Friday, May 29, 2009

Crying Wolf...

Have you heard that the government is trying to keep people from hosting Bible studies in their own homes? Shocking, isn't? Here is a snippet from the first article I saw about it:

A local pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, who then threatened them with escalating fines if they continued to hold Bible studies in their home, 10News reported.

I first was made aware of this by a friend on an email list. She admitted upfront that she had not had time to look up any further information. Most of us on the list, whether we agree politically or not, consider ourselves truth and information seekers. We count on one another to do our research and share what we've found so that we have the information necessary to form our own opinions. We often disagree but we generally keep it civil.

Since first hearing about this incident, I've read about it on numerous conservative blogs and it's spreading like wildfire.

You can read the whole article I quoted from above here:

Fox and Friends did an interview with the pastor, his wife and their attorney:

Of course, World Net Daily has an article:

"Home: No Place For Bible Study"

And conservative bloggers are up in arms:

"First Amendment being Destroyed"

"Home Bible Study Groups Face Government Persecution in Amerika"

and my favorite:

"The Left Runs Amuck: San Diego Pastor Told He Needs a Permit to Hold Bible Studies at Home"

(What's funny about that one is that San Diego is primarily Republican.)

If you only read the sources above you're likely to draw the conclusion that this pastor and his wife are being unfairly targeted for holding a religious event in their own home and the only logical outcome will be rampant persecution of Christians all over the nation. It's only a matter of time until we will end up like China or other communist countries.

The trouble is, there is more to this story. It all started when someone filed a complaint about all the cars being parked on this cul de sac. Apparently a visitor to the neighborhood had their car hit by one of the bible study attendees. It's not like the county is systematically going around trying to shut down bible studies.

You can read more here:

Now, you can debate the merits of an ordinance that prohibits "religious assemblies" in residential neighborhoods but to turn this into a case of religious persecution is ridiculous and minimizes the very real persecution people face in other countries.

Like the story of the little boy who cried wolf, I fear we are setting ourselves up to be ignored if a true threat to our freedom does present itself. Before we go off half-cocked, ranting and raving across the blogosphere about how our rights as Christians are being stripped away, I suggest we take a deep breath then do a little research. If FOX news, World Net Daily, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are the major sources of your news, you're doomed to spend a good portion of your time being upset about "threats to our freedom". Dig a little deeper, watch full stories rather than dishonestly edited clips and then make up your own mind. We really shouldn't need television or radio entertainers (notice I don't call them journalists) telling us what to think. But fear and angst sell better than dispassionate truth, unfortunately.


Lila said...

Great article, Deanna. I figured it was something like that when I first saw it, so I'm not surprised at what you found. I didn't have time to research it, though, so thank you!!!! Wish more people were interested in the whole truth rather than half/partial truths.

Deanna said...

I'm a Republican and a Christian but I'm embarrassed by the way so many will throw out sensationalized half-truths in an effort to spread fear and outrage.

Lisa Sharp said...

I knew there had to be more to this! This is why you can't read anything and blindly believe!

Thank you so much mom for teaching me to think and not just be a sheep!

little castle said...

Thank you so much. I knew there was most likely WAY more to the story but hadn't taken time to investigate yet myself.

Cherie said...

Deanna - thanks for your great investigative work. It amazes me how people will just buy into news stories because they want to believe them and not did deep to get the whole story. Many times, aq story is believed just because it's reported by their "brand" of news or political affiliation. Your post shows exactly where this sheep mentality leads. God gave us brains and expects us to use them.