I have written about echo chambers here quite a few times. Why? Because I have people in my life that have gotten sucked into tribalism, fueled by ceaseless echo chambers. I have seen the effects on them as their views are affirmed, never challenged, and they slide further and further in. One could, on a cursory glance think I am a victim of the same, and I get that. For me, I expose myself to a range of viewpoints within a space. For instance, Doug Wilson, Stephen Wolfe, and James White. If you think these men are united behind Christian Nationalism, you haven’t looked hard enough. I agree with White on many things and have followed him for the majority of my adult life. Much the same with Doug. White and Wilson get along much of the time, but White and Wolfe are at each other’s throats regularly.

Why do I bring up this example? Well, you are what you eat. You’ve heard that phrase, right? It’s a little weird. Well this week I am tacos. But applied to consumption of a different kind, it floats well. In the last few weeks I have been listening to audiobooks in all my available downtime. 600+ pages at this point. I am consuming a ton. When it comes to reading online, I prefer long-form articles over social media. If all I were consuming was snarky one-off posts, dank memes, and spit-fire takes against the latest thing, I would start to turn snarky, dank, and spit-fire. I know this about myself. I’ve seen it. I can feel that in my stomach, like the rising cynic that must always be denied in me. Hello darkness, never my friend.

We are told to watch what we eat, but then even Christians zone out in front of glowing screens consuming what could only be described as filth. Less degradingly, one could point that what we consume is often not edifying, does not build up others, does not encourage us, does not instruct us, etc. There is a place for entertainment, sure, but we as Christians must be mindful even there. If you watch a lot of violent content, it will start to darken your soul. If you read a lot of angry, sniping social media content, what do you think it will do to your heart? Have you thought about that?

If you only have an hour a day to consume, what should you intentionally consume? Facebook, Twitter, an audiobook about the crusades? Do you have a direction in your life? “I want to improve in this area.” Are you working in that direction? Think of it like losing weight. You choose to focus on specific things at the gym, change your diet, etc. to accomplish this goal. Maybe make goals when it comes to what you consume elsewhere and be just as intentional about your heart, soul, and mind as many are about their bodies.

Big Jesus centered “ad” airing tonight. CNN has the drop.

The chain of influence behind “He Gets Us” can be followed through public records and information on the campaign’s own site. The campaign is a subsidiary of The Servant Foundation, also known as the Signatry.

According to research compiled by Jacobin, a left-leaning news outlet, The Servant Foundation has donated tens of millions to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group. The ADF has been involved in several legislative pushes to curtail LGBTQ rights and quash non-discrimination legislation in the Supreme Court.

I appreciate that they acknowledge Jacobin to be left-leaning. But no details on the “quash[ing of] non-discrimination legislation.” Maybe the taking on of Biden’s— and Obama’s— attempts to force doctors to perform abortions? Keep it vague or folks will ask more questions.

Hobby Lobby co-founder David Green claims to be a big contributor to the campaign’s multi-million-dollar coffers. Hobby Lobby has famously been at the center of several legal controversies, including the support of anti-LGBTQ legislation and a successful years-long legal fight that eventually led to the Supreme Court allowing companies to deny medical coverage for contraception on the basis of religious beliefs.

What contraception? Right, not contraception— contra- meaning before, thus meaning medicine that prevents conceiving— but medicine that specifically ends pregnancy— abortion. Because Obamacare forced private business to pay for such medicine without care for religious objection.

While “He Gets Us” says it is not intended to be connected to any particular Christian ideology, it has theological ties to evangelical practices as well as financial ones. In general, Christian evangelism is closely tied to conservatism and is an extremely influential force in American politics.

“He Gets Us has chosen to not have our own separate statement of beliefs. Each participating church/ministry will typically have its own language. Meanwhile, we generally recognize the Lausanne Covenant as reflective of the spirit and intent of this movement and churches that partner with explorers from He Gets Us affirm the Lausanne Covenant.” […] The 1974 Lausanne Covenant is an important unifying document in evangelical Christian churches, while the Lausanne movement itself was started by the prominent evangelical Christian leader Billy Graham. Documents and decisions that have come out of the movement’s summits have decried the “idolatry of disordered sexuality” and focused heavily on the impact of the devil and sin on national cultures.

