Berry: A paucity of truthWritten by Thomas Berry | | email@example.com
My political writing has tailed off markedly over the past couple of years. From near-daily blogging to monthly to now bimonthly at best, the torrent of words has diminished to almost nothing.
Rather, I have simply been overwhelmed by what I witness in the local and national scene. Lies, deceit, manipulation, dishonor, hypocrisy — all are rampant and on all sides. While it has always been there, the sheer weight of falsehood that falls upon my eyes and ears daily has become too much to bear, and I have been no more able to deal with it than to use a wheelbarrow to carry a dump truck full of manure. The wheelbarrow and I alike are buried under the burden.
I doubt that I am alone in my distress. So much has happened in recent years — I will not pin it to specifically the Obama presidency, although that has brought these evils into much clearer light — that the natural instinct of those who oppose the country’s careen into totalitarianism is to cower and take shelter, much as one does before an oncoming, unavoidable catastrophe. How many others have, like me, fallen nearly or completely silent out of resignation that all is lost and there is nothing to be done against the emerging tyranny?
The forces moving against traditional values are formidable. The government, at all levels, lies to us and expects us to be gullible enough to believe it. The mainstream media is complicit in those lies, and takes great pains to avoid exposing their heroes in government to criticism or embarrassment, even as scandals emerge and expand almost daily.
How much did you read and hear in the mainstream media, for instance, about emails documenting Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) pressuring the IRS to harass conservative groups and citizens? How much about the Office of Veterans Affairs spending $489 million on office renovations furniture and draperies while leaving the veterans it is charged with serving to die without prompt or proper care?
In contrast, how many times have you seen or heard the IRS scandal, Benghazi, Obamacare, et. al., simply dismissed as nonscandals while the government’s latest excuses are blindly accepted before attention is turned at the government’s bidding to the newest distraction? Was it any coincidence, really, that a new “climate change” report full of headline-grabbing sensationalism was released just as the Obama administration needed to divert the public eye yet again from its failures?
Traditional faith is under attack. Religious freedom — at least the freedom of Christians to practice and express faith publicly — is being eroded. Obamacare forces people of faith to fund through their taxes what is immoral to them. The traditional definition of marriage is being overturned, abortion is touted as a virtue and conservative religious are targeted for daring to stand up for their beliefs in opposition. Even the historic record itself is being corrupted and revised to reflect tides of political correctness rather than reality.
It is to our shame as a people that we blind and deafen ourselves to the lies before us. Indeed: Where are those who chanted “Bush lied, people died” in opposition to the Iraq war, when veterans and the sick are being left to die because of the lies and incompetence of the present government? If it was wrong for people to die because of lies concerning Iraq, is it not just as wrong for people to die due to lies about health care and veterans’ needs?
Moreover, it is a disgrace that we conservatives who stand in opposition to the tide of lies have ourselves been swept up in it. On the one hand, we allow the crudity, name-calling and disrespect that so infects public debate to pollute ours. On the other, we buy into the methodology of those whom we criticize, be it by unfairly omitting salient facts from our discussion, relying on manipulative language, engaging in outright deceit or by practicing any number of other corruptions of thought and language for the sake of scoring points at the expense of honor.
We all, whatever our political or philosophical bent, need to cling to truth. Not what someone else says is truth, especially if that someone stands to gain power or profit by convincing us of their truthfulness; not what our prejudice calls truth despite factual evidence to the contrary; but naked, undeniable facts. We are not defenseless against deceit. Truth inevitably triumphs over falsehood, and integrity over dishonor. But in our own lives, that triumph depends on how honestly we embrace those virtues, and the courage we exhibit in rejecting what violates them.
Thomas Berry is a member of Children of Liberty.