By: Thomas & Margo Abshier, NDs
—– Original Message —–
To: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2005 1:17 PM
Subject: Bush, Katrina, Supreme Court Nominees, Judicial Activism, and Social Conservatives
Steve: Religious beliefs aside, George W Bush is a politician first and a leader second. It is sad that so many good citizens allowed themselves to be manipulated by Carl Rove into voting for Bush because of his religious affiliation without much regard for his talent as a manager in the complex world we live in today. We got a stubborn Texas cowboy who reacts with his political gut. He is simply “limited” when it comes to his depth of intellect and practical wisdom.
Margo: Yes, politicians are politicians. As for leadership, leaders don’t follow polls and do what they think the public wants, they do what they think is right under the circumstances. With this definition, George Bush is the first true leader this country has had since Abraham Lincoln. Bush has an MBA and has proven, even prior to the White House, that he makes a really good manager. I am not 100% behind his fiscal approach, but Clinton squandered the economic growth brought on by his previous 2 predecessors and had thrown the economy into a recession with high tax policies a year before he left office. Considering that Bush inherited a recession and then was slapped with 911, the economy is doing remarkably well.
Carl Rove is a political strategist for the president, it is foolish to think that this one little man was able to overcome all the liberal lies of the media all by himself. No, the people who voted for Bush did so because they can tell when someone is being maliciously slandered on a daily basis and can see the actual facts for themselves. Compared to the candidates that the Dems ran against Bush, Bush is an intellectual giant. Just compare their grades in University; just compare their actions and lives. God forbid that the people of America would elect such traitors.
The liberals think George Bush is stubborn because he ignores the liberal media’s drum beat of lies and just continues in doing what he believes is best for our country. The liberals thought bombing an occasional aspirin factory was a war against terror. The liberals should hang their heads in shame for their role in allowing 911 to happen. George Bush has effectively divided the Muslim world up with the military actions, isolating Iran in particular, while providing the needed discussion about which ideology is a better path. The USA and its Constitution are founded on a strong Christian perspective and ideology, as the Supreme Court ruled in 1893, that “this is a religious people, this is a Christian nation.” That faith recognizes the rights of conscience, life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness as God given. The Muslims don’t give anyone that right. They force their faith on the “infidels” they conquer. Now the two ideologies are challenging each other through the political processes going on now in Afghanistan and Iraq. We shall see if the people of those two countries will continue to tweak their system more to the Christian side as they perceive the evil results of moving more to the Muslim approach. We are giving them a great gift by our sacrifice, they are being given the opportunity to throw off a system of slavery and exchange it for true freedom as God designed it.
Steve: He didn’t ask his father, the senior Bush, about going into Iraq because his father would have told him it’s not a good idea. Now he has created a blood bath that produces more terrorists by the day. Did he get true divine guidance to do it? Many people would like to think so. That’s for sure.
Margo: Now there is a politician for you. His Dad failed because he was a politician, more than a leader. No one wants to go to war. But, how do you stop militant Islam with all its oil wealth? You give people the choices needed, that way it will be revealed before their eyes which system is better. The blood bath is the Moslem way. Bush didn’t create the bloodthirsty religion, Mohammed did. Bush isn’t killing people in Iraq, militant Islam is killing its own, because in the words of the terrorists themselves, they love death as much as we Christians love life. God created life. Satan and his realm hate life. God’s word says that those who hate God hate life. George Bush loves life and regrets the loss of every American and every Iraqi. But, if you cave into the terrorists it encourages them to continue to slaughter in the name of Allah. The only thing they understand is force and they respect that. I believe that God heard the cries of the Iraqi’s under the evil rule of Saddam and his sons, and wanted us to liberate that country. It wasn’t something George Bush or anyone else wanted to do. But, it was better than letting the Hitlers of this world continue on their attempted conquest of those who follow the Book. It took several years after we defeated Germany and Japan, until the militants were routed out and peace could be restored. I would prefer to fight the Jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan than here; at least we are distracting many of them and self-selecting many of the worst for destruction in Iraq.
