There is something called BlogCon presently taking place in Dallas. It’s a mix of seminars, lectures and, should it follow the pattern of most every conservative new media conclave, drunken karaoke.
It’s a bit of an oddity that the event is co-sponsored by the Blaze, otherwise know as Glenn Beck’s media creation. Several times in the past Beck has been pilloried in CNM circles for wholesale lifting of material from conservative blogs with neither credit to, nor mention of, its originator. Apparently all is forgiven and “I am Breitbart” is forgotten, since everyone who is someone is reportedly at BlogCon. It’s pretty much needless to say I’m not, but I’ll say it anyway.
One of the overriding mantras of BlogCon, based on its itinerary, is how CNM must reach outside the echo chamber and pursue/promote changing the culture. This is an especially crucial message to deliver at this time, and what better place to proclaim this than at a gathering of echo chamber kings and queens? This guarantees much discussion and emphasis within the echo chamber of the idea that CNM must indeed reach out beyond the echo chamber, said discussion being spurred by leaders of the echo chamber who to date have done such a magnificent job of spreading their message outside the echo chamber no one outside the echo chamber knows they exist. Imagine how much worse off we would all be if they were not scoring such monumental successes unfettered by any limitations of speaking solely to the echo chamber! Why, instead of no one outside the echo chamber knowing they exist it would be absolutely no one outside the echo chamber knowing they exist! Certainly can’t have that, now can we.
Sarcasm aside, there is a deep flaw in the “change the culture” philosophy presently being espoused in CNM circles. What we are hearing from people who have made no genuine inroads themselves into the popular mentality is that we need to identify and support conservative artists, pundits and teachers to counterbalance the liberal stranglehold on entertainment, news and education. Certainly this is a noble ideal, one with much merit. However, it overlooks a key element. Part of this is how the preachers of this culture change gospel have with their own actions not moved the needle one iota even as they tell others how it ought to be done. This duly noted, the main error is their forgetting fundamental truths: without love there is nothing, and without Christ there is no genuine change in the human heart.
Breaking this down, as long as CNM individually view themselves, and collectively views itself, as the superior to mainstream media and liberals (pardon the redundancy) it will never make so much as a dent in either MSM or pop culture’s armor. The genuinely humble artist, pundit or teacher lets their work do the talking. They do not boast; they self-promote with polite confidence in the quality of what they have to present. Their mission is not “look at me,” but rather “consider this.” The problem with being someone whose primary message consists of “look at me” is that at some point in time someone will look and see the one demanding attention not as they wish to be seen, nor as they see him or herself, but rather as they actually are. Which is not always a pretty picture.
The second part of this comes straight from Jesus: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Far too often the comment is made that discussing faith and discussing politics must be separated out for fear of alienating those one is attempting to engage with the latter by talking about the former. Really? If faith calls into play the same logic and reason used to formulate political opinions; that is to say, if faith is something other than an emotional rush but engages the mind as well as heart and soul, why shy away from it? Is not the Prince of Peace more important than politics? Is a single soul not so valuable to God that Jesus came to this earth to suffer and die so that one individual soul might have eternal life with Him? Remember, that single soul is you. And me. And everyone else. If faith is interwoven throughout your life as it ought to be for a believer. even as political philosophy is interwoven throughout your thought process, it should be as much a part of your daily discourse as talking about the latest developments in Washington.
This also applies to what we promote. A personal example. On a very good and quite popular Internet radio station for which the format is 1980s pop music, I have a show on which twice every Sunday I play terrific music; the best of Christian rock and pop from the 1980s with an occasional nod to the 1970s and 1990s as well. This isn’t saccharine schmaltz. It’s real, honest music that was great then and is great now. The show’s purpose is among other things an outreach to those who once knew the joy of life in Christ back in the day when this music was on their turntables and in their cassette decks, but have since seen that joy stripped away by life’s burdens. It is a reminder that Jesus is still there, He still loves them and He is more than willing and able to rekindle their dormant joy. It is changing the culture through the most effective method available: changing people by reviving heart, mind and soul. It also opens a channel through which political discussion can be initiated by talking about the cornerstone of conservative thought, namely the active application of Scripture and Christ’s teachings in everyday life. If this is not the foundation of our politics, then our beliefs have no foundation.
Certainly it is bothersome when I mention the show to CNM people as a possibility for promotion only to be either ignored altogether or told, be it directly or indirectly, there is no interest as it is not a political broadcast; yet these same people are presently gathered at BlogCon shouting to the skies how we must change the culture. Here is a golden opportunity to do so, and it is being dismissed out of hand. However, railing against this either collectively or individually will effect no change in the situation. Waste time, energy and unnecessarily incur hard feelings, yes. Accomplish anything worth accomplishing, not in the least. Therefore, not going there.
What I will say is this. People in CNM say within the echo chamber of their own creation they want to change the culture by reaching outside of the echo chamber. Fine, well and good. However, as long as CNM remains a self-satiated movement unwilling to move past all politics all the time, and as long as it actively excludes those whose cultural outreach is not strictly political in nature, all of its fine words about culture change are so much shouting into the wind heard by no one save those doing the shouting.