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4 Things I’ve Learned from My Media Fast

I wouldn't get too wrapped up in that, kid...

I wouldn’t get too wrapped up in that, kid…

I needed a media fast. I posted it on my Facebook page:

Hey folks, for anyone who might happen to care, I’ve decided to go on a FULL media fast for about a month. As an author in the digital age, I’ve been told I must be “connected.” I’ve created a blog and this FB page, I even go on Twitter and Instagram every so often. Being so connected may be good for me as an author, but with all this exposure to media comes things that are not good for me…as a person.

Because I’m not a faceless name on the internet. After what happened to¬†those nine innocent people in Charleston, I’m exhausted. It was different because of how people reacted to our own history. No other event seems to have brought out so many unsympathetic people. The Chattanooga massacre, the Boston Marathon bombing, Sandy Hook, the Aurora theater shooting, etc…we all seem to grieve collectively for those. But somehow it was different for the AME Nine. And while the hype has died down, articles still crop up and I just flat out need a break.

I need a break from cynicism. I need a break from bullies. I need a break from people who don’t think words matter. I need a break from people who passively censor the ugly parts of southern history, because they don’t want to FEEL. I need a break from selfishness.

Go ahead and respond to my post if you want. Whatever it is you want to say, whether for or against, I won’t respond till I’m ready. God bless.

So now it’s been a month. While I didn’t engage in media viewing or reading, it’s still difficult to wholly avoid. But some positives came from the experience. Sometimes you have have to step out of the forest so you can stop focusing on the trees. ūüôā

1. The Confederate Battle Flag still looks like a symbol of bigotry and oppression.

Especially when it’s a HUGE one flying down the road on the back of an over-sized pick-up. Preoccupied with size much? At least I got a month break from the people who shout “heritage, not hate” or “the Civil War was not about slavery.” They are the mindless drones who have never bothered to read Mississippi’s Declaration of Causes of Secession, among the other Southern States declarations of the time. Apparently, they prefer the fairy-tale version of history which omits¬†lynchings, beatings, and ripping people from families.

*Shakes head sadly*

2. Donald Trump still looks likes a narcissistic bully.

Seriously? Where does this guy stand on actual issues? As of this published post, the only position he talks about on his political website is immigration. So if he becomes president, then American government can completely decay, education can continue to plummet, and our budget can do whatever it wants. But that’s okay, because we’ve eliminated all the illegal immigrants…one way or another.

I know the election is over a year away, but it disturbs me to see how he still has such a strong following. I haven’t yet figured out why people can’t see through him. But I’ve never been able to quite see how the German people couldn’t see through Hitler either.

I wish more people would go on a media fast. Trump’s pot of water is slowly heating up and the frogs are oblivious to their predicament.

3. Hillary Clinton’s comment about how religion needs to change is still foreboding.

Why in the world would she say that? What happened to freedom of religion? Should I prepare to channel my ancestral heritage and plan a pilgrimage to a land where I won’t be told how I should believe in my God? She’s as bad as the news outlets who tell me what I need to think.

Which leads me to my last point…

4. It finally clicked in my head that PBS is likely where I should get my news.

Part of my struggle to see the forest for the trees was caused by the frustration of being told what to think. I hate that. I’m not stupid. I don’t like feeling like a drone. I can draw my own conclusions, thank you very much.

PBS is not glamorous or sensational, so I’m sorry to say I overlooked it in my struggle to draw my own conclusions from biased media. On a smaller scale, I think PBS will help me continue my media fast. No more CNN-or FOX-like hypnotism.


Okay, so the only positive is the thing with PBS. But to me, that’s a big positive. I liked my month of not being fed opinions. A big part of me really doesn’t want to even get back to Facebook, but now that I’ve had a break, I should be able to just skip the things I don’t want to see. That’s an even bigger positive. ūüėÄ

Have you ever had to go on a media fast? Does the tabloid-like setting of our society exhaust you? How do you deal with it? Are you a media drone? How do you deal with being a drone?
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How to Heal a Black Eye

What Biblical Christianity truly looks like. Image via the Huffington Post.

I’ve been waffling for months about writing this sort of post. Kristen Lamb once said that unless it’s their brand, authors¬†shouldn’t blog about politics or religion. My brand¬†is essentially “Be nice to people.” It’s what I write about. It’s what I hope encompasses all faiths and beliefs. But I feel strongly about this¬†particular topic and I’m afraid I have to get Biblical. Please keep an open mind.

I’m a Christian. Not Catholic, not Baptist, not Methodist, etc. Just Christian. I attend a Church of Christ (a group that is autonomous from other groups), study the Bible, and try to live my life as best I can according to the teachings in the New Testament and learn from the examples in the Old Testament.

I’ll be honest. The actions of the Westboro Baptist Church over the last several years have really irritated me. It smears the name of Christian. They spread their message of hate in the name of God, and they have no Biblical authority for behaving in such a manner.

*Deep breath* Please don’t let the WBC influence how you perceive my following words. I believe the Bible teaches that engaging in homosexuality is a sin. But I will never tell someone that they will burn in hell for it. I’m not their judge. God alone is this kind of judge. The one Bible passage that I think the WBC really needs to consider (because their actions would suggest that they never have) is from 1 Corinthians chapter 5 (I’ve highlighted key phrases):

9¬†I wrote to you in my letter not to associate¬†with sexually immoral people‚ÄĒ¬†10¬†not at all meaning the people of this world¬†who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.¬†11¬†But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister¬†but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater¬†or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.¬†12¬†What business is it of mine to judge those outside¬†the church? Are you not to judge those inside?13¬†God will judge those outside. ‚ÄúExpel the wicked person from among you.‚ÄĚ

Sin is sin. Whether you engage in homosexuality, or are a drunkard, or even someone who simply forsakes the assembly, there is no sin that is “bigger” than any other. And if you make the choice to sin, that’s YOUR choice. Just as it’s my choice to stick to my faith. As long as there’s no oppression going on between people,¬†I really don’t see why we can’t be friends.

Because you know what? I sin too!!! And so do the people of WBC. Everyone sins (1 John 1:8). So who are we to throw other’s sins into their faces? Jesus never cast a stone against the adultress though he was the only person there without sin. But you know what he DID tell her? “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:2-11)

Did she obey? Maybe. Maybe not. But he didn’t treat her as less than human because she had sinned. And I’d be inclined to think that she would be more likely to obey because Jesus didn’t lay into her for her behavior.

Do the WBC people really think they are changing lives by their message of hate? I’d like to ask them in the words of Dr. Phil, how’s that workin’ for ya? What it does instead, is give a black eye to the face of Christianity. But you know how the black eye can heal? By the actions of more people like the counter-protesters who offered condolences on the death of Fred Phelps Sr. THAT is an example of Biblical Christianity in action. (Colossians 3:12-15) In the face of hatred and malice, these people showed compassion.

What I want most is for people not to assume that I hate those who are openly homosexual just because I believe that the way they live their lives is sinful. Plenty of other people live sinful lives and I don’t hate them either. I’m not going to cram my faith down anyone’s throat because I wouldn’t want others to cram their beliefs down my throat if I didn’t agree with them. We can find other things in common. However,¬†I’m also not going to be shamed into not sharing what I believe because others have misrepresented it. And¬†seriously, if you don’t want to talk about religion, we don’t have to. But I’m here if you do.

Let’s focus on what unites us.

Please share what you think! Do you feel the counter-protesters have the right idea? Do you disagree? If so, why?

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