The View From 1776
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Lies and Consequences
You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors. (Psalms 5:6)
Marie Jon expounds upon the theme.
Lies and plenty of them
By Marie Jon
In Southern California, we have one of the largest county fairs, where there is always someone demonstrating a miracle knife that slices and dices.
As people watch the demonstration, it looks pretty good. Look at all the fruits and vegetables that knife can cut. We’ve all seen the guy on TV who sells products that can do unbelievable things. They all come with a 100% money-back guarantee.
However, there is just one problem. When you try to return things, you find that the guarantee policy isn’t as generous as promised. You realize that you’ve been snookered.
In 1944, the United States was embroiled in World War II against Japan and the Germany. It would not be a stretch to say that our civilization literally hung in the balance. Our world would have been entirely different if our allies had lost.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was president and commander-in-chief. He was perceived as being pro-active and on top of his game. What the American people saw was a healthy, strong leader who would inspire our nation in one of its darkest hours. However, Roosevelt was an extremely ill man during the war. His team of advisers used every ploy to fool everyone into believing otherwise.
The media also hid the truth from the American people, who thought that their president was in excellent health. After all, he would have to be, to handle all the responsibilities that fell upon him.
Reporters willingly repeated the lies that Harry Truman gave them. He assured America that Roosevelt “looked great and ate a bigger lunch than I did.” Even Roosevelt’s doctors were telling the American public and the entire world a bald-faced lie. The president’s cabinet also knew the truth and hid it.
As the lie was perpetuated, Gen. Harry Vaughan, a personal friend of Truman, revealed the truth about the very same lunch: “I had no idea he was in such a feeble condition.” The whole administration covered up the fact that Roosevelt was dying. He had hypertension, heart disease, and acute bronchitis.
In 1945, Roosevelt died due to congestive heart failure. So they all lied, so what? It was war and after all, we were fighting the Nazis. If our government hadn’t lied, we all might be speaking fluent German or Japanese. Wasn’t it Churchill who said something to the effect of, “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”
With all of the subterfuge used in covering up Roosevelt’s health condition, it certainly wasn’t lying under oath. That came much later during Watergate and the Clinton scandals. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is another lying, deceitful politician that we’ve not heard the end of.
During Roosevelt’s era, the lies made no difference, right? After all, it was done for the good of the country and for the fate of the free world.
The God of truth
Situational ethics is a study to help people reconcile the shady gray areas of life, and perhaps choose between the lesser of two evils. But there are no gray areas with God.
Jesus made some pronounced statements about liars back in His day: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
According to the Word, the devil is not only a liar, but the father of lies. God’s Word puts the sin of lying in very clear terms.
Though our salvation centers in the Lord’s sacrifice, the Ten Commandments play a pivotal role in the lives of Christians. They deal with our words and our actions. How we act in relation to God and others takes morality to a more profound and deep level than what we say.
Bearing false witness
In our postmodern world, few seem to believe in absolutes of right or wrong. Still, branding someone a liar is one of the worst things you can say about anyone. Nobody wants to be considered a liar. That is why it was so humiliating and so wrong when Democrats, for political reasons, called President G. W. Bush a liar.
The war in Iraq became a lightning rod against Bush, whom I admire as a true and faithful servant in his response to terrorism. Since 9/11, he has kept America safe from further terrorist attacks. Yet, there are those who think nothing of pushing the envelope with their insulting mantra: “Bush lied and people died.”
Bearing false witness against another has its consequences. Incendiary words allowed every two-bit dictator to show disrespect for Bush, and further degrade the presidency. The Democrats knew they were lying, but they didn’t care. They diminished both the president’s and our nation’s status.
Bush leaves office with a very low popularity rating in large part because of the one-sided, biased media.
You’ll soon find out just how pervasive the media has been in persuading America’s electorate. In the months to come, President-elect Obama will be spoken of in glowing terms. The drive-by media will continue to lie. As our country moves in the wrong direction because of Obama’s policies, only good writes-ups and happy talk will be heard from our “in-the-tank spinmeisters.”
Though the world is telling us that right and wrong aren’t absolute, we intuitively know that lying is wrong. A while back, a political comedian wrote a book called “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right.” What a not-so-subtle subtitle, but it kind of makes a point.
Indeed, Al Franken is considered by many to be one of the worst foul-mouthed liars. Maybe he will consider updating his book with a chapter dedicated to telling how he and the Democrat Party in Minnesota stole a Senate seat by voter fraud.
Many people who have a secular-progressive-atheistic worldview believe that the world’s existence began by pure happenstance. Our schools and higher learning institutions are not allowed to teach Intelligent Design, because it challenges the lie of evolution.
However, there is a ray of hope. Not all of today’s postmodernists think alike. Many of them also believe that lying is wrong. They are bothered when they tell one lie. Could it be that we are moral beings created by a God who gave us a conscience that tells us that lying is wrong?
We do not have to look very far to see the trouble this world is in because of lies that lead to other sins: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
The legacy of lies
You can’t wake up without hearing bad news that boggles the human mind