Steve: He makes statements to the American public such as “Nobody foresaw a disaster of this kind” referencing hurricane Katrina. This is patently untrue. The disaster preparedness community, the civil engineering community, and the National Weather Service predicted this very situation. His statement is either (A) a politically motivated lie, or (B) evidence of his incompetence and being disconnected from the facts. But he said it, “nobody foresaw a disaster of this kind.” I shake my head; he is either out of touch or incompetent or simply dishonest.
Margo: Let’s get real here. It was Dem Ray Nagin and Dem Gov Blanco who refused to really do a mandatory evacuation like the President requested, days before the storm hit. If Bush said that, it was in reference to the fact that the category 5 Andrew did about a fourth the damage as the category 4 Katrina did. No one expected that much devastation, not even the weather people. But, even when Ray Nagin ordered an evacuation, he didn’t use his evacuation plan and he didn’t use the trains Amtrac offered, didn’t use his own school and metro busses to evacuate, didn’t allow the Red Cross to feed and provide cots to the Superdome, because they wanted the conditions to be bad so more people wouldn’t come there. Nagin allowed all his buses to be flooded and destroyed rather then use them to help his people. That is the insanity of Dems. Blanco didn’t even call in the Feds, as was required by the Constitution, until Wednesday. It is totally inappropriate to blame their stupid actions on Bush who pleaded with them days in advance and gave them the authority to use everything the Feds had to offer on Saturday, two days before the storm hit, and they refused. To blame Bush and overlook the other points of responsibility in the breakdown is wrong.
BUSH’S APPOINTMENT TO THE SUPREME COURT & JUDICIAL ACTIVISM
Steve: On the other hand, his appointment for chief justice of the Supreme Court is the first action that I feel good about. In listening to the confirmation hearings, I have gained a greater awareness and appreciation and understanding about the value of an independent Judiciary.
Why are the social conservatives the only group that whines about “judicial activism”? Have you ever wondered? I think it is because this is an easy buzzword to use to attack judges who rule in a way that they don’t approve. They cry when they don’t get their way. When an activist judge rules in a way that social conservatives approve of, well, no problem there. That would be taking America in the “right” direction.
Margo: Let’s get real here. This country was founded on the Christian faith and the Bible. If you doubt it, read the quotes from the founders on Thomas’ website. Nowhere does the Constitution guarantee a so-called “right” for a woman to choose to murder her unborn or partially born child. You can’t point to where the Constitution gives us that right. Enacting such social legislation in the name of the Constitution is judicial activism. And, 40 million plus babies have been slaughtered in this country alone since that little piece of Judicial Activism was legislated, against the will of the majority of Americans, from the Supreme Court Bench. It is an indefensible proposition that the Founders would have supported a governing philosophy that would have resulted in the murder of 40 million babies. They are appalled, and someday, you will see their scorn before the judgment seat of the God. I am eager see that day.
Steve: I have learned that some judges are activists, and others are not, some activist judges are conservative and others are liberal, some activist judges are Republican and others are Democrat. I have also learned that what constitutes activism and what does not can be a very subtle. For example in the famous Terri Shaivo case involving the feeding tube, did the judges have an activist agenda to make euthanasia a socially acceptable thing? Probably not. Chances are high that they ruled according to what was legal in our system and what was not legal at the time. But they were attacked as activist, because the rulings offended the sensibilities of some people.
Margo: First, with the Terry Shaivo case, all the people involved in the hospitals, nursing home, the lawyers for her husband, the judge who ruled to pull her feeding tube, all were members of the Hemlock Society, as revealed by a Canadian newspaper. They didn’t rule according to the legal system. The legislative and executive made the law and the judges took it upon themselves to say that they are supreme not the legislative and executive branches, both on the state and federal levels. Like Shaivo’s parents said, their daughter was put in that state by the abuse of her husband, and it was covered up by hospitals and crooked judges. We are caught in a war of who will rule this nation, judges, many of whom are unelected, or the elected representatives of the people. Obviously, the legislative and executive branches on state and federal levels weren’t ready to exert their power over the judiciary in this case, but it had better be done and done quickly, if this nation is to be saved from liberal activist judges.
