Chuck Colson

Television drama and the movies also ?present a distortedly pessimistic view of American life.? Onscreen, ?disaster lurks around every corner.? Every city has its own serial killer, even though such killers are very rare. We?re on the brink of ?ridiculous environmental calamities,? such as the polar ice caps melting or a ?preposterous mega-epidemic? that will wipe out 90 percent of the population. No wonder we?re nervous.

Fortunately, there are ways to counteract the effects of mass media. One is by more careful viewing habits. Never forget that both the news and Hollywood are trying to sell us something. We should regard their claims with healthy skepticism. Or, if we can?t do that, unplug the TV.

Another is to be as well informed as possible about the issues that confront us: crime, culture, the environment. In many instances, even a cursory knowledge of the facts is enough to protect us from ?headline-induced anxiety.?

This is especially true for Christians who are told by our Lord, ?Be not afraid.? If this is the case when the threat is real, it is doubly so when it?s imagined.

For further reading and information:

Gregg Easterbrook, The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse (Random House, 2003). Call 1-877-322-5527 to order ($25).

George F. Will, ? Nation?s dark cloud ,? Sacramento Bee, 11 January 2004 .

Steven Milloy, ? Look at the source of the scary headlines ,? Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 25 January 2004 .

John R. Lott, Jr., ? Shocking Numbers, but Do They Add Up? ? Wall Street Journal, 30 August 2001  (reprinted by American Enterprise Institute).

Roberto Rivera , ? Kids: Obsession and Overcompensation ,? BreakPointOnline, 6 September 2002 .

Anne Morse , ? That?s Entertainment: Watching the Mother of All Reality Shows ,? BreakPoint Online, 11 April 2003 .

BreakPoint Commentary No. 030508, ? Fear of Living: Being Scared in a Post-Christian Age .?

BreakPoint Commentary No. 040302, ? Miserable in the Midst of Plenty: The Progress Paradox.?

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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