The Religious Right Has Been Gullible For Fake News

A Baptist journalist has written about his career dealing with fake news swallowed by people in his faith. While liberal people also glop onto false information, the link author was mostly concerned about his own people, believers.

The author has been a professional journalist for Baptist outlets for some decades. He tells of being bombarded with letters telling him he must investigate the efforts of Madalyn Murray O’Hair to pass legislation RM-2493 which would ban Christian radio broadcasts.

Madalyn O’Hair, some will remember, was the clever and somewhat off-beat character who went to court because she did not want her son required to pray in school. She won her case, went on to found the very successful American Atheists and remains one of the most hated persons every by the religious right.

The problem the link author had with being pressured to do a story on RM-2493 is that O’Hair never requested a bill to prevent religious broadcasts. Further more, RN-2493 was not about religious broadcasting. On top of that, he continued to receive mail claiming  O’Hair was trying to pass RN-2493 long after she was dead and gone.

Worrisome the the link’s author is the current split in the ranks of the Southern Baptist Convention. One faction, represented by Russell Moore denounces lies and fake news produced by President Trump and his fans. The other embraces fake news and treats factual news as fake news.

If the religious right is a supporter of fake news, he argues, people will be suspicious of the faith’s message.

44 Responses

  1. Jinx

    And they should be suspicious of the faith’s message! Facebook and other social media is full of lies, faux news is a known liar, and on and on. People need to think critically, read a variety of sources on the same topic, be open to changing their mind and then objectively evaluate what they read. -45 (worst prez ever) voters are getting exactly what they deserve by voting for that clown, its too bad others have to suffer with them. Yes I got political, no I am not going to give one ounce of support because its my opinion.

    1. Dan

      Do you regularly refer to people as numbers?
      The NAZIs numbered the Jews. People like you are cowards.

      Getting back to the subject, fake news is simply propaganda. It’s been happening since the advent of reading and writing. We just have more exposure to it than other generations due to the internet and T.V.
      Everyone is targeted by propaganda and people from all backgrounds can fall victim to it. Yes, even atheists.

      1. Jinx, your hiding under a pseudonym, along with others, part of a cabal in collaboration to denigrate Christians. Our freethinker friend calls Christians gullible, a clear implication that he is more intelligent and Christians are seriously ignorant. You agree with him that Christians are major generators of fake news. That in itself is fake news! Perhaps there are a few, so call Christians, who create fake news, but much of the fake news is part of a movement to discredit decent people who have another view.

        1. Jinx

          I will continue to use Jinx as my handle, I protect my web access and computer from hacking and identity theft in numerous complicated ways since one of my credit card numbers was stolen about 7 years ago. I also wish to protect family even though I haven’t lived in the area for 40 years.

          So the real Erv is now revealed, and he is exactly who I suspected all along. Enjoy the laughable little conspiracy you mentioned, I have no time for collusion with anyone. I am no friend of those who practice deception in any way what so ever and that includes you.

          1. Friend, most of the cabal repeatedly make disparaging remarks about Catholics. That seems to be the standard operating procedure. I notice you are like I am when something pushes your ego button, you react and lash out. Do you suppose that’s part of our fallen nature, a short coming. You didn’t like my pokes, I felt the same when your pokes about Christians as a significant source of fake news. I think you called it the far right Christians,, implying Christians are radical imbeciles with pointed heads. Friend, we’re use to unjustified criticism, comes with being Christian. According to Christian bashers, we are the, blind faith crowd, not bright enough to come in out the cold. Turn your antenna up, you’ll discover we are becoming activists,, no longer stumbling around in the dark. I was suspicious of your first observation of me, borderline condescending, softening me up. Free speech applies to me as well as you. I’m a warrior for Christianity, and specifically for Catholicism. I’m going to rebut when we Christians are a defined as a detriment to society. Many in my extended families died defending our country. I’m proud to say I served in Korea. Before rheumatism and arthritis crippled my ankles and knees I proudly gave time and treasure to my community and church. I won’t accept being denigrated for my believes without standing for my dignity. Any devout Christians out there to give me an affirmative.

          2. Jinx

            Well erv, I was genuine when I wrote my greeting and said I found your posts refreshing. I became suspicious 2 or 3 days later due to a couple minor posts you made about a day apart…..they weren’t much but the flavor was the complete opposite of what you had initially presented.

