Vail Daily column: Who’s your truth teller?
Thank you, Brian Williams, for raising the central issue of our age, indeed, of every age. Though I’m sure Brian’s motives were not so noble. Still, he’s done us a great boon.
It turns out Brian wasn’t telling the truth about his reporting experience in Iraq. His helicopter was not hit by an RPG or ground fire as he claimed multiple times for the last 12 years. It turns out everyone is philosophically acting as if they inherently know the definition of truth — that which corresponds to reality. And it turns out he’s been lying about other events as well, such as his experiences in New Orleans during Katrina.
It looks like we can’t trust the media to tell us the truth. I’m not sure how many believed this anyway, particularly after Dan Rather’s bald-faced lies concerning George Bush, which got him fired from CBS. But if we can’t trust the media, where should we sheep go?
Let’s try our political leaders. Hillary made similar claims to Brian’s. She claimed to narrowly escape sniper fire in her 1996 trip to Bosnia. It turns out those accompanying her, supported by video, all testified that there was no sniper fire at all. In other words, Hillary was lying. Her claim to have faced sniper fire did not correspond to reality. She also said she was broke when she left the White House. This doesn’t even need any research or testimony. She’s obviously lying.
How about our supreme leader? Surely we can trust him to tell the truth. Let’s listen in. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.” This, right after the staff meeting in which he was informed he could not make that statement because it wasn’t true. Barack wasn’t confused. He simply lied to us, bald faced.
But here is one of his best. We need some background for it. In 2007, then-Sen. Obama gave a speech at Hampton University. In a fake ghetto-style accent the host told the crowd that the Bush administration just didn’t care much about the audience. You see, the Bush administration had given more aid to New York City after 9/11 and Florida after Hurricane Andrew than it had to New Orleans because those people were just more important. For them, the administration had waived the Stafford Act, lessening the local contributions necessary. This allowed for greater federal aid for New York and Florida, but not for those in New Orleans.
It turns out Sen. Barack was telling his best lie. The truth is, he, Barack Hussein Obama, had voted against giving the victims of New Orleans the break a few weeks earlier. So had Sen. Hillary Clinton. He, in reality, was the one who had attempted to deny them aid. When the final figures came in, New Orleans had received more aid than New York City and Florida combined, despite Barack’s opposition.
So far we can scratch off both the media and the politicians. What about the scientists? Well, a true scientist is great when they are discovering and explaining the material world through the rigor of the scientific method. Then they should be listened to as telling the truth about the material world. On the other hand, when they are speculating based on a defective worldview without the discipline of the scientific method they have to be taken with a grain of salt. Remember, scientists are humans. The first thing a human does for their worldview is lie. When money and pride are involved, be leery of scientists who are not practicing science.
So where does that leave us? Consider the amount of data you are working with compared to amount of data that exists. Frightening isn’t it? Leonardo and Einstein knew next to nothing compared to the total facts available. Same for you and me, only probably more so. Therefore, please don’t think you are your own truth teller. Instead, search for the real truth teller and listen to him.
Keep a few things in mind when searching for your truth teller. One, the universe did not create itself. Nothing can do that. You can’t get something from nothing. There is no way around this point. Two, there is only one human being who has never lied. Three, truth telling should not be separated from its other necessary subjects: love, place and purpose. It’s a childish way of speaking and it’s loading the dice, but it will ring true in your gut to say: You can’t experience true love while you’re lying to someone; you can’t truly find your place in life without the truth; and you can’t truly know your purpose without the truth. Four, consider the logical consequences of your basic beliefs.
At the end of the search there is only one person. He stood before a Roman governor one time on trial and stated that his singular purpose in coming to earth was to testify to the truth. He made such fantastic claims during the brief stay here before he was murdered that there are only three ways to consider him. He is either a liar, a literal lunatic, or he is exactly who he says he is. He is no Brian Williams so we can scratch off the first one. He sure doesn’t sound like a lunatic when you listen to him. Instead, he sounds very reasonable and compelling. So, we can scratch off the second option. That leaves us with No. 3. When he rose from the dead he sort of put the nail in the coffin.
Finally, heed a simple warning on your search. During the king’s brief stay he was on trial. Now the tables are reversed. It’s you and I who are under the judge’s authority. Conduct your search this way: humbly, with a contrite heart, and tremble at his words. If you do this you will find him. The truth teller said so.
Bob Branden is host of the podcast Two Men and a Bible. Find it at http://www.twomenand abible.podomatic.com.
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