I have yet to see an Activist Conservative Judge. First of all, a true conservative judge respects the law as written, respects the will of the people and their elected representatives and doesn’t overrule the other two branches of government in an attempt to force their social engineering down the throats of the majority who oppose their agenda. Let’s have a referendum on abortion and gay marriage, etc. If the Dems really believed that the people should rule and not the so called “elitists” who are always telling us how wrong the majority is, then they would respect the referendums and the will of the majority where abortion and gay marriage are concerned. But, they refuse to care what the will of the majority is. They just keep using the Activist Judges to advance and enforce their agenda against the will of the people. This is hypocrisy.
Steve: I appreciate Judge Roberts’ clarity regarding his role and the role of the Judiciary. Its role is to provide a check on the power and actions of the two other branches of government. Supreme Court rulings are supposed to be based on legality and legal reasoning in specific cases that do take into account the specific circumstances of the case. When a law, as written is found to be unconstitutional, politicians don’t like to have their work undone. Of course they don’t mind when their opponent’s work is undone. That’s politics. I continue to believe that a mixture of religion and politics is a truly evil mixture.
Margo: You are apparently ignorant of the history of this country. The founders were clear, there was to be no state sanctioned organized formal religion running this land because they had fled religious persecution and state sponsored religion in Europe. We don’t have a mixture of religion and politics in this country. But, we have historically had a mixture of the morality gleaned from the general principles of the Bible and politics and it created the best for the common good that a nation has ever demonstrated. The founders were very clear, and the Supreme Court until about 40 or 50 years ago agreed that the basic principles of the Bible were the basis for all legal rulings. The Constitution provides a framework under which a moral and religious people (who feared God, chose to control themselves and their behavior according the 10 Commandments of God, and the Sermon on the Mount) could be self-ruled. John Adams, George Washington, Madison, etc. were all very clear about it; the Constitution was only designed for a moral and religious people who adopted the standards of the Bible. They believed it was wholly inadequate to be used by any other group. The things you say you liked about Roberts are the very fundamental cornerstones of Conservative Judges and the Founders. Many of his answers that he provided were almost verbatim those of Clarence Thomas at his confirmation hearing. If you like what you heard, there may be hope for you, because if activist liberal judges breach the rule of legislated law, you won’t want to live here. This is a struggle for the very survival of this nation where the judiciary is concerned.
Study Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson’s concerns about the courts. Both were adamant that the courts do NOT have the final say as to Constitutionality. Both Congress and the President can overrule the Supreme Court’s judgment on Constitutionality. Did you hear Roberts excoriate the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court? Both President Lincoln and Congress overruled by legislation and executive order, the Supreme Court decision of what was Constitutional. That is why I have proposed a “Constitutionality Commission” to several members of the Senate so that all three branches can be involved in issues that the legislative and executive branches feel that the Supreme Court is in error of its decision (often 5 to 4) as to the Constitutionality of an issue. It is the single largest loophole in the Constitution.
Well, honestly, the framers never intended the Courts to trump the legislature and executive, as is very clear in the Federalist Papers. But, once Marburg vs. Madison was case law, Jefferson saw that the dissolution of the union would come through the courts and warned against it. The Civil War was fought because of it, and the current Culture War is raging because of it. We don’t want to tear down the current structure and start from scratch – it would be too disruptive. But, we do need a true balance of powers and allowing leaders of the legislative and executive and judiciary to come together and see if the Supreme Court was right in some of its rulings, is a good way to restore the balance of power so necessary to a nation that is supposedly of the people, by the people and for the people. Otherwise it may not long endure and may perish from the earth.
Steve: I took a law class in graduate school, and I read many Supreme Court decisions on the law of communications. Interesting.
