Thursday, January 24, 2019

We have a problem

MSN News: “The images in videos that went viral on social media Saturday showed a tense scene near the Lincoln Memorial.”

Except, of course, when the truth came out the scene was not nearly as “intense” as the viral clip showed it to be. The fallout that resulted, though, may truly be called intense. The Washington Post reported that “death threats had shut down Covington Catholic High School,” where the students involved attended. I have heard that the Native American drummer also received death threats.[i]

The aftermath of this situation submits several settings for self-examination.

We who are Christians should be “swift to hear” and “slow to speak” as James advised.[ii] As a society, we are slow to listen and swift to rush to judgment in matters of which we know little or nothing.

The media needs to rethink whether their reporting contributes in some way to the public good. I believe in freedom of the press unrestrained by government. A free press must exercise self-restraint. The media cannot control what people do with what they report. However, reports rushed into quickly without all the facts – that lead to threats on lives – cannot be a good thing! Being right, reporting correctly, and doing good must outweigh being first.

The general population needs to exercise self-restraint. Recognize that we also operate as “news media” through Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and such like. We do not have to “share” everything we hear, especially when what we hear may be incorrect. Blame rests not only on the professionals!

We are slouching towards a chaotic and disorderly society. A civilization easily irritated, perpetually offended, and maliciously reacting is not civil! Will rudeness and savagery rule? Politics, which has descended into blind rancor, often is implicated as the source. Not likely. More likely, bureaucratic bile just feeds a deeper problem. Look around. This is not just in matters of politics. Think sports. The referees made an exceptionally bad call [iii] in the NFC championship football game.[iv] Later on that night, security moved the refs from their hotel to a different hotel because they were being harassed. All over a game – a game we pay grown men to play!

Houston – America – we have a problem.

And the problem is us![v]

[i] Though I haven’t seen a specific news report on it, I don’t doubt it.
[ii] James 1:19-20 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
[iii] Technically, they failed to call a blatant rule violation.
[iv] Between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints, January 20, 2019.
[v] Pogo: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” God: This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord” (Isaiah 30:9).

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