When I was in the church I joined several “Accountability Groups”; groups of men who shared their struggles with the common temptations that face young Christian men.
I remember many nights standing in the garden after worship services, confessing, encouraging, and sending each other off emboldened to do better in the coming week. It was clear to me: Accountability was a deep part of Evangelical culture; when we weren’t afraid of confronting each other on sin, we all did better.
The Two Christians
As the years passed I studied the word and I applied the morality that I derived from scripture this way: That we should love sacrificially, we should take care of the poor above all, we should uphold non-violence, scorn power and riches… tenets I thought were reasonable interpretations of the bible.
But many of my brothers took their faiths a different direction: Their own rights/freedoms are the priority, we should laud the rich, romanticize those with guns, insist on political power… and I found that this competing version of Christianity was, in fact, not derived from scripture, but rather a different source:
On April 18, 2023, FOX News agreed to settle with Dominion Voting Systems for the staggering amount of $787.5 MILLION dollars. This is the largest settlement of its kind in history.
“…one of the ugliest and most embarrassing moments in the history of journalism” said a major journalist whose organization did not just pay nearly a billion dollars for lying.
Fox had to pay that money for knowingly lying about Dominion’s voting machines. They settled because they knew they lied and that they would lose in court.
And who was it drinking every drop of their lies? Who was it regurgitating the lies to their congregations and demanding more?
It was, and is, Christians.
It Is Not Red Or Blue, It Is Green
During the depositions leading up to the settlement, Fox’s decomposing owner, Rupert Murdoch, said the famous quote: ‘It is not red or blue, it is green:’ He defended his anchors for saying lies by declaring he did it only for profit; nothing else like truth or the health of the country mattered. All that mattered was the money he was making.
In other words, the true problem isn’t Fox News… the true problem is the demand for Fox News. If there wasn’t such a thirst for this poison, Fox wouldn’t dish it out to the void.
The root of this problem is bible believers who consume Fox News’ lies… and the bible is not exactly a big fan of lies.
Who is Bold Enough to Change?
Fox News Ain’t. The moment they settled they opened with a lie in their statement:
“We are pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems. We acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false. This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards.”
“Highest journalistic standards” is literally a joke. And they are barely covering the story: One of their journalists reported on the settlement but couldn’t “independently verify the amount” of the settlement, from his own company.
Since FOX won’t change as long as there is profit from proliferating lies, t is incumbent on the viewers to change, and the viewership is overwhelmingly Christian: “Just 5% of Republican viewers of the channel identified as being ‘religiously unaffiliated’”. I am pressing Christians to lead the change because I know what the bible says about those who lie and spread lies.
Will Christians stop watching it? I hope so. I hope enough can move away to send a message that truth matters.
Can all of us moderates and ‘conservative-adjascents’ stop normalizing it? Can we push Fox News’ lies into the fringe along with the lies of the KKK? Yes, I think so.
To all the Christians I’ve ever known: You have either consumed and regurgitated Fox News’ lies, or at the very least you have been sympathetic to someone who has. And that all needs to stop. I have 787.5 million reasons that prove these lies have caused real damage to our democracy, our nation, and thus our children.
The only way to stop Fox News is to get eyeballs off of it. Stop normalizing it, hold other Christians accountable for consuming and spreading the poison. The deeper question is, does the truth matter to the church? It’s in the ten commandments, and Jesus himself uttered the phrase…
“Then you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
Be accountable. Do the right thing.