It is quite difficult to watch the news anymore. You can’t even read did anymore either. Everywhere we look there is a vast amount of opinion floating around exposing what is said to be story. It doesn’t matter what veracity the moment has. If someone deems that it fits their own political or social agenda then it is wrapped up nicely, packaged in shiny trappings, place conveniently on the storefront of the world scene and sold as truth. The problem is that many times, none of what we are getting is truth. facts are presented in such a way as to be absolute and unquestionable. Yet at the heart of what we have is merely sensationalism.
Several years ago there was a coal mine tragedy. Like many people i got caught up in it and was very concerned with what was happening. It was awful. Families lost loved ones, their daily lives interrupted by the ripping and tearing of ground burying hopes and dreams in an instant. The media was all over it. There was 24 hour coverage from the 24 hour news networks. Many reporters interviewing family members as they waited for news of their loved ones and clung to to tiny threads of hope. The talking heads talked on screen about how they felt for these people, and how they knew the terror they felt. One of these reporters in particular picked up on a rumor. He announced for the world to hear that all of the miners were safe and they would be joining their loved ones at a nearby church in a few short minutes. There was joy, relief and happiness everywhere on the scene. I turned the TV off and went to bed. The morning revealed an entirely different scene. The rumor was simply that, a rumor. The miners had not been reunited with their families. The news had reported a lie. Where once was joy now there was shame and sorrow and tragedy.
Why revisit this awful narrative? Because those who fail to learn the lessons of history are destined and doomed to repeat it. Our media is a fascinating beast in America. It is hungry to devour anything and everything it can, and it will tolerate no accountability. It is quick to shout and scream at the slightest social injustice, but will not easily be cowed into responsibility. Today you can turn on just about any news service and witness this first hand. There will be reports that quote statistics from five years ago in order to prove a point today. There is no mention of other data that may have proved contrary to whatever opinion is being sold as fact. In terms of social justice, and lets be honest there cannot be such a thing in this day and age, the media does not report the full story. No, what we get is the scintillating bits and pieces that enrage and enflame emotions. All the while the reporters and networks walk a tightrope of grey in order to remain unbiased. It is a lie, and it is every bit as harmful as what was told all those years ago. The airwaves, digital and print media are flooded with shame, sorrow, and tragedy.
Elections years glow with this sort of behavior. Networks line up and choose sides like children picking for a school yard ball game. One side says one thing about their candidate, the other rebuttals quickly. Yet in the exchange we are all left with nothing of substance. We stand there, like the last kid picked and feel neglected completely. Worse in the event someone says anything on the contrary to popular opinion they are shouted down and dismissed as ignorant and savage. The media, either side, would love nothing more than to crucify someone just to prove a point. And here is the swerve.
Jesus was arrested…illegally.
Jesus was tried…illegally.
Jesus was convicted…by a court that had no real power of its own.
Jesus was found faultless…by the government in power.
Jesus was punished…simply to silence a mob.
Jesus was executed…simply to appease a mob.
The problems in this country are many and extremely complex. This is not a happy time in the United States. We are all running around in the dark seeking to blame someone for the discontent. Those in power would cover their deeds with flowery words, all the while moving in the shadows to maintain power. When we look at the arrest, trial and execution of Christ we notice something rather glaring. It was what was done in the dark that was the injustice. He was betrayed in the dark. He was tried in the dark. He was convicted in the dark. When things were brought to the light of day, no fault could be found. But because of what was done in the dark the people would not listen.
It is time in this country when we ceased to be swayed by a lying media, a dishonest government, and a body of people who will not allow truth to be known. Our Constitution demands that we have better than what we are being allowed. It is time that journalistic integrity meant something. The light of day needs to be allowed to shine on the truth. It doesn’t matter what political or social agenda you are a part of, if you do not allow truth to be the foundation of it, then you are serving a lie. I think you deserve more as a human being than to be stuck serving a lie. And I think regardless of where you live you have a God given right to demand truth. Here is what that looks like.
Put down your phone, get off of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and whatever else. Stop videoing everything you see and making a stink about no one doing anything when you were just standing there filming the event happen. You want social justice, flee from social media like the plague it is. Stop trusting everything you see on TV, do some research yourself and sort out the facts like the intelligent person you are. We have worked too hard as a society to be led astray shiny flashing lights. You want social justice, first learn about what you are upset about and be a solution, not a problem. Screaming through a bullhorn, or the modern day equivalent, using a hashtag does nothing. Go be a solution. Stop being outraged, be compassionate and really understand what that word means(it means that you feel it physically while not being a direct part). Get rid of the apathy you feel, and allow empathy top move you to action. Raging against the machine only puts a spotlight on the machine and its broken pieces. Working to fix the machine benefits everyone. Understand that complaining about a situation without offering a solution is just whining. Its time we started asking questions that caused forward momentum(questions like, “why is this news”, “what is the other side”, “is this the full story” etc.).
Why do I rail so hard against Social Media? It causes too many people to become apoplectic. Moreover, it feeds the ignorance that so very much pervades every avenue of our society. It was fun for a while to catch up, but then somehow we all became fearless from behind a keyboard, and any and all accountability was shunned. Now we have a major problem dividing this country because social media has become a trusted news source. Social media is great when its puppies and vacation photos and laughing babies. It is a cancer when it is a vehicle for political and social agenda. So post pictures of your dinner, but preach your sermons with you life and save the hashtag justice system for the middle schoolers who haven’t learned any better. (and before you troll me in the comments, yes I am well aware that I am just as guilty about that as everyone else).
What’s done in the dark is done there to hide it. We need to be working in the light, showing the world exactly what we know to be true, and good, and right. But we need to be DOING it. And we need to be demanding it from those who would be in charge.