            I have a live and let live view on life but I despise deception, misrepresentation and misdirection with a passion. My deceased Aunt was a catholic nun who attended to gay men dying of AIDS often becoming their family if the person’s family would not reconcile with him. She felt the same way about lies and deception but she was much nicer about it than I am. I am not your friend nor do I desire to be.

            I truly hoped you were different but you are not in anyway. BTW, I am almost full blood Irish. The little village I was born into did have a Catholic Irish/ Scandinavian Protestant divide and I saw the discrimination towards some families from certain Protestants.

            All that ended by the mid to late 1970’s so don’t give me that bull$h!t story about catholic bashing. You are male, I would guess white and of northern european ancestry. You already have a free pass to much of our society just because of your heritage. Enjoy your imagined paranoia and remain a victim, it must do something for you.

        2. nemo82

          I am getting into this exchange with some reluctance. But a word to the wise. I would not post on this or any other website under my real name. Have had a very bad experience in this regard (won’t go into details). Which is to say that you may be well advised to post under a nom d’ plume in the future. I don’t know why jinx or entech or anyone else chooses not to use their real names but, whatever their reasons, I don’t that they are part of a cabal of some kind.

          1. entech

            I started posting on this site as David, my real first name. It is a common name and when someone else starting posting in a distinctly contrary mode I decided to revert to a company name I had used for years, simply to be identifiable as me.

        1. entech

          Interesting the talk about numbers, I as trying to make up my mind whether you meant it as hyphen 45 the number 45 president or minus 45 the approval rating (less by the day)

          1. Jinx

            Lol, I will clarify. He is the prez # 45 BUT he ranks minus 45 when it comes to his qualifications and knowledge…..just another way of expressing his 0 ranking . 45-45=0

    2. Jon, last night as I reflected in contemplative prayer, a thought came into my mind. It was the divine power of the Holy Spirit reminding me about the virtue of humility. It became clear that my posts to this site are egotistical and totally lacking of graciousness. Part of my fallen nature. Engaging in false humility to make my point. Indeed using humility to brag. Jon, as an atheist you will likely find this ridiculess, I believe most Christians are sincerely concerned about anti-Christians, we place complete faith and hope in the promises of Jesus Christ. That is why atheists call us people of “blind faith” a key point often uses to denigrate Christianity. Jon, your post for today is a clear example, “the far right religious are gullible to fake news” and you go on to say we are significant perverted (embellished) generators of fake news! REALLY JON! The article is intended for the continuing the effort to promote Secularism, and define Christians as extremely naivety, implying we deserve to be minimized. That’s very sad, we Christians love our country, serve and die in wars to protect the freedoms, so dear to us, even the freedom to denigrate each other. And final, in your heart of hearts, in your deep subconscious, in your soul of souls (I know) are you conclusively convinced there is no God? (No response required) Many of the great philosophers in history recognize that we can’t know it all, as we reach closure to our mortal life we don’t need convincing the only thing we really know, relative to the knowable, is that we don’t know very much. Hopefully the Lord willing, next time I’ll share a bio of a brilliant atheist scientist who after eighty years came to believe in God. Your an intelligent person, so you perhaps you have already guessed. I emphasize, you, all unbelievers, all of human creations are in my prayers. Jesus we trust in your perfect love and mercy. Praise God
      May we one day come together to experience the unfathomable universe in all its miraculous unlimited glory. Yes my friends, I believe there is more. Something to think about.

  2. entech

    Jon, Jon, Jon – be careful with your words – you have it wrong again your Topic heading should be:
    The religious right has been responsible for fake news.

  3. Friend, who are you to judge? Sure sounds like more bovine scant. Putting it in another way, a SWAG, a term used by by those who see themselves as extremely intelligent. Leads to tunnel vision as result of “knowing it all” My business professor who told me this, went on to say, “it amounts to intellectual arrogance.” As a Christian, I believe in he devil, the temptor made me do this! For Catholics, today St. Patrick’s day, so although I doubt many Catholics visit this site, if they do, they are sure mum. Happy St. Patrick’s day. St. Patrick’ like many saints, he started off as an atheist, rebellious he rebuff his ChristIan parents. He fell into a gang who relegated him into a slave sheep herder. In utter disrepair, he turned to God. The rest is history!

