Monday, November 25, 2013

Red Saws in the Sunset

A friend asked me to think of a tool. I said, "A saw." Then he asked, "Now think of a color," and I said, "Red." He smiled as he told me that those choices were answers that men typically gave to these questions.

In a college class--not a very deep one--we were asked to make sketches illustrating wealth, and then poverty. All of us drew the same thing. The wealth drawing showed a curved driveway leading to a mansion on a hill. The poverty one showed a store front with a broken window and a for rent sign. We were amazed that the images in our minds were so nearly alike. Why it's almost like we have been programmed to think in identical terms.

This may not be so fantastic as it first seems. Noam Chomsky has written of the power of the media to influence us, to create a "manufactured consent". TV is usually the main culprit in such discussions. But the origin of such mind manipulation really became a big deal in 1928 with E. Bernays and the Creel commission.

People in the U.S. at that time were what many called "isolationists". They were for staying out of foreign wars--for peace, actually. Though the hero Charles Lindbergh campaigned to gather public support for the anti-war movement,we were not allowed to stay this way. There were powerful forces that felt otherwise. So, long before TV became popular, the art of molding public opinion became a science.

Such influence is with us today. In fact, more than ever. The world will have its way. With the consent of the masses, who like sheep, want to be led, the art of lying will flourish.

We all know of the lion and the lamb from Isaiah chapter 11. I saw a terrible film of a lion pouncing upon a lamb and killing it. But the Bible, in Isaiah, has no such pairing of animals. It is the wolf and the lamb. Looks like we are sheep in so many ways.

But there is hope for many of us--hope that we will be rebellious sheep. I saw a film of a wolf threatening a flock of sheep. The frightened sheep were bleating and running. Then a ram reversed his course and faced off with the wolf. The wolf was stopped in his tracks. Would it not be wonderful if a herder could separate out this brave ram and have him father many lambs? Some day there might be a whole flock who would stand their ground against wolves.

"Resist the devil and he will flee," says the Word. Such a wonderful promise.

No comments:

Post a Comment