Thursday, August 21, 2008

Playing the Fear Card

As the campaign ads air and offer disparate views over which candidate you should fear the most, I'll offer up an interesting article on fear from Newsweek published last December. I used this in my sermon on August 10 when I spoke about how fear functions physiologically in our brains and how unnecessary fear can be overcome. I was especially speaking about fear of people different from oneself.

The article provided me with not only an understanding of how fear works in positive ways to save us from danger, but also insights into why politicians trade in fear, especially when it comes to scapegoating or demonizing groups of people. Apparently, there are a number of scientists who are studying the psychology of politics and why fear mongering seems to work so well, even with people who assume they know better.

What the article does not really discuss is how we can overcome such unhealthy fears. I believe we can retrain our brains--relearn how to think about things and people that are unfamiliar to us--faith is one way to do so. I believe it is perhaps the best way to overcome fear.

Grace and Peace,


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