Turning Bad News into Action

November 24, 2015

There’s a lot of bad news these days. It can be hard to know how to process the global, national, and local tragedies that we hear with unsettling frequency. Headlines, tweets, and statuses are overrun with urgent cries of outrage, fear, and blind accusation. Truly, it can be crushing if we get caught under the weight of endless waves of tragedy and languish there.

What is the alternative? We could, I suppose, pretend everything is fine. We could steel our hearts and mind our own business.

But what good is there in that?

We can’t fix problems we don’t acknowledge. Pretending problems don’t exist will not make them go away. In fact, ignoring them will only allow them to persist.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who lived through times of evil and persecution we can only imagine, said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

I suggest when we read or hear or see bad news, we do so actively and intentionally. Use the hard things to remind us to pray, to inspire a discontent that leads to firm and compassionate action.

I would also ask you to read this article by David Altrogge, writer and producer of 3801 Lancaster: An American Tragedy. FRC was privileged to join Congressmen Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) in hosting in the U.S. Capitol a reception and screening of 3801 Lancaster, a profound documentary that shows what happens when people choose to do nothing in the face of evil. I would ask you to consider hosting a screening of the movie yourself, at your church, community center, or campus. Atrocities are being committed against unborn children and women across our country, in our own back yards, and we cannot afford to pretend this isn’t happening. It is a hard movie. But watch it with hope -- when evil is exposed, it can be vanquished.

What will you do?