Steve: Social conservatives have gotten more vocal and more politically active in the past two decades, they have recently learned about something called judicial activism from conservative radio talk show hosts, conservative media like the Fox News Network, conservative members of Congress, etc. I doubt that there are more shallow stupid people in this group than in any other group, but when these people take the attitude that God favors them over others, this is really obnoxious to me. By the way, I believe that the body of Christ is way larger than the politically active social conservatives. “The meek shall inherit the earth.”
Margo: You act as if social conservatism is some sort of disease that people catch from radio talk show hosts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Social conservatives are some of the most educated people on the planet. Regnery press is a small publisher that prints more best-selling books than any of the big publishers because they will print the truth for social conservatives that the liberal controlled publishing houses won’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Social conservatives know the history of this nation and have studied the words of the Founders, and many can quote them to you, despite the fact that the liberals have expunged the words of the Founders from the history texts of these days. Social conservatives consider both sides and are appalled at the philosophy and distortions, disrespect, and bias of the liberal media. If you read Mona Charon’s books, you can get a better idea of the conservative perspective and why we reject what liberals believe is so “self-evident.” Her books are entitled “Useful Idiots” and “Do Gooders” and she goes through the details of the historical impact of every major liberal agenda and its effect on our nation and the world for the last 40 or 50 years. It would do you good to see the other side and not blame social conservatism on Rush Limbaugh. He is only one voice, and frankly, most so-called conservative talk show hosts aren’t nearly as conservative as their listeners; they are just a tad better at presenting the issues than liberal media outlets like CNN & Air America, so we prefer them. The same is true of conservative politicians, most of them are way too liberal for the conservatives who elected them, they are just better than their opponents.
As to God and who He favors. If you were God, would you favor a man who tries to obey you in all his actions and thoughts, or would you favor someone who rants against you and hates you? If you were God, would you not give favor to those who loved you and loved your law, over those who rebel against you and hate you, hate your people, and hate your ways? How do you think the meek will inherit the earth if not by God’s grace and favor? Certainly, the wicked have always used lies and slander and violence against the meek. The meek use the vote and the Word. That is what is so frustrating to the liberals; one truth will wipe out a sewer full of lies, because of God’s grace and favor to his people. You should thank God for His grace and favor to this nation because of His people who humbly cry out to Him. You wouldn’t want to live here otherwise.
Thomas: I have chosen not to respond to the specifics of the issues you raise, I have addressed some of those topics in my other essays, and Margo has addressed your points in her comments. Rather, I have chosen instead to present the curative perspective I would like to enroll the world in holding with me.
Your worldview is very different than mine, and it is fascinating to me to see how realities can be in such opposition on an issue of common consideration and group experience. I truly do believe the underlying conflict reflects a disparity in spiritual perspective. You have framed life in a perspective that you have attempted to call unbiased, based on reality, law, and legal reasoning, divorced from a spiritual/religious bias.
It is my thesis that such a divorce is impossible. If one chooses to not consider and identify one’s spiritual perspective in the social debate, then one is simply commenting about life from the framework of an implicit spiritual perspective. In general, those who attempt to appeal to this “higher truth” of reason and logic do so from the religion of Secular Humanism. Many who argue for separating God from the social debate do so with the assumption that the nation is/was founded on the pillar of religion-free government. As a result, they must appeal to the “higher” considerations of logic, law, and data in order legislate properly, as was intended, in our nation.
But, the tools of reason, the mind, data, established law, and self-evident truth are limited, and it is impossible to use these tools without including implicit assumptions about the foundational forces that operate and govern the sequences of life. Let’s be honest, admit that we are biased, and do our very best to reveal our assumptions so that those assumptions can be challenged by data and logic, rather than pretending that our perspective is superior because we use data and logic divorced from belief structures. To avoid such full disclosure is the political equivalent of parlor magic. Those who pretend to appeal only to logic and data distract the audience while manipulating the cards, hat, rabbit, or sleeve to give the appearance of causal sequence, but in fact many of the processes that produced the presented outcome were in fact omitted and/or misrepresented.
