Twenty-four years ago, C. John Sommerville of the University of Florida wrote an essay in First Things entitled “Why the News Makes Us Dumb.” (It was later turned into a book.) Writing before the advent of the Internet and long before the emergence of social media, Sommerville said that news had become “a product, and the truth of the News product is not a characteristic essential to it.” This was especially true because the process of selling news on a “daily basis” could not be accomplished without “reducing the importance of its context.”
I can only imagine what Sommerville makes of Twitter. What I make of it and the current media environment is that if newspapers and CNN made us dumb, the newer stuff makes us dumber and dumberer.
The reason for this “get off my lawn!” diatribe is yet one more instance of someone citing the Pope’s “Who am I to judge?” comment. Liberals and conservatives agree on little, but they do agree that this comment signals something about Pope Francis’ commitment (or lack thereof) to Catholic teaching about sexual morality.
I want to thank our BreakPoint.org editor, Gina Dalfonzo, for allowing me to post this. It's my opinion and reasoning on the subject, and something some of us here at the Colson Center disagree about.
President Obama gave a very good speech in response to yesterday's shooting. He offered comfort to the grieving and faced the issues head-on as he sees them. He issued perhaps his sternest and most unapologetic call for stricter regulations on firearms yet. The first priority for all of us right now should be grieving with and praying for the ten families who lost children in Oregon, and for those injured. But as the president pointed out, when lives are on the line, this is an issue that can and must be politicized. If action can stop or minimize such massacres, we have a duty to take it. Loving our neighbors means nothing less.
I also think President Obama genuinely believes that rewriting the Constitution and confiscating every legal gun in America would make us all safer. And if I thought the same, I would fully support him in doing so. READ FULL ARTICLE »
Reports are coming out that the gunman who killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, asked people about their religion and shot them in the head if they were Christians. (Non-Christians were shot in the leg.) Details are still sketchy, but his online profile suggests a hatred and distrust of religion.READ FULL ARTICLE »
I recently attended a performance of "Amazing Grace," the musical, and can say, without exaggeration, that this is the best Broadway show I’ve ever attended.
"Amazing Grace" is about the life of British slave-trader John Newton, who, after encountering God during a great storm, abandoned the slave trade and spent the rest of his life serving his Lord -- and writing the titular hymn. READ FULL ARTICLE »
Every week it seems that I read about a teacher or school administrator banishing the Bible or prayers from the public school. Yet, as the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held, schools cannot practice “viewpoint discrimination.” If they allow any forms of student belief and practice, they cannot single out any specific practices or beliefs for special scrutiny.
One of the better responses to the growing public attack on religious faith is a program sponsored by my friends at Focus on the Family. “Bring Your Bible to School” Day is a great way for students to highlight their faith and their Constitutional freedoms.
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I'd say these numbers demonstrate one thing: The media blockade of CMP's Planned Parenthood videos has been phenomenally successful so far. Which is why pro-lifers need to keep sharing them, and talking about them, and insisting that our leaders watch them. We're fighting an uphill battle against deeply entrenched attitudes and ideas, but we have powerful ammunition.READ FULL ARTICLE »