Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Media’s Lack of Integrity and Our Responsibility

If you think that you can send your children to school for thirty hours a week and it will not impact their values, you are kidding yourself. If you think that the few hours a week that you process this experience with your children will overcome the impact of what they learn for those 30 hours, you are kidding yourself. If you are a teacher and think that you can teach curriculum that says trans-genderism and trans-sexuality is perfectly OK simply because you were instructed to teach this curriculum, you are in denial. If you are a media professional, and your organization will not allow balanced reporting, you cannot deny that you are part of the problem, unless you speak up. Sadly, many refuse to speak up:

The Canadian National Post [CNP], which until the advent of SUN news network was thought to be the most conservative national mainstream media outlet in the country, has shocked conservatives by apologizing for running a pro-family advertisement. Moreover, the National Post says it will be donating the thousands of dollars paid for the ad by the pro-family group to a homosexual activist group. The ad, sponsored by the Institute for Christian Values, depicted a large picture of a little girl with the header, “Please! Don’t confuse me.” Below the photo, the [female] youngster said, “I’m a girl. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transsexual, transgendered, intersexed or two spirited.” The ad specifically addressed the Toronto District School Board’s policy of forbidding parents to opt out of its pro-homosexual curriculum.

It is no wonder that many have ceased to trust the news media, while still others remain gullible. The media are supposed to defend free speech, the very foundation for their work and even rationale. Certainly, the CNP must appreciate this simple truth, but instead, they have apologized for running the ad:

• The National Post believes strongly in the principles of free speech and open, unhindered debate. We believe unpopular points of view should not be censored simply because some readers may find them disturbing, or even offensive. Free speech does not apply only to views that will not offend anyone.

So far, so good! But the apology continues:

• The ad in question was attempting to make the case that the Ontario curriculum was teaching very young children about issues that, at that age, should be the domain of parents. In addition, it made the case that even when parents or teachers may object to the material being taught, they did not have the right, in the case of parents, to remove their children from the class, or in the case of teachers, to decline to teach the material on the grounds that they objected to it. In an open society, these positions are worthy of being part of a debate on this issue. They are also legitimate arguments to make in a paid advertisement in a media outlet. Where the ad exceeded the bounds of civil discourse was in its tone and manipulative use of a picture of a young girl; in the suggestion that such teaching “corrupts” children, with everything that such a charge implies; and in its singling out of groups of people with whose sexuality the group disagrees.

• The fact that we will not be publishing this ad again represents a recognition on our part that publishing it in the first place was a mistake. The National Post would like to apologize unreservedly to anyone who was offended by it. We will be taking steps to ensure that in future our procedures for vetting the content of advertising will be strictly adhered to. The Post will also be donating the proceeds from the advertisement to an organization that promotes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people

What was the matter with the tone? The picture? All advertising is “manipulative!” All of it is an attempt to influence the reader. Just about all of it uses pictures!

Furthermore, the ad didn’t single out “groups of people with whose sexuality the group disagrees.” It singled out a set of teachings that might adversely affect the children. And even if it did single our LGBTs, what’s the matter with that? Don’t Republicans “single out” Democrats, and Democrats Republicans? Doesn’t one candidate “single out” another? Doesn’t the law “single out” specific crimes in its Penal Code? I think that it comes down to this – whenever anyone expresses disagreement with the LGBT position, it’s automatically labeled “offensive” and dismissed.

While the newspaper claims to support free speech, it then hypocritically denies free speech. While the CNP shows such exquisite sensitivity for those promoting alternative sexualities among others’ children, it shows absolutely no sensitivity for the very parents of these children. While the CNP wishes to “apologize unreservedly to anyone who was offended by [the ad],” they are oblivious to the offense done to the parents and their overriding concern for their children.

Nor does the CNP show any concern for the welfare of the children or even the question of the possible impact of such teachings on the children. At the prospect of possibly offending “groups of people with whose sexuality the group disagrees,” the CNP is perfectly willing to allow masses children to become the subjects of sexual experimentation for which there is absolutely no historical or scientific justification. This act of censorship also announces that CNP will only be presenting one-sided reporting on this subject. We call this “propaganda” or “indoctrination.”

This constitutes another example of how little truth and integrity influence media decisions and priorities. It reminds us how all the bookstores had removed Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses because of threats coming from the Islamic community. Fortunately, one store had the courage to carry this book, and this put all the others to shame. Consequently, they put the “offensive” Satanic Verses back on their shelves.

Just recently, Muslim cabbies in NYC vigorously objected to their cabs bearing lewd advertisements, and they won! If a few Christians would do the same, perhaps we too would be the salt and the light. Instead, many of us passively send our children to schools where their minds are sexualized, while the rest of us have been intimidated into silence.

Those who know to do the good and do it not have sinned (James 4:17). What if we determined that we would be the salt and the light? What would happen if many teachers and school principles refused to compromise their faith by presenting this propaganda? What would happen if parents refused to subject their children to this sexual indoctrination? What if pastors stopped worrying about who they might offend and began to preach against compromise and sin? Do not we have a responsibility to “expose” the works of darkness (Ephesians 5:8)? When we fail to preach against them, we are saying in effect, “They don’t concern us!” Silence speaks loudly!

In his letter from the Birmingham jail on April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King argued that

• One has a responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that, “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Following sinful laws or rulings implicates us in sin! King cited how the two Hebrew midwives violated the Egyptian command to kill Hebrew children and how the three Jewish magistrates refused to obey the king’s edict to bow down before his statue. In order to honor their God, they refused to obey the edict. Peter and “the other apostles responded to the powerful Sanhedrin, "We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29)! Mustn’t we do the same!

I believe in intelligent discourse. However, we have no forum for our concerns, and the media persistently refuses to give voice to our objections. Instead, whenever we try to express our concerns we are shouted down with accusations of “homophobe” or “hate-monger” or “bigot.”

How must we honor God? Peter and John informed the Sanhedrin: "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God” (Acts 4:19). We too need to judge, repent, pray, and trust that our God will make our way fruitful.

In The Jew Today, Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, describes a young boy trying to reassure his father as they entered Auschwitz: “The world, father, the civilized world would not allow such things to happen.”

Wiesel comments:

• And yet the civilized world did know, and remained silent. Where was man in all this? And culture, how did it reach this nadir? All those spiritual leaders, those thinkers, those philosophers enamored of truth, those moralists drunk with justice – how was one to reconcile their teachings with Josef Mengele, the great master of selections in Auschwitz? I told myself that a grave, a horrible error had been committed somewhere – only, I knew neither its nature nor its author. When and where had history taken so bad a turn?

We may someday be asking the same question.

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