Sometimes we get our shorts in a knot over the maddest things

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
This here internet thingie sure has made life easier for doing quick research and finding data and let me be honest, for helping me check the spelling of some words I have trouble with. But dang if it hasn't also fostered and encouraged ignorance among some of our population.

Emails I get from concerned citizens that tell of great conspiracies and governmental coverups which, when I look into them a few clicks further, find the story is conveniently only halfway told.

Or even worse, when complete lies and fabrications are sent out in the name of justice or indignation or a quick reaction to a perceived lack of religious freedoms, when in fact those things have no basis in fact. Yet some people simply take the written word on a screen as fact, truth, absolute.

Yes, the Internet is good for helping get some good information, but it also seems to foster ignorance in ways that surprise me. It can so easily push the buttons of people with immature faith stories and it doesn't seem to make a difference which religion it is. People get hold of the wrong end of the stick, hit "Send All" and share their fears with their whole address book.

Most recently I've been getting email about this whole Ground Zero mosque thing in New York where a Muslim group wants to build a community center and Mosque on the site of where the Twin Towers fell in 2001.

There has been a big bruhaha going on in the media and across back yard fences in America about this act of aggression by those of the Muslim religion.  I'm more of a mind that says ok America, this is where you live what you believe and if you believe in freedom of religion then this is where the rubber hits the road. It's time to be who you say you are.

But there is also a contingent of the followers of Jesus Christ who, in the immaturity of their faith, get sucked into these public arguments. Rather than living as citizens of heaven in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ, they end up living as citizens of a Country arguing for things they know little about.

Initially I was surprised by how provocative this Muslim group was being to push it's way into using some of the free space at ground zero to build such a building. But then I got onto the internet and went to Google maps to see the exact location of the lot. I was surprised to find the building they had purchased is over two blocks away from the historic site of the World Trade Center.

I hadn't heard that in the public media discussions and I suspect that some of my email friends don't know that either. What they know is what they hear or see in the media and what one email buddy passes on to another.

Sometimes we do get our tails in a knot over things that deceive us, or things that are the business of the country we presently reside in, rather than being about the business of the country that holds our citizenship.


  1. How far away would it have to be before it would be a non-issue? Pretty far for the media to not get their grubby little hands on it and blow it out of proportion.

    I grow tired of receiving emails angrily insisting the if you come to our nation you must know English and follow our culture. Certainly there are extreme cultural practices we cannot tolerate here, but so many people want any reason to express their fear and get angry. The descent into mob mentality is not a long one, I fear.

  2. Jay - Saudi Arabia would be about the right distance.

    I have to be careful around forums these days - people would rather believe a lie they can be angry about than a truth that makes them accept others. And who is the father of lies? And why do Christians embrace him so happily?

  3. well said Randall!

  4. 'tis true, feathers are ruffled quite easily, and it's harder to smooth them out it seems. Perhaps even more so in smaller closer to home madness.

  5. Thanks for the information, Randall, it just shows how media and internet hype can mislead. Difficult problems though.


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