Monday, April 28, 2014

You Lie! What Nation or Government Leader Hasn’t?

And that’s the problem.  ALL are liars, it would seem.

The first thing that Obama detractors will say about Obama is that he lies.  The first thing that Western Europeans will say about Putin is that he’s one grand liar.  This is not surprising in that even politician’s claiming to be conscientious, ethical, and religious devotees, have often been caught in a lie.

It is why we have law courts and treaties and contracts and swearing of oaths and notarized promissory agreements, and so-on and so-forth.  It’s an attempt to keep people honest and true.  Hold us to our word.  All too often we still desperately try to find ways to wiggle out of our agreements and deny our troth (our good word), when it no longer suits us to keep it.

People lie, nations and their governments lie, business people and corporations lie.  No one is innocent.  And, the more that is at stake, the more likely a lie will be told.  It is a mere cliché to say that politicians lie and will say anything to get elected.  The real sin here is simply getting caught.  This is why whistle blowers, like Edward Snowden, for example, actually do us a favor—yet we condemn them for it.  What’s the favor?

It’s as if the whistle blower suddenly hits a reset button.  The reset button stops us in our tracts, nakedly exposing our complacent acceptance of, and even justification for, daily doses of government lies or corporate lies or institutional lies.  Snowden type whistle blowers call us to accountability, and, ironically, we don’t like it.

Despite the whistle blowers best efforts, soon enough, we all become complacent again, and we’re back to accepting, as necessary and normative, government cover ups, corporate secretive operations, and institutional concealment enterprises—until the next whistle blower stops us short again, for a little while anyway, reminding us that there is a better way.  Yet, we all continue to justify lying on the bases of national security, or relational expediency, or the protection of personal and/or corporate interests.

Just before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Procurator, handed Jesus over to be crucified, he grilled Jesus with questions.  The key question was, “Who are you, are you the king of the Jews,” as they say you claim to be?  (See John 18:28-40.)  Jesus responded, “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.  All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”  At that point, Pilate simply replied, “What is truth?”

No doubt Pilate said this with some contempt—not contempt toward Jesus, but contempt for the idea of TRUTH!  After all, he was a Roman statesman and politician.  He knew better.  There is no truth, only hints and innuendoes, clever half-truths and white lies, suggestive leanings and hollow promises and propaganda.  In the world of people, power, and politics, not to mention business, truth is twisted and actual reality is irrelevant.

It is noteworthy that Jesus also said of himself, “I am the way the TRUTH and the life….” (John 14:6).  I AM TRUTH, he says: that is, my inner subjective personal being is true: I speak truly, I relate truly, I BE truly—I am essentially transparent, consistently faithful, absolutely trustworthy, perfectly dependable, and completely authentic.  I am the embodiment of TRUTH, truth in person.

Who else can make such a claim?  Can you?  NO?  I thought not.  Neither can I.  That being said, what role should truth play in our lives?  Should we speak truth and be true only when it is safe and convenient to do so?  Or should we strive to BE true in all ways possible at all times and with all people?  Which gives us the better advantage or the more cutting-edge lead, lie-telling or truth-telling?  That is, which is more powerful?  Truth be told, we function as if lie-telling has the more power.  Jesus tells us differently.

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