Truth matters. Words matter. Without meaning, words are pointless.
When you hear “school shooting”, yesterday is what comes to mind. And yesterday was terrible. Seventeen dead. And it took just minutes for the media to start talking about ways to prevent this, both sides having their piece, their take. Before the bodies are even buried, before most parents even knew their kid was one of the dead ones, we are calling half the country evil for supporting gun rights.
The statistic being quoted by many last night and this morning is that in 2018, a year that we are only some forty days into, has seen eighteen school shootings, referring to the reporting from a group called Everytown for Gun Safety. That is truly an appalling number. 18 school shootings. When you hear “school shooting”, yesterday is what comes to mind. And yesterday was terrible. Seventeen dead. But yesterday is not what Everytown is calling a school shooting. They are counting all shootings at schools or involving schools. Truth matters. Words matter. Without meaning, words are pointless.
So what does this reporting from Everytown mean? Eight of those eighteen resulted in no injuries or fatalities. Two were suicides, one in the parking lot and one in the bathroom at a school. One was a gun fired unintentionally, no one hurt. Of these eighteen incidents, three people were killed— not including the two suicides— and roughly 30-35 were injured, according to The Daily Wire.
We all wish that yesterday was one bad day out of a million good days. We all wish we had a billboard that counted the days from the last school shooting and it had been at 30 years. But when “we include suicides, accidental discharges, purposeful shootings without injuries, and purposeful shootings without only ‘superficial’ wounds” as school shootings on par with what happened yesterday our words lose meaning. We become numb. Yesterday was just another school shooting. That was the new normal. But it isn’t. It isn’t the new normal.
Truth matters. Words matter. I hope that you agree.
If you’re a conservative in tech, it is next to impossible to live in an echo chamber.
Over the last week, my Twitter timeline exploded with rage over the two big GOP topics of the week: net neutrality and the big tax bill. If I was to believe my timeline, these two items were doomsday-grade events. There was no way that a human could stand by this massive tax bill or against net neutrality. Not a single dissenting voice.
Sometimes this is a real sign that something is truly important and should be stood for or against. Sometimes this is a sign of a lack of diversity in thought or ideology in your news feed.
Seeing all these voices — voices that I greatly respect — freaking out over the tax bill, I started to wonder if the GOP had truly jumped the shark. So I went to a few major news sources and a few minor ones. I sought answers and tried to understand the facts from my worldview. And found myself agreeing with the majority of the included items, while also understanding how others would see these as bad.
Echo chambers exist when we surround ourselves with a homogeneous group of voices. As a conservative, it is next to impossible to live in an echo chamber. If you want to follow anyone in tech that matters, you’re going to hear opposing views on political matters.
What are you doing to stay away from echo chambers?
When I was in college, I was escorted out of school for wearing a shirt that said, “Homosexuality is sin. Jesus redeems.” I was forced into meeting with the school counselor or risk being expelled.
A few years back, I shared a post about Chick-fil-A on Facebook. Throughout the wee hours of the night, my phone dinged as “friends” called me every name in the book. One even inferred that I’d cause my future child to commit suicide if they were gay. And that wasn’t the first time someone has used that accusation against me. It wasn’t the last time either.
In November, I voted for Evan McMullin. I couldn’t vote for a man I wouldn’t allow my wife and daughter. And I couldn’t vote for a woman that supported abortion past 40 weeks and supported using taxpayer money to do so. Trump won. Since then, I have supported and defended many of his policies. Many of my “friends” consider me a Nazi because of it.
And this is all par for the course when dealing with the Left. Name-calling, silencing with force, and threats against one’s family are normal. But I’m an intolerant bigot.
So it comes as no surprise that Chadwick Moore, a gay New Yorker, experienced the absolute vitriol from people that once considered him a friend when he came out as a conservative.
Most disconcertingly, it wasn’t just strangers voicing radical discontent. Personal friends of mine — men in their 60s who had been my longtime mentors — were coming at me. They wrote on Facebook that the story was “irresponsible” and “dangerous.” A dozen or so people unfriended me. A petition was circulated online, condemning the magazine and my article. All I had done was write a balanced story on an outspoken Trump supporter for a liberal, gay magazine, and now I was being attacked. I felt alienated and frightened.
He started to realize what those of us on the Right know as normal.
