The Media Diet
We all know what happens when we fail to follow a healthy diet. The pounds pile up, our systems begin to malfunction and we feel discomfort. During the early days of COVID we were fed a steady diet of negative and scary news. People dying everywhere, all the world was in despair. Stay home, wear masks, don’t go to Church, don’t join family for the holidays, don’t go into public places unless absolutely necessary. Across the bottom of our TV screens ran the ticker tape of new cases and deaths. Ironically all this news to protect us actually made some people sick. It effected health, relationships and our spiritual life.
In our house we realized that our emotions and our bodies were reacting to all of this gloom and doom. We too became negative and angry and judgmental of others choices. Time for a change. Turning off major network news sources we turned to alternative sites. We discovered a wealth of choices and followed several in order to get some balance. We began to realize that the slogan,”Follow the Science!” was a fallacy because the “”science” we were being fed was false. Reputable medical personnel, prize winners and professors. were not allowed air time or social media time ;some were cancelled, threatened or even lost their jobs for opposing the “party line”
Some hospitals were reporting all deaths as covid deaths thus skewing the statistics. My own doctor was not allowed to see me for my seasonal allergy complications because the symptoms sounded too much like covid. Have you noticed that for two years there have been no statistics about the number of annual flu cases? None. Personally I think covid is just a more virulent flu strain. Every year people who are elderly, have compromised immune systems die of the ordinary flu. But the two years of covid reporting said nothing about the annual flu. Check it out. The statistics for both are pretty similar.
The controlled negative media diet created a culture of fear. Fear is a tool for controlling people. Very quickly we feared being with family, friends, church, work and school. All human contact was anxiety producing. We ceased trusting others. What angered me was that the Church leadership fell right in line with the public propaganda somehow forgetting that in times such as these saints are made. Leprosy is highly contagious but Father Damien Malachi went to live among them and served them until he himself died of leprosy. Throughout Christian history priests and religious ministered to small pox victims, cholera and plague patients. Many heroes gave their lives to assist others. Our Shepherds locked us out of church, deprived us of the Mass and sacraments for months. Like sheep, we milled about saying nothing. We just followed. Few voices were raised in objection. Bad things go on because good people do nothing.
Some pastors were heroic anyway. They sat in the cold to hear “drive by confessions”, offered out door Masses, held out door processions and sing alongs to video for the shut ins.
Some who were personally opposed to the vaccine, risked its potential consequences so that they would be allowed in hospitals and nursing homes to administer the sacraments. These are today’s heroes.
When did Americans stop thinking for themselves and allow other people to be their fact checkers. We should have been doing it ourselves. Our American Education System has trained youth to be good test takers rather than critical thinkers. I taught for forty years and guided my students to use multiple sources in their research and look for discrepancies then check their facts. I wouldn’t allow just copying what they found on the internet.
Today, if it was said on TV, it’s true! But who owns those media outlets, what’s in it for them to report half truths or untruth? Journalists used to be people you could trust to hunt down truth and expose lies. Now they read what they are handed; scripts written by those who would profit the most. As parents, we are the first teachers of the next generation. It is our responsibility to screen what goes into our children’s minds whether it’s from the media or the public school. Parents will have to give an accounting before God of the lives and minds entrusted to them.
Pollsters indicate that most Americans are not happy with the way our society, our country and our culture are evolving. But we get what we elect; whether in Washington, the statehouse or school boards.. Family is the nucleus of culture and the Church. Let no one, no government, no authority, no school deprive you of your right to train your children in truth and morality in order to become worthy children of God. On that day God will be able to say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
If we consume a diet of negativity, lies, violence, prejudice and hate we will become what we consume! Feed rather, on the Word of God, Feed on His precious Body and Blood. Feed on prayer, Read widely and learn the truth. Our future as a Church and a Nation depends on strong informed citizens filled with the values of faith and the democracy of our founders.
Our forefathers and foremothers took a stand against tyranny. They refused to be victims of injustice. It is time again, to stand up. Stand for truth, stand for love of neighbor, respect differences. Civility has left the public forum and one by one we can reclaim it.
Love your enemies and do good to those who offend you until they wonder what motivates you.