Sunday, March 29
Video (Click for content – a new tab will open)
“Unafraid, Session 2” by Adam Hamilton
Thoughts and Discussion
The video mentions the sensationalism of 24 hour news. The first famous instance of that was CNN with its constant, round-the-clock coverage of things like the Gulf War. Fox News has become famous for its often fear-based commentary on social issues like the ones mentioned in this video (immigration, race, and crime, as well as fear of certain political views). The New York Times on the other hand has become famous for some fear-based commentary on the other side of fence. In the video, they also mention the issue of social media, where on platforms like Facebook people can post and share stories and their own commentary that often have little facts to support them. Snopes.com has become a necessary tool to check the veracity of stories, yet a lot of people don’t bother to check stories that affirm an outlook that they already have.
Whatever your preferred way of getting the news, what roll do you think fear plays in what you are being presented and how it is being interpreted? How do you feel after watching something like Fox News or reading the NY Times?
Four major issues in society are presented as having particular connection to fear. What role do you think fear has in how immigration is discussed and dealt with?
What role do you think fear has in how crime is discussed and dealt with? Why do you think the beginnings of the coronavirus caused a big surge in gun and ammunition purchases? Where does that felt need come from?
What role do you think fear has in how race is discussed and dealt with? Why do white people avoid certain parts of town? Why do black and Hispanic people avoid the white parts of town? What happens when they go there?
What role do you think fear plays in politics? Will Willimon mentioned how anger and fear played an unusually large role in the last presidential election. In what ways was that evident? How can we be more aware and less hooked by that in this year’s election?
Adam closes by addressing a Christian response to these social fears. Over and over Jesus had to remind his disciples, “Do not fear.” Will mentions the Jewish feelings about the Gentiles who were outsiders to be avoided, as were the Samaritans, and how Paul had to encourage churches repeatedly to be more welcoming of each other. What barriers do you think we have as a church to being more welcoming to people who are “not like us”?