by Michael Friday
The American Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning for violent extremism, fueled by falsehoods, lies, and misinformation. One public affairs researcher wonders if American politics are now a rehearsal for civil war, while a former intelligence officer says this danger is on par with what ISIS was a decade ago.
A newspaper article I read last week began this way: “The bigger, whiter and more conservative the church, the more likely its members are to believe and share conspiracy theories.” The writer was referencing a survey by one of America’s largest Christian Publishing Companies – Lifeway – which reveals that 50% of White pastors report hearing church members share conspiracy theories. It’s 34% for black pastors.
Even people who’ve never read the Bible know the phrase, The truth shall set you free – delivered by Jesus, in a testy exchange between himself and some skeptics. Four hundred years before that, Aristotle said, “To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true”.
When a lie is told, some people believe it. When that lie is believed, some people act on it. When a lie comes from an arm of government with authority and power, it mobilizes some people to act. When that lie is malicious, accusing innocent people of evil, it mobilizes people to act destructively, and can obliterate their economy, society, and democracy. When those lies come from the government of the world’s loudest, and supposedly “christianest” nation, injudicious folks, elsewhere on the planet, believe them, and malform their “Christianity” with those lies.
So today, I declare to Americans, Jamaicans, Trinibagonians, Africans, or anyone who sees this, that:
- Joe Biden did not lose the 2020 presidential elections – that’s a lie.
- Hillary Clinton does not eat children or run a child porn ring from a pizza shop – that’s a lie.
- COVID is not a hoax; and herd immunity is not sensible – that’s a lie.
- America doesn’t afford liberty and equal justice for all – that’s a lie!
- Black people aren’t less intelligent or human than white people!
- LGBTQ people aren’t lesser humans than the rest of us!
- God – the biblical one, that is – is neither Republican nor Democrat; neither Israeli nor partial to Israel and therefore hates Palestine or Arabs – those are lies.
- The Holocaust isn’t some made-up truth; nor are Jews born to be exterminated!
- Being pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion.
- Most pro-life folks don’t care about life, lives, or quality of life beyond the womb, or for the justice that brings quality of life to all – that’s a lie!
- Freedom doesn’t mean you can do whatever you please; and freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can lie as you want, neither causing nor escaping consequences – that’s a lie!
Every single one of those lies is currently believed and being repeddled on social media by people who say they know the man who said, “The truth shall set you free,” It includes some who, in the same sentence they dropped F-bombs, praised Jesus, while beating police officers – you know those blue lives that matter – over their heads with the US flag – you know, that item that makes sons of you-know-what of black men when they kneel in protest to injustices under the stars and stripes.
The whole statement Jesus declared was, “You shall know the truth; and the truth shall set you free.” Later, when those same people began to spout lies misrepresenting themselves, Jesus called them children of the devil, the father of lies from the beginning.
To be freed by truth, you must know truth. And you can’t know truth while beholden to lies or liars, both of which – by Jesus’s measurements – are straight from the pits of hell.
Get free this week! Know the truth and hold the truth; for only that would set you free.
A video version of this blog was aired in Michael Friday’s Monday With Friday segment on Monday February 01, 2021.
Photo retrieved from https://leadershipfreak.blog/2011/11/01/the-top-25-temptations-of-leadership/