And I began to realize that maybe my opinions just didn’t fit in with the liberal status quo, which seems to mean that you must absolutely hate Trump, his supporters and everything they believe. If you dare not to protest or boycott Trump, you are a traitor.
If you dare to question liberal stances or make an effort toward understanding why conservatives think the way they do, you are a traitor.
It can seem like liberals are actually against free speech if it fails to conform with the way they think. And I don’t want to be a part of that club anymore.
I have tried over the months since the election to cross the canyon between my Leftist friends and me. Name-calling is the frequent result. They seem to have zero desire to understand the half of Americans that voted for Trump. To try to understand their fellow men and women. They prefer to scream racist, misogynist, bigot, and Nazi.
Republicans have, admittedly, struggled to capture the vote of the youth. But I have been seeing a lot more Conservatism coming from my friends in the last few months. People emboldened to stand against the hatred and bigotry of the Left.
If you want to lose your demographic, bullying people seems to be a good starting place.
One hundred fifty-two years after our nation enacted the thirteenth amendment prohibiting slavery the same excuses used to justify slavery are now used by those who would defend abortion. “Property” has become “body,” but otherwise the same arguments are used to deny humanity to humans in order to treat them as less than human. Modern America has just graduated from the trading of bodies to the trading of body parts.
Recounting the popular advice in ancient Rome, Jerry Toner of the University of Cambridge noted Romans of the day advised, “Giving birth to many children does not mean you should keep them all. If you are poor and do not earn enough to be able to support your family, you should throw away weak infants at birth. A child does not become a full human being until the eighth or ninth day when the father has accepted it into his household.…So if your wife does produce an unwanted child, you should instruct her to abandon it at the town dump or by the roadside so the slave-dealers can pick it up.”
Christians were declared enemies of humanity by Roman emperors because, in part, they would collect the discarded babies from the town dump and raise them as their own. Likewise, they would refuse abortions. Two thousand years later it was Christians who took up the cause of abolition and now Christians again seek the abolition of the newest stain on our constitution.
I shared this on Facebook this morning without comment:
An explanation with this is necessary. Many in the progressive movement ignore the atrocities of the Islamic world and call anyone that points them out a racist or Islamophobe. It is pure sensationalism to say that a president that has said crude things— and allegedly sexually assaulted women— is oppressing women. It is a lie to say that the Republicans that want to make abortion illegal are oppressing women. Neither of these things is oppression.
Those are the women this was targetted at. Sensationalizing progressive hypocrites.
Are there issues within feminism that are true, valuable, and should be fought for? Yes. Even from a Christian worldview. However, much of what was featured in the rallies over the weekend cannot be endorsed or supported from a Christian worldview.
The modern feminist movement is largely driven by abortion rights, homosexuality, and transgenderism. It is right, as a Christian, to have a problem with this.
But moreover, through satire and ad absurdum arguments, I think it can be addressed in a way to wake some hypocritical people up.
Sharing this without comment or context was likely a wrong choice.
If we are to be faithful in a world of “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and biased sources, we are going to need to be more careful with the statistics we share, the news stories we read, and the sources we trust. Gullible skeptics, either on the right or left, don’t stand out from the world. And what we need today is for Christians to care about getting the facts straight, whether or not they’re useful or beneficial to “the party line,” because we believe in a God who tells the truth.
The issue of not verifying information exists on both left and right. In the past few weeks alone I have corrected Republican and Democrat friends on where certain politicians stand. It’s oft too easy to hit the retweet or share button because you agree with a meme, even though the meme is verifiably false.
Christians, you have an obligation to do better. So please do.
I don’t think that all of the 217 people charged with rioting will be locked up. But living for a month with that serious felony hanging over your head tends to make people rethink their lives. And putting a few of them in the pokey for a few years will go a long way toward discouraging this kind of behavior we saw so often during the rocky campaign.
One promise Trump made in his nomination acceptance speech is that he’d be the law and order president. These rioters are finding out the hard way that President Trump intends to keep that promise.
There is a clear difference between rioting and protesting. While some on Friday came to protest, others came to inflict damage, cause harm, and worse. Under President Obama, all too often this was allowed. Calling these rioters “thugs” resulted in screams of “racist!” Because we couldn’t hold people accountable for their actions when they were rightly pissed.
But it would appear that law & order is returning. Two hundred seventeen people were arrested on Friday and face up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. Hopefully, that will cause them to knock it off.