Thursday, June 15, 2006

Intellectual Honesty and the Internet

I recently received an email from a co-worker. In it- there were numerous quotes from the founding fathers in support of a theocracy.

As an example James Madison is purported to have said:

We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Great quote, problem is it's manufacturered or inproperly attributed. James Madison is on record numerous times for separation of church and state.

It is hard to chose which quote to throw in here, but perhaps this will suffice:

The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe with blood for centuries.

I responded that the attributed quotes were made up by someone for their own reasons. One might presume to persuade the weak minded that, while our forefathers and framers of our nation worked diligently to separate the power of the government from the power of the church, they in fact meant the exact opposite the whole time and we're just figuring this out.

My co-worker is angry with me. (no I didn't include the part about weakmindedness.) She says that she is a devout Christian and is not afraid to stand up as such. Also that she does not have the time to verify every email she passes on.

This has left me confused. Is it being a good Christian to pass on ever scrap of pro-God material I can find even if it's a pure fabrication? I thought Number nine of the ten commandments forbids us from bearing false witness.

Wouldn't it be best to talk of God in truths? To celebrate a belief in terms of reality rather than wishful fantasy. Is it so impossible in this age of polarity and partisanism to accept that nothing is gained by forwarding falsehoods even if they support our cause? Are we so weak in our positions that we have to bend a scrape from the barrel of untruth to support our belief in God and Christ?

I would say not. I would say that I could post something positive and truthful about Christ's message every day for the rest of my life and Never come close to exhausting the possibilities.

Buts thats just me.


Blogger John Fracchia said...

It's fascinating to me how many people blindly pass along things on the internet without bothering to read them fully or verify whether they are truthful. I can't tell you how many manipulative 9/11 posts I've debunked. It's a favourite tactic of those in power. Appeal to emotionalism whether the facts support the premise or not. America needs to be smarter.

6/16/2006 02:17:00 PM  

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