I have tried to have a more open mind, accept differing beliefs, because I feel like a hypocrite when I complain, criticize, or levy accusations at opposing thoughts or opinions as mine. They close their eyes, ears, and hearts to something different, and yet, I am doing the same thing. In my adult life I have gradually moved more into a sphere of political thought. Growing up, though certain issues always ignited passion and discussion in me, I would stay away from it because of the cornerstone idea that a teenager is in rebellion from the cookie cutter design of their parents. If I found myself too like my mother or father, I would immediately flee from the act or word. Ironically, it was all in the name of finding out who I was, when in reality those instinctual actions and words were the building blocks of the adult I am today.
Several things in the media, of late, have peaked an increased voracious appetite for knowledge. Additionally, they have left me with several rhetorical questions. Beginning with Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the missing Malaysian flight, Hobby Lobby’s case being brought before the Supreme Court, and not least of all, the extremely radical reactions to all of these through self-proclaimed unbiased news affiliates. Media, today, has left a gaping hole in the social fabric of this country.
We have Fox News, who claim unbiased and even-handed reporting, though they spout extremely conservative ideals, ranging from the “war on religious freedom” (you see, there is no war on religious freedom, because religion is a right for all of us to have, whether it be Christian morals and ideals, or Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Satanic, or worshipping Carrie Bradshaw, however, it does not mean you have the right to press these religious thoughts, beliefs, morals, and ideas on to any other person, especially through government) to the apparent dictatorship of our President. Ironically, they held up Vladimir Putin, a president in a faux-democratic society who, in reality, acts as a dictator, as this person to look at and praise, because he took action and did not sit around and wait to discuss the situation. Our President, rather than sending in unnecessary troops to possibly begin a third World War, handed out sanctions on top officials in Russia and Crimea. He acted with the EU and took a stand on the situation, and wanted to achieve a peaceful outcome. Things are still not okay in the Crimean peninsula, the relations between Ukraine and Russia are tension filled, and there is still the possibility that Putin could make another land grab, but rather than preemptively attacking Russia (which would be the stupidest thing this country could do, considering we owe China, Russia’s ally, a whole heaping stack of money) and instigating yet another war, the actions taken by the EU, Ukraine, and the United States are, in my eyes, really, really preferable. (And please, no need to bring up the drone war and President Obama’s hand in that honey pot, because I am well aware of it, and do not agree with it.) Fox News sat and spat insults at our Commander-in-Chief, complaining of his “Mom-jeans wearing behavior” (whatever that means, because really, ladies and gentlemen, Mom’s are pretty big hard asses; the man is considered the head of the house, but women are the necks: we move the head), and essentially calling for more bloodshed, more American lives put at risk just in the name of asserting “American power” (though we are far from being a World leader, anymore, NOT due to President Obama, but due to insidious economic situation brought on by none other than their Lord and Savior, Ronald Reagan).
CNN is no better. They have become the glorified time waster of news channels, turning thirty-second spots into three-hour segments, bringing in diagrams, simulations, designs, and models to prove the point that they do not have any more, or less, information than anyone else. A great example of this is when they interrupted an interview with a Congresswoman to alert the Bieber fandom that he was arrested for suspicion of a DUI. And then proceeded to waste all of our time by reenacting, several times over, the drag race he was having down a street. Way to glorify a drunk driver, CNN! Supposition and guesses have taken over facts; yet, they complain about Fox News doing the same thing. Opinion, not factual evidence, has overtaken these broadcasts. The guiding principle of journalism is an unbiased view, giving readers the factual evidence, while not implicating or directing the readership/viewership in any one direction. Neither CNN nor Fox News follow these guidelines anymore. MSNBC, is no better. All three programs have become hours long editorials and opinion pieces. In fact it seems like the only place to get any real news anymore, unbiased, unaffiliated, is Al Jazeera America or BBC (ten bucks said half of you out there immediately rolled their eyes when reading Al Jazeera America as an option for news, solely because their name has Muslim trappings). If you fear that a brainwashing scam is present, which I might add is hypocritical and racist, I will point you towards NPR as another option for information.
CNN wasted our time, yet again, with ridiculous hypotheses about missing flight 370 (black holes? Lost? the Bermuda triangle? REALLY?!), and Geraldo mocked the death of a person by supposing that an oxygen problem led everyone onboard to die and then simulated choking to death on national television. With the uppity disdain of someone who thinks they are better, MSNBC then cast a finger at both news channels at their lack of fact-based evidence, only to have one of their own do the same thing they condemned. This is not about who is better; a pissing contest should not be happening when lives are compromised and there are families mourning their lost ones. Or when countries are fighting for freedom. Or when our own American people bully each other for who they are, what they believe, or how they self-identify.
Last, but definitely not least, in my book, is the Supreme Court hearing Hobby Lobby’s argument against medical coverage. They are arguing that Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, is infringing their religious freedoms to deny women the use of certain contraceptives. Hobby Lobby, you are infringing the right of every female who works under you to affordable medical care; who are you to say which is more important: medical care or religion. Additionally, you are willing to cover Viagra, penis pumps, and other medical paraphernalia and medication for erectile dysfunction, but will not consider providing birth control for your female employees. An IUD, one of the forms of contraception you are arguing against, is not an abortion. In fact, the sperm does not even meet the egg. There is no implantation. There is no fertilization. A Mirena IUD has hormones that prevent the woman from even ovulating, much like the oral contraceptives you are willing to cover, while simultaneously prevents the sperm from reaching the end goal. Effectively, we are throwing our bodies into premature menopause, and women who use the Mirena IUD will stop having a period altogether. My choice to use this as a preventive measure against ovarian cysts has been the most effective method I have tried, out of countless attempts with oral birth control. My use of an IUD will allow me the opportunity to become pregnant in the future and have children, which was not guaranteed due to my body’s inability to stop the production and growth of various forms of ovarian cysts. You are not humble, as the bible states, to assume you can withhold coverage to women in need. In fact, you are playing God and Government by condemning the use of such devices. You are unwilling to help those who need it, which directly opposes His teachings. If you choose to live by the laws of religion, do not pick and choose which laws you follow. And do not force others to follow them. You infringe upon their religious freedoms by imposing your religious beliefs on them.
I have found myself reflecting on these issues. And most obviously, I have reflected a considerable amount on the so-called war on religion. How it people invoke it any time the government does it’s job to not mix church and state; when people are up in arms about Christian mores being taken out of secular activities; when people quote biblical passages in open hostility towards the LGBTQ community. How is it that we go to houses of worship, hear people preach about love and acceptance and forgiveness, and then turn around and spew hate? Religion does not become more powerful by being more widely accepted, or more widely publicized. Religion is about your personal relationship with God, as you understand Him/It. Why are you invoking His name in acts of violence, bullying, and hate? How and why do you attempt to infuse religion into a government that has to look out for the welfare of a multitude of people, who are not all Christian. And the answer is not to “go back to where you came from,” because if that was the case, we should all leave immediately and let the Native Americans have their land. I am a second generation American. My dad was not born in the United States. Many more people are first generation, as people flock to this country in search of an American dream, only to become the victims of thoughtlessness. Love your neighbor as yourself: if people are following this dictum of religion, truthfully and honestly, then we are a country filled with self-hatred.