November 2008. I was heavily researching McCain and Obama’s views on life and government, so I could make a well educated decision when voting. What were their beliefs? What did they stand for? There were so many debates, so many arguments, so many false stories. I was tired of all the negativity. All I wanted was the facts. What was the truth? I wanted to find out.
I started doing research myself. I hated relying solely on the media which tends to be biased. FOX News must counter balance MSNBC. ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and affiliates of each tend to steer their headlines to appease their viewers. I couldn’t judge these organizations. They were taught that if you want to be successful in your market, you have to know who your audience is, and feed them what they want. It’s how they believe they must survive financially. But that’s an unfortunate view, because for folks like you and me, we just want the truth.
Are there great journalists out there? Absolutely. But when two stations voice two contradictory statements, my ears perk up. There can only be One Truth. So I continued on my quest. Where should I go to dig up the dirt, blow away the fog that covers up the lies, and bring forward facts that I can stand on and trust to help me make the right decision during this and future presidential elections?
During that time, I found there are good journalists, organizations, and sources we can turn to when we are looking for reliable information on national and state issues. Here are my top five favorite reliable resources for fact finding:
5. PolitiFact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times, who uses a very effective visual truth-o-meter to help you determine whether a politician is telling the truth or not based on their research. It’s quite telling how many politicians tell Half Truths or make blatantly False Claims.
4. Public Agenda, a non-profit and non-partisan public opinion research and educational organization that helps the citizens of our nation tackle tough public policy based on strong research.
3. Congressional Budget Office. If you are an absolute fanatic, and want numbers without emotion so you can come to your own conclusion, this is where you go. The CBO produces independent and nonpartisan analysis of economic and budgetary issues in support of the Congressional budget process. These are the numbers our Congressman look at when making their own decisions for their states.
2. World Magazine. A magazine published by Christians who are dependent on God and independent of any political faction or interest group. They tell the story and don’t sugar coat the news. They cover politics, business, science, education, sports, culture, and more.
If you have the time to really delve into the landfill and separate the truth from the trash, I applaud you (and we should hang out). But most people don’t have the time.
If you are one of the countless “every day” people just trying to keep your head above water, your calendars are filled with long hours on your job site; social events like kids soccer practice, basketball tournaments, holiday parties, family reunions; and family responsibilities like dinner prep time, Dora re-runs, teaching your kids at home, or parent/teacher conferences. On top of that, you try to squeeze in a few minutes of cardio walking the aisle of the grocery store, or a few moments with your significant other.
So where do you find reliable information at your finger tips?
My all time #1 most reliable resource stands alone.
1. The Bible. It was written over a 1,500 year period, by over 40 authors, from all walks of life. This resource tells the story of God, his will for the world, and the plan he had to save us from our sin and from ourselves through Jesus Christ. The godly principles within its binding is what our founding fathers looked to when writing our American Constitution. It’s where some of our Justices turn to when they try to interpret our laws. It’s where we can always go when we feel lost, alone, uncertain, and need direction. Every answer to every question is covered. We just have to be willing to ask God the question, and open it up to find the answer.
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).
When you are doing personal research on the candidates or any question you have about life, where do you go to look for the facts? How do you know what truth looks like? Do you turn to the tv, the newspaper, the Internet, or personal blogs?
I challenge you to turn to the Bible. God will give you a new set of ears, eyes, and understanding that will withstand any storm, and successfully wade through any debate. It will help you separate the truth from the trash. The Bible is 100% reliable, and one of a kind resource.