“Carry a coin that says In God We Trust and you will face arrest!”
So exclaimed the oversized headline on a message that hit my mailbox today. Four times, as a matter of fact. From four different people, in four different states. I get such “breaking news” all the time.
Used to be I’d simply hit delete… delete… delete… delete.
Now, more and more, I hit reply… reply… reply… reply.
I ask: Who is the source of this information? Anyone can say anything, and on the internet, they certainly do.
I ask: What is the context? As we well know, even the most innocent phrase, lifted out and quoted in the wrong context, can be misleading.
I ask: Is this statement biased in any way to make a point? It’s a temptation to mold facts and figures to support what we already believe. Always a temptation to writers.
For many of us, a deluge of anecdotes and quotes and statistics and tear-jerker stories stated as fact is new territory. If it comes to us with alarm bells, our first response is to be alarmed. Our second response is to broadcast that alarm to everyone we know.
But what’s the truth? If it’s worth digging for the answer, dig away. If the message is just junk, hit delete. But if you send it to me, expect a response that says, “Hey, come on, think about this!”
“In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity.”