Over the past few weeks, you have, no doubt, seen stories like this:
- US Government threatens to court-martial service members who talk about Christianity.
- US Government removes hot meal services for service members in combat areas.
- US Government removes Fourth Of July celebrations from military bases.
And all of these have been FALSE- at least from a gross oversimplification standpoint.
Why is this a big deal?
I think we can all agree that the US Government is a mess. There are people in power right now who are more interested in maintaining their position of power than actually doing the job they were sent there to do; there's a guy in the White House who clearly doesn't know what he's doing; "whistle blowers" are showing us that the NSA is "spying" on our phone calls at the behest of the government; there is wasteful spending and hypocrisy on a Biblical scale......blah, blah, blah. Yeah, yeah, yeah- I get it. The world is all screwed up.
Here's the deal, tho- THIS IS NOT NEW. No amount of screaming from the Right or the Left will change that immutable fact. Not even the all-powerful (I wish) Middle can claim that it is. I'll even go as far as to say that it is NOT worse than it's ever been- we just keep hearing about it.
So, here's why it's a big deal- what is different now is that this entire country has lost their collective ability to think critically and examine reality. We get these over-hyped, over-simplified news stories in our inbox, Facebook and Twitter feeds and on TV, and we believe them without checking. We hear things like "some big corporation wants to do something to kill off all humanity" and we believe it. We see things on the news like a Los Angeles police officer shooting a dog during a drug bust and we jump to the conclusion that all police officers want to kill dogs.
Think about this for a minute- and try to do it without grossly over-simplifying it based on news or a political idiom. I dare ya. I'll bet you can't.
It's a big deal because we have lost our ability to think. It's a big deal because the more we buy into this, the more we believe the lie. It's a big deal because the more lies we believe, the less of our humanity can prevail. It's a big deal because we are all setting ourselves up for someone to come along and tell us just the right combination of half-truths and non-truths that strike just the right chord in us and we're all gonna jump on that bandwagon and believe that this person/people are some kind of savior of humanity, and we will be powerless to see that person/people for what they truly are.
The Bible refers to this person or people as The Anti-Christ.
Now, before you go thinking that I'm equating the things you're hearing with some ambiguous, amorphous (look it up) religious based idea- that's NOT what I'm saying. What I am saying is that by losing our collective cognitive abilities to discern falsehood from reality, we are setting ourselves up to worship The Leviathan (again, look it up, and if it helps, look up Sir Thomas Hobbs when you do) that will prove to be our undoing. This isn't a nutty idea- honest- the greatest minds the world has ever seen in Sir Thomas Hobbs, Sir Francis Bacon, Leonardo di Vinci, Socrates, both Pliny's (Younger and Elder) and even going back as far as ancient Babylonian mythology like Gilgamesh talk about these things- and, if you think that because of technological advances like the internet we are somehow immune to this, you only serve to prove my point. Authors like George Orwell and Aldous Huxley wrote about this, almost prophetically. George Santyana said, "The more we forget the past, the more we are doomed to repeat it" and that is a 100% true statement. Think for yourselves. Don't believe - automatically - what you read and see. Check it out.
As far as the US Government making these calls on the military and taking things away- I have a Facebook friend (I've never met him personally, and I hope to rectify that soon) who is a US service member, and is in a forward area and sees this stuff first-hand. I've read quite a number of things that he has written regarding how things are going where he is. He is of a political mindset that I don't really share in all cases, but I recognize that my friend knows his stuff, and knows it in a detail and a context that I can't begin to understand. In every case, when corresponding with him or reading his posts on these matters, the stories that I mention above have a way more plausible explanation when given by someone who is "boots on the ground" (literally) than by the media outlets. He is equal and measured in his disdain of the way either Fox or CNN portrays these stories, and in every, single case, he has proven these stories false. I say "false" even when a lot of the time the stories have a basis in fact, but are fabricated upon a one-sided, out-of-context viewpoint or statement that becomes a foundational item- and therefore, by virtue of critical thinking, I determine the story "false" because it is so, foundationally. Unfortunately, a lot of my friends insist on passing these kinds of statements forward in the aforementioned feeds without thought or cause, and all that does is serve to lessen everyone else's congitive abilities along the way.
So, what to do?
I think it's easy, actually. Don't believe the stories. Don't forward them along. Ignore them. Delete them. When you see them on your collective feeds, correct the people who post them, and do so without mercy and do it consistently. Eventually, if more people do this, the media just might take the hint and we can go back to being informed instead of swayed to a particular viewpoint. We can actually make a difference this way.
Just freaking engage your brain, people.