Discover more from Jeremy Zerby Coaching
And media spin
I have been hesitant to talk about the potential government shutdown for fear of predicting something that proved not to play out. But while watching a cheesy horror flick to kick off October, my phone buzzed with the news that a bipartisan short-term spending bill had passed…and that Matt Gaetz was planning to bring forward a vote to remove Mccarthy from his role as Speaker of the House as a result.
We all saw that one coming. Mccarthy’s willingness to work with Democrats to keep the government running was clearly a blatant challenge to Gaetz’s posturing.
Over the past few weeks, though, the news has been rather cryptic about why we have been approaching a shutdown in the first place, A majority of stories seem to take an approach that lays blame on both sides for not being willing to reach a compromise. The true story is a little different from that, though.
A faction of far-right Republicans made it clear that, to avoid a government shutdown, they demanded a spending bill that could be passed without the aid of any Democrats. And Mccarthy’s speakership was on the line if he chose to act differently.
The reality has been very one-sided, but it is hard sometimes to find that reality when consuming the coverage the news outlets are providing us.
Spin is not always limited to clear biased discussion of a current or past event. Spin often plays out as attempts to steer the dialog in a particular direction without any clear bias. While this is not always a malicious thing, it results in a shift away from the truth of the matter in favor of something else, and that can sometimes prove damaging.
By shifting the discussion away from the fact that some Republicans were holding the United States government hostage on ideological grounds, we have effectively manufactured a situation that lends itself to deeper divisions than might have previously occurred.
It reminds me of the diatribe on this week’s episode of The Scathing Atheist podcast. Interestingly, Noah talks about the Bible in a positive light. His problem is not with the Bible’s existence as a historical document, giving us insight into how long-ago people thought and lived their lives. His problem with the Bible rests in the literalism with which the Evangelical movement adheres to it. The discussion of the Bible has been spun in such a way that the Bible’s potential broad acceptance is sacrificed for a deeply divisive idolatry.
Yes, the Evangelical movement has created an idol of the Bible. The Bible itself, that they claim to hold in such esteem and read so literally, refers to Jesus as the word of God. And these same people refer to the Bible as the word of God. The Bible has literally replaced Jesus as God’s mouthpiece.
Not everyone says it so clearly, obviously. Though there are plenty who do say the quiet part out loud.
AT one time, there was not even a completed Bible for people to reference. It was compiled over a long period of time and eventually voted on by the leaders of the church. And eventually, Martin Luther took some of it out and had criticism to give for at least one of the books that he chose to keep. Given more time, the story of the Bible was spun to make it more literal and binding, often in ways that would be foreign to the people who wrote the books and even decided which books were included in the canon.Eventually, that spin created a deep division that we are seeing played out in our religious and political lives today.
In a similar fashion, the news has been doing the same with our current political environment. President Biden has made attempts to point out the nature of the problem, speaking at times specifically to and about “MAGA Republicans” over against the rest of them. But the damage, I am afraid, is done. When discussions of politics come up, we fall quickly into a discussion of both sides being the problem even when there may be clear blame to be placed.
Outside the hot-button areas of politics and religion, we do the same time as well. Our motives may be pure, such as attempting to avoid workplace conflict, but by not placing proper blame and addressing the underlying problems head-on, that workplace conflict we were trying to avoid becomes more and more likely.
It is not possible to avoid spin or bias. We all come at the world from a set of beliefs and a worldview. How you understand politics or religion or anything else is influenced by something. But acknowledging that spin and bias is a step in the right direction toward preventing or repairing the damage that it can or has had on ourselves and others.
Thanks for reading Jeremy Zerby Coaching! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.