We live in an information age.
You can find out if re-sending that email will really get Apple and Microsoft to give money to that poor little cancer patient child (they won’t) or if Jon Bon Jovi is really dead (that one was funny) or if you really need a facebook copyright disclaimer on your facebook timeline (you do not).
This is why it still burns me up when people quote facts at you that aren’t facts. When people re-post rants from Morgan Freeman that he never said, commencement addresses from Bill Gates (or Kurt Vonnegut) which he never gave, facts to skew your views during an election season that are lies or touching stories about heroic acts that are made up.
You can google that stuff, you know.
But worse… there are the folks who hang onto this stuff like it’s LIFE or something. I’m talking grown-ups. (If you are one of those people and you are reading this, I am NOT sorry for offending you.)
Recently, I heard one of those certain old “facts” about our current president from someone who heard it from their very right-wing conservative pastor at their church, and I immediately retorted, “but that is not true at all.” This individual, rather than engaging me in any kind of further discussion, simply said, “I guess you’re the wrong person to talk about this with” and left it there. (for the record, I am rather conservative myself, but I despise stuff like this.)
Ignorance that you enjoy engaging in and hold onto rather than checking your facts or even questioning whether it might be true or not… is something far worse than ignorance. It’s the kind of stupidity that leads people to demonstrate at funerals against our country using horribly obscene rhetoric, it leads people to believe, for generations, that the color of your skin or the religion you practice or the country you live in or come from determines your value to society and to God, it leads whole societies to commit genocide, it leads people to fly planes into buildings and it leads people to train children up believing things that are not so, raising up future generations of bigots, terrorists, fascists and extremists.
The truth, I PROMISE you… will set you free… but only the truth will. Not some lame approximation of truth, and not some lie that got told so many times that everybody believed it. You might have to google it first…