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Megan Millington

You are absolutely correct. I have been surprised and alarmed about the dissemination of "fake news" and "alternative facts." I watched family members take as gospel news from Facebook. Facebook!

Of course everybody has bias. Of course people have opinions. I (like mkst people) have always assumed the news were expected to tell the facts-not interpret them. But there has been a shift over the last decade or so as the proliferation of news shows where a host spends an hour shouting down and arguing with a panel of other people leaving viewers feeling like that smart newsman knows it all and must be right. I think the credibility the public has associated with news reporting was shifted to these show hosts and their world view morphed into facts.

The American people seem upset and frightened and angry. At least according to a general consensus of reporting. I believe it. I also think the public is gullible and easily manipulated. How have we forgotten to consider the source? How have we forgotten the crucial life skill skepticism? It is like we are all watching television ads 24/7 (which people forget are engineered to get you to buy something) and we are taking them as divine gospel. Yes indeed! if I smoke I will be the coolest kid. Yes, THAT car makes me smart, charming and desired. Good grief people.

I honestly think religion plays into our situation. As children we are taught one God, one book, one church has the truth, the whole truth. All information we ever need is contained in one thing, one book, one god. We are trained to listen to and accept our church leaders' explanation of this doctrine and follow it unquestionably. I am not saying that is necessarily a bad thing, but we cannot transfer our religious training- this pastor's or that bishop's guidance to anybody who stands up and says "follow me! I know the truth!" And yet we do. All the time. We willingly say this part of scripture (in reference to Christian or Muslim religious texts) are absolutely true while very conveniently disregarding the other verses that say the complete opposite thing.

It is easy to say a particular news host or news agency or paper (church) knows more than I do, they feel super strongly (testimony) about it and they want to convert (missionaries) the unbelievers to their truth (god.) We are all on a crusade, a modern one, and I worry that it will continue to escalate and kill people like The Crusades did.

Religion, a set of values and beliefs, is what makes society functional. We have to have a shared world view or there can be no society, no government, no cooperation. America may very well be at a tipping point, at a point where it is not possible to set aside "us" versus "them" and see "all of us." This is especially true when our elected leaders are acting like primitive man, inciting violence and genocide of "them."

I don't have the answers, I can just see the psychology of it. It is a sad place to be for one of the most powerful and significant countries in the world. But this isn't just happening here, it is playing out in Europe and has been violently happening in Africa and the Middle East and South America for hundreds of years.

"Us v. Them" is the human condition. We are all the "us" and we are all the "them." Too many people are too upset to see it. It is reeking havoc on daily peace.

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