I’ve watched many seemingly honorable couples slip into deception, false accusations, and exaggerations while going through divorce.
In addition, my wife and I watch the news every evening when we are home. Often, after hearing or seeing firsthand the items being reported on, we observe news reporters distorting, exaggerating, and sometimes totally misrepresenting what actually happened.
We just experienced the confirmation hearing for Judge Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. At the end of the process, three women came forward accusing him of sexual misconduct when he was in high school and college. Though the hearings were already partisan, it was interesting that the belief or disbelief of the accusers or the accused were partisan as well, sometimes based on political persuasion of gender rather than facts. I used to think that was partisanism and sexism. I also thought these persuasions were unacceptable in a progressive society, especially when it comes to establishing truth.
I guess not.
Though every civilized society has struggled to construct systems for determining truth or lies, guilt or innocence, America has heralded her ability to utilize due process under the law to protect the innocent and the guilty from mobs. However, our nation seems to be spiraling into an abyss of giving equal credibility to people’s construed “truths” that fit their belief systems regardless of the verifiable facts. Actually, we’re so confused, some would rather support opinions that fit their persuasions, rather than provable, factual evidence.
That’s one reason why we all need to know that everyone lies.
Romans 3: 10-18 points out why all human beings need Christ. It says,
“No one is righteous—
not even one.
11 No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one.”
13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “They rush to commit murder.
16 Destruction and misery always follow them.
17 They don’t know where to find peace.”
18 “They have no fear of God at all.”
This accurately reflects the human condition and it matches what I have observed in life. When I went through a scandal in 2006, I publicly lied. Interestingly, everyone else involved did too. Throughout that process, those disciplining me also publicly lied, the press lied, and my accuser lied. We all lied. We were all guilty of that seemingly innocuous offense that created devastation.
Thus, the complex system we’ve designed in our legal system to determine truth and dispense justice ought to be promoted and preserved for the good of all of us. It’s probably one the best we human beings have come up with thus far—though it still must be improved.
As a society, we rejected the practice that mob rule and lynching was fair, reasonable, or right, and demanded that rational and reasonable due process be used to determine truth and dispense justice. But that advance has recently been rejected by our advocacy press corps, shared ignorance on social media, and the politicization of truth.
Now we can easily incite mobs, motivate the angry to bully and threaten, and celebrate the extermination of others. If a popular narrative weighs heavier than the facts and allows us to destroy the individual civil liberties of others for our own gain, we have negated the presuppositions in western civilization that used to protect us all.
In the last century, many of our best political leaders strove to reject racism, sexism, and bigotry. But now the tide is turning and an increasing number of our leaders are embracing these ideas. We regularly hear what white men can or cannot do, and what women ought to do, believe, and promote. An increasing number of our political leaders defend violence, intimidation, and bullying. And many of our institutions of higher learning create ideologues who are incapable of working with and serving those with whom they disagree, but are instead fashioning them into experts who conquer, intimidate, and silence those they don’t like. Are we going to allow this? I hope not.
We human beings are sinful, no doubt. And just about every human being is on a personal search for significance, which often involves conquering or destroying our enemies. But Christ can help all of us rise above that darkness and see a vision of life and light that is unnatural to our dark human condition, and can make all of our lives better. I am the living proof of that.
I’m not a racist, so I’m not going to vote or treat people better or worse according to the color of their skin. Nor am I a sexist, so I’m not going to vote or respond to others based on their gender or sexual preferences. And I’ve rejected bigotry, so I think there is a role for mutual respect, manners, and civility toward others, even those with whom I disagree. I used to find comfort knowing that the majority of our national leaders thought this way too, but I no longer have that assurance.
It now falls to me to be much more responsible in thinking past the spin, sexism, racism, and bigotry that is being promoted by many, and maintain a determination to believe that facts matter, people are human—and therefore fallible, and that we as a society should continue to struggle to help others be better off than they were in the past.We all need to protect due process, the rule of law, and the protection of the weak and vulnerable. I still believe that truth exists, and that since everyone lies, our systems to differentiate between fact and fiction need to be defended and protected so that our rapid-fire communications systems don’t lynch too many. Whether guilty or innocent, everyone deserves due process. We have a constitutional republic instead of a democracy for a reason. It’s to protect all of us from the mob.