How can we prepare our children to live in a world where the definitions of words are so fluid? Check out this concluding part of "Seeing the Slant" for more tips. (Did you miss Part 1? Click here)
4. Hidden Agenda
"A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight." –Proverbs 11:1
Another tactic of the left is to hide their anti-Christian agendas inside the carefully woven storylines of movies, behind loaded questions asked by the news media, and by the tone of the assignments given by public school teachers and college professors.
Recently I saw a movie that I had been warned about due to the fact that many found the environmental agenda it contained to be offensive. I was prepared for that, but what I wasn't prepared for was the religious agenda. Aside from the also inappropriate sexual innuendo, I was offended to find the movie showing religious people to be intolerant, backward creatures who are afraid of progress.
Recently there were stories in the news about the religious content of a movie that was offensive because it was geared toward children who might not be Christian. Yet, the media isn't upset if a movie agenda aimed at children is anti-Christian!
5. Selective Representation
"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." -Exodus 20:16
A recent media tactic has been to report only the negative side of Christianity or any other right-wing conservative issue. As I pointed out in my first article in this series, most involved in the mainstream media admit to being liberal. Their agendas frequently spill over into their reporting.
Who makes it onto these news shows? Is it the normal looking Christian who is rationally and politely sharing God's love and God's Word? No. It's the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" and the "Intolerant Religious Zealots" who get the air time in order to "condemn and limit the freedoms of other progressive thinking individuals."
Although Christians are divided on the war in Iraq, the situation there is full of deceptive reporting tactics which should be disturbing regardless of what our own opinions may be. For instance, it has been found that the mainstream media's agenda has caused reporters to narrow the focus of a camera shot to include only the most devastated areas where innocent people have been bombed, and not the images of grateful Iraqis who embrace the soldiers as their liberators.
Reporters on the major networks will often make a point of showing devastation and announcing the names of fallen U.S. military men in order to make it appear that the war is wrong, the U.S. is bad, we are not winning, and we are endangering the lives of our own soldiers. In addition, they interview only those soldiers who are against the war, but do not report on the many, many more who are proud to serve. By careful selection of what it chooses to represent, the media can easily misrepresent this, or any other issue.
"Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them." –Jeremiah 51:17
As I mentioned earlier, the left has learned that if you yell something loud enough long enough, and get enough people to yell along with you, you can make anything look like a fact. This is a tactic they have used in order to convince the public that evolution is scientific and should be taught in school, whereas creation is a silly religious and archaic myth that has no place in science or in the classroom.
The same is true for the abortion issue. The left has shouted so long about "Women's Rights" and how everyone should have "choice," that it is seen as offensive to be against the issue. How dare you infringe upon someone's "right to choose"? The fact that you are against someone having a "right" makes you intolerant.
7. Manipulating Facts and Statistics
"A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies." - Proverbs 14:25
Did you know that there is a statistic that says that 24.7% of statistics are made up on the spot? Well, not really, but it sure does sound good, doesn't it? This joke may not have basis in fact, but it does bring out an important point. Statistics can be manipulated to show just about anything you like--especially if you ask the questions in the right way.
Have you ever noticed how you can manipulate a child by asking a very tightly worded question? "You don't want to touch that nasty old doggy, do you?" Often polls are designed exactly the same way. Have you ever received a call from "an impartial company" asking about some political event?
Q: "Are you in favor of denying marriage to a couple purely on the basis of their sexual preference?"
This question elicits a negative response: "Deny someone a right to marriage based on prejudice? That's bad, very bad!"
Q: "As you may know, George W. Bush authorized federal government agencies to use electronic surveillance to monitor phone calls and e-mails within the United States without first getting a court warrant to do so. Do you consider this an acceptable or unacceptable way for the federal government to investigate terrorism?"
This poll question omits an important fact: the administration has said that the program was designed to intercept communications that were 1.) international, and 2.) involved suspected members of Al Qaeda or related groups.
Another tactic is in who they ask. One CBS poll on President Bush's approval rating took a sampling of the population (1018 people) and asked them to rate his performance. They asked 272 Republicans, 409 Democrats, and 337 Independents. Not surprisingly, the poll showed an approval rating of 34%. Adding it up, we see that Republicans made up only 27% of those polled. Independents and Democrats made up 73% of the total, despite the fact that Independents represent only a few percentage points in national elections. Regardless of one's own political affiliation, these polls are plainly skewed.
It is imperative that we raise our children to understand the world around them in order that they might be prepared to face what otherwise could shake their faith. It is equally important that we train our children to recognize and have ready an answer about what we believe in the face of misinformation.
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" –1 Peter 3:15
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