Lies and, well, more lies: A modern day scourge

Rumor mongering has long been a treasured practice among human beings.  It has long been a hallowed practice in justifying wars (remember Gulf of Tonkin or Hitler's rationale for invading Czechoslovakia or for that matter the rationale for the Iraq invasion). 

Every day most of us will receive at least one email that is forwarded by a friend or loved one that suggests one thing or another is true, so beware.  Remember Sarah Palin's "death panels."  Or, that Saddam Hussein was somehow involved in 9-11, and thus a rationale for invasion.  [I will say that though I opposed the invasion of Afghanistan you could make a logical rationale for it, as the Taliban were harboring Al Qaeda].  Now we've got huge numbers of people believing that President Obama is both a Muslim (18% of Americans and 41% of Republicans) and that he is foreign born (birther movement).  Instead of sharing a bit of biblical wisdom this morning, I'd like to share a few proverbs from that great American humorist Mark Twain:

The glory which is built upon a lie soon becomes a most unpleasant incumbrance. How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!

- Mark Twain in Eruption
Yes, that is the danger of building a premise upon a lie -- it's hard to undo.

And then there's this one, though apparently it's never been verified and may be the product of the Baptist preacher of yore, Charles Spurgeon.  Either way, its's a great line for the modern day, as blogs, emails, facebook, and twitter can pass along the lies faster than the truth can get in a word edgewise!

A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

Let's help the truth catch up a bit, shall we!


Gary said…
What is the truth about Obama? In looking at Obama's past, and listening to his own words, there is considerable evidence that he is a Muslim. He has said many things about Islam that are very complementary. If he isn't a Muslim, he certainly has great respect for it, and obvious affection for it.

Obama has said things about Islam that no Christian would say, such as calling the Koran the "Holy Koran". No real Christian thinks that the Koran is holy. Just the opposite.

So, the evidence is mixed. He says he is a Christian, but his actions and beliefs contradict that claim. I'm not certain that Obama is a Muslim, but I'm convinced he is not a Christian.
Anonymous said…
I fear that most people would have the same concerns about your status as a Christian Gary.
Gary said…
Anonymous(you brave soul),

Why? I think it is because most people don't have a clue what a Christian is. And that includes most people who think of themselves as Christians.
Country Parson said…
I'm somewhat stunned at your comment. By your standards of evidence I too must be a Muslim. I've said nice things about Islam, invited an Imam to address an adult forum on Sunday morning, invited a professor of Islam (an Episcopal Priest but probably a secret Muslim) to teach a workshop at another parish, and actually been in the mosque at The Dome of the Rock. I once taught in a college along side a Muslim economist. It was a Catholic college but they were probably all secret Muslims. Apparently baptism, daily prayers in the name of the Holy Trinity, confession of faith and even ordination are just coverups for the great secret plot.
David Mc said…
President's Greeting for Ramadan - November 5, 2002

I send greetings to Muslims in the United States and around the world as you observe the holy month of Ramadan.

Islam is a peace-loving faith that is practiced by more than one billion people, including millions of American Muslims. These proud citizens contribute to the diversity that makes our country strong, and the United States is grateful for the friendship and support of many Muslim Nations that are vital partners in the global coalition to fight against terrorism.

The Qur'an teaches that Ramadan is a time for fasting, prayer, worship, and contemplation. Muslims observe this month by renewing their dedication to caring for those in need, doing good deeds, and strengthening family and community ties. These actions reflect many of the values that Muslims share with people of other faiths across our Nation and around the world, including courage, compassion, and service.

America remains committed to freedom, justice, and opportunity for all people. During this season of reverence and examination, we continue to work together for a future of peace, tolerance, and understanding.

Laura joins me in sending our best wishes for a blessed time. May you be well during Ramadan and throughout the coming year.

Dim Lamp said…
I appreciate this post. It reminds me of M. Scott Peck's wisdom in his book People of the Lie. One thesis he puts forward therein, quite convincingly I think, is that those who lie lose their perspective on reality and eventually cannot distinguish their lies from the truth.
Gary said…
Country Parson,

I'm not accusing you of being a Muslim. Or of being a Christian.

I'm not an expert on Islam, so I will accept the word of anyone who says they are a Muslim.

If Obama had admitted that he is a Muslim, would he have been elected President? I doubt it. If Obama had said he is an atheist, would he have been elected President? Probably not. So, he had political reasons to claim to be a Christian. As did George W. Bush.
John said…

You have no credibility with respect to perceptions of reality. Everything you perceive is strained (stained) by your ideological filter, and that filter is not Christianity as taught by Jesus of Nazereth but a particularly politicized conception, which understands Christianity as fascist, coercive and absent of compassion and mercy. A conception in which God is understood as wrath-filled and vengeful, and violent, not only against His enemies, but against all who are percevied as failing to show due defference and submission to His will as expressed by the prophet(s) to whom you have sworn allegiance.

What you and your prophets and messengers advocate is in reality an ideological form of Chrisitan which simply a Christianized form of Sharia Law. To support the promotion of this ideology you have blinded yourself to any teaching which conflicts with, and blind to any reality which conflicts with, and violently hostile toward any thought or any person who resists the neo-Q'uronic truths which you espouse.

Notwithstanding Jesus explicit teachings about violence, compassion, forgiveness, anger, and respect for the dignity of each person, you will unhesitatingly sacrifice the Master's teachings and embrace any means available, including violence, insult, hatred, misinformation and outright lies, to promote your ideology.

It seems there is such a thing as a Christian Taliban.


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