“Christian faith is about truth, and whenever you try to mix power and truth, power usually wins. Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” Cal Thomas, vice president of the Moral Majority from 1980 to 1985
“Within its proper bounds — confined to stunts on a desert island or in a fake boardroom — the ethos of reality television is relatively harmless. Transposed to the highest level of politics, it is deeply damaging.” Michael Gerson, served as President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter from 2001 until June 2006 and as a senior policy advisor from 2000 through June 2006
Of all the things to which I object about our president, and these are innumerable, I object most to his dishonesty, his bald faced deceit in speeches, on Twitter, and interviews.
He expects us to accept his version of reality, and when we don’t, he lashes out and yells: “Fake news!”
I concluded Part 2 with Jesus’ claim to be “the Truth.” If it’s true that he’s the truth then he’s the Prototype, the beginning and the end of all that is true. Therefore, anything that coincides with Jesus is the truth. Conversely, that which is contrary to him can’t be true. And it’s my observation that our president’s ideas, policies, and lifestyle are utterly out of sync with Jesus. He is an expert purveyor of that which is untrue.
Knowing full well that “alternative facts” sink into our psyches only after numerous repetitions, Mr. Trump doesn’t simply conceive a lie one time. It reoccurs over and over in all available media until our minds glaze over and like automatons, we find ourselves buying whatever bull he’s downloading that day. “Repeated dishonesty,” says Neil Garrett, postdoctoral researcher at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, “is a bit like a perfume you apply over and over. At first you easily detect the powerful scent of a new perfume. But over time and with more applications you can hardly sense its presence, so you apply more liberally.”
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Lies repeated with sufficient frequency are believed because they are convenient and reinforce prejudices. Mr. Trump repeated the crock that he had passed the “biggest tax cut in history” seventy-two times! Eight months into his presidency over seventy percent of registered Republican voters still doubted Obama’s American citizenship! Though he recanted later, he’d already said it so often that non-critical-thinking, bright-red-hat-donning rally goers will take it to the grave––Obama’s from Africa!
The first lie ever told is recorded in the Bible’s first book, “You shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:4) and the last chapter of the final book concludes with an indictment of liars, ones so immersed in the art, they “love and practice falsehood” (Revelation 22:15). Some people practice lying, but others love it! They’re frequent flyers on the Balderdash Airline. And from where I sit, our president has earned enough free miles to fly from here to Jupiter!
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“President Donald Trump is a serial liar who appears to exult, if not take pride, in every petty deceit,” says Henry Giroux (named as one of the top fifty educational thinkers of the modern period by Routledge), “particularly if it casts him into the glare of publicity.” He can’t help himself. It’s an addiction, an obsession. “As the theatre of lies, insults, and childish petulance triumphs over measured arguments, a world emerges in which the only real choices are among competing fictions.”
It is the prerogative for people to believe what they want to believe. That’s why there are so many hucksters in the world. Many Americans want to believe the incessant bovine excrement that Mr. Trump shovels everyday and so they do. Someday they’ll realize they’re buried in it up to their noses.
Evangelical theologian Stanley Hauerwas said, “For anyone who has given himself to self-deception as constantly and continuously as Trump seems to, no amount of evidence will matter.” Naively I thought the tsunami of balderdash that dominated Mr. Trump’s campaign would taper off over time. Unfortunately it shows no sign of letting up and is even building. It continues to wash over the landscape piling up mud and sewage throughout.
“The coming destruction can never touch us, for we have built a strong refuge made of lies and deception.” Isaiah 28:15 (NLT)
That which gobbles up our president’s tall tales as though true is the same naiveté that imagines cheating death and dodging the grave. It makes sense that deceivers will be judged, but apparently the deceived aren’t let off the hook. Though they didn’t generate the lie, they swallowed it, and there’s a price to pay.
Like Isaiah cautioning his tribe against trusting fraudulent building materials, I felt compelled to tell what I consider to be the truth about lies, specifically the flood of lies that are spawned in the White House. Though I’ve been more blunt than usual, I can’t help but worry about my own tribe of Jesus followers who blindly trust the word of the untrustworthy man in that House.
READ ALSO: This article by Jim Wallis
As I said in the beginning, politics is a dirty business and all politicians treat truth like it’s made of malleable clay. It’s like it’s part of their job description. But as Stephen Hayes, a FOX News Contributor and Editor in Chief of neo-conservative magazine, The Weekly Standard, in reference to the president’s lying ways, said, “We should care about aggressive dishonesty.”
No more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. Ephesians 4:25 (The Message)