Should there be any doubt in anyone’s mind, willing to invest the time in simple observation and analysis, to clearly see the political, religious and cultural polarization in America – and by extension the civilized world? What is the reason for this now? Why are people so willing to display such raw emotion in their personal views?
What makes these questions so urgent is not only the issues and events that feed these emotions, it is the enormity of opportunity to express them and in too many instances, to impose them on others. Many people are willing stop at nothing to voice their convictions.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – these are the social media outlets that have replaced this generation’s “town square” or “town hall.” The problem with depending on social media though is that it’s too often a flawed alternative to honest socialization. It’s too easy to vent and “flame-out” when we know that we are safe (and alone) in our bedrooms; believing we can get away with insults and profanity without penalty. And the worst response we can give to someone we can’t abide on our Facebook timeline? Unfriend them! Ouch. But that doesn’t mean there is no consequence. Because there is always a consequence to belligerent social discourse. It’s called polarization. The more it is practiced the more difficult it becomes to reach common ground. Without common ground, any socialization requiring reason will wither and deform.
Recently, a phenomenon called “fake news” has emerged as a component in the ongoing metamorphosis of fair and objective delivery of news and information – including, and perhaps especially the social media. It has even been determined to have played a role in the election results; with some saying it helped elect Donald Trump. It certainly appears to be contributing to the shaping of public opinion. Assumptions are both affirmed and questioned simultaneously. If you can quote someone or cite something – anything that supports your existing bias, it is no longer presumed out-of-bounds. Truth? Well, it was redefined as relative a generation ago.
Mohler writes about fake news in his November 21st Briefing:
“And Christians need to be very aware of the fact that much of what we see on the web is neither journalistically credible nor is it editorially curated. That is both the genius and the curse of the Internet. It’s what makes the Internet more fresh, more immediate, and more democratic than that [of] curated journalism. But it is also what discounts the credibility of any given news story unless we know the source. And that’s a very important issue for the intellectually responsible person. We need to know the source in order to know what is likely to be authentic and what is likely to be false. That’s why on The Briefing from the very beginning I have cited those news stories that I believe to be credible, sourced to credible news organizations. There can be no question that the editors of the New York Times are right that there is a digital virus called fake news, but they also need to recognize that they themselves have been a catalyst for the emergence of the very problem they there describe. And this underlines for all of us regardless of where we fall on the ideological spectrum to understand that what we now see as journalism often is not. And Christians above all have to remember that truth is not a compliment that we pay to an idea that we like. It is instead an attribute of being objectively true, and for Christians that’s far more important than anything else.”
But this time, remarkably, well into what was generally believed to be its ascendancy, liberal/progressivism may no longer be unassailable. For people who suffered under the relentless progressivist memes of diversity, acceptance and celebration of any sexual expression, transgenderism, religious intolerance, contempt for individualism, and natural (and of course God-given) rights, the push-back just couldn’t be halted. The purveyors of the big lies of our time, were caught in the undertow of their own devices – namely fake news.
Because the news and entertainment media became the willing and active acolytes of progressivism, then the priests and chief priests (educators and adjudicators) and their proselytes assumed their world-view could no longer be questioned. It appears that’s no longer entirely true.
And, this may be why none other than Franklin Graham was willing to prognosticate the results of the general election in this Christian Post news story as due to the “God factor.”
So perhaps there has been a reprieve. Perhaps. It may be more correctly described as forbearance. Both are legal terms to be sure. One points to a more volitional response. For people of the Word, people of faith, people who have surrendered to the promise of salvation; their worldview, the Christian Biblical worldview, Truth will prevail sooner or later. God expects compensation for its lack.
Donald Trump may or may not be the right man for the right job. He may or may not deliver on all of his campaign rhetoric. But Christians know this: “For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1
One day God will judge the nations and the kings of the earth. America, with all her blessings He has supplied her, will be no exception.