I believe that if in fact there is a God, which to me implies that there is in fact a True way to legislate and interpret Law. Those who deny this perspective attempt to deify the perspective of Man, and claim that their fact/data/reason-based perspective is True because it is unbiased by any beliefs which would be tainted with a perspective other than the cold hard logic of reason.
The problem with such a perspective is that reason is based upon foundational assumptions about life that cannot be identified by man in his current limited state. The scientific community has been installed as the de facto high priest of our secular era. Their opinions, theories, and data are placed in the position of ultimate esteem, supposedly reflecting the highest and most true perspective of which man is capable. They attempt to discover and reveal the primal cause and ultimate structure of the universe as they peer into the realm of the ultimately small and declare that the universe and life was self-created.
In their data, they have seen no evidence of God, thus, they conclude that in fact that there is no God. But in fact, the scientific paradigm as currently widely constructed has carefully excluded all assumption of God as non-scientific, and hence all evidence or theory that would require the existence or action of God is removed as a valid explanatory force. In this system, all objects and forces must be explained in terms of purely material objects and actions. But, even such a statement has the absolutely gigantic assumption staring at us — “What is matter? What is Force? What is Space? What is time?” The self confident assumptions of science have declared their truth with such bravado that we have succumbed to the drumbeat of their dogma of a Godless physics, a universe that stands independent and are well explained, all of physical theory can stand alone free from the need to assume the existence and presence of God to create or sustain the universe as it is objectively observed. As a result, since God has been eliminated from the most likely place where His existence would show some evidence, there is no need to include God in any consideration of our judgment in the affairs of humanity.
I believe that God has hidden Himself so deeply inside the world of name and form that He has given Man the opportunity to make the plausible assumption that there truly is no God, and that we as Man can simply divine our own laws given the boundaries of pain and pleasure we share as virtually universal common experience. In other words, God has given us a world where we can choose to ignore His existence, and do so on the basis of science, evidence, and “fact”. But, the science we must use to validate this assumption is a parody, a sham, a veneer-view of reality. Such a science requires us to ignore the most obvious holes in our knowledge and fill them up with the assumptions that some unknown “matter” or “force” will arise in its someday-discovered existence to validate the assumption of independent-self existence and self-assembly. The belief in such an unknown, unseen process can only be categorized as a belief. In fact, this belief may be true, but those who believe it should be honest and declare that they argue for social policy based on this “Belief System”, rather than trying to pretend that they argue from a higher platform separated from the superstitious beliefs of the religious masses.
In other words, I believe God exists, that there are rules that He has embedded in the human heart and within the forces of universal cause and effect. I believe that the secular humanist religion embraces a creed that is so close to the Truth, that those who embrace its tenets are blinded by the fact that they too follow a religion, a belief structure as full of faith as the most primitive and superstitious savage. The Humanist/Scientist in general appears to be blinded to the extent that they sincerely believe that they worship no religion, and that their religion of fact/data/logic is absolutely true. In fact, the Secular Humanist/Scientist perspective of “Man with none higher and without accountability” causes him to see the attempt to rightly legislate and adjudicate according to an immutable set of God’s rules as offensive.
I believe the resolution to this entire debate is to take the gloves off. We are engaged in a spiritual war. The Secular Humanist perspective IS a religious perspective. Every religion wants the rest of the world to see the world in terms of their worldview. You might say, there are religions that hold that “every man should be free to follow his own path.” And this is true, but following our own path doesn’t mean there every path is true. Simply holding a creed “that there are many paths up the mountain” does not elevate that religion because of its tolerance of error, free will, and diversity. We truly will stand before God naked, alone, and responsible for the choices we make, and yes, there are consequences to those choices, and yes, there are wrong choices. We can claim ignorance as our defense for not following The Rules. We can claim that God created an unfair system where the rules were too obscure to be held responsible and culpable for our offenses. We can claim that we operated out of good faith and were deceived. We can operate out of rebellion and declare that any system that is “this system is too hard or unfair” doesn’t deserve to be followed, so I will not participate or try to disturb its harmony to show my disgust. Regardless of the defense for error, if there is a real possibility that there is a God, and that there are consequences associated with every behavior, then we are well advised to make every effort to remain open to every evidence that our assumptions about life may be in error, and adjust those assumptions and their corresponding actions when we see that evidence.
