Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Media vs. Politics vs. Truth

I rarely dip my toe into the pool of politics because I don't feel like I can intelligently contribute to the discussion. - Now I know why. 

Today I read on my FOX News feed this story about NBC selectively editing Richard Engal's interview with President Bush. You can find the FOX Story here, the White House's letter to NBC here and NBC's response here. It took me a while to read them all but this is the first time I have dug into a news story to find out the truth.

Now back to my original statement. It is evident to me that the reason I don't feel intelligent is NOT because the news media is actively participating in selective editing, but because I haven't spent the time and effort on finding the truth within the news community. What does in fact disgust me is the fact that I can't turn on the national news and get the real story, the truth. I personally feel deeply offended by news media in general and don't really know where to turn for the truth on things of this world. Because, really, how do I know that FOX doesn't skew the news to fit their agenda the way NBC, ABC or CBS do? And in a time of political transition it seems extremely important to know the truth of the matters at hand. And seriously, I don't have the time to search out the truth for every aspect of politics or those who seek a seat in determining the future of our country. And so I, and millions of other hard working Americans, rely on the news media for accurate accounts of national and international events, thus providing us a base to make our mark by voting for said hopefuls. This sends all of my opinions flying right out the window and I am left with a ballot unmarked and no confidence in my thoughts about all things political. - And though I can't complain too much since it is truly my responsibility to search for that truth if I really want it, I am deeply dismayed by the displays of selfishness and deceit by the news media.

I spent some time with my parents a couple of weeks ago and was able to have some conversations about politics and religion. The latter I am comfortable with but putting them both together in conversation makes me squirm... a LOT, and even feel a bit of anxiety. Lord, why does it have to be so difficult to understand, and how relevant is my voice in all of it? 
And so while I don't think I am getting the truth from humans in the media, in a time when I'm told that my vote and my voice count, and while I don't feel like I can intelligently contribute to a political conversation, I know where to find real peace and truth.

An interesting thought came to mind while I was in conversation with my mom, who said she had never heard it put this way, and so I share it with the few who read this blog: Humans tend to think that God is not active in the world because the Bible has a back cover, and I think that is a big mistake. 

The one truth that I rest in, literally, the thing that stills my heart and allows me to sleep at night, is knowing that God still rules in His Kingdom, and His Kingdom is happening now. And what is important far beyond whether I vote today or not, is whether I am sharing the truth of God's Kingdom and His love and grace with people I know and love. 


kristi w said...

I am right with you, Leah. It can be so frustrating to hear/read the news and know that it is not the whole story. But that's just how I take it; it is a glimpse into reality (I think I got that from counseling - no one every gives the complete story). In my naivety, I generally believe that people do not have ill intent, though; they come to a story with their own lens of what is real.

As for voting, I didn't realize that I was as passionate about it as has come out this election season. As I explained to Trinity tonight, there are many, many people in the world who have absolutely no say in who leads them and what laws rule their lives. We are so incredibly blessed to be in a time and place where we truly do have a voice. In honor of those around the world who have no say, I think we should exercise our amazing gift. Someday we may not have it; we'll surely miss the ballot box then.

suzylu said...

I was feeling very much the same way yesterday as I filled out my ballot and searched for a ballot drop-off. I very rarely watch the news but with my mom in town I've watched a lot these past two weeks. I'm never really sure who the "best man/woman for the job" is but feel good in knowing God does have a plan and usually find myself praying for our government and asking God for widsom in knowing who He would choose. That's when I feel that I have some real power - HIS power. So I vote as best as I can and pray as hard as I can - and keep learning to trust God.

Cheryl Russell said...

Well said Leah. I share your feelings and frustrations. Your voice is important, especially, when you use it to, as you said, "share the truth of God's Kingdom and His love and grace."

FOX news is also guilty of skewing their news and selective editing. We often read foreign news, it gives a different perspective, not always objective, but it's good to hear how other people in the world see us.

I have been doing a Biblical study on citizenship. It has been helpful in hearing God's voice through all the media/political chaos. Let me know if you want me to email it to you!

cacmygarden@msn.com said...

From Mom,
I cringe a little when this little one of mine writes, "I was at my parents' house this week and....." I too believe God has an active hand in the activities of this world. Especially the political ones. Romans 13: 1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no aurthority except that which God has established. It goes on to say we are to respect them at the end of the passage. God has used governments to bring judgement and protection to his people all through the ages. Some believe this nation was established to allow the Lord's church to surface after the oppression of the dark ages. Our nation has enjoyed unpresedented religious freedom in the history of the world over the past 200 years. And the real fear of many christian conservatives is that we may be on the way to loosing it. There is much at stake with every little freedom that slips away. Believe it or not even smoking where you want to or saying what you want to even if it's "hate speach" may be eventually tied to freedom to worship and be true followers of God. When I hear politicians talk about teachings in the bible being offensive to certain members of society and maybe it shouldn't be allowed it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. So have I talked myself into a circle? I don't think so. God, is still in control. True followers of God have always been a remnent. And I will respect whom ever is in office even if it isn't the person I vote for because the person I vote for I will look at through the lenses of His word.

I love you,
My Darling Sunshine.

Leah said...

There is no need to cringe, Mom. Conversations I have with you help me to find my way through situations and ideas and are always helpful. As your post shows, you are always looking through the lens of scripture, something I work towards being able to do.

Love you, and our time together.