Mind Bending: The Subtle Tactics of Living in a Media Culture
At a recent University of California San Diego lecture, students were told by their professor that a human fetus is comparable to cancer. That it is like a parasite invading the body and reshaping blood vessels in much the same way cancer does. (See the picture above taken at the seminar.)
Our culture today is fraught with manipulating words and bending thoughts. Comparisons are subtly used to change meanings and push social and political agendas. Young student minds and busy media-bombarded consumers are being manipulated without noticing. This nonchalant example in an educational setting allows young minds to be introduced to thinking that an unborn fetus is like a cancer cell. That it is an unwanted enemy of the body and allows women to justify walking into an abortion clinic and disposing of the growth inside them with a clear conscience.
They were taught in a university lecture that the unborn was just an unwanted mass of cells – a parasite.
When former U.S. President Bill Clinton said in 1998 that he “didn’t have sexual relations with that woman” it disrupted cultural and moral thought. Our present-day millennial generation were kids and were watching, as we all were, that apparently, oral sex wasn’t part of having a “sexual relationship.” Young minds saw a high-ranking influential man twist and change the meaning of words to justify his actions. Those young minds at the time are now young adults and his words have infected the thinking of our present-day culture.
It’s why we need to be paying attention to what is being communicated more than ever.
And it’s essential that we take the time to inoculate our kids and grandkids with wisdom. We need to teach them how to use discernment and help them build strong moral foundations that pay off. Our choices matter because words can’t be trusted today. If we believe in marriage we better be committed. If we believe that truth matters then we better stop lying on our taxes, and if an unborn child matters then we better be willing to support women who birth them.
Our media driven culture distracts and overwhelms us from what is significant in our lives.
One can’t go to the grocery store, put gas in a car, or even stand in an elevator without a video screen or advertisement telling us what to do and think. We check our cell phone over a hundred times daily, check them within minutes of getting out of bed and panic when we lose them. Being disconnected is the number one fear teens worry about today. In New York this past spring, a nine-year-old-girl hung herself when her mom told her to go back to bed and then took her cell phone away. And futurists are predicting it’s only going to get worse.
Today we still have the ability to shut off our screens, but our upcoming generations won’t be able to.
Even today factories are testing chips being implanted into employees’ wrists. They can open security doors, buy their lunch in vending machines and clock in and out with the swipe of their wrist. The technology has been used on dogs and cats for years and our Fitbits and iWatches are presently getting us all ready to accept this new technology quickly, without thinking about it.
How shall we then live? How do we keep from mind-bending thought?
We stay savvy and control the noise and engage with God and scripture. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” We learn to be mindful of how and when these subtle word changes can manipulate our thoughts and affect our choices. We put on protective gear or as the Bible calls it, “the whole armor of God,” so that culture and word pollution doesn’t destroy our choices in life.
What’s interesting is that Jesus also taught us that we are to be responsible for what we say and how we use words to manipulate.
Jesus said: “Listen and understand, It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” (Matthew 15:10-11) Or, another interesting interpretation from the Message Bible says, “Listen and take heart, It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up.” In other words, it’s what you allow yourself to take in and believe and then spew out that corrupts and taints yourself and others. It’s why so many today are resisting the Church. We need to purge ourselves first and take the “plank out of our eye” so that the truth of Jesus can be heard clearly.
Neurologists today are showing that media usage is changing the growth and actual shape of children’s physical brains. Words coupled with the use of visuals are powerful. When a slide pops up in a college lecture of a fetus side by side with a cancerous growth the comparison is damaging and manipulating.
Teach your children well, modern-day parental units. Teach them as Jesus did with words that still are true today: “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)