Archive for August, 2013
I was given a link to a Youtube trailer for an upcoming show being sponsored by Oprah Winfrey called Preachers of LA. I need to start by saying I do not know any of these Preachers personally and have never been to their respective churches so the only thing I have to go on is the trailer itself. With that said, the opinions expressed in the trailer are at the very least far more prevalent in our churches than they ever should have been. Simply put, the biblical message is that Christ took on our sins due to the nature of God’s love to give man the ability to be redeemed and the opportunity to live forever in communion with God the creator of the universe. The message of this trailer and show appears to be that gift from God is a brand to be sold and make people rich. It made nauseous.
The idea of the health and wealth gospel is not really new; it has been distracting people for decades. It is preached by televangelists, supported by celebrities, and completely and totally contrary to the bible. I know this appears harsh but I have no other way to communicate it. If we centralize the focus of the biblical message to one verse ripped whole heartedly out of context about a minor character in Israel’s history (Jabez) and miss the crystal clear focus of the rest of the text we are clearly not honoring God. The overwhelming message is to love, have compassion and mercy, seek justice, and be content with God’s grace. One of the major character traits of God is justice. How can that be pursued if we are looking for our own reward at the expense of others.
I know that the practitioners of this would say that they do not do this, but in reality, how can that be supported? The bible clearly shows how God rewards people. However, he does so on his desire and not because we “name it and claim it” or “visualize it”. If we are so self focused that our prayer and faith life is structured only on what we want, how can we say we are serving God. I think Peter should feel better about denying Christ in the courtyard of the Sanhedrin than any preacher should ever feel about preaching this garbage. If a person can reconcile owning a Bentley while members of their congregation go without food to help fund it, their moral compass is so off I am surprised they can find their way to work. I am overwhelmingly concerned that this kind of garbage is seen as acceptable and actually thrives.
The church’s job is to provide a safe place to experience God and support his people’s relationship with him. If people are using it as a venue to make money, they are missing the point entirely. The prevalent idea is that God wants his children to be happy. The Bible never says this. The word happy in modern terms is a state of being. The words used that are translated into “happy” in the bible refer to recognizing the blessings God has given you, not being in a state of continuous reception of good things. God promises to care for us. In order for that to occur, we need to be serving him and following his direction in our lives. If we choose to live outside that direction, we choose to live outside that care. That does not mean that bad things will not occur. Telling a person that bad things happened to them because their faith was poor is frankly cruel and should be condemned. The bible never says that things will always be good, bad things will happen. Our ability to be content in all circumstances is what should determine happiness, not a Mercedes.
I am sure that when I stand before the Almighty God, there will be many things that his presence will expose in me that I will not want to have exposed. I do not see how people who preach this type of gospel will even be able to say they did with a straight face. God expects us to live sacrificially for the sake of others, not build designer kitchens in our mansions while children die from hunger. The simplest way to say it is that we need to focus on God and stop focusing on ourselves.
Why doesn’t God love gay people? I would hope that Christians would immediately say, “He does love them.” However I am fairly certain some churches would have concerns if they suddenly received a ten percent influx of visitors next Sunday, who happened to be gay. Homosexuality is one of the biggest social concerns affecting our churches today and it is not a new subject. I adamantly proclaim God does love gay people. Unfortunately, based upon church history in the last few decades, I can understand why people might think the church feels God doesn’t. We have a real problem if our excitement for visitors is truly proportionate to our ability to accept them based on how dirty we think they are. I am certain Christ would disagree with our praxis if we tell God which of his children we want to work with. The church’s stance on the subject of Homosexuality ranges from hypersensitive to possibly sinful, so I am going to suggest we rethink our position on how we address Homosexuality. Now, before you stop reading and dismiss this idea as anywhere from ridiculous to heretical, please take a few minutes to read through this article, think through what I am saying, and decide for yourself. Maybe by the end a voice in your heart will tell you to forget it, or maybe you will find a voice in your heart to help me set a trend that could change our world. I am going to propose we look at Homosexuality, why we say it is outside of God’s plan, and then rethink how the church should communicate that and deal with it.
