A number of items in the news have prompted my thinking on telling the truth. It seems like that reality is in short supply these days–especially when it comes to government affairs. It’s also a problem in many people’s individual lives.
You see, when you tell a lie long enough you might just start believing it yourself.
A number of issues are forefront on the world stage this week. They include the Greek debt crisis, the nuclear deal with Iran, and an illegal alien killing 32-year old Kate Steinle in San Francisco.
Let’s talk about the power of words, especially when used to tell ongoing lies.
Words are powerful and truth is important. It was by the spoken word that God created the entire universe (Genesis 1:1-29 and John 1:1-4). On a human level, we’ve all experienced that words can give life (“You can do it!”) or they can bring death (“You’ll never amount to anything.”)
And I think we all know that if you tell a lie long enough, it takes on a meaning of its own. After awhile, you’re no longer sure what the original truth was.
Adolph Hitler nearly took over the world on the power of his words and the promulgation of lies. The killing of millions of innocent people was wrapped in the language of “The Final Solution” which sounds like solving a business problem–not annihilating a race.
The power to distort truth with words is a problem we face everyday. Who do we believe about the big issues of life? Who do we trust in making daily decisions?
Words are powerful and lies are destructive. A good portion of our day should be spent in serious thought, sorting out truth from lies.
Let me help you with a few contemporary issues.
The Greek Debt Crisis
I’m sure many have been praying for the Greek people as they voted in a referendum last week and their leaders shuffled between Vienna and Athens. I have a number of friends in Greece and have visited that nation on a number of occasions. It is a beautiful country with a wonderful people that have made a great impact on the world.
But Greece is in trouble with debt–like many other nations (including the United States). We are being told that their answer is austerity. Sounds awful and undeserved.
One dictionary defines austerity as:
“The fact or condition of being rigorous and unsparing: hardness, harshness, rigidity, rigor, rigorousness, severity, sternness, strictness, stringency, and toughness.”
Doesn’t sound like fun–more like someone’s out to get you. We are told in headline after headline that the Greek people are facing “austerity” and their mean neighbors to the north are inflicting it upon them.
No wonder the Greek people said NO in the referendum. Would you want to be faced with austerity?
But it’s the wrong word. It’s not a matter of what you want or like, but what you deserve and need to get back on the right path.
Many Greek people and certainly Greece’s leaders have lived an economic lie for many decades. That lie is called socialism. Socialism’s basic tenet is that government can take care of us from cradle to grave so we don’t really need to work hard, save money, and be frugal in life. We can pile up debt and hope that someone in the future will pay for it.
But as Margaret Thatcher pointed out a generation ago, eventually socialists “run out of other people’s money.” That’s where Greece is today, a nation of 11 million people, many living on the dole, with billions of dollars in unsustainable and unpayable debt to other people and nations.
The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore puts it this way:
“Greece is now sitting on $350 billion of debt. It’s unpayable and the international monetary experts are deluding themselves if they believe that by some magic stroke this nation of 11 million citizens will sometime in the future come up with the funds to repay it.”
“Greece is already overtaxed, and adding more taxes on the few businesses that are still functioning is only going to ensure their eventual demise too. Meanwhile the Greek citizens have come to the conclusion that fat pensions and cradle to grave welfare benefits are a human right that can never be taken away. That is what they declared in the referendum. But those benefits are going to be lost. Socialism has radically reduced the standard of living of the citizens.”
“The big lie is that Greece has already lived through austerity. This is a nation that in 2013 was spending up to 59 percent of its GDP on government benefits and programs. Even today the government accounts for half of all spending. How is that austerity? The problem is as the private economy shrinks, the government’s role keeps expanding. Greece’s debt was 120 percent of GDP a decade ago, and now its 175 percent. This is the opposite of austerity. It is a spendfest.”
“In sum, Greece needs much less socialism, and much more privatization. Sell off government assets. Cut tax rates. Sell one of the islands to Disney. Oust the communists who ruined this nation. Get government spending down to 25 percent of GDP.”
Get the picture? Austerity, as a term for this situation, is victim drivel. Greece needs national repentance from living it up with other peoples’ money.
It’s not Europe’s or anybody else’s fault. I can just hear Dave Ramsay giving the same advice to a wildly spending married couple: “Sell your big house, get rid of that car you can’t afford, work two jobs if you have to, and get out of debt so that you can rescue your dignity and future!”
That’s what Greece needs to do.
Don’t feel sorry for them about “austerity.” Pray for their honesty and repentance. (And look in the mirror because we’ve not far behind.)
The Iran Nuclear Deal
The truth is pretty simple on this one. The government of Iran is the world’s leading cause of terrorism. Making a deal with them that allows them a pathway to a nuclear bomb is insanely suicidal. Even a few years ago, that idea was unthinkable.
But then President Obama almost unilaterally decided and promoted the falsehood that a deal with Iran was in the best interest of the Middle East and world. His powerful advisor, Valerie Jarratt, was born in Persia. Apparently, she convinced him that a “deal with Iran” would be great for his legacy.