When we admit that we are in a spiritual war, we can stop pretending that a man can be a superior judge of the law because he has no spiritual perspective to which he is loyal. I completely disagree with John Robert’s tactic of obfuscation and pretence to having only a rational view of the Law. I think he is unqualified to sit on the Supreme Court with such an attitude. I would never approve of any man who did not have the courage to say that he is a man with a spiritual perspective. The Democrats know that it’s a ruse, and he knows it’s a ruse if he has any intellectual power and perspective, and it’s time that we as a nation had the guts to allow the civil war in the heavenlies to break out in the open. The man who claims to not appeal to any higher or foundational belief structure is a moral moron, totally unaware of the fact that our limited perspective into the absolute depths of reality requires that we create a shorthand system to identify and categorize right and wrong, good and evil.
Unless we can truly know the ultimately basic rules that govern the interaction of particles and consciousness we will use macro concepts to make our judgments. In other words, we use beliefs about how things work to guide our judgments, and those beliefs are not facts. It’s time to stop the pretence. If it is a fact, then justify it on the level of the experiment that validated that conclusion. If the fact is a belief, then justify that belief in terms of the myth, scripture, folk wisdom, common assumptions, and observations about life, stories we’ve heard. Every fact has a validating understructure. Logic depends on connecting facts/evidence with causal chains of force creating movement to produce the next level of effect. Without knowledge of the primal forces operating in life, we make assumptions based on our beliefs about the forces operating in life.
Science is not immune from the biasing effect of its own assumptions, regardless of the effort to let “data be king.” The logical humanist approach of scientism cannot claim a perfect or unbiased perspective because of its allegiance only to logic with its total divorce from any religious belief structure. Such a claim of possessing the proper belief structure because of appealing solely to logic and data is simply the same as embracing chauvinism to the religion of Man.
Once we are debating the issues honesty, admitting that we are all arguing from a religious perspective, we can then play on a level field in the debate about governing social behaviors. We can evaluate the merits of each proposal based on the prospective outcome, and the theoretical assumptions about the forces operating in life can be clearly identified. The revelation of our underlying assumptions about Truth, Life, God, and Morality is the foundation for any truly meaningful debate about how we should govern the group and ultimately our own behavior.
When people see it, the debate will continue between the Anti-God chauvinists and those who are willing to make that humble assumption that yes, this is God’s world, but it will give confidence and peace to those who embrace God and His Lordship in the governance of their lives and group behaviors
Steven: I agree. There seems to be a lot of warfare going on today such as the so-called culture wars. On some level there certainly is a struggle between the Fundamentalists and the Secular Humanists. By your language, I would say you are much more passionately caught up in this than myself.
I prefer to see these things in terms of a continuum. Imagine a football field with a big sign posted on one end that says Fundamentalism and another big sign on the other end that says Secular Humanism. Each person gets to find their own spot somewhere on this continuum or range or field. A few extremists will want to occupy the position at the far ends. But most people will find their self-identified spot somewhere between the two extremes. A few may stand in the center at the 50-yard line. From what I know today, I think I would stand near the 75 yard line on the SH side. That doesn’t mean I embrace everything about Secular Humanism, and it doesn’t mean that I reject everything about Fundamentalism.
Since I didn’t really have a clear understanding about what you were referring to when you say Secular Humanism, I did a Google search and found what seems to be a very good summary page. See http://www.answers.com/topic/secular-humanism. My temperament and tendency is to try to be a free thinker. Again I would never claim to be totally free in my thinking. I don’t think that is possible, as you say. It’s just that, of the various categories listed in this information page, that is the category that I would place myself.
