"All I Need is the Truth/Just Gimme Some Truth"

As most people might expect, it’s been quite some time since I set foot in church. Yeah, there have been a couple of weddings, although I try my hardest to skip those depressing events. Unfortunately, there has also been a couple of funerals, but otherwise I’ ashamed to say that I haven’t been to a real church service since my nephew was baptized.
Because of this tawdry fact, I had to actually pull out some religious literature to make sure that I wouldn’t make a mistake in today’s presentation. It didn’t take too long to find what I was looking for – Commandment #9, thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. In other words, do not lie.
I’m used to liars. Politicians, used car salesmen, talk show hosts, rock stars, friends, lovers, neighbors, relatives – they all lie. On rare occasions, I even tell a little fib.
But I don’t expect self-proclaimed “saved” people to spread false stories. Ok, that’s a little harsh. Maybe what I’m whining about here is not so much a lie as an exaggeration.
Yes, I’m talking about the Lifelight Festival, and let me make it clear here that I have nothing against the three-day festival that concluded earlier this week. I think it’s great that a “wish and a prayer” has led to a nationally-recognized weekend of fun and music in our fine little city.
But let’s be real here. 50,000 people on the rain-soaked first night? 93,000 people the following day? And 120,000 outstanding citizens to conclude the festivities on Sunday? C’mon, let’s be real.
Again, I have nothing but respect for the fine people that put on this event. Some are even friends of mine. But I’m tired of the exaggerated figures that we see for everything that goes on in this town. 400 people at a Canaries game suddenly become 2000 fans witnessing another loss. Downtown car shows supposedly include seemingly every person that lives in the eastern half of the state. Jazzfest seems to count beers consumed instead of actual people.
I realize that many of you are shaking your heads and asking just what exactly the big deal is. The problem I have is these fictional “estimates” become is used by our lazy-assed local media as facts. Last year’s supposed count of 275,000 was stated in not only our daily paper but all three television stations. Same with the daily estimates – certain TV reporters almost jumped out of the screen with the excitement of these record-setting “statistics”. (Oh yeah, and there was also that horrific clichéd story of how much tax revenue these people pumped into the economy. Please, retire that story. You use that for every gathering of ten or more out-of-towners.)
For me, it’s all about honesty. As I said before, I’m not against Lifelight…or Jazzfest or the Downtown Arts Festival. I would just like some accurate information; I’d like our local media to accurately report what happens, good or bad, at these events instead of press release feel-good stories. Since I know very little about Christian rock, I’d like to know which bands were great, good, or just okay. What did the speakers have to say, and what was the crowd’s reaction to their messages? That is the kind of stuff that was the real story of the weekend; not just the miraculous cleanup job that allowed the show to proceed on Saturday.


Anonymous said…
how dare you question lifelight, your going to hell!
Anonymous said…
Amen Scott. I was hoping you'd cover this again. I'm as sick of it as you are. Next year I'm going to go to this thing to get my own estimate.
Anonymous said…
using the jazfest/lifelight method of calculating a crowd, i'd say at least 15,000 saw bob dylan.

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