There are a handful of biblical references that either directly or indirectly address homosexuality. The purpose of this article is not to offer a critical textual analysis of them to attempt to define the ultimate truth. The verses are clear; and simply put, the more we openly debate the biblical text regarding this issue, the more we obfuscate its relevance. We need to review them though to understand what it says. The bible offers direct prohibition of homosexual sexual practice in the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). In the same law it also says that if a man commits adultery he should be put to death (Leviticus 20:10), if a child curses their parents they should be put to death (Leviticus 20:9), and if a married couple has sex during the woman’s menstruation cycle, they should both be cut off from the people (Leviticus 20:18). We seem to be very willing to support some laws and not interested in supporting others. I am not suggesting we stop reading Leviticus, but there is a good reason why most churches don’t “preach through” this book. Simply put, it requires a great deal of context and background to understand. Therefore I am going to posit that we should not use Leviticus as the proof text for our arguments against Homosexuality.
Another argument used by the church is from Sodom and Gomorrah. Etymologically we get the word Sodomy from this, and have used the word Sodomites to refer to Homosexuals. Genesis 13 tells us that the people of Sodom were wicked and sinned greatly. Genesis 18 reiterates this but neither explains directly what that sin is. The following passage from Genesis 19 explains the immorality that was rampant in the city.
4Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” (Genesis 19:4-5, NIV)
It is ridiculous to use this text to prohibit homosexuality because it looks nothing like homosexuality; it does however look an awful lot like gang rape. Are we really expecting the world to equate two men or two women having consensual sex with gang rape? There is no comparison. An ancient city full of people willing to commit aberrant crimes of forced sex has no relation to modern people engaging in alternative sexual expression. Frankly Christians look like idiots when we say the two are the same. I think this argument causes more problems for Christians than for homosexuals, as it indicates we are a hypocritical people who don’t even closely read our own bible.
Additional prohibitions exist in 1 Corinthians and 1Timothy. These verses contain the Greek words arsenokoitai and malakoi . These words are traditionally translated as homosexual and effeminate, yet there has been a lot of discussion about their true meaning over the years. Some feel that arsenokoitai is a translation of a Hebrew phrase in the Holiness code in Leviticus regarding the prohibition of a “man lying with a man as a woman”. The word malakoi is generally accepted to refer to the passive partner in the ancient Greek and Roman practice of Pederasty. This practice involved an older man courting and engaging in sexual relations with an adolescent boy. I personally feel that the latter translations and scholarly views on the terms are actually correct. Beyond offering a proposed solution to the historical conundrum of understanding ancient cultural oddities, this gives us nothing. Neither reference contextually refers to the modern practice of homosexual coupling. If we need to educate a person on the Hebrew and Greek in order to present God’s take on a modern dilemma, maybe we are trying too hard. These verses seem to be used to try to win arguments more than they are used to save souls. I am quite certain God is less pleased with our practice of arguing with sinners rather than showing them God’s enduring love and pointing them to salvation.
This leaves the most powerful reference in Romans 1. Paul is trying to deliver the message of Christ to a non Jewish world. He begins his treatise by envisioning the world in its infancy stage. He explains that people knew God, but did not glorify him or give him thanks. Because of this, God allowed them to continue the path they were on so their hearts darkened, and their thoughts became futile. They replaced the glory of God with selfish desire and allowed that desire to control them. God did not stop this from happening, because man exchanged the truth of God for a lie about themselves. In simple terms, they rebelled against God and became their own gods. Homosexuality then enters the picture, both for women and men.
“For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” (Rom 1:26-27 NAS)
This passage clearly states that homosexual behavior is outside the will of God. It is and always has been an act that God wants mankind to steer clear of. It is not an evil entity by itself; rather it is seen as a byproduct of rebellion. It is a symptom of the disease and not the disease itself.
We use Romans 1 to declare homosexuality to be vile by the nature of this act and demonize it in and of itself. We do ourselves a great disservice by doing that because we miss the fact that it is not the first, last, or even the most prevalently mentioned symptom of rebellion against God. All sexual immorality is condemned by this passage along with idolatry, every type of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. If we as a church really want to honor God by preaching Romans 1 to proclaim his name, why do we solely focus on homosexuality? Why do we not pursue the other condemnations like we do homosexuality? I am ashamed to say this, but it appears we are not as bothered by the other symptoms, so we target a specific symptom, while letting the disease continue.
