News coverage is all about 15 second sound bites. Sound bites that do not accurately relay or in put into context a single whole point. Instead news coverage offers news clips of speeches, events and interviews so reduced that they are completely out of context and no longer represents the whole truth.
News agencies do this for many reasons such as:
- making a profit; (Saving space for inserting as many ads as they can squeeze in during a program.)
- promote whatever view-point the station as an institution has chosen to support; (Changing how the viewer perceives historical information, making a countries founders and leaders look good…often softening a nation’s short comings and rationalizing its intentionally cruel, immoral, sadistic past.)
People are too easy to accept as gospel what is seen and heard in the news or learned in school from teachers and school books . People are no longer willing to challenge, or question what they hear or read. People we need to stop being so reliant on what they are told and read and start fact checking. I believe that occasionally, we all need to get up off our butts, turn the televisions off, put the school books down and explore our countries cities and towns. Once there we need to talk to the older inhabitants, look at old buildings and historical sites and learn about the untaught, all too often forgotten history of the nation we live in.
Child molestation and historical wrongs committed by members of the clergy…the cover ups of those crimes by the leaders of some churches, have over the years made me cynical view of all churches and all religions. I have openly criticized religion’s influence over people, and its purpose, because of what I thought I knew to be the lack of the church’s commitment to the those in the community it was supposed to serve and it’s non-compliance to the tenets of the religion they would have followers embrace.
The molestation, the cover ups were and are deplorable and God will have to forgive these sinners, because I cannot. I have learned however that these horrible acts, were not and are not representative of all that the church was or is.
On a recent visit to Ormstown, Quebec I learned a couple of things I did not know about small town churches, the work that they do and the people they serve, just by stopping to take a few pictures of some old churches and a few old buildings, reading the plaques donated by parishioners and talking to the local people.
I learned these things about St-Paul’s Presbyterian Church shown in the picture below:
- St-Paul’s Presbyterian Church was added to this community in 1831.
- St-Paul’s Presbyterian and St-John’s Methodist churches in Ormstown merged to form St-Paul’s United Church and became a part of the United Church of Canada
- This was not done with unanimous support. Some Presbyterians voted against the merger and built a new church down the street which is the present day Ormstown Presbyterian Church.
- The church gave the community moral support, strength of conviction and a place to gather and socialize.
- The good deeds and monies raised by volunteer groups within the church like the Men’s Brotherhood, the Young People’s Guild and the Christian Endeavor Society, helped the less fortunate and the most vulnerable of the community, throughout the town’s history.
What is so often not covered in the news is the good that the church and religion do for the communities they serve, because the women’s guild bake sale raising $300.00 for sick children isn’t considered newsworthy. Consider though that just about every church has a women’s guild and they all selflessly raise money, looking for no reward, satisfied with knowledge that they have helped someone in need and the smile on the faces of those they have helped…is this not newsworthy? Should we not consider these things when we consider the value of the church in our communities?
As I was standing there taking a picture of MacDougall Hall shown below and reading the plaque dedicated by some of its parishioners, I began to understand just how important the church was to the Ormstown community, and its raison d’etre. I did some research on MacDougall Hall and other organizations like it. I began to understand that churches in small communities across Canada have dedicated and are still dedicated to:
- leading their community into fellowship with Christ and His church;
- making the world a better place for all people;
- giving all men, especially in times of need, the help of Christian comradeship.
This is the part of our rich Canadian history that is lost when the only history that we learn about and promote are the battles this country has taken part in, or the disgusting acts of some and not the good deeds of others. Canadians are more than the battles that we have fought and the bad deeds of a few. Our values as people can also be found in the workings of our churches and the services that they have historically provided in areas of moral, social and religious support.