St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Isaiah 59:18
What is true and what is not true? Truth is having a rough time in our world of fake news, internet false-hoods, and political and business leaders who tell lies with ease and pleasure. This year, I finally read the book “All the President’s Men,” 40+ years after the Watergate scandal. I was astonished by the depth of lies and deceptions-- tens of thousands of phony telegrams sent to supposedly support the President’s positions; fake letterheads printed to look like the stationery of his opponents, and then used to send fake letters to people to make them angry with those opponents. The list of deceptions was endless. Four decades later, it seems we have become even more skilled at lying and deceiving across the whole spectrum of national life.
A team of Yale doctoral students has developed software that will display a warning label on websites known to disseminate fake news. Perhaps that will help. But perhaps what we can all do – must do – is to demand the truth; to state loudly and clearly that truth matters, that lying is not just ‘business as usual’ or ‘everybody does it.’ We should not surrender to those who lie and deceive, and we should make truthfulness a non-negotiable standard for our willingness to do business with, elect, or support any persons or organizations. And we can always ask God to guide us in discerning what is true and what is not true. Because God values truth, he will lead as toward it, if we are willing to do the work of thinking, listening, and searching for what is true.
© Carol Dean Henn 2018