Homosexuals feel sexual attraction to people of the same sex, and it is irrelevant whether this desire is innate or whether it is learned through societal interaction. They take action on that desire proclaiming dominion over God by saying that their sexual desires outweigh his authority to declare what is right. Homosexual interaction is not more or less offensive to God than any other sin. The real problem is the abject rebellion declaring God has no right to regulate human behavior. Unfortunately this is rarely the center of the discussion by Christians. Some have branded Homosexuals as aberrant and less than human because of this sin, while other Christians go so far the other direction that they lessen God’s authority themselves in a “more loving” approach. Realistically neither direction is right, as we can neither reject God’s authority, nor usurp his power. We need to stop treating sin like something people are getting away with, and start treating sin like something people need to recover from.
Rather than approaching people who are lost due to their sins, we have alienated groups of people based upon our fear and dislike of a specific sin. We have created so many walls between ourselves and these groups that we may never be able to fully break them down. Homosexuality is not a cultural oddity that will pass away from our society. While our nation is currently at war with active troops dying in a foreign land, one of the largest social concerns in our country is “Gay rights”. Our world is not thinking correctly, and the Church should be the compass that helps the world find direction, but we are not doing that effectively. The current condition of the world is my evidence.
We need to start by setting our own compasses in the right direction. We can do this by asking for forgiveness from God, and then from the homosexuals that we have persecuted. What do you think would happen if every Christian who knew a homosexual went to that person and asked forgiveness for the bigoted, selfish, hateful, and foolish ways they were treated, or just forgiveness for not speaking out about it sooner? By doing this, we are not changing our doctrine to say that God now accepts the behavior but the act of asking forgiveness could reopen the lines of communications between a group who knows they are lost due to sin, and a group who still needs to recognize that.
Secondly, we should take a special collection from our own congregations and have the money donated to AIDS research. How do you think the world would react if the Christian church donated millions of dollars to research a cure for that devastating disease? I do not think this will fix all of the problems, but I do believe it will tell the world we are serious about what we believe and are willing to do something about it. This act alone may even give us the opportunity to talk to people and not just talk at them.
Thirdly, we should stop trying to fix Homosexuals. They are not broken machines. They are creations of God that have been damaged by sin. This damage cannot be fixed by reforming orientation by our understanding of propriety. We need to be willing to accept that we don’t have a solution. Only God can repair the damage through the love and forgiveness of his son. We can accept homosexuals as God’s children and show them the God who can heal them. This does not mean that Homosexuals will stop being attracted to the same sex. Churches will have to accept that people in their congregations will still be tempted to sin, so we will need to do a better job of supporting them.
Lastly, I think we should actively pray for these people. While the church’s history with homosexuals may not engender an appreciation of our prayers, we should do it anyway. Start with the people you know and pray for them regularly. Make an active effort in your prayer life to love that person enough to raise them up to God and ask him to intervene in their lives. If we are lucky enough, He will use us to do that.
The church is in crisis mode now and becoming more socially irrelevant daily. We are in a world that is spinning out of our control, but realistically it has never been in our control. We need to stop pointing fingers at other people and spend more time loving all of God’s people, because our actions say more than our words ever could. We are only given so much time on Earth, and ultimately we do not know how much time we have left to address our sins against homosexuals. When we stand before our God, will we be able to explain why we took his impartial and everlasting love and chose to only show it partially and in short supply? God calls us to be the light in the darkness, not to be a cause of darkness. If we band together as brothers and sisters in Christ, taking our jobs as churches seriously, I think we can change the world for the better.
You now have a choice. Throw this article away, dismissing it as heretical garbage, or act on it by helping break down the walls between the church and the homosexual community. Take time to pray about your choice and listen to the Spirit. If we truly listen to the Spirit, He will guide us through all of the world’s challenges. I am confident if we all do that, then we will be closer to each other, closer to God, and closer to tearing down the walls we have built.
