A story that has gone viral: Radio stations are banning the song “In God We Still Trust” by Diamond Rio. President Obama says the song is not fit for release to America because it offends so many people.
Another story that has gone viral: A Moore, OK teacher was fired Friday for praying on school grounds as she used her body to protect students while the recent massive tornado was directly hitting the elementary school.
These stories going around social media about President Obama denouncing a song about trusting God and radio stations refusing the play the song, and an elementary school teacher praying on school grounds as she protected children during a tornado, have been shared by millions…The problem is – neither of the stories is true!
The instant acceptance of alleged news stories that fit the rhetoric of divisive political agendas of groups and individuals exposes one of the unrecognized dangers of the Internet. For the record, I am not suggesting that this tendency is reserved by only the extreme right-wing, but since these two ridiculous stories that have been accepted as truth involve the extreme right – that’s what I’m writing about in this blog.
Though it has been presented as a new development, the controversy about the song, “In God We Still Trust” by Diamond Rio dates back to 2009 and the band actually recorded the song in 2005. The song has never been banned from the radio. In fact, there have been many, many songs to top the country charts and country radio airplay that are extremely religious/spiritual in nature, and directly attest to a belief in God and Jesus:
“Jesus Take the Wheel,” by Carrie Underwood
“When I get where I’m going,” Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton
“New Again,” Brad Paisley and Sara Evans
“Believe,” Brooks and Dunn
“Angels Among Us,” Alabama
“There Will Come a Day,” Faith Hill
“Long Black Train,” Josh Turner
“God Bless the USA,” Lee Greenwood
“Why Me,” Kris Kristofferson
“Me and God,” Josh Turner
So, why the controversy about the President and the song now and why were so many so quick to believe and spread the news about the teacher being fired for praying? Both of these stories took off on social media because there are some Americans who are desperate to find anything that can be used to attack the President and America under his presidency. Criticism of any president is an integral part of free speech in America, but I used the word ‘desperate’ on purpose.
Right now, the potential scandals of Benghazi, the IRS and checking the phone records of reporters all present legitimate challenges for President Obama and the President has a responsibility to the America people to reveal the truth. But since the re-election of Obama did not cause the economy to collapse as predicted by Mitt Romney and every other Republican candidate during last year’s presidential campaign, the frantic attempt to dethrone the President continues to ramp up. In fact, many Americans, including many Republicans, are literally getting rich with the soaring stock market and with other positive economic signs, who may who have an agenda to get rid of Obama will not admit how good the economy is in their world.
The Internet and social media sites are not inherently dangerous, but the individuals and groups that are quick to accept and spread ridiculous news stories pose a great danger to civility. The Internet, with blogging and social networking sites, gives every individual American the chance to be a reporter, without ever having to be held accountable to facts or the truth and people believe what they want to believe – not what is true.
Don’t became a citizen of the “United States of Hysteria” by believing, without question, what you read and see on the Internet and recognize that as humans we have a tendency to believe whatever supports their preconceived ideas. That goes for talk radio, too!
The Internet is a medium, like radio, TV and newspapers, but far more threatening than the messages or content from any medium, is the gullibility of its audience!