Another Rant About Research

Should you share that claim so quickly? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Christians are supposed to be people of truth. Some claims, of course, cannot be verified easily. They also cannot be falsified easily. Some are very controversial and have intelligent people on both sides. However, some claims are just bogus or at least highly insufficient. Sadly, too often I see these and get incredibly frustrated.

This is the internet. Imagine if you woke up one day and saw a story being shared on Facebook that you were a pedophile. You go about and refute the charges the best you can and most people believe you, but some do not. Stories are shared all over the Facebook and your reputation can be destroyed just like that.

That might be extreme, but consider whenever you spread false information about another person on the internet, you are doing just that. This is especially worse if you’re a Christian since you claim to be a person of truth. You are doing what James said not to do and using your tongue, or in this case, your keyboard, to destroy.

Not only that, you want people to believe you when you tell them Jesus rose from the dead. Right? Even if all you have is your personal testimony, you want people to believe that. Why on Earth should anyone believe you on stuff that can’t be studied in five minutes, if they cannot believe you in what could have been easily checked with an internet search?

So let’s look at some claims this weekend that I came across.

You know that Trump was supposed to hold the Republican convention in Florida? He was, but he cancelled. What was the reason? Well, believe it or not, it was because Black Lives Matter had a bunch of buses lined up ready to get protesters and rioters to the meeting and make a scene.

I also want to say that I do say this as someone who voted for Trump and who does not support the movement Black Lives Matter. Of course, black lives matter, but the organization itself stands for a number of issues that I cannot support. Therefore, in saying what I am saying, I am actually calling out a fellow conservative who shared false information.

So the claim was Trump cancelled this because of the protesters. What was the evidence? Pictures of the buses lined up. Let’s take a look at these.

In the first picture, the buses could hypothetically say Black Lives Matter, but you can’t tell for sure. It could say Black Ladies Aboard. It could say Black Looks Beautiful. There’s any number of things it could say. The second picture has a bunch of buses that say absolutely nothing like that.

Doing my own research on the picture, the nearest I can figure is that the top buses do say Black Lives Matter, but that they were also from the Toronto Raptors who were in Florida. Even if that wasn’t the case, let’s consider something else. Whether you love Trump or hate him, does anyone think he shies away from confrontation and/or a fight? I found it amusing that I, as a conservative, was questioned because I dared to ask questions about the evidence, but alas, the evidence for this one is lacking.

Sometimes people send me YouTube videos that are really conspiracy theories. Please don’t. I hardly watch two minutes of these things if that much before I know they’re absolute nonsense. Last night, I got sent one that said that anything in history before the 1600’s is highly questionable.

Please don’t bother sending me stuff like this. I really find it highly embarrassing to see this stuff and to see Christians spreading it. On that, let’s give a brief caveat.

I have said something about conservatives and Christians and I am both, but this is not a conservative or a Christian problem. This is a human problem. We are all inclined to believe things that tend to go with our biases at the time. Liberals spread conspiracy theories. Atheists spread conspiracy theories. (Yes. Jesus mythicism I count as a conspiracy theory for atheists) Let’s not go on about how one group is so stupid. It’s all of us.

Also, for many atheists, it’s really hard for me to take you seriously as a person of reason and evidence when I see you blindly believing something about Christianity. Many Christians are skeptical of evolution. That cannot be studied in five minutes, and yet they see you sharing Jesus mythicism stuff and you expect them to take you seriously on this topic?

So let’s go with a final one. Someone shared this and I went directly to the source material which apparently was another Facebook page. So what’s the claim? Apparently, Lady Gaga has a new album called Chromatica where she celebrates extracting blood from the pineal glands of traumatized children. Here, you can see a picture of her covered with blood and her children drinking blood.

Wow. That’s pretty serious isn’t it? Look at Gaga covered in that blood and those children with zombie stares on their faces drinking blood. That’s pretty serious.

Or is it?

If you saw the real picture, it would say Entertainment Weekly on the bottom left. Why would that be the case? Because this is a picture of Lady Gaga on the set of American Horror Story where she played a character called the Countess.

This is probably the worst offender on this list today because this is an accusation of moral turpitude. None of us would like to be accused of this. It doesn’t matter what you think of Lady Gaga. I don’t particularly care for her stuff, but it’s wrong to share this information about her. I have my opponents on political issues, for example, but if you want to say something against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, you’d better make sure it’s true or at least has darn good evidence for it. I only want my opponents taken down in truth.

Christians. Please be better about sharing things like this. Please do your own research independently. It’s too easy to hit that “share” button on Facebook and share it immediately. You are damaging your reputation though if it’s false and someone else’s reputation as well.

I would just advise you to avoid conspiracy theories altogether. The best conspiracy to pull off, as J. Warner Wallace has said, is two guys working to commit a crime and at the end one of them shoots the other one. Please don’t jump on board with these things immediately. Do your homework. Do your research.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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