Is it ever acceptable for one person to tell another person that their life is too problematic and ill timed that they need to no longer exist? A man sees a homeless person sitting by the doorstep of his apartment complex and can smell their odor each day he walks by. He gets to the point of not wanting to bring friends over or even live in the apartment because the odor is so strong. If he decided to kill the homeless person because they presented too many challenges to overcome living in that apartment, he would be a criminal and rightly seen as morally repugnant and legally culpable. Our country has clear laws regarding such actions. However if a woman chooses to be sexually active and chooses to have unprotected sex or uses contraception that fails resulting in pregnancy, she has the legal right to abort the child due to the inconvenience of having a baby and raising a child. The woman would be legally innocent but I have to ask if the act is any less morally repugnant?
The question of abortion is a moral question being argued in legal terms. The current legal battles are whether to reduce, limit, curtail, increase, expand, or strengthen the current legal parameters. The law currently allows abortion in all states so arguing it in legal terms is similar to searching for a reduced fare on a cruise liner that already sunk. We have given people the ability to kill on demand and allowed them to feel as if it is a women’s rights issue. The window is now open to extend this to euthanasia which looks like the next natural step. Slowing down the process legally won’t stop the problem. We need to be discussing the moral issue with people. The challenge for Christians is that if we convince people to act morally without given them Christ, we are effectively being cruel. With that said, we still need to be able to answer the moral question and be able to defend it viably.
The arguments for abortion early on focused greatly on the question of when does life begin. Is the fetus a human being or is it a parasite. This presented two major problems. The first is that the definition of parasite not only described the fetus but also most children and teens. There has never been a doubt that offspring act in a parasitical fashion until they reach a level of maturity. The science for determining if it is a human being however weighed more and more in the favor of Pro-Life. Evidence showed that fetuses reacted to pain, had brain patterns, heart beats, and even develop patterns of right or left handed behavior.
Ten to fifteen years ago the arguments started shifting to human rights and the human being status of the fetus began to be widely accepted. This brought on new questions. Does the baby have a legal right to life and does the state or anyone other than the mother have the ability to regulate what happens in the life of the mother? A famous argument was provided by Judith Jarvis Thomson regarding a virtuoso violinist with kidney failure. She posits the question that if you were kidnapped and attached to a machine that was allowing the violinist’s body to use your kidneys and were asked to stay there for 9 months to allow the violinist to heal, would you consider that a violation of your rights? If you were given the option to voluntarily disconnect knowing that would kill the violinist, would you? The problem with this argument and those like it is that a person being kidnapped is a victim whose rights are clearly being violated. A woman choosing to have sex is never a victim and is expressing her rights over her own body by having sex. The only circumstance were this analogy becomes valid is if the woman was a victim of rape. The cases of rape resulting in pregnancy were less than 1% according to several studies over the last several years. This statistic has been disputed in the same manner of all statistics. If the test population is not wide enough, it will not accurately support the results. Whereas these concerns hold some validity, even if the percentage was as high as 5%, that would still mean that over a million abortions were performed each year that were corrective actions to regretted choices. I honestly feel that if the only abortions performed were due to rape, the abortion debate would be over.
The real concern is the moral choice to end a life based upon convenience. If two people choose consensually to engage in sex, are they not responsible for their choices? How is it moral to give them a way out of that responsibility by mere virtue of it causing them difficulty in the future? How is it morally acceptable to end a life for convenience? Over 50 million babies have been killed over the last 40 years in the United States alone. How can this be morally acceptable to our society so that people can escape the responsibility of a bad choice? The arguments for abortion rob humanity of its soul. How can we ever consider ourselves moral, if we allow atrocity to be engaged in freely without speaking up? I do not think the law will ever change; how much it is utilized by people can. Lobbying to change the laws will not change the hearts of people that are willing to make an immoral choice. The problem isn’t going to be solved in the rhetoric, it will need a savior. The question Christians need to ask themselves is whether or not that is the message they present. Are we betraying Christ’s grace by blaming the people rather than providing the gospel in a way they can hear it? If our message to people having abortions is filled with words that attack the person and not the problem, I think maybe we are. If people are acting in an immoral way, they do so because that is what they know. It is up to us to teach them something different through love. Christ’s commission to us was to spread the gospel throughout the world. That did not mean to just deliver the package and leave. It meant to explain the gospel in a way it can be understood. If we want this problem to get better, we need to be better at doing that.
