Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
The Trump’s voters love the “fake news” that suits their agenda. It was in fact during the 2016 US Presidential election that the very term “fake news” came to be well known.
The Trump supporters also love the fake Christianity that Trump is propping up, devoid of compassion, justice and truth. I just read a real news about one of the most popular Christian apologist in USA: Franklin Graham Praises Trump As Staunch Defender Of Christianity.
Pope Francis is no fan of such “fake news,” he decried the “evil” of “fake news” in a message marking World Communications Day, saying those who create untruthful stories use “snake tactics.”
Jack Jenkins wrote for Religion News Service that the Pope speaking on Wednesday (Jan. 24) to mark the Catholic feast day of Francis de Sales — the patron saint of journalists — the pontiff compared the proliferation of “fake news” to the story of the serpent in the biblical book of Genesis. Noting how the snake (the Devil in disguise) convinced Eve to eat fruit from the forbidden tree, he said “there is no such thing as harmless disinformation; on the contrary, trusting in falsehood can have dire consequences.”
In his address, entitled “The truth will set you free — Fake news and journalism for peace,” the pope said fake news relies on the “manipulative use of the social networks and the way they function” to spread. He railed against “homogeneous digital environments” that are “impervious to differing perspectives and opinions,” saying fake news “is a sign of intolerant and hypersensitive attitudes, and leads only to the spread of arrogance and hatred.”
But, the Pope does not condemn “fake news,” of Santa Clause, Trinity and Eucharist. His devotion to the truth seems to be partial. He does not stand up for the truth of: Breaking News: Jesus Always Prayed to God the Father, Never to Himself or the Holy Ghost.
Everyone seems to love the “fake news” that support his or her agenda and refuses to see the merit and the truth of the real news that is not supportive. If a sizeable majority of humanity becomes the genuine supporter of the truth, with the highest ideal as suggested by the holy Quran, the world can have an instant transformation and would be catapulted to a new age of compassion, justice and prosperity:
You who believe, uphold justice and bear witness to God, even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives. Whether the person is rich or poor, God can best take care of both. Refrain from following your own desire, so that you can act justly – if you distort or neglect justice, God is fully aware of what you do. (Al Quran 4:135/136)
The world is noticing the impact of this highest ideal: The Holy Quran Applauded as a Landmark Contribution to ‘Words of Justice’ by the Harvard University.
The pontiff recently called for what he described as a “journalism of peace.”
“By that, I do not mean the saccharine kind of journalism that refuses to acknowledge the existence of serious problems or smacks of sentimentalism,” he said. “On the contrary, I mean a journalism that is truthful and opposed to falsehoods, rhetorical slogans, and sensational headlines … A journalism less concentrated on breaking news than on exploring the underlying causes of conflicts, in order to promote deeper understanding and contribute to their resolution by setting in place virtuous processes.”
Such journalism will need to address justice and truth at every level, even when it comes to the Catholic dogma or child abuse scandals, something that the Pope tried to block in his subtle ways in Chile just last week.
If we can follow the absolute standard of unconditional support to the truth, ‘even if it is against yourselves, your parents, or your close relatives,’ perhaps utopia is possible. If individual conscience does not always take the high road, may be our combined global human conscience playing out through social and main stream media will do and set the pace for the 21st century. Some day, God willing!