But disaster for the globe.
He told the lie long enough to himself and those around them that even with Congress and the nation kicking and screaming about stopping Iran from getting nukes, John Kerry forged ahead with a monstrous and dastardly deal.
Columnist Clifford May brings us back to reality:
“Imagine if, on Sept. 12, 2001, I had written a column predicting that within less than 15 years, the president of the United States would be offering the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism a path to nuclear weapons and tens of billions of dollars. You’d have thought me a lunatic. But that’s what President Obama means to do.”
“Just to be clear: There can be no doubt that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. No less an authority than the U.S. government has affirmed that many times over. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans have been killed and maimed by Iranian-backed militias and proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan.”
“The founding principle of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution was “Death to America!” Even as Iranians negotiators have smiled across the table at their American counterparts, that chant has been repeated—not least by Ayatollah Khamenei himself.”
Yet the US administration drinks in the lie like koolaid which could lead to a nuclear holocaust.
Thirty-two year old Kate Steinle was taking an evening walk with her dad on a San Francisoc pier on July 1, 2015, when she was allegedly shot and killed by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant who had seven felonies on his record and had been deported (and returned) to the US five times.
Bill O’Reilly is trying to use Kate’s senseless death to spur Congress to pass “Kate’s Law” which would mandate a five year mandatory sentence for any deported felon who returned to the USA. If caught twice, it would be ten years. If three, twenty years.
Why are illegal alien felons walking the streets of America?
Because we’ve been telling ourselves a series of lies about immigration for many decades. They include:
- They aren’t really alien and they aren’t really illegal. They’re just desperate people who should be called “undocumented workers.” (Notice the deception of the words here. “Undocumented” implies no illegal entry and “workers” focuses on what they give to America, not what they take away by disobeying the law.)
- The border can’t really be sealed. Try saying that about your own house: “We can’t really put a fence up on have locks on the doors. Everybody should be welcome to come in.”
- Businesses need cheap labor (promoted by Republicans) and Democrats want new voters (who are bribed by giving licenses, voting rights, and welfare entitlements.)
- We need “Sanctuary Cities” where illegal aliens are shielded from the crime of illegal entry by sympathetic city councils. Illegals break the law then city governments do too. Is it any wonder that many other Americans think they can now loot and destroy and break the laws of our country because others are doing it?
Kate Steinle, and many others like her, would be alive today if we had not changed the words to propagate a lie that illegal immigration is benign. That lie has now been told so long and in so many different ways that the United States is under attack on its southern border by illegal immigrants, criminals and terrorists.
Words are powerful. Use them carefully. Don’t tell yourself lies–especially over time.
And don’t vote for leaders who do the same.
I have never seen anything like this in the sixty-one years of my life:
A United States president, acting like a monarch or dictator, thumbs his nose at the American people he is supposed to lead and protect, granting de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens by executive fiat.
President Obama’s November 20 executive action is bad for the country, is a blatant abuse of Constitutional power and directly contradicts the expressed will of the American people.
I will focus on the latter point. He acts like a king with utter disdain for the people.
It’s time to stop tip-toeing around the presidential problem we face. We are being gamed by a narcissistic president who cares more for his agenda than those that he serves..
And here’s what we need to do about it.
Last night President Barack Obama did something that no American president has ever done. He symbolically displayed his middle finger to the American people he is supposed to listen to and represent–as well as the Congress who makes our laws–and acted like a king who creates law, interprets and enforces them.
We haven’t seen those brazen actions on our shores for nearly 240 years when King George III did the same with the American colonists–making laws without their consent–which precipitated the Revolutionary War and the birth of the USA.
When a humble George Washington became our first president, he rigorously resisted the easy temptation to be called “Your Majesty” and rule like a king. No–he said calling him “Mr. President” was enough, and that republican institutions were to make laws only through the peoples’ elected representatives.
George Washington was a humble leader with great character.
Barack Obama seems to be completely lacking in this most important quality of leadership.
In the past few decades we’ve seen other presidents–both Democrat and Republican–chastised by the voters in mid-tem elections–come out humbled and working for the good of the nation.
In 1986, Democrats took over both the House and the Senate during the Reagan years. A humbled Ronald Reagan accepted the verdict of the voters and began working with House Speaker Tip O’Neill for the good of the nation. Economic prosperity followed.
Twelve years later, Bill Clinton’s government was shellacked in the mid-term elections. He, too, humbled himself, listened to the people and committed to working with Capitol Hill on major achievements which included welfare reform and a balanced budget.
When good leaders are rebuked, they learn (even when they may have mixed motives for changing). When bad leaders are chastised, they react in pride and disdain.
Last evening, Barack Obama gave a smooth yet deceptive speech. He decided to go around Congress and allow certain unlawful residents with established roots to “come out of the shadows” because mass deportation of illegal immigrants “would be both impossible and contrary to our character.”