Anti religion has become its own religion. In their fight against the establishment, practitioners of this are creating the very thing they demonize. Some focus on blending the best of all religions and by doing so establish new creeds. Others attempt to debunk the concepts or religion but end up proclaiming more faith than the religion they wish to debunk.
Modern religious pluralism is really not modern. The ideas have been around for some time and are based on the desire to accept all people and not be exclusive. This applies to sources of truth as well. All sources of truth are equally valid but no source of truth is exclusive. It is acceptable to not agree with other religions as long as we don’t say they are wrong or disturb their growth in anyway. This leads to a form of moral relativism that asserts nobody is either exclusively right or wrong so moral choices are individual and we need to allow each person to make their own choices and know that they are right for them. This may sound good on paper but it just does not work.
A cup of water without boundaries is a puddle on the floor. Having five different people offer five different ways to drink the water does not hold the water in the cup any better. Truth is not a negotiable item. A person being rude and offensive does not become kind simply by saying words like rude and offensive should not be used. For every question there is a true answer and a best solution. Sometimes they may contradict for a given question but taking the best solution and claiming it is the true answer when it is not does not make it true. For true toleration to take place each religious group would have to rewrite their individual doctrines to state they were not the only way. If not, they will compete and overstep the line of toleration frequently. This is historically what has occurred. Intending the desire to have them rewrite their doctrine by calling them to tolerate is duplicitous. Telling people to relax and experience the moment instead of following their religious paths is in fact creating yet another religion that needs to be tolerated and is being exclusive of the choices of other religions. Anti-religion is still religion with doctrines created by the practitioners. A cup of water without boundaries is a mess, not a better solution. Anti-truth will never be truth.
I was reading awhile back about Christian Agnosticism. This is a variant on Agnostic Theism. I get Agnostic Theism. Simply put Agnostics Theists believe there is a god, but don’t feel we have the ability to truly know him. I don’t agree with that proposal but I understand what they are proposing and why that may be attractive to them. Christian Agnosticism however baffles me. Don’t get me wrong this is not a new philosophy and it is not the definition that troubles me. Basically put Christian Agnostics believe that there is a god and that Christ had a connection to that god. They value some of the teachings of Christ and follow them. The part that is confusing is how that is called “Christian”. In Acts 11, Luke explains the early church disciples of Jesus were first called Christians. These people were devoted to the teachings of Christ, all of them. Christian Agnostics choose which teachings are followed. They choose the moral teachings such as “love your neighbor as yourself” and “blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy”. They however do not follow the teachings of Christ about God. Such as John 5:21-27:
21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father. 24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
I agree with some of the teachings of the Buddha but that does not make me a Buddhist. I agree with some teachings of Hinduism but that does not make me a Hindu. In the same way, agreeing with or even abiding by some of the teachings of Christ does not make a person a Christian.
The only real documents regarding the teachings of Christ are in the Bible. If a person feels the bible is not worthy of trust and does not want to follow it, I get it. I don’t agree but I get it. Agreeing with only parts I get. I don’t agree but I get it. Choosing parts and then saying they are a follower I don’t get. If mankind is the one who determines what to believe, then we are believing in ourselves and not God. No matter how we defend it, if we create the definitions of god, we are only following ourselves
In 1859 Charles Darwin published “On the Origin of Species” and posited his view that all species evolve from common ancestors. This book contained scientific theory that was aimed at the scientific community. At the time the Church of England was very involved with this community so the reactions to it started immediately and have reverberated through the Church in general ever sense. Other scientists have extrapolated from these concepts and contributed various aspects of modern Evolutionary Theories. These concepts range from genome mapping to cosmological models. Christianity has refuted these theories from almost the onset and as evidence for their veracity mounts, Christians seem to argue all the more. I really need to ask why?
