A simple concept, that is yet, so foreign in 2021.
Like you, I spent most of yesterday watching the news in horror, disgust, disbelief and disappointment. My phone was blowing up, with every chat group I’m in, pinging messages of appalled bewilderment at the disgraceful and shameful actions of the extreme right protestors and rioters at the Capitol. Rioters. Peaceful protest is one thing…a good thing. An exercise of a constitutional right. But violent destruction of property and harm to people? That is not. That is deplorable to the core.
All day yesterday, I knew I was going to have to write a post about it today. And here it is 4:30 on Thursday, and I’ve dragged my feet in procrastination, because what could I possibly say of value to add to the conversation. I’ve been praying hard all day, asking for direction, and one word kept popping up in my head: veritas.
Which is latin for truth.
To be honest, the first thing I associated that with was, “In vino, veritas.” And so for a hot second, I thought the Holy Spirit was nudging me to get a little tispy and let the words flowwww, but I reeled that in real quick.
But in seriousness, one of the most concerning things that hit me today, was this question: Where can I turn for the truth?
And, though this is a Christian blog, in this instance, I am not talking about the “capital T” Truth, but rather, actual truth – straight facts – about news, politics, current events?
The news media, social media — every station has a bias. Every station, no matter if you’re watching the liberal media on ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, the View, any of the “Tonight Shows” — they all have a blatantly left slant to how they tell the stories, and which stories they tell. Whereas FOX news, The Daily Wire and other fringe conservative outlets, all have a right-leaning slant.
It’s impossible to get the straight story.
And on social media, it’s even worse! People (myself included) tend to follow likeminded voices, which thereby reinforce one’s own biases and viewpoints. You scroll through your feed, and you are continually affirmed and further indoctrinated by what you believe — based on the “facts” strategically given to you by a “power that be.”
Further to this, as we’ve witnessed in the last 24 hours here, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are making no bones about where they stand, silencing conservative voices, including the President. Which – is no surprise here. Facebook has been censoring my prolife articles for years, literally. Anything I have put out there, defending the sanctity of human life – banned.
So clearly, social media is just as bad, if not worse, than the media outlets.
I am, admittedly, a FOX watcher. Watching anything else, frankly, makes my blood boil, listening to how they spin stories, or omit news all together. (Hello, Hunter Biden?!) But yesterday I had a very eyeopening experience, witnessing how “both sides” were covering the nightmare on Capitol Hill.
Like I said, I spent all day watching FOX, and I felt I had a pretty good understanding of what went down. Then, I went over to a friend’s for dinner, and a significantly not-FOX station was on, and I was absolutely bewildered by the difference in narratives I was seeing. It was like a completely different event happened. First of all, they were strategically calling the protestors “MAGA supporters” – thereby painting any one who voted for the Republican party one of the protesting radical right wing delinquents — and by their own deduction, a white supremacist. Further, the entire dialogue was focused on how things would have been different had the protestors been POC, and the difference between the BLM riots this summer, and the events of yesterday. I don’t think I heard the left-leaning media mention once that a woman had been shot and killed. Nor did they give any more than a brush off of the President’s speech.
It was just wild how differently the story was portrayed, depending on which station you were tuning into. And I would have never realized that, had I not been “forced” to watch both.
Which leads me back to the word that was placed on my heart: veritas.
How do we know? Who can we trust?
We can’t trust the media. We can’t trust the politicians, clearly. (Remember being instructed to only wear a mask if you’re symptomatic at the beginning of Covid?) And we can’t trust the censoring social media, either. And it’s no surprise that the American people have lost trust in all three! The mainstream news media’s “credibility rating” has plumbetted since 2016, absolutely bottoming out in 2020. The senate has an approval rating of just 15%! Fifteen percent!! And conservatives are fleeing from Facebook like the plague, switching to the alternative platform: Parler.
We are in desperate need of truth.
Because each side is staunchly committed to their believed truth (myself included), while in actuality, completely ignorant to the actual reality. Nobody has both sides of the story. And as a result, people are only half informed, leading to their infuriation because they don’t have a balanced view of things.
This polarity, and lack of balance, coupled with the frustration over Covid isolation and restricted freedoms leads people to the boiling point. Add to that, the media and politicians purposefully feeding the split in the country: it is a perfect storm to create havoc in the country. And we witnessed that yesterday, and all throughout the summer.
None of it right. None of it justified. And yet, one can see all the contributing factors to such disgraceful unrest.
At the end of the day, nobody is willing to listen to the “other side,” and no one is willing to explore new opportunities. And therein, lies our deepest problem.
But without access to truth, we are doomed to be caught in the perpetual cycle of neighbor vs. neighbor, parent vs. child, “us” vs. “them.” And frankly, I don’t know how much longer we can sustain such a volatile and hostile social structure.
So. What are we to do? I am genuinely asking. Because the first step in seeking a solution, is a) recognizing the problem, and then b) having creative cooperation to do something about it.
What is veritas? And where, in 2021, can we find it? And most importantly, how can we bridge the divide and come up with real solutions to heal our nation that has torn itself in two?
I pray that we come together as a nation where everyone feels seen, heard, safe and respected.
May God bless you, and God bless America.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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