Is it possible to manipulate truth and reality to make things look different than they really are? Have you ever wondered how the news media can appear to just relate the facts, yet seem to have a liberal bias at the same time? In a world in which not everyone is playing fair, we need to prepare our children to use critical thinking to spot deceitful techniques used to manipulate the truth.

"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." –Proverbs 6:16-19

Last time I shared about how our emotions can keep us from being effective communicators. You will need to keep your emotions in check as you read this article! Why? Because we're going to be looking at how some people and groups intentionally and systematically distort what we, as Christians, stand for. People can forgive more readily when they believe miscommunication or misrepresentation is unintentional. It is much more difficult to do so when you know it is a result of a calculated plan. However, as I said in the last issue, keeping your emotions in check is what makes for effective communication.

The miscommunication and misrepresentation of Christians and the Christian faith by liberals and the media is calculated, but it isn't something that is recognized by most as such, nor is it something that many who repeat the mantras are even conscious of. Most of the time, it appears to be a poor choice of words, just an unfortunate coincidence, or an honest difference of opinion. But if you dig deeper, you will see that it is no accident.

Why is it so important that Christians understand that it isn't an innocent mistake? There are a few reasons. 1.) Because a small inaccuracy can be cultivated into a large misunderstanding about Jesus and keep people away from the saving grace of Christ. 2.) Because a calculated plan, rather than an isolated incident, has a collective effect of leading people astray. An agenda is something that permeates the classrooms, news media, and, therefore, the mind of a whole generation. 3.) Because, if it is recognized, it is possible to point out those flaws and leaps in logic with gentleness and respect--not only for the benefit of others but also for ourselves.

A child's discernment begins when he understands that "the left" is no longer playing fair. Children need to be taught to follow the money, consider the source, and to consult their "wack-o-meter" when trying to internalize and understand current events. I will cover exactly how to do this in an upcoming article, so be sure to stay tuned!

There is so much misinformation out there that it is important to train our children to consider the source of any information they read or hear. Who is the author, what do they stand for? Where did the money come from for that study or research? On what logic is it based? Just because something has statistical support, doesn't mean those statistics aren't misleading or haven't been manipulated as we will see later on.

I have identified seven basic techniques employed by the left that are used to create the impression that Christians are intolerant, silly, and even dangerous to our progressive society.

1. Carefully Coined Phrases

"An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered." Proverbs 11:9

Did you ever wonder why liberal movements are called such things as Pro-Choice or Women's Rights? Such titles were carefully chosen for the emotions they would illicit. How can anyone be against "choice" or "rights"? After all, this is America where we value freedom (choice) and we have unalienable rights! If it was called Pro-Abortion, it wouldn't sound as inviting, would it? Even those who stand against abortion have adopted this terminology and often call those who believe in abortion Pro-Choice.

What's missing in the meaning of this term? The sanctity of the life ended! Pro-Choice is all about the woman and her rights: Women's Rights. Abortion isn't a word they like to use because it refers not to the woman and her right to choose what she can do with her own body, but with the helpless child inside who apparently has a total lack of rights. If they really believed that everyone has the "right" to "choose," they would be concerned also with the child's right to choose to live. Wouldn't they?
 
2. Redirecting the Focus

"Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness." - Exodus 23:1

Taking the abortion issue further, I often wonder how they can justify that a woman has a right to choose, yet her helpless unborn child does not? That's an argument they can't win, so they spend their time focusing on the woman who should have rights to choose what she does with her body.  How can you refuse her the right to do what she likes with her own body? You cad!

They further remove the focus off the innocent life by referring to the unborn baby not as a child, but as a lump of tissue. They don't call it "murder," they say "termination." It sounds so much better that way, unless you happen to be the target of that termination. This all takes the focus off the child and places it instead on what you have a hard time opposing: rights and choice!

3. Redefining the Words

"Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood." –Psalm 7:14

Words mean things. However, lately, words may not mean what they used to. In an effort to make their ideas sound more palatable, and even preferable, the left has redefined the meanings of several words. As we saw last time, one such word is intolerant.

Why is it that if a Christian speaks out against something that is against his or her beliefs they are labeled intolerant, but when someone speaks out against Biblical morality, they are not? Why is it that the Koran is allowed in the schools, but the Bible is not? Why is it that almost any obscure religious custom must be allowed in the name of tolerance of religious freedom, but many of the traditional customs of Christianity are suddenly offensive?

It seems that tolerance (noun: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own1 is something only Christians must possess.

Another word redefined is "progressive" (adjective: making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities2. Why would anyone want to stop new ideas or opportunities? This country became great because of new technology, new ideas, and opportunities for all! Anyone against progress, well . . . they must be silly or intolerant! Never mind that some of the now accepted alternative lifestyles are not new ideas, and never mind that not every new idea is a good one. Onward progress! There's no turning back now!

Another word redefined by the left is "rights" (noun: something to which one has a just claim: as the power or privilege to which one is justly entitled3. According to our forefathers, we are endowed by our creator with certain "inalienable rights" (incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred). Many of our rights are written right into our Constitution! We have the Bill of Rights, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness . . . and the right to remain silent! Is everyone entitled to anything they wish? Are there not limits to what we have a right to? When does your right trample on mine? These things take a back seat to the notion that everyone should have the right to do just about anything they like.

We have come a long way since the Founding Fathers declared that we had inalienable rights that were given to us by our Creator. Now we have "rights" to justify all sorts of things that are contrary to traditional morality--things the Founding Fathers would never have considered to be endowed by our Creator.

I have always wondered how it is that a society can hold both of these truths to be self-evident: the right to life and the right to an abortion? How can that be? Because the word right has been redefined to apply "only to those who are born."

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JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication. Her Christian and humorous approach to communication skills has made her a sought after speaker. She is the author of the Say What You Mean communication curricula, and has had articles published in various homeschool magazines and websites.  Her newest study, Say What You Mean: Defending the Faith, will be released shortly. JoJo and her husband live in Southern California where she homeschools their two children. For more information, please visit www.ArtofEloquence.com

1,2,3 Definitions for "tolerance," "progressive," and "rights" taken from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2007. http://www.merriam-webster.com (4 Jan. 2007).

This article was originally published in the Mar/Apr '07 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. For more information, visit http://HomeSchoolEnrichment.com