“I hear those concerns,” he added in a speech that quoted both Moses and George W. Bush, but “immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our society.”
It all sounded good and almost reasonable at certain points. But the entire presentation was lawless in nature and deceptive to the core.
Before we analyze his action, let’s look at what Barack Obama, acting like a king, did on November 20 to lead our immigration system into certain chaos.
Specifically, the president’s executive action will:
- Create a new deferred deportation program for parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent resident children if they have been in the country for more than five years.
- Grant work permits for three years if they pass background checks and pay back taxes and fees. In nearly all states, the people who are granted legal status will be entitled to driver’s licenses.
- Expand protection from deportation to more “Dreamers,” or people who came to the U.S. illegally as children, and grant more work permits to high-skilled workers.
- Establish a new priority system for deporting illegal immigrants, requiring the Department of Homeland Security to focus on people serving jail time for criminal offenses.
- Add more immigration judges to the border region so illegal immigrants who are deemed low-priority can be released more quickly, and recent border crossers and those with serious criminal records can be deported.
While the president portrayed his edict as necessary to address long-standing immigration problems, giddy Democrats who held immigration parties across the nation also believe President Obama’s action will buy them millions of Hispanic votes and provide progressive candidates with an electoral edge for years to come.
And he enacted the ruling like a tin-pot dictator–against the wishes of the American people. Columnist John Hayward comments:
“It’s still striking that not a single poll can be produced showing majority support for what Obama did last night, including some resistance from people who are generally in favor of all that “pathway to citizenship” stuff but oppose the way Obama is forcing it down their throats. The most recent election could not have made it more clear that the American electorate doesn’t want this. But Obama seized new powers to override the American people, acting as the representative of foreign citizens.”
That’s an incredibly deaf abuse of power and wrong priorities.
The 2014 mid-term elections, which just rolled through the nation as a thunder storm, were a clear repudiation of two Obama policies: Obamacare (ACA) and amnesty for illegals. You can’t interpret the results any other way unless you live in a fantasy world.
Election 2014 was a refutation of Barack Obama’s policies and priorities. As he likes to say:
Let’s analyze the timing of the president’s announcement.
Barack Obama would like us to think that his executive order is based on what he knows is best for the American people and nation.
But that doesn’t square with reality. President Obama and his party controlled both the Congress and the presidency for the first two years of his term. If they really believed Americans wanted to legalize illegal entrants into the country en masse, then it would have been easy to pass comprehensive immigration reform without a fight. Write the bill. Pass it in both chambers and sign it into law.
Why didn’t they do it? Because they knew that the American people didn’t want illegal aliens being treated better than legal-in-the-process immigrants that America has always loved and championed.
We are a nation of immigrants—legal ones!—who believe in the rule of law and fairness.
The Democrats knew this and punted. Barack Obama also knew he couldn’t be re-elected in 2012 if he went against the wishes of the American people on such a major issue.
After he was re-elected, he pushed through the Senate another bill (with the help of a few Republicans) that the House refused to take up. Why did they table it? Because the People’s House knew that the folks didn’t support it.
Why did Barack Obama not push that bill prior to the 2014 elections? Because he knew if he did, then there might not be one Democrat left in either chamber of Congress. The shellacking would have been even worse than it was.
So after hearing the people speak in the 2014 election, he should have humbled himself like Reagan and Clinton and many other presidents, listened to the voice of the people, and gone to Congress after the lame-duck session to put together a good bill that will benefit the America people as well as take into account those who came to our nation unlawfully.
He refused to listen, and with no other elections to bind him, decided to act like a spoiled child or a self-absorbed dictator and rule by presidential fiat.
And why did he do that? Is it because he really wants to do “what’s best for America?”
I don’t think so. It’s a political move—plain and simple. Barack Obama believes that granting de facto amnesty to millions of Hispanics will help the Democrats win elections for years to come.
He did it for votes–nothing else.
So what should we do about this partisan and reckless act by a man who would be emperor?
1. Like the Committees of Correspondence of Revolutionary times, we need to make our voices heard that we want a secure border, a stream-lined legal process for legal immigration, and some penalties and process for those who broke our laws. That applies to adults only (kids are not responsible for their parents’ sins). Both the Heritage Foundation and Bill O’Reilly offer sensible plans for dealing with immigration.
2. We need to pray for the new Congress to wisely resist this president’s authoritarian tendencies in all area of his administration. May God give them specific wisdom to resist bad policies and enact righteous solutions that the nation truly wants and needs.
3. We must have a long memory—two years to be exact—and elect a humble and competent president in 2016 who will help reverse the bad decisions of the past few years and lead America once again into a time of moral, economic, and social renewal.
No more snubs by would-be monarchs should be tolerated in our nation.
To quote the early colonists, “We have no king but Jesus!”
Deception: 1. an act or statement intended to make people believe something that is not true (Merriam Webster Dictionary)
As I look around the world, I am amazed by the deceptions that dominate the media air waves and many of our classrooms. Here are a couple examples:
- Changing