I agreed with the article until I found out the pertinent facts they had left out

I read the following stuff article today and it affected my opinion. I agreed with the sentiments of the writer based on the facts that the writer had provided. I then had a look at the comments. One of the commenters provided a link to a news article that contained almost all the pertinent facts. After reading that I no longer agreed with the Stuff article. Have a read of these three articles about the same story and see if your opinion changes. It is a great example of how a news article can deceive you, not by lying but by leaving out a number of important facts.

Article One (missing key facts):

OPINION: On Saturday night, I watched Saving Private Ryan for the second time. One of the most harrowing scenes in the movie occurs when a distraught French father thrusts his young daughter at an American soldier, knowing it is probably the child’s only shot at survival.

The soldier is killed shortly afterwards, and the girl returns, hysterical, to her father, to await her fate in their devastated home.

I sobbed, as I did the last time I watched that scene. One can only imagine the sheer desperation felt by a parent who knows that the only chance their child has in life is to go with someone else.

And then, the very next day, I read a story online that recalled that exact scene.

An American pastor and his wife, from New Port Richey, Florida, are adopting a baby and his toddler brother after discovering them sleeping rough with their homeless parents.

On a stormy night late last year, Ronnie and Krystal Stewart were running to their car in their church car park when they saw the family.

As Krystal told a reporter, “As parents of three kids, how do you go home and just leave them there looking like that?”

They approached the parents and offered to take the children home for the evening for a bath and to sleep in a warm bed. The parents gratefully agreed.

The couple dropped the boys back the next day (“We returned them as promised so all we could do was pray for them,” Krystal said) and gave the homeless parents their contact details. At midnight, two nights later, the homeless couple called them, asking them to take their sons in.

The boys have been living ever since with the Stewarts and their three children, and now the adoption process is almost complete. The couple have two new sons, and the homeless couple know that their boys are safe.

And I’m pretty sure that this story is supposed to be heartwarming and inspirational. To me, however, it is devastating. My heart breaks for the homeless couple who felt they had no other options but to relinquish their children to a stranger. And I cannot fathom the response of the pastor and his wife, who offered a bed and shelter to children, whilst leaving their parents outside in the rain.

“All we could do was pray for them,” Krystal said. But was there nothing they could do but pray? This is a couple with sufficient resources to take in two children with no notice. This is a couple with a congregation, a community who could assist. Surely, surely they could have used their kindness and generosity to help out the homeless couple so that they could keep their children? If they were drug addicts, get them rehab. If they were unemployed, offer assistance. Allow them to sleep in the church, instead of out in the street. Arrange for support services or meals or shelter or whatever is necessary to help them out.

But to take their children and leave the parents outside… to separate parents from their baby and toddler…. That doesn’t seem to me to be the ideal choice to make.

I remember when Madonna adopted her son David Banda from Malawi. The adoption was controversial because David’s father was still alive but was unable to take care of him. I would have thought a woman with Madonna’s wealth would have been better off using that money to help a child stay with his parent and adopt a genuine orphan.

And this is how I feel about the pastor and his wife.

Yes, it is possible that in the long term the homeless couple would have still relinquished their children. But this was not the long term. The kids were 1 and 2 years old and they were living rough on the street. Who knows what would have happened if they had the care and support of a community behind them?

We’ll never know. I’m thrilled for the boys that they have found a loving and caring home. But for the parents, who have lost their two precious sons, I feel nothing but sadness and despair.

– Stuff

Article Two (most pertinent facts included):

A pastor and his wife started a church a couple years ago in Holiday hoping to reach those who need help the most, but they never realized just how involved they would become with one family.

Pastor Ronnie Stewart and his wife Krystal are the founders of Refuge Church, which has partnered with Metropolitan Ministries.

One night last November, Mark Purcell, the executive chef at Metropolitan Ministries, made a surprising discovery on the Pasco County campus.

“There were five or six bags piled right here and that was everything they owned,” he said. “The child was sitting with his feet over the edge here and the older one on the other car seat was right on top.”

Purcell couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the boys, now ages 2 and 11 months, so late at night, sitting on what looked to be trash.

“The mother was shy and timid and hiding in the corner,” he said.

So Purcell decided to help them. The following day, the family was sent to Refuge Church.

“They were coming to our place to eat hot meals,” said Krystal Stewart.

The homeless couple continued to receive help from the Stewarts, but then one cold night, everything changed.

“We noticed right outside the glass doors that a family with two small children was sitting outside the awning of the church,” said Krystal Stewart.

The Stewarts asked if they could take the boys home for a warm bed, and the parents agreed.

“She had to bathe them twice, I think three times, just to get the dirt off of them,” said Ronnie Stewart.

They brought the boys back to their parents the following day, fed, bathed and clothed. They began working with the family, trying to get them into housing.

However, Krystal Stewart said those efforts did not pan out.

“They chose to, because of their lifestyle of substance abuse and drugs, they wanted to live out with their homeless population,” said Krystal Stewart.

Eventually a social worker approached the homeless couple.

“They had a quick conversation with us and said ‘After talking with our social worker we wanted to find a safe place for the children to be and would you guys mind taking them home for a while?’ ” Stewart said.

The boys stayed with the Stewarts for five months. Last month, the couple asked the Stewarts to adopt the boys.

“They met with an attorney and signed their parental consents,” said Krystal Stewart.

And soon the family of five became a family of seven.

The Stewart family is looking for help with adoption expenses. They have set up a GoFundMe account for anyone who wishes to contribute.

-baynews9.com

Article number three quote with one more pertinent fact:

“Our hearts were breaking as evening came, along with storm clouds. We began imagining the night these boys were about to have as we were getting ready to go home to a warm, dry house.”

“I asked my husband, ‘Since the parents are high and refuse to go to a shelter, should we just ask them if they want us to take the babies home for a warm bath & bed for the night?’”

‘Ummm they said yes…’ were the next words I heard.

-littlethings.com


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