“Our platform (Facebook) has given the largest voice in the Christian American community to a handful of bad actors, who, based on their media production practices, have never been to church.”
— Jeff Allen, former senior-level data scientist at Facebook
In the middle of the 2020 COVID lockdown, my dad shared a report from a Christian entity discussing ongoing issues in America. After reviewing the article, I pointed out that much of the “information” presented was propaganda and misinformation. Having spent eleven years in the Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations of the United States Army, you learn to identify propaganda quickly. Most people wrongly assume propaganda is inherently deceitful, but that’s rarely the case. Black propaganda (explicitly deceitful) is almost never used in psychological operations. Instead, the most common form of propaganda is “white propaganda,” which uses truth as psychological warfare. By using omissions and emphasis on key information, white propaganda can help dictate favorable outcomes. As I’ve written before, this is the most common form being used by news outlets ranging from Fox News to CNN to even — the once bastion of truth — The New York Times.
When I explained how the article used white propaganda, my father was initially skeptical because it still contained snippets of truth. I was quick to remind him that, as Christians, we should value absolute truth above all others, and concluded by quoting my favorite Yiddish proverb: “a half truth is still a whole lie.” Raised in a Christian household, my father taught me to value truth and mercy because his faith informed him to emulate these virtues. He was one of the first people to work with HIV/AIDS patients and ran the entire wing at a hospital when the crisis hit in the 1980s. When people at our church found out he was treating gay men and women in addition to drug addicts, many refused to sit near us. Some even informed my parents they weren’t sure if they could stay friends.
It’s funny to me that, at large, the average American Christian says they value truth, while…