At the bottom of your essay you say, “…absolutely obvious connection between God and the creation. When people see it, the debate will continue between the Anti-God chauvinists and those who are willing to make that humble assumption that yes, this is God’s world, but it will give confidence and peace to those who embrace God and His Lordship in the governance of their lives and group behaviors.”
Yes, to recognize that we live in God’s creation and we are God’s creation requires humility and it also produces a state of awe and humility. I experience this.
Your words represent a polarized description of pro-God and anti-God forces. I can assure you that there are countless people (a very large number of people) who do not fall within either of these categories yet who quietly live their lives in direct experience of the divine.
On another note, Mr. Bush now says we are going to pay for the largest reconstruction effort in history by “cutting unnecessary government spending.” There’s a novel idea. Hasn’t that already been done? Let’s do away with federal funding for education. Sure. That’s unnecessary. Let’s do away with federal funding for highways and reduce the federal payroll for the IRS and the FBI. Those things are unnecessary. If he doesn’t have the courage to raise taxes himself, he will continue to shift the burden to the states that will be forced to cut services to the citizens and raise taxes.
Steven: Wow. I read Margo’s entire commentary. Amazing. Let me speak directly to her. Margo, you have done 10 times the amount of study than I in the subject areas that you speak about. Your command of historical facts, which is to say the facts as you understand them, is 10 times stronger than mine. I am not equipped to debate you on that basis. If this were a debate, you would win overwhelmingly.
I honestly appreciate the amount of time and effort you put into this piece of writing. Your level of effort shows how passionately you feel about these issues.
The old humorist Will Rogers supposedly said, “All we know is what we read in the newspaper.” He must have been talking about our knowledge of world events. This world is a very very big place. I have seen this first hand in my foreign travels. For the vast majority of us, all we know is taken from the media sources we choose, the books we read, the people we associate with, and the mentors we listen to and respect.
My media source, almost exclusively, is Public Broadcasting. Supposedly, independent research determined that the members of the Public Broadcasting audience have the most factually accurate view of world events compared to the audience of other media sources, most notably the Fox News Network. Was the research truly independent? Is the conclusion accurate? How can I possibly know? But the conclusion of the research is consistent with my perception, where cries of “liberal media” are not consistent with my perception. And so it goes.
I must say that my graduate degree in journalism gives me a different set of tools than the average person off the street. In the academic world of communications research, people are continuously examining media bias and trying to measure it. It is understood and accepted, that no matter who we are, we are embedded in our views, and there is no way to be 100 percent objective. But we should still try. This is a noble effort that has its place.
One interesting media phenomenon that I remember from my studies is this: It has been observed and confirmed through research, that when a story is published on a highly charged, highly polarized issue, both camps will tend to feel that their own position was shortchanged in the story even when the presentation is determined to be perfectly balanced by objective measures. Interesting huh???
Your comments seem so angry. Maybe I’m getting what I deserve for beating up on Tom for so long. (Smile)
I have the impression that your view is seriously distorted. Can I know that for sure? No. As a matter of fact, I would go on to say you have a perfectly valid point of view and you have every right to express it. But it still feels really angry to me. It sounds like you feel victimized by the so-called liberal media, by activist judges, by crooked liberal politicians, and by a world gone mad. I hope you can believe me when I say I can relate. This is truly a bizarre time in history that we live in.
It is fascinating to me to notice how people’s perceptions can be so vastly different. That certainly keeps life interesting, doesn’t it?
Thomas: Thanks for spending so much time responding to Margo’s comments. She felt very good that you admitted your limitations on the subject. In our discussions, she has never had a liberal back down at all from any position, so she thought much higher of you for that. She is very passionate about her beliefs. She believes she perceives the Truth of the situation because she has “exercised her senses” by studying the Word of God. This concept could, of course, be simply seen as being blind because of one’s own indoctrination into one’s personal perspective. But, it is also possible that she is right. The concept of being sensitized to God’s way by being committed to the leading of the Holy Spirit is the center of Christian life.
Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,” of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.