It is one of the perversely sad truths of society that the voice which shouts the loudest is the most influential in that society. The true story rarely becomes the prevailing narrative, and the most logical argument rarely wins debates. Instead, it is the story that is spread by the most vocal sources, and the argument articulated with the most passion, that wins - the truth notwithstanding.
Quite naturally, men and women expect to be told the truth when spoken to. So people have a natural tendency to believe what they are told. When they are told the same story by a variety of sources, this effect is compounded.
And if a man or woman feels strongly about something, then it would stand to reason that they care more about what they are talking about than a less passionate person - and by that logic, that they have devoted more time to studying the arguments involved. Passionate people seem to be more knowledgable than dispassionate people.
The fact is, however, that the world does not work that way. People often passionately care about things they know very little about, and journalists slavishly repeat “facts” they are too lazy to check. Ideology and emotion blind many people from making accurate analyses and arguments. And unscrupulous people lie and manipulate the truth to suit their own ends.
Lies can easily flourish - if their tellers are more vocal and more passionate than the guardians of the truth.
I wrote in a previous post that the Church was unjustly attacked on many matters, based on lies and misinformation. The comparative silence of the Church’s defenders, contrasted with the vigor of Her opponents, is the reason why the lies against the Church have been so pervasive. The lies about the Church have been spread with such vigor that many well-minded people honestly believe that the Church is evil, and spread that falsehood to their friends in good faith.
The antidote to misinformation is clear – loud, bold declarations of the truth, lived and proclaimed with joy and vigor. Only by boldness and loving, truthful zeal can we hope to counteract the lies that have been spread long before us.