Controlling Information
wilkyjr printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Wed Mar 01, 2017 at 08:13:14 AM EST
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and etc.  He warned them it would be too depressing and was not good for their mental health.  He suggested they just allow him to listen to the "drive by media," and he would digest it and do the thinking for them.
     I am familiar with attempts to control information.  When the Tea- Party- types took control of the largest Protestant Denomination in the nation, one of their first agendas was to control information.  Allowing an independent news media was not an option.  Instead they replaced it with what was more like a public relations organization.  Those in power chose to have absolute control on the information that was shared about the organization.  Tenured journalists were thrown out and replaced with party people in sympathy with the agenda of those in power.
     In my state the Baptist Convention resisted this surge, or as it became known, a "takeover."  We held on to an independent and free news organization.  The state convention even had a tradition of allowing the news agency to dwell in a separate building from the denomination offices.  This was deemed essential if there was to be open, free, and accurate reporting of news.
     A recent happening in Dallas caught my attention.  The two pastors of the largest Southern Baptist churches in the city became enraged at the information being shared by an organization in the Southern Baptist Convention.  Russell Moore, head of the ethics agency of the Convention, had made some comments about the moral life of the President.  This so infuriated Dr. Jeffress of First Dallas and his completion, Jack Graham, at Prestonwood Baptist, they threatened to withhold funding the organization headed by Moore.  Moore had dared to criticize their President or "Our Emperor" as he is known on the website, the Daily Stormer.
     Church life in the South was marked by the open sharing of information.  Public business meetings with open books were the norm and expected concept of a true church.  Now the model is more akin to Joel Olsteen's version with no open books,  no business meetings and no participation by the pew in decision making.  Little information is shared.  In the case of Ed Young's son in Dallas, no one knew about his private jet and nearly one million dollar salary.  His father, Pastor or chief CEO of Second Baptist in Houston,  has created a model I call a franchise.  Several congregations are connected to the central church and these churches operate in the dark as far as budgets, firings, or key decision making.  The concept is presented that in a successful church organization the less information shared the better it is for the health of the body.  Expecting Religious Right leaders to come forward and demand the open sharing of information is wishful thinking.  Why should they expect the nation's leader to do this when they do not practice such.
     The fact that we have an administration that seems to think the National Enquirer is a more reliable resource than the New York Times is a fact of life.  The fact that our Democracy is dependent upon a free press in a free state is a historical reality. President Trump's alleged war on the press is cause for alarm. I am reminded of the story of John the Baptist.  He dared to report about the moral life of a pagan king.  John was public in his denouncement of the personal moral life of the head of the state.  He lost his head over it.  One might hope that people like Jeffress, who has the ear of the President, would encourage him to be open to the reporting of news.  Unfortunately Jeffress does not appear to be a good example.



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Could you provide more details regarding this?: "When the Tea- Party-types took control of the largest Protestant Denomination in the nation, one of their first agendas was to control information. Allowing an independent news media was not an option. Instead they replaced it with what was more like a public relations organization." I assume we are talking about the Southern Baptist Convention. But which organization replaced which?

by James Estrada Scaminaci on Wed Mar 01, 2017 at 01:18:52 PM EST
Baptist Press was gutted, people like Dan Martin were thrown out on the street.  Dan had to sack groceries to make a living.
     The Associated Baptist Press was then formed to provide information about the SBC. You can visit them or Baptist Center of Ethics for more info.  Texas Baptist Committed has volumes of information.  The Texas Baptist historical Commission has information.  They left the SBC and became independent from the national organization to preserve the right to collect accurate information.  
     James Robison's staff provided the new version of reality for the SBC.  One of the staff members at the time was Huckabee.  You might read my earlier article on Dallas First Baptist during the sixties. I have a couple here.  

by wilkyjr on Sun Mar 05, 2017 at 08:29:05 AM EST
Parent


They are all about authority. Their authority supposedly through the Supreme Authority as their reason that only their version is correct and so promulgating other versions will be "wrong" so that would be their reasoning even though there is no one central authority no one version of the Bible. So really they are hypocrites just from that alone. Dictatorship and Religion go together rather well. You cannot trust them.

by Nightgaunt on Sun Mar 26, 2017 at 11:39:46 PM EST


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