I went on a bit of a tirade yesterday about the damage the propaganda machine at Fox News is doing to our country and to our faith. I’m not quite done yet …
I must confess that, as a native Southerner, a lot of my family, people I dearly love, get most of their information from Fox News. It is like we live in two different worlds. Oh, I admit that I read a lot of progressive news sources on the Internet. I tend to favor that Atlanta-based “liberal” news source CNN [insert sarcasm here], and I’m pretty addicted to NPR. However, I also read the “Atlanta Journal-Constitution,” “USA Today,” and the “Washington Post.” In as much as possible, I want to gather the facts and make up my own mind. Unfortunately, those who watch only Fox and listen only to Rush are having their minds made up for them because they are only provided one version of the facts, opinions, and truth.
As a progressive, even writing that makes me uncomfortable. After all, we are supposed to be tolerant, reflective, and egalitarian in our views, actions, and comments. The problem is when the “other side” doesn’t hold those same values you get destroyed. We keep trying to have civil conversations while they are shouting at us so loudly that they won’t hear us, and we generally have to cover our ears or eyes against the onslaught.
“It is too much trouble.” “They won’t hear us anyway.” “They aren’t going to change our minds, and we aren’t going to change theirs.” “We just want to spend the holidays in peace.” These are the lies we tell ourselves, but the truth is we are cowards. We are conflict avoidant. We are afraid of speaking our truth, though the Right doesn’t seem to have those fears.
Believe me; I know how you feel. Remember, most of my family are white, religious, Republican conservatives. I have used all of those excuses. I don’t know if we can open their minds, but I do know we must try. Jesus confronted right-wing fundamentalism even though I suspect he didn’t think it would help. Yes, I know it got him killed. I don’t know if it will help to ask a restaurant to change the channel because you can’t stand the lies. I don’t know if it helps to point out to relatives that they are getting their only information from a propaganda machine. I don’t know, but the other day I went to visit a family member in South Georgia and they had CNN on … you just never know.
Rev. Michael Piazza