Here’s what happens when you make too quick an interpretation and appropriation of facts. Political and religious movements of all stripes could learn from this:
If you believe something to be true or believe something to be a trend, you’re at risk of accepting any and all accounts that fit your beliefs.
You could be generally right — but you need to consider the possibility that not every account is accurate or true.
A former newsroom colleague of mine used to say she was concerned that some article ideas were “commit[ting] sociology.” In other words, being too sweeping in their perspectives.
And in many sermons and many news reports, I hear sweeping sociological statements that capture sentiments and anxieties rather than realities.
In sermons, watch out for the royal “we.”
In news reports, watch out for lead-ins that include “some experts say” or “has some leaders saying.”
A University of Virginia fraternity issued a broad denial Friday of a Rolling Stone story that depicted a gang rape occurring at its house, just as the magazine itself cast doubt on the story’s credibility.
Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity where a woman called “Jackie” said she was raped, pointed to what it called a number of factual errors with the story. It said it didn’t host a party the night of the alleged rape and that none of its members at the time were employed at the campus pool, where Jackie said her fraternity date that night worked.
“We have no knowledge of these alleged acts being committed at our house or by our members,” the fraternity said in a statement. “Anyone who commits any form of sexual assault, where or whenever, should be identified and brought to justice.”
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