We Choose

These days we hear many people complaining about negativity in the news. This person acts out, the media pick the story up, we read it, and we complain. The place to break the cycle is in what we choose to read, what we choose to click on to learn more. Is it any surprise that politicians say outrageous things? Of course not. Why do they say outrageous things? They say outrageous things for the same reason that toddlers misbehave – to get attention. Worst of all, it works! Every day on social media people are outraged because of the horrible things someone else has said, but we read the article!

personatlaptopOn the other hand, when people do good things or say good things we find it boring and so we don’t read the article, we don’t click on the link, and then we wonder why we don’t see positive news! If we want to change this, we need to think like a news producer or a webmaster. Clicks sell. If you want to change what you see, change your choices. Do we really need to read another article to learn that the man occupying the white house is a horrible human being? Of course not – so stop reading about his antics. Are those stories about people doing good things boring? If you want to change what you see, it doesn’t really matter – click on them anyway. Nobody can tell whether you read the article at the other end of that link or not, but advertising is sold based on how many people visit the site.

We need to recognize that in a consumer driven society like ours we really do have a voice. Very often, the power of that voice is driven by the choices we make every day. These are choices about what we read, what we watch, what links we click. Those choices have more immediate impact than a boycott ever could, and they are much easier to organize. Just click!

Jesus Said We Should Eat our Wheaties

He did. In the Bible. Wheaties were a big part of his spiritual program. It’s right there in the Bible. He was also big on isometric exercise. He said so in John’s gospel.

lincolninternetThe most frightening part of those statements is that some people will believe them. I am quite honestly surprised no advertising agency has tried to work out a way to claim that Jesus endorsed products. Oh sure, some people would raise a fuss but a lot of other people would swallow that stuff hook, line, and sinker. They would be arguing with their friends that Wheaties are the most godly cereal even invented and that eating Frosted Flakes is satanic. It is as if life was a card game and much of the world runs around trying to collect trump cards (you should pardon the expression) they can whip out at any moment to win arguments or end debates. The result is that far too many people are invested in nonsense.

gotochurchjesusI just finished a book by Ronald Rolheiser that claimed Jesus taught that four things were non-negotiable, and the fourth one was “go to church.” There are several problems with this statement. The first is that Christianity only arose after Jesus was killed. That means there weren’t any churches until long after Jesus was gone, The second is that Jesus never even said “go to the synagogue,” because synagogues were a development that arose after the destruction of the Temple some forty years after Jesus’ death. The third and biggest problem is that Rolheiser is a Roman shadysalespitchCatholic priest and presumably knows what he wrote isn’t true. His assertion is equivalent to saying that Jesus wants you to eat you Wheaties.

I think I can speak for everyone who has walked away from institutional religion when I say we are tired of the lies, we are tired of shady sales pitches that are easily debunked. We expect truth from spiritual teachers and leaders, not self-serving propaganda. We want to hear truth that will help us, not the kind of lies that we get told at the bar when someone is trying to get in our pants – or the pants of our children, in the case of Roman priests. We seek to be educated, not seduced; informed, not coerced. So spare us the nonsense and tell it like it is or else save your breath. We aren’t buying any longer.