Why Fake News Is Making Sense

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.” (John 14:6)

Newspapers are not interested in the truth anymore, just the facts. This is why Donald Trump’s assertion that they make the news (fake news) is getting so much traction. He’s right – they often use the front page to editorialize. Just read any morning’s edition of the Washington Post or the New York Times.

We need to realize that newspapers everywhere do not always print stories on which we can rely to be true. They are always factual but they are not always true. My personal experience right here in Concord over 25 years ago taught me an important truth about newspaper stories.

I was angered by a story in The Concord Tribune (now merged with the Kannapolis newspaper, the Daily Independent, and renamed the Independent Tribune). The story featured a project on which I was working and one with which the newspaper disagreed. The story they printed about the project was not true, and I was so upset about it I personally visited the publisher to express my concern. He said something to me I’ll never forget, “We’re not interested in the truth, just the facts.”

Not interested in the truth? That taught me to treat stories we see in newspapers today with a critical eye. Maybe what we’re reading every morning is not true. And while the Independent-Tribune is a good newspaper that is prints what is factual, it does not always print what is true. I don’nt condemn them. I understand how difficult it is to determine what is true, and how easy it is to just stick with the facts.

Consider, for example, a newspaper editorial about homosexuality and evolution I read several years ago in a local newspaper that was reprinted from a newspaper editorial in Toronto, Canada newspaper. It was an editorial about evolution and in part read:

“Laura Schlessinger–a.k.a. Dr. Laura, based on her Ph. D. in physiology–has been taken to task by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council for characterizing homosexuality on her radio show as ‘deviant,’ ‘dysfunctional,’ ‘aberrant,’ ‘abnormal,’ and biologically ‘an error’…

What is most astounding about ‘Dr. Laura’s’ proposition is that she clearly missed taking a course in evolutionary biology. Biology is all about deviance. Species arise because variant traits are selected for by the environment.”

To the newspaper’s credit, no one on The Globe and Mail of Toronto’s editorial staff wrote that editorial. Nonetheless, I was sad to see an editorial staff choose an editorial that would appear in a newspaper read largely by Christians that contradicted what the Word of God has to say about creation. It may have been fact, but it was certainly not what many of their readers believed to be true. Yet their side was never taken into consideration.

Interestingly, most Americans don’t believe the evolution lie. A 2009 Gallup Poll conducted on the eve of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday revealed that only 39% of Americans say they believe in evolution. It certainly makes you wonder how a view held by only 39% of Americans has taken control of what’s taught in our public school system and read in our local newspaper, doesn’t it?

Ever wonder why we never see an editorial defending creationism in our newspapers? The truth is evolution is politically correct thinking and creationism is not. Why?

Dr. John Morris, a creationist, says one reason is evolution is one of several principles that help spurn other closely held thought systems that are at work in our society today and are deemed to be politically correct. He argues that since evolution cannot stand the “test of open scientific inquiry”, the “alternate view of creation must be censored.”

But Morris’ strongest argument probably points to the real reason why this newspaper and others fail to include such thinking on its editorial pages:

“In the name of ‘tolerance,’ the politically correct crowd vilifies any person or thought that is not ‘tolerant’, which does not value every view or action as equally valid. Since Christianity insists that absolute truth does exist, in faith and practice as well as science and history, it must not be tolerated. The message of creation, which under girds Christianity, further implies that there are absolute guidelines for life, and that some choices constitute sin, which must be punished. In the name of ‘tolerance,’ this view cannot be tolerated.”

We may not be as free and open-minded as we claim. Have you ever stopped to think that’s it that same kind of thinking that put Jesus to death?

In his book, Surprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis urges against making young people read newspapers because “nearly all that a boy reads…will be known before he is twenty to be false in emphasis and interpretation, if not in fact.” Moreover Lewis adds, “Most of it will have lost all importance. Most of what he remembers he will therefore have to unlearn; and he will probably have acquired an incurable taste for vulgarity and sensationalism.”

I don’t know if I agree with Lewis or not. Perhaps we just need to read a good book along with the newspaper, like the Bible. That way we can get both the truth and the facts!

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