Soapbox: A Marginally Informed Army

The world is hanging dangerously close to falling out of balance between what can be restored and what will inevitably bring it’s destruction. God told Noah after the flood that he would never destroy the world by flooding it again, but He is prepared to destroy it by fire.

There is a lot to be feared today: global warming, economic crisis, nuclear war, etc. Along with these threats, there have been some of the most horrendous policies: abortion, sanctions, unjust wars, etc. As well, there have been things largely ignored by the media and ‘safe’ Americans: murderous dictators, sex trafficking, extreme poverty, etc.

With all of these things there are individuals who are trying to make a difference. It seems kind of foolish that in the midst of all these problems celebrities would be concerned with the whaling ships, Peta, and the humane society, but just because the other major issues are being highlighted doesn’t mean they come without warning signs.

The Problem

It seems, in the midst of all of these crises, to really have an impact on anything an individual can only devote themselves to one at a time. The problem then rises when that choice becomes the only thing that matters and others are petitioned to think the same way.

I am thankful for organizations like the Invisible Children Inc (IC) which has brought a great deal of attention to the atrocities taking place in Africa. But because these wars don’t overtly affect the United States, many American’s are not concerned or unaware of the problems. Here is where the issues get sticky. While most Americans are against the wars in the Middle East, there is a huge showing of support for the IC’s latest video called Kony 2012. The people behind the IC say the video is attempting to inform people about the atrocities and calls for American support for justice in central Africa.

Here is the dichotomy: You can’t be against using US troops in the Middle East and for using US troops in central Africa unless there is a clear distinction between the intentions. So far, I haven’t been able to see that distinction and I’m afraid that more involvement in central Africa will just become the next war that will take America into an even deeper economic crisis. (I’m going to avoid the obvious by saying we shouldn’t be involved in the war in the Middle East.)

The Bigger Problem

Joseph Kony is clearly a terrible dictator. He is number one on the International Criminal Court’s wanted list. His actions have been horrendous and the fact that he is acting as a religious leader should be even more alarming. But will arresting or assassinating Kony bring peace in central Africa? Unfortunately, no. Americans who are calling for Kony’s assassination are really advocating for is another ten years, this time in Uganda instead of Iraq.

The problem in all of this is that America won’t allow Uganda to become the next Iraq. Why is that a problem? Because we won’t be leaving central Africa in a more stable government, just opening a void for another murderous dictator to step in. Central Africa does not have the much needed exports for US politicians to consider stabilizing their government. And since their are no nuclear weapons and Israel is not threatened, the chances are they won’t get the support they need to establish a stable society.

The Biggest Problem

I’m using the IC as an example for the problem that is really facing our nation today, the fact that we are only marginally informed on what the problems and solutions are in our society. The fact that the same people against the war in Iraq are not supporting a war in Uganda just shows how little we understand the situations. All around the world, even in America, atrocities are taking place. While the Kony 2012 states that over 30,000 children have been enlisted into fighting an unjust war, it can also be stated that over 1,000,000 unborn babies are being slaughtered every year in abortion clinics. It’s difficult, when faced with all of the atrocities in the world, to figure out where to begin to fix any of them.

The IC has recently taken front stage as the most pressing and popular issue. The video has gone viral and people are getting the word out. All of these things are good, until we as a media craving public go into search for the next major crisis calling for our action, leaving the Kony 2012 campaign unresolved.

What’s worse is that most people jumping on the bandwagon had to be convinced by celebrities who have done nothing more for our society than entertain the masses. And everyone is following suit without doing any research on their own. Artists, musicians, freelance journalists, and anyone with a YouTube channel have become the primary sources for informing an army. Yet none of these sources are fully informed on all the issues. Yet, because something is popular and seems to have an easy answer, we don’t even hesitate to react and click ‘Share.’

The Solution

Stop sharing videos, articles, and information which you have not fully researched. The internet is a wealth of knowledge, but unless we are discerning enough to wade through  the garbage, all of that information will just go to our heads until we implode. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 8:1 that knowledge puffs up. That is the only power that knowledge has, to inflate egos. Discernment must be implemented before that knowledge can be turned into wisdom.

Let’s just say that discernment is the thyroid of the brain. Most American’s are intellectually obese.

Here is a suggestion. For every minute you get emotionally charged about a cause or campaign, you should spend at least ten hours researching it. We need to take time to stop and think before we re-tweet. You may not think a lot is at stake, “The video is about protecting children.” but the ability to think for ourselves is at risk of being taken away from us.

We are at the cusp of a critical era where we are becoming unable to think for ourselves. When that day comes, there will be someone else to do the thinking for us and we will willingly follow him because we won’t know right from wrong. We have sold our souls for the love of information. Today the media, social networks, and politicians are more dangerous than the nuclear threats, murderous dictators, and economic crises because they subtly takes away the most important freedom we have: the freedom to think for ourselves.

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One Response to Soapbox: A Marginally Informed Army

  1. Pingback: Oh, How the Times Have Changed | Worthy of the Gospel

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