The Battle for Truth in the United States continues to amaze me, given that I grew up with the Superman TV series where the Man of Steel was the champion of, “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” Currently we see a daily display of the overt dishonesty of the Trump administration and the Republican Party and watch our nation flounder almost haplessly before this demonic presence. And, I’m not surprised that the “truth-telling” does not come from within the establishment.
I just stumbled across timely wisdom from Vaclav Havel, the former Czechoslovakian writer, playwright, turned political leader who in 1989 led the Velvet Revolution which toppled the Communist regime. Listen to what he said about how the toppled authoritarian state had manipulated with overt dishonesty:
He states that ideology, “builds a world of appearances trying to pass for reality.” The oppressive regime “touches people at every step but does so with its ideological gloves on. This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies…the lack of free expression becomes the highest form of freedom…the banning of independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies the past, it falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.”
It is no accident that this “truth-telling” in Czechoslovakia came from a voice from the artistic community. Those within the political establishment are not capable of recognizing the truth, must less proclaiming it. And those in religious circles are usually ensconced in the echo chamber of religious dogma and have no use for a voice from the outside, such a voice being intrinsically threatening to its established hierarchy.
In my country today it is not the church and certainly not the political establishment who is “speaking truth to power” like those in the arts and entertainment community. Late night comedians like Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Seth Myers, Samantha Bee and James Cordon are left with the task of vividly painting a picture of how our present “emperor” has no clothes on. Evangelical and fundamentalist Christian leaders have completely fallen under the spell of Trump and will never dare to admit they have made a mistake. For, they like Trump, cannot acknowledge making a mistake of the magnitude of the one they are making. Oh, sure they can trot out a canned spiel of being “a sinner saved by God’s grace” but it is another thing to have to stare face to face with how your ego has led you to pledge your troth to the embodiment of everything that is anti-thetical to the cause of Christ.
ADDENDUM—This is one of three blogs that I now have up and running. Please check the other two out sometime. The three are: