Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No News is Good News


I had to quit watching the news.  Something about losing my marbles ...

The whole not-at-ground-zero not-a-mosque thing finally got to me.  It wasn't just that so few people seemed to remember the reason that Civics and American History were required courses.  As a pastor, I marveled (in horror) at how Bible stories about God's love and "who is my neighbor" were either long-forgotten or had become irrelevant to so many self-identified God-fearing Christian people.

I kept watching the news for evidence of a higher level of discussion, some bridge-building, rational thought, or "liberty and justice for all" responses worthy of "the greatest nation on earth."

I began to hear the "We just don't want them ... here ... now" reason sounding very much like the "ick factor" justifying homophobia and the "we're just not ready for that ... yet" of 1960's anti-segregationists. 

I felt helpless and bruised.  I ached watching people of faith (any faith) killing each other, even with words.  I had gotten too tense.  I had come to feel too responsible for helping people "see the light." I found little comfort in the news coverage, much less joy.

My soul clamors for more calm.  I need to breathe more deeply.  

Today I begin a 6-week news fast.  

From now until October 5, I have given up talk radio, news programs, and news sites.  I will not post on Facebook about news events.  Ditto for news tweets and re-tweets.  I suspect the world will go on just fine without me.  News of all kinds will continue to be made even if I am not there to hear it or see it or be involved in it.

I will watch a little Stewart and Colbert.  They are humor, people!  I could use the laugh.  I also will take some time Saturday to pop in on my favorite news blog, but only to catch the FireDogLake book salon with Frances Moore Lappe about Getting A Grip 2: Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Really Want hosted by Christy Hardin Smith.

Today, as I drove around doing pastoral calls, I listened to lots of XM Radio Margaritaville.  Tonight, to really unwind, I tuned into AMC and watched the first Nanny McPhee movie.   And I blogged this! 


clownfysh said...

I applaud you, and I hope it goes wonderfully. Peace.

Amy said...

I think censoring one's own media intake is such an empowering thing to do. I know I've benefited greatly from learning that it's ok to decide NOT to read/watch/know something. Hope it feels peaceful to you!

Crimson Rambler said...

I've heard it said that if we don't look at the news, nothing in fact happens...no doubt an exaggeration but not by much! Good luck with it!