    1. unregenerate

      Ervin Miller 03.17.2017 @ 7:19pm

      Dear Mr. Miller. I found your recent posts refreshing. You present as a sincere man of faith, Christian Faith. But friend, who are you to judge. That your deep religious conviction has not led you to arrogance and ‘tunnel vision’ is disingenuous. As a man full of years you certainly seem to have nurtured the courage of your religious conviction. But perhaps as we age we gradually lose the courage to question our convictions and slowly slip into a ‘dogmatic slumber’. We may even suspend personal responsibility for both our successes and our failures. We decline to take credit for either. Our successes we attribute to a god. Our failures to a devil. My sense is that in the absence of a savior or a tempter you are by nature a person of sound moral character. That virtue alone will serve you well whatever comes your way.

      1. Unregenerate, why are you hiding under a pseudonym, that seems sort of disingenuous! Speaking of disingenuous, you likely won’t agreed, it seems to me disingenuous sometimes serves a purpose. The freethinker blogs imply that all Christians are far right mindless imbeciles, is blatantly offensive. In battle, it seems to me, we need to resort to a little tough talk to make our point. Note, politicians are a good example! Speaking of fake news! Charging Christians as gullible is fake news in my book. Be nice to know your name, it seems sort of impersonal to include unregenerate in my prayers, along with others who visit Ron’s blogs.

  4. Well said! Critiques serve a purpose, as long as it is not a disguise for messenger bashing! We live in a society where Catholic bashing is very common! Note the freethinker keeps covertly denigrate Catholics. Catholics are often pictured as timid, blind faith followers, cowering in their churches. Friend, be aware that is rapidly changing. We are graduating 10’s of thousands of brilliant young people who are rapidly becoming very evident in our society. Catholics are rapidly overcoming their timidity and stepping up to the plate. We won’t easily go in to the sunset. Speaking of tunnel vision, our freethinker friend by implication, is obsessed with keeping us in the tunnel. Allow me a critique, step up to the plate and reveal your full name! I’m proud to he Catholic and not afraid to hide my full identity. Our freethinker friend recognize that has we grow older, we are not easily intimidated!

    1. Ervin 11:38 I’m happy to have you on this site presenting your point of view. Back and forth on these issues is good for all of us.

      I get the feeling you have no idea what-so-ever as to how the Catholic faith, and all the various versions of conservative Protestantism, look to the outsiders. You never mention how it looks to us.

      I’m going to lump the Catholic Church in with conservative Protestantism by referring to the “conservative church.” People of your ilk feel it is your obligation to butt into the lives of others and set standards for other people when what these other people do has no effect on you what-so-ever. Why does the conservative church feel it must condemn gay marriage when straight married people are not affected in any way shape or form?

      If you as a man cannot get pregnant, why butt into the lives of women? You need not go off on the usual riff Matt and many others do here about the fertilized egg being a human being. We have discussed that silliness many times. What I want to know is why it is so imperative the men decide for women? Is it because men are so much smarter and need to give leadership and instruction to women? Now, I know lots of women oppose abortion so don’t bother bringing that up. I asking about men specifically.

      I’m not as expert on getting into heaven like you. Maybe it is necessary to bash women and give them proper instructions to get there.

      1. Thank you! You started real civil, then you finished your reply with the some disparaging comments.. Jon, how much do you really know about theology and Catholicism. Perhaps you’ve studied the Bible, the works of Thomas Aquinas, and the studies of noted archeologist and decided it was bogus. I assume your probably are well versed in Secularism.. Another question, do you really know the detailed Catholic position on marriage between a man and a man. You surely know the sex act between two men is anal penetration, sodomy, considered a mortal sin. We don’t want our kids growing up to denigrate the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman. I have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. It turns my stomach to think they would develop a disorder that results in anal penetration. If you care to contact a Catholic clergy, he would share with you our concern for people who develop this disorder. You would find we have gay members, I don’t how many, the priest could share that with you. These gay Catholic members choose celibacy, same as priests. We have our faults, we readily admit we are sinners, that’s why we turn to God for mercy, we do care about our neighbors, our community and the less fortunate. As a mayor, surely you observed good works by Christians.

        1. Ervin 9:13 We don’t want our kids growing up to denigrate the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.

          Marriage between two men or two women has nothing to do with “the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” That is one of the myths taught to you by your church. That you believe such a myth is an example of the gullible Christian.

          As to, “We don’t want our kids growing up to denigrate…” you are speaking for yourself. I am proud my children and grandchildren embrace the concept of same sex marriage. We have had same sex couples in our home many times and regard our gay friends as wonderful people. The vast majority of young people have rejected the Catholic condemnation of gay marriage. In a generation that condemnation will look as foolish as racial segregation looks to you and I today.

