Headlines from the New York Times for Friday, February 2, 2018
Don’t Believe the Liberal F.B.I.
(This is an excerpt from an editorial by Michelle Goldberg. Note, the man who helped me experience a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ, was a career F.B.I. agent until retirement.)
In the 1960s and 1970s, the American right set about undermining trust in the mainstream media, which it saw as dangerously infected with liberal assumptions. Later, in debates over evolution and the environment, some on the right attacked the validity of modern science. By the turn of the millennium, it was an article of faith among conservative ideologues that whole realms of human expertise were in fact intricate structures of propaganda that trapped the unwary in a matrix of deceit.
In an invaluable 2017 Vox essay titled “Donald Trump and the Rise of Tribal Epistemology,” David Roberts quoted a 2009 Rush Limbaugh rant: “Science has been corrupted. We know the media has been corrupted for a long time. Academia has been corrupted. None of what they do is real. It’s all lies!” With Trump, this ethos reached the White House. And now, to protect Trump, the right has expanded its war on empiricism to that most conservative of institutions, the F.B.I.
That’s the best way to understand the farce surrounding the infamous classified memo written by aides to Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which Trump reportedly believes will help discredit the Russia investigation. The events involved in the creation of this memo, and the multifront political battle over efforts to make it public, are so absurd and convoluted that they’re difficult to summarize, and in some ways that’s the point.
In their attempts to undermine the Russia probe, Republicans aren’t presenting a coherent theory — even a coherent conspiracy theory. They’re just sowing confusion and distrust toward the nation’s premier law enforcement agency in order to protect the president. In December, conservative columnist Kurt Schlichter wrote that, under the influence of the “poisonous” liberal establishment, the once-proud F.B.I. had become “just another suppurating bureaucratic pustule.” That’s exactly how Nunes is treating it.
Readings from Proverbs for Friday, February 2, 2018
Proverbs 12.2-3 – From the fruit of their words good persons eat good things, but the desire of the treacherous is for wrongdoing. Those who guard their mouths preserve their lives; those who open wide their lips come to ruin.
A few weeks ago, I was reading Isaiah 30 and praying about what I read. I was impressed that what I read in verse 15 was something I should fully embrace.
Isaiah 30.15 – For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
Since reading that passage, I have been more conscious of guarding what I say. Today’s passage from Proverbs reminds me of God’s wisdom concerning unthoughtful speech.
Prayers for Friday, February 2, 2018
Dear God, please help us to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.