Today, Pastor Freed used this Albert Einstein quote in his blog Jack’s Winning Words – “Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth, because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.”
I immediately thought, maybe it is their delusions that they don’t want destroyed. In the new world of “Fake News” and “sometimes facts aren’t facts”, we have moved easily from illusions to delusions, and it has sometimes become hard to decern the “truth”.
I also read this morning about a recent study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research of the news coverage of the COVID-19 virus that shows a decided negative bias in stories from the national media in the U.S. Basically the study finds that the national news media feed us what they think we want to see and hear. They create a delusion, based upon their biased coverage.
“I’ll know the truth when I hear it”, used to be a saying that was often used. But, not any more, because the truth is often impossible to discern amidst the bias and deception that various groups employ to control what we see and hear. We may still believe that we can see the truth, but we are seeing what someone else has decided to show us as the truth.
That is not to say that we cannot still make judgement calls about what we see and hear on the news; however, moving onto the slippery slope of judging what is true or not true is exactly where the manipulators of the news want us to be. Do I believe what Lester Holt – “the most trusted news anchor in America” – tells me every night? Or, maybe, I switch to CNN or the BBC because I think they are less biased in their coverage. Those are judgement calls and once we start making those judgement calls the “truth” fades into the background and is lost.
A major contributing factor to the storming the nations Capitol building was the belief of the perpetrators that they were doing their patriotic duty and answering the call of their Commander-in-Chief to “take back the country”. They saw and heard that call to action night after night on the news, especially the news shows that took that bias as their guide to what was presented. They lived in a delusional world created by the “news”.
The fact is that all of the so-called “news” shows are just a special subset of the entertainment industry and to be the most entertaining they give us what they think we want to see. The American public seems to sop up bad news with more enthusiasm than feel-good stories, so we are fed a daily dose of the bad news that we crave. Perhaps we get a perverse pleasure in seeing someone else in misery – sort of a modern equivalent to the reaction to a Vaudeville prat-fall – or we sit there thinking “thank God that wasn’t me”. For whatever reason we can’t take our eyes off scenes of disaster or misery.
So, take your daily dose of news with at least a grain of skepticism. Whichever outlet you use; be aware that you are seeing the “news” through the filter of the biases of that news crew. Maybe that fits into the illusion (or delusion) that you have of the world, but it may or may not have anything to do with the truth. Maybe Jack Nicholson’s line from the movie A Few Good Men is the answer – “You can’t handle the truth.”
Can you handle the truth? Can you discern the truth? Do you live in a world of illusion or maybe delusion? Where can you look to find the truth? Christians start by looking in the Bible. The truths that are to be found there are not judgement calls, but they may destroy a few of life’s delusions. Do you want the truth? Now you know where to look for it.