      2. I forgot to add, there you go again, always implying you you have a total grasp of Christianity theology, there are a significant number of professors with multiple degrees in theology. PhD professors who teach at numerous colleges throughout our country. Please don’t tells us you are superior in knowledge to these men, many of them are distinguished Christian authors. Visit a book store, the evidence is clear! We’ll talk again! Be aware, I’m just as adamant about my views as you are with yours.

      3. Jon seems your are saying that critiquing Catholics is alright. But disparaging to anti-Christians. You welcomed me to your site, isn’t this an open form to carry on a dialogue? It’s on a Inforum website, accessible to the general public. At one point time I was sarcastic and called it a cabal, seemed like the participants are all on the same page.

        1. Ervin 4:25 You welcomed me to your site, isn’t this an open form to carry on a dialogue? It’s on a Inforum website, accessible to the general public.

          No, it is not an open site, “accessible to the general public.” I am the administrator of this site. I often edit your posts for mistakes and edit my own which often have many typos. I have banned a few posters and taken down a few posts made by regulars because they did not contribute to readership. I started the site about five years ago and it has had over a million visits.

    2. Juan Ruiz

      “We live in a society where Catholic bashing is very common!”

      From the time of the Protestant Reformation, through the establishment of the Church of England, to Calvin and onward to today, the bulk of Catholic bashing has been carried out by other Christians. Many Evangelicals believe whoever is pope is also the Anti-Christ.

      1. Catcher

        @ 7;46; “From the time of the Protestant Reformation through the establishment of….and onward to today.” Not so fast on the timeline. From the very start of Christianity, there has been disagreement, as witnessed by the necessity and occasion of the ecumenical creeds. Any disagreement with Rome would be considered bashing / threat by Rome. Often with violent results by Rome. Don’t forget the great East-West schism, 1054, the Papal schism 1414, The schism of Henry VIII. (Not a true reformation). The translations (plural) of the Bible in native languages,
        It would be more accurate to call the initial reformer a provider of constructive criticism. Via the 95 thesis, (articles open to consideration). for example. Which was not received well. Boiling and burning could also be considered bashing? Today’s current strain of “bashing” should also be considered constructive criticism, as long as it’s done in the spirit of correction. The Magisterium has not shown any interest in correction in times past, but caught dragging and kicking to the current time. Since this “problem” is so prevalent due to the systemic cover ups within the higherarchy, and has not self corrected it, external criticism, evidence, and civil action must respond, and entirely appropriate. Don’t shoot the messenger or blame anyone else for like behavior, as is the practice of Matt

        1. Catcher

          @6’15’ Oh, and to head Matt off at the pass, the so called Catholic Reformation, AKA “Counter Reformation” did little more than codify the teachings and practices of the Church of the Dark Ages. Via the Council of Trent. Remember? the one with all the Anathemas. (Non-Catholic bashing). What Trent did was little in the form of correction, was in large part cosmetic, and in fact, they dug their heels in, and became more aggressively defensive than before. Enter the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, defender of the faith.
          Trent is quoted extensively in the New Catechism of the Catholic Church today.
          The more things change, the more they remain the same.
          The more Matt talks, the more he repeats himself.

          1. Juan Ruiz

            For a concise study of the Counterreformation, I’d suggest:

            Philip Hughes, “A Popular History of the Reformation,” particularly Ch. 6 and 7.

          2. Catcher

            @ 8;07; re. “A popular history of the Reformation”; Hughes. Got it. Read it. Also author of “A popular history of the catholic church” Got that too. Read it also. Both have the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur of approval of accepted content by the Church. Funny that.

            One thing interesting thing with Trent; It somewhat succeeded in centralizing authority and chain of command. Too bad it didn’t do the same with responsibility of unacceptable behavior.

            I also have books from Tan Publishing. With the imprimatur. Probably a large part of Matt’s extensive library, and source of his inspiration. I should also inform; I wrote a letter to one of the RCC’s more popular lay apologist on the content of several of Tan’s books. (I won’t mention his name) His reply was; “Yes, regrettably Tan has published much questionable material”, And he hoped I don’t consider it an authority. I need say no more.

        2. entech

          Yes, and that is only within Christianity. Many others have had bad things to say about the Church of Rome, mainly in a spirit of retaliation.