I am by no means an expert in Evolutionary Science and will never be. I do however know how scientific theory works. Scientific facts are really facts as of today and will cease to be facts if enough evidence arises to disprove them. Scientific constants can change and are represented with standard error rates from the mean. Scientists disagree regularly with each other on their findings and conclusions. None of this disproves or even causes question in the scientific process or Evolutionary Theory, quite frankly it supports it through a commitment to the validity of the evidentiary process. Science in a very general view is an attempt to draw conclusions from factual data for the purpose of understanding how our universe operates. What I am unclear on is why this ever was or should be a problem for the church? I understand the history, but I think we have kind of missed the point.
Christians use the Bible to refute scientific findings. I am a firm believer in the value of and authority of the biblical text in my and the church’s life. It however is not now nor has it ever been a scientific or even a historical document. That was never its purpose. The purpose was and is to communicate how God has worked through his people and how that inspires us to be in relationship with him. To try and use it as a counterpoint to scientific discovery falls flat quickly.
There are huge differences between the who, the how, and the why. We are not at all in jeopardy philosophically or theologically to say that evidence in the current scientific model supports a very old earth beginning with a collision of atomic matter expanding with heat and cooling to allow the creation of subatomic particles (my apologies if I misstated that). This theory is a good one and worth review but not concrete and does not conflict with the text. The Bible clearly shows God spoke the world into being. It does not claim how or when and to require a Houdini-esque magic show causing things to create in a 24 hour window adds far more to the story than it states. Human evolution is similar. I think there are several solid questions that make the idea of monkeys turning into men untenable. But realistically countering it with an image of God blowing air into dirt doesn’t seem feasible. Don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe that God created man. The imagery mentioned however is not meant to explain it on a scientific level.
The Discovery Institute proposed a concept called Intelligent Design that attempts to blend the two sides on the basis that the complexity of features (their word, not mine) of the universe indicate an intelligent cause but even that offers far more structure than needed. It seems more and more like we are trying to place a square peg in a round hole. Science and Faith are separate. My Faith expects me to live a life that glorifies my God, not have to have the definitive answer to every question. He doesn’t need us to defend him by taking his word and forcing it into places that it does not belong. I am reasonably certain that if my oldest ancestor was Adam or Cheeta, or for that matter the world first looked like a garden or primordial stew, God is still God and man can either accept that or choose to try and beat it which never really turns out like we want. The Bible is a book of hope, faith, and love. If we spend effort and energy trying to prove science wrong using the Bible, the only thing we will prove is that we don’t really know what is says.
I was watching a video on Youtube and one of the suggested videos caught my eye. It was a young woman who used to be a Christian now explaining that the Bible is false and Jesus was a lie. She quoted several random items from the Bible and explained how they could not be inspired because they are not supported by modern science. She also stated that Jesus was a myth copied from Horus, Vishnu, and Mithra. The connections between them she provided were sketchy at best such as Christ and Mithra both being born on December 25th. Records of children born in stables who were being hunted by a king don’t tend to be that specific. Other information was taken straight from Bill Maher’s movie Religulous. Really? If the sum total of rebuttal to the word of God is sourced from a movie that was an effort to make money by bashing religion in general, how is that compelling? If I publish a paper or article and I quote a fact about Bill Maher and do not have verifiable evidence for it I can be sued. If I state something as factual that cannot be verified about another religion, I will be discredited. Bill Maher or this video blogger can get away with any poorly sourced to completely false allegation and it is acceptable. Just because you can form an opinion does not mean it is truth.
I am not trying to bash this blogger. She obviously had some legitimate questions that were answered poorly in the name of God. I get that and it is on us as Christians to do a better job. But people like Bill Maher are just out to make money. The budget for the film was 2.5 million and it grossed 23 million. I am sure his part of that made more of an impact on the information presented than actual truth.
I get having questions. I have questions. But there is a huge difference between seeking an answer and just giving into politically correct popular opinion. I have been studying religion, the Bible, Christianity, ancient history and languages, church history, and hermeneutics for the better part of the last 40 years and feel like I have barely scratched the surface. How can a viable view point be made from reading a Wikipedia page and watching a movie? I understand if a person chooses not to know the truth. I don’t understand adopting someone else’s view and claiming that is the truth because it is popular.