Wait? So this ad is supported by evangelicals and evangelicals are historically, including Billy Graham, conservative about sex? And this means that this ad has no actual desire to unify and stop devisiveness? Yeah, that is what CNN wants you to believe.

Yeah, we evangelicals do believe that certain things are sinful. But so does CNN. Standing against abortion? Look at the quote above. They clearly believe that is inheritantly wrong without argument. Christians not providing cakes for ceremonies they disagree with? They clearly think that is wrong.

See everyone has a sense of right and wrong. Everyone has things they hold dogmatically. Yes, us evangelicals admit to doing so. No just admit, it is foundational. But we disagree with things and yet still serve. We disagree and we still feed, shelter, clothe those that are in need. We go into communities of cannibals and show them love. We enter hospitals during plagues and pray with people that have been left for dead. And why? Because our Lord said to.

Yes, we may disagree, but we love. Yes, we may think you are living in sin, but we love.

Folks like CNN point out the toothpick in the eye of those that say “love your neighbor, cross the divide, end echo chambers, and make community,” while ignoring the log in their own. They call for us to be banished from society in the name of tolerance. They rally the troops that call the employers of Christians and demand their firing.

And then they say that we are the divisive ones.

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?

The Echo Chamber. Since November, much has been focused on it. How Facebook, through algorithms, enforces it. How our own confirmation bias encourages us to surround ourselves with things that we agree with. But how does one start to break out of their chamber?

A few years ago, I started to use my morning commute for podcasts. I went through quite a few before finding a couple that I regularly enjoy. While there are a few tech podcasts on my list, my daily morning commute is Albert Mohler’s The Briefing. The Briefing is a news and events podcast, covering things from a Christian worldview. The benefit, however, is that he doesn’t grab articles from Fox, or The Blaze, or even Breitbart. No, he regularly references New York Times, HuffPo, Washington Post, and more on the Left-leaning side. Hearing the way that liberals put things, their use of language, and their train of thought has become a part of my daily routine.

The other podcast that is a part of my weekly routine is Steven Crowder’s Louder with Crowder. While he is less respectful and more comedic, he too cites liberal news sources more often than conservative ones.

By taking 20 minutes a day, one can start breaking down the barrier. So if you are a conservative, I’d recommend both of these podcasts. If you are a liberal, I’d honestly recommend both of these podcasts as well. The reason is that Albert Mohler has a humble honest way of explaining things that I feel anyone can respect him and from him understand the way that conservatives look at things. And Steven Crowder is just hilarious and I think that can work across political boundaries.

Breaking the echo chamber in your life has to be intentional. Make a choice to understand people instead of stereotype them.

I’m supportive of protests, however this particular protest exposes ignorance. What?! Liberals, ignorant? Yes, it’s true. You see – this protest demonstrates that these people believe there are only two options – Obamacare and going back to the way things were before Obamacare. The reality is that Republicans have released several thoughts on what the best replacement plan might be – yes that’s right, replacement plan – as in not going back to the pre-Obamacare years. It’s no secret there were issues with healthcare – no one is denying that.

The Resurgent

This goes back to the echo chambers that we build around ourselves, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or the news we read. For the conservative, it is hard to live in a self-confirming echo chamber. All major news sources have a liberal lean outside of Fox and even if you watch television, liberal concepts and priorities are pushed very heavily.

For the liberal, the opposite is true. Outside of Fox, Last Man Standing, and a number of online publications, almost all news and media content from Hollywood is self-confirming. Breaking the echo chamber has to be intentional.

Ignorance of your opponents is what is driving people to declare everyone that voted Trump to be racist, misogynist, bigots. I regularly ready articles from the New York Times, Washington Post, and even HuffPo. Why? Because hearing about something from multiple worldviews is important and makes it harder for me to stereotype the Left.

So back to healthcare, the article above gives some insight into the Republican reform of healthcare that is coming this year under Trump. We don’t want to go back to how things were before Obama. I don’t know anyone that does. So read that and ask questions of conservatives in your life. If you don’t know any conservatives, this is a good year to start.