In some Western countries there’s an emphasis on a Christian individuality. These Westerners based their beliefs on Greek philosophy and Judeo-Christianity. In the Holy Bible much is centered on spiritual personalities and their vertical relationship with God. A few of the righteous were Moses, Abraham, Isaac, and Noah in the Old Testament; John the Baptist, Mary, the Mother of God, and the twelve disciples (later apostles) in the New Testament.
Today Christians’ horizontal relationships with the divine may be rather challenging. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962), the longest serving First Lady of the United States, observed, “We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.” Still Jesus Christ reminded us to love our neighbor as ourselves. In Scripture such caring – the love of our neighbor, ought to be the pilot in our Christian walk.
Search for Meaning
An Italian Dominican friar and Catholic priest Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) was concerned about the true meaning of life and mankind’s relationship with God. Much of his focus was on prayer and the divine truth. Marcus Aurelius (121–180 AD), a Roman Emperor believed, “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is well within yourself, in your way of thinking.” Priests, good, and caring friends continue to hold out hope when they say look within to find the true meaning of life. Some stories in the media stress the same basic idea. The American mind explored by a French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville saw such an experience about American democracy in the 1800s.
Some Western journalists endeavor to report the news objectively. This resulted through two schools of thought: a) the rationalists who believe that knowledge could occur with experience; and b) the empiricists who subscribe to the basis of their knowledge on observation borrowed from the natural and physical sciences. In a “dialectic approach” journalists may present both sides of a story leaving readers to draw their own conclusions.
Editorialists though are free to express their own opinions by arguing for a particular point of view. These writers are mainly drawn from the ranks of seasoned journalists with years of professional experience. These may be specialists and respected for their incisive reflections about the society. They consider such assignments to be pearls in the world of journalism. Michael Pollan (b. 1956), an author and professor wrote, “I think perfect objectivity is an unrealistic goal; fairness, however, is not.” Pollan has to be alluding to the fact that journalists regardless of how talented they are lack perfection.
Love of Freedom
The love of freedom is held up and promoted as the epitome of living successfully in Western democracies. Currently, there are debates concerning how people may explore the limits of freedom. Scripture tells us of the total freedom believers will find in Christ. Such freedom is the truest and best of all freedoms. There will always be limitations that have to be tempered with personal responsibility. In times of war and terrorists’ acts, America’s 1st Amendment that attests to American democratic freedom is sorely tested:
Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances.
U.S. Const. Amend. 1 (1791)
This amendment is only abridged when national security interests are under attack. In reporting questions always arise concerning how journalists address such concerns? What effects this law will have on the American tourism industry and the perceptions of foreigners living in our midst?
Wilson Mizner (1876–1933), a playwright and entrepreneur wrote, “To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it.” Although the American 1st Amendment is law and much more than mere advice, it has proved itself to be beneficial not only to the American government, but also to all citizens.