Truth Is Essential

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Truth Is Essential

            This really is not an easy article for me to write. It is not because of the subject matter, that I am at difficulty with, but how to write this in the least offensive way possible, and still make my point. I do not know if it is by nature or nurture, but I can be very sarcastic and offensive, when I think I am being “clever”. I was raised in a politically charged family where the nightly discussion most often revolved around the political issues of the day. Way, way back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, the dominant topics were Communism and racism. We were a Republican household where Communism was the most vial political system and “racism” should be addressed “more slowly and carefully”. My older sister and I would gleefully pontificate upon our latest theory, and my dad would chip in his own. Our mom, though, would challenge us all (dad included) to provide some evidence to support our ideas or accusations. It was not a question of whether or not she believed us, but to teach us to be careful of what we say. My mother would remind us that it was “wrong” to presume anything to be true or false simply because it agreed with a desire to be so. Sadly, this lesson, so important, did not readily sink into my brain. I closed my mind like a “foil wrapped cone” to prevent any outside influences from attacking my “pet theories”.

            Over the years, as I became more mature, more educated, and exposed to a larger world than my “limited view”, I began to question a lot of my “pet theories” against a broader scale of evidence. Yes, I still am convinced that Communism is a political system that can only fail, that Communism as appears in the world today is a euphemism for a dictatorship, and has only the goal of absolute power for its motivation. But I see “racism” as a sickness, a cancer that destroys society, and must be identified and excised for there to be a healthy society. Yes, I fully believe that there are racist elements in every ethnic culture, that it is not simply a white versus black issue.

            At its core, “racism” is a decision that a person or group of persons are inferior to other groups solely on the basis of being a member of such group. Thus, it is in effect, a racist view for Democrats to suggest all Republicans are evil because they are Republicans. The reverse is true as well. In reality, it is a racist view to see all immigrants as a “threat” to the American Way. It is racist to see any person as “less” because of a self-defined criterion. Racism is an intrinsic evil that tries to deny the image of the Creator in every human person. Racism is an evil that suggests that there is an inequality of God’s love. This is a lie. This is a dangerous lie. This is an intolerable lie.

            I believe that most people would readily agree that racism is an evil, that racism promotes a lie. Certainly, there are large groups of “White Supremist” who parade about the idea that “America” is only safe when purified of Blacks, Browns, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims, or any other “inferior” group they might select. Hopefully though, the “hard core” is a smaller segment of society. Yet this radical group of hate filled people are gaining a bit of a “political voice” in the Federal Government. It frightens me greatly when a United States Congresswoman, Marjorie Greene, a Republican from Georgia, would proclaim via “Facebook” that the California Forest fires of 2018, were started by Jews firing laser beams from outer space. (Facebook removed the post, and she claims “it could be true”) Apparently lying isn’t lying if we call it a “conspiracy”.

            I believe that it would be rather naive to suggest that “conspiracies” do not exist. History has proven the opposite to be quite true. There are conspiracies. There are groups of people who gather to form a strategy to accomplish great good and great evil. However, to conspire to commit a criminal act is, in itself, a major felony that can carry a mandatory 20-year prison sentence. To make the accusation that there was a “criminal conspiracy” by a group of Jewish environmentalists who blasted a laser beam from outer space and caused a forest fire that killed 85 people and destroyed 10’s of millions of dollars-worth of property, is morally wrong if its only defense is that “it could be true”. It is a serious breach of public trust for a U.S. Congresswoman to viciously attack an organization because they are “environmentalists”, or Jews, in other words, “one of them!!” That is racism raised to a new level.

            Conspiracy theories are not new. From ancient history up until today, there are thousands of stories – all true to an extent – plots to murder, plunder and pillage businesses, peoples, and governments. If the “intrigue” of a “conspiracy” did not sell, Hollywood might be out of business. Unfortunately, today, it seems that “Conspiracies” have become a political tactic. In 2017, investigative reporter Jane Mayer published a book, DARK MONEY, by which she exposes (with documented resources) how a group of multi-millionaires and billionaires conspired to create a government that they could control to do their bidding. A political tactic was to sell the idea of “conspiracies”, to sew deep seeds of distrust of government, science, and liberals. Many U.S. Congressmen and Senators are seated today, who have pledged to follow their lead.

            St. Anthony, the Father of Monasticism, a desert monk of the late second and early third centuries, taught that the devil had only one power, the power to lie. However, the power of the lie is what we give. If we allow ourselves to only believe what fits into our “value system” and automatically discount everything else, then we allow the Author of Lies a great power in and over us. We have power over the Devil, we have the ability to find the real truth. The caution my mother challenged me with sixty years ago is so very important today, yet still seems to be generally ignored. It is “wrong” to presume anything to be true or false simply because it agrees with a desire to be so. It is not because we are Catholic Christians, or Americans, or whatever, TRUTH IS ESSENTIAL because we are created in the image of the One True God.