          Denigration is a habit they seem to have picked up from their Roman Empire predecessors. Did you know Carthaginians used to eat their young ???

          1. Be sure to check whether they were Christians or pagans. I been around for eighty years, read the works of numerous historians, of course there are anti-Christian historians, and they write from a bias point of view, intended to bash Christianity.

        3. Catcher, critiquing is important, especially for those of us who are striving for excellent. One of my mentors admonished that critiquing is good as long as it doesn’t become a disguise to minimize the person we are critiquing. No criticism, no response required, just a quandary, you seem to display a great deal of knowledge about theology. Probably a Calvinist view, just guessing. The reformation was really an awakening for our Catholic leadership at the time. It exemplifies the the sinful and fallen nature of humanity. We have a brilliant crop of new priests who are very well informed and not timid about Standing for the Catholic faith. Their on social media, getting out of the church to evangelization, some are becoming wonderful authors, with books on Amazon, popular bookstores and on-line book inventors. This is becoming an exciting for Catholics. I see new fervor in our priests as they become comfortable using the social media. Most now post their Sunday homilies, have dramatically increased bible study, bring in distinguished PhDs from noted universities. I recently attend a seminar, I was astonished, over a hundred and forty participants. We use to feel good having 20 or 30.

          1. Catcher

            Erwin; @ 5;35; re. “Calvinist view”. Nope, although I have studied Calvinism and virtually all branches and sects in Christianity, in addition to others in depth. I beg to differ how well informed new priests are. Just last week, I went to the barber shop for a haircut. The new young Priest was just done, and the barber mentioned his car. It is a Mazda. I said yes, the God of Zoroastrianism. He was unfamiliar with it. I briefly ‘splained explained it to him. and asked him if he had studied comparative theology. He said yes, but it contained Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam only. He didn’t mention non-Catholic Christianity.

          2. Catcher

            @ 5;35; Erwin; re. ‘Calvinist view”. Nope. Although I have studied in depth using their own material virtually all branches and sects of Christianity.
            Re. the new crop of informed priests; I beg to differ. Just a week ago, I went to the barber shop. The new and young priest was just done, and the barber mentioned his Mazda. I said; Oh yes, the god of Zoroasterism. The priest had not heard of it. I politely informed him a brief outline of Zoroasterism,, I then asked him if he had done any comparative theology. He said he had, and it covered Catholicism, Judaism, and a little Islam. He did not mention non-Catholic Christianity. If that is the depth of their knowledge, they are poorly equipped to do evangelism when they run into a non- Catholic Christian. I got the impression that wasn’t interested in learning much about those he would evangelize beyond lapsed Catholics. I was polite, I invited him to come to my office and borrow some of my books if he was interested. He left in a hurry.

            You mentioned your age. Sorry, but I have to say old age is not an indicator of objectivity or wisdom. I have known 90 yr. old people who are as ignorant as a box of rocks, and 25 -30 yr. olds that are wise beyond their age. I’m a couple years younger than you, but that does not make me an authority- – – or you. My wife and I have been married for 55 years, and a couple for over 60. Her maiden name was “Virginia”. In short, no need to flaunt your age. It does not impress.

          3. Catcher

            If you are wondering why two similar posts. On the first one, the screen locked up. I then re-posted similar content. Then both showed up.

    3. Jinx

      Catholic bashing? HaHaHa, You keep that victims mentality intact, it fuels your delusion and ignites your conspiracy theories, you poor thing.

  5. Juan Ruiz

    I’m not sure why suddenly the subject of fake news has gathered so much steam. From the time graffiti was written on the walls of Pompeii there has been fake news. I attended events decades ago where what was reported was not close to what occurred.

    1. entech

      Could it be because for the first time it has become official White House policy. Common policy for authoritarian regimes since time immemorial.

  6. Godless

    In regards to catholic bashing. I highly recommend Tim Minchin, The Pope Song. It is truly a great piece of work.


    1. Godless 11:16 In regards to catholic bashing. I highly recommend Tim Minchin, The Pope Song. It is truly a great piece of work.

      That’s REAL Catholic bashing. We just do constructive criticism here. 🙂

      1. entech

        I like Tim, he is a bit extreme but he does have other subjects.
        He was recently in the new Jesus Christ Superstar, Judas of course, who else. perhaps a bit blasphemous that show, Judas is the best role.

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