Saturday, October 15, 2016

Thou Shalt Not Lie

Came across this on Facebook this morning.  The link leads to a convincing mock-up of an ABC news page, with this utterly false story about President Obama signing an executive order to ban the Pledge of Allegiance. Some person/people invested hours into crafting this elaborate lie, for the sole purpose of feeding hatred and opposition against the President of the United States.

Bible thumpers are some of the most rabid Obama haters.  And I find it interesting that much of the crap that flies around the internet, the stuff that gets all the outrage and the likes and the declarations that “Obama IS the anti-Christ” is blatantly untrue.

When it comes to the internet, that faction most attractive to the Obama-hating Christian right lives, breathes, is completely saturated in lies.  Untruth.  Made up crap designed to look (marginally) credible and cause the most furor among the base. 

Which leads one to wonder…what of the ten commandments?  Aren’t they supposed to be the instruction manual?  Why do these folks who want to insist that the ten commandments be posted in government buildings have neither the desire nor intention of actually LIVING by those tenets?

One of those commandments is, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”  Thou shalt not lie. 

It’s probably the commandment that has taken it in the shorts more than any other.  The concept of “white lies,” the idea that a merciful lie is better than a hurtful truth…  Which of us doesn’t believe that a little lie once in awhile won’t send us to hell?

And yet… I have to believe there was a reason the Creator included the onus against bearing false witness in the code by which so many human beings have lived for so long.  Could it have been in anticipation of just the world we live in now—a place where there is no standard of truth anymore?  A world where lies are created and circulated with impunity, in such huge volume that there would be no way to track down and fix every one?   And because untruth has become so ubiquitous, there’s no disproving this volume of falsehoods.  People now chose to believe what they want to believe, and the actual truth becomes the lie to them.  Even if one searches for the truth, it is so hidden under layer upon layer of lies that it’s almost impossible to find.

Our total disregard for truth is tearing apart the fabric of our society.  And if we don’t do something about it, it’s going to destroy us. 


  1. Along with worshiping idols and making images. The commandments are for other people. I've repeated the magic words and I'm forgiven! Last time I checked forgiveness involved repentance, taking responsibility, and offering restitution if needed. There are no get out of jail free cards.

    I'm very fond of the modern pagan belief that what you do comes back at you, multiplied, Especially if you harm someone else. Too bad that in Trump's case the blowback would probably take out half of Manhattan.

  2. Oh, and I forgot coveting. The whole advertising industry is built on dissing that one.

  3. Once gain, excellently done. I'm sure you've read about people having Rape and assault trauma in this election. I'm having church/spiritual trauma, listening to evangelical leaders promote a blatantly immoral man for president.

  4. Actually, it isn't that hard to find the truth, but many people don't recognize that what they are being fed is a lie. A friend posted a recording that was purported to be Tim Kaine verbally abusing his 11-year-old daughter. It was a recording of Alec Baldwin, not Tim Kaine, and it took me 5 seconds to find this information at, but my friend never saw that she was being duped. We all need to be more skeptical, and need to learn how to fact-check. But most important, we need to learn to be more charitable. None of us wants to be attacked unfairly and brutally in this internet jungle, so we should all be a beat slower in our reactions to provocative misinformation. On the other hand, we should demand more from our candidates as well - we have learned to tolerate dishonesty when it is practiced by our tribe. Clinton and Trump are both infamous for their problems with the truth, and their supporters don't mind. No wonder everyday people have less inhibition about spreading false witness.

  5. You have to wonder what it is that makes people so confident that they can sell such transparent crap, but there's a reason Trump does so well among the less-educated. This is the Alec Baldwin audio tape that is being falsely presented as Tim Kaine:

  6. One more that came up yesterday - a picture of Florence Henderson that was presented as Hillary Clinton grabbing a man by the crotch. A person using the internet today simply must check Snopes every day.

    1. In the raft of comments below the original meme, there was actually a link to a piece declaring snopes to be a partisan propaganda site. There just is no truth, Neil, and I would argue very strongly that it is NOT easy to find the truth under all the crap out there. As far as your suggestion that perhaps the habit of fabrication among political candidates is what led the rest of the world astray...I don't buy that either. Certainly today's culture makes it easier for people who were already liars to expand their repertoires....but politicians have been full of shit for centuries, and it's only now that our entire culture is permeated with untruth. I would be more prone to place the blame on the rise of celebreties like Rush Limbaugh, and the fateful decision among media giants to turn "news" into "entertainment." The truth isn't nearly exciting enough to sell soap.

    2. ...and an anonymous internet that has vastly expanded the culture of anger, incivility, bullying and blaming.