Just by looking at them, you wouldn’t think that Nathan Phillips and Jussie Smollett had a lot in common. One is an old Native American activist while the other is a black TV star who identifies as gay. And yet, the recent events surrounding these two individuals are nearly identical.

Both men fabricated stories about being victimized by evil Trump supporters wearing dreadful MAGA hats. Phillips lied about being surrounded and mocked by crazed high school Trump fans chanting, “Build the wall,” and smirking menacingly. Smollett lied about being randomly attacked at 2am on the streets of Chicago by rabid Trump supporters yelling racist and homophobic slurs at him.

The bogus stories from both of these men initiated a firestorm of fake news reporting their lies as gospel. In both cases, presidential candidates within the Democratic Party defended the fake victims and rebuked the imaginary villains, who were, in the minds of the Left, simply the racist outgrowth of Trump’s America.

Finally (and thankfully), both of these men were exposed as the utter frauds they are for the entire world to behold. Full video footage of Phillips’ encounter with the Covington high school kids surfaced on social media, fully exonerating the kids and revealing Phillips to be a liar. The Chicago police’s investigation of Smollett’s claims revealed that Smollett apparently paid two of his friends to stage the attack against him. (He is now being charged with a felony.)

To recap: These two stories both occurred within a relatively short time of each other. The claims from both men were complete fabrications and yet got the full support of the media, celebrities, and Democratic Presidential candidates who helped the lies go viral.

All of this raises a question: If Trump supporters are so violent, racist, and evil, then why do folks on the Left and in the media feel the need to spread fake stories about them? You’d think that if the Left’s narrative was true about Trump’s America cultivating an environment of racist, MAGA-hat-wearing monsters, there would be plenty of real stories to report!

In either case, while truth and justice seem to have prevailed in these two cases for the most part, you can’t help but be a little pessimistic that anything will get better. How much longer until the next hoax comes along and everyone once again jumps on the opportunity to smear half the country? How many other innocent people will suffer because of the lies pushed by opportunistic sociopaths in politics and the media?

We have to face the sad fact that the Left’s toxic culture of fake news probably isn’t going away any time soon. Why? Because it’s fueled by hatred. The Left hates President Trump and conservatives so much that they are desperate for anything they can find to justify their revulsion toward us. And when they can’t find reasons to hate us, they make some up. When you’ve committed to hating someone and seeing him or her as your enemy, it’s almost impossible to escape from that prison.

I think C.S. Lewis sums up this culture of hate quite well:

“Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite as bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils […] we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.”

-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 118

How do we survive the Left’s culture of hatred and fake news?

First, if you are religious or hold politically conservative views, prepare for the very real possibility that you could be maliciously slandered. The media and Democratic politicians have, unfortunately, proven themselves to be openly hostile toward you. Therefore, be prepared for the possibility that you could have your picture plastered all over the news with misleading headlines. Be prepared for the moment you’re called a racist monster even though you don’t have a racist bone in your body. Be prepared for when strangers on social media send you death threats and you potentially lose friends and your business because of the lies being said about you.

Second, don’t be afraid. Even in the midst of these difficulties, continue standing up for what’s right. Continue speaking the truth. Nothing will get better if good people don’t have the courage to stand up against lies and injustice.

Finally, don’t become consumed with hate yourself. Pray and ask the Father that if you already have hatred within your heart that He would expose it so that you can repent. The Messiah said to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:43-48).

Don’t lose your sanity to the culture of hate. And never give up hope, not even for those who fight against the truth today.

They might surrender to the truth eventually. You did.