Over the course of the last several months I have found myself thinking and speaking these words more frequently in conversations with myself and others: “I don’t know who or what to believe.”
I have had a growing distrust in what I see from news and opinion outlets, and what I read that’s posted on social media (both that which is shared and that which is self-written by posters). My distrust, I trust, is not weighted to one side or the other, but equally distributed. Does “fair and balanced” even exist anymore. . . from any side? Spin, imbalance, propaganda, and outright lies are no respecter of persons, ideology, political bent, or information outlets. We have to keep that in mind whether we are speaking or listening.
My distrust and cynicism has existed for years. It was Marshall McLuhan who once said that “all media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and artificial values.” Jim Morrison said it a bit more succinctly before his death: “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”
I do, however, trust that the needle of truth still exists and we must continually pick through the mountainous haystack of information to find it.
Recently I have been challenged to pray this prayer found in The Book of Common Prayer of The Anglican Church of North America: “Almighty God, your truth endures from age to age: Direct in our time, we pray, those who speak where many listen and write what many read; that they may speak your truth to make the heart of this people wise, its mind discerning, and its will righteous; to the honor of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Lord, fill our ears, eyes, minds, hearts, and lips with truth.