be very wary of everything we read or see on the news these days. Christians need to get in the habit of going to sources to check facts and listening to both sides of every story and political issue. If something doesn’t make sense, question it until it does. Christians ought to be praying daily for wisdom and discernment when it comes to distinguishing truth from error (Psalm 119:25, 1stChronicles 12:32).
Democracy is critical to Christianity because it’s the field where Christianity grows the healthiest. Democracy is entirely reliant on an unbiased press. If we don’t figure out a way to restore an honest press, we might just lose democracy in this generation and freedom of religion along with it.