Have you noticed that our newspapers and magazines seem to believe that bad news is more important and newsworthy than good news? As I pick up the newspaper every morning, I am regaled with crime, violence, sin of practically every kind, scandals, murders, thefts, all kinds of sexual aberrations, and so forth.
I fail to see how all these reports of the worst in human nature is of value to the general public. They are depressing. They create an atmosphere of pessimism in our society, and they give to would-be copycats new ideas for mischief. Certainly, police forces throughout the country must be informed of new ways in which criminals prey upon society so that they can try to prevent them. And everyone must be aware of the dangers facing them and their children from predators in society. But when a deranged person goes berserk and shoots a group of schoolchildren in their classroom, does that have to be in our headlines? And when a robber manages to use a fork-lift to steal an ATM machine from a bank, do we need to know that?
It was so refreshing to see in today’s paper that a science professor at Stanford University has won the Nobel prize in science, and that his father had been winner of the same very prestigious prize about forty years ago. The article reporting that goes on to give a layman’s explanation of why he was awarded the prize, which is a beautiful presentation of the complexity of all DNA, the basis of all life on our planet. It causes us to stand in awe at the magnificence of God’s creation, being led from the marvel of the effect to the even greater marvel of the Cause. When newspapers report things like this, they are serving their readers well; when they report endless crime, sin, and scandal, they are simply pandering to the prurient interest of people who have nothing higher than that to occupy their minds. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God Bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.