Category Archives: truth

Truth to Power

“Speaking truth to power.”
A favorite phrase of all protesters.
Dear agitators of all ideologies:
Anger and clichés will not promote a flourishing society.
We need to give up two fantasies: a neo-1950s Americanism (the “good old days”) and socialist utopias (“Marx just hasn’t been applied properly”)

If we aspire for a just society, consider the following…
Truth: Our cities are overwhelmed with infrastructure, pension and welfare obligations and anti-enterprise policies.
Power: decades of political corruption must be overcome.

Truth: Racism still permeates much of our society.
Power: We must face both individual iniquity and institutional injustice. The former must be confronted within particular communities; the latter is the work of the privileged.

Truth: Religious women and men of all faiths that believe in heterosexual monogamy and celibacy for singles are not homophobes, bigots or haters, just trying to live their deepest convictions.
Power: all alternative advocates need to examine their own intolerance.

Truth: We can do better on healthcare, ensuring compassionate and effective services.
Power: Ethics/Standards need to be universal; administration must be local.

Truth: Environmental stewardship and scientific innovation ensure resources for improving economies.
Power: Neither UN symbols or massive deregulation lead us forward – only wise private-public cooperation based on honest data and hope, not propaganda and fear will offer a future.

Truth: Immigration reform is stymied by business and political powers that want cheap labor and subversion of citizenship boundaries.
Power: Hospitable and just policies within Constitutional boundaries can be forged with courage and love.

Dear millions of friends of conscience:
Let’s not only speak, but act. Protesting is easy. Actual change is hard.
One new friendship across the divides, one new act of compassion, one new business providing local jobs, one new church reaching out…let’s begin.

The Truth Sets Free

“The truth shall set you free.” This famous line has an important context. Jesus of Nazareth declared this at the end of an insightful description of his true followers: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. THEN…you will know the truth…”

Truth is liberating for all that decide character and integrity must trump expedience and power. Admitting our personal failures and offering proper credit to others for our successes are both part of truthfulness that liberates the soul and earns the respect of others now and forever.

The Benghazi fiasco is compounded by an Administration unwilling to admit its foreign-policy failures. The terrorist attacks on 9-11-12 were not a spontaneous reaction to an obscure and obscene film produced months before. They were the deliberate actions of groups bent on the destruction of Israel, the USA and any other powers impeding a global caliphate. These attacks undermine the mythology that recent “outreach” to radical Islamicists has been successful. The hubris emanating from the Bin Laden assassination has obscured judgment and promulgated increased self-deception and public resistance to investigation.

If the President and Secretary of State had forthrightly declared, “We were ill-prepared and will correct our policies” the day after the attack, Benghazi would still be a tragedy. But it would also fade from public memory and we would not be subject to the current polemics that only increase the cynicism on the Left and skepticism on the Right.

The Watergate scandals of 1972-1974 were quite similar. If Nixon had fired the responsible parties and cleaned house, he still could have won the election. But paranoia won the day and two years later our nation had a new President they did not elect to that office.

Free the film maker. Admit the failure. Apologize to the families of the dead. Restore the positions of the whistle blowers. Come clean with no excuses and many Americans will offer a second chance – we love stories of redemption for those that repent. Continued defiance may preserve a public myth, but it subverts private and public morality and erodes of national character. Do the Republicans have political hay to harvest? Yes. But any such schemes have no fuel when humility triumphs over hubris.

Observations

Observations on a Friday:

The human condition is summed up well by watching preschool children play. One minute they are hugging, laughing and sharing…the next they are crying, pushing and refusing to share.

Federal government leaders are like dieters confronting a box of doughnuts. They know they should walk away after eating one and sharing the box, but they end up eating all of them. Restraint is not an easy virtue.

“Redefining” marriage and family does not change the empirical and intuitive truth that humans are conceived by one man and one woman and children are best served by their biological parents staying together.

Just when I am about to embrace pacifism fully, Iran, North Korea and the Taliban do or say something that awakens a sensibility that we need military force in a fallen world.

But when the noxious odor of crusading and militarism appears, I realize that I am first a citizen of God’s kingdom and must love and pray for my enemies even as nations try to resist evil.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam see the world very differently, even as they share certain monotheistic and moral concepts. Civil discourse with love and respect is a must; pretending that “they worship the same deity” is intellectually and spiritually dishonest.

Academics are a funny lot sometimes. They love to rage against capitalism while teaching in buildings funded by people that were productive and employed others…and, gasp! – made a profit.

Why do so many environmentalists express deep concern for obscure animal species while allowing the elimination of unborn humans? Conversely, good ecology is good economics…if we care for creation, it will care for our posterity.

The local church can be the incubator of spiritual and social transformation. As people connect with God and each other, they become creative and productive and the world is better.

We cannot regulate all risk out of our lives.

Warm homemade bread and butter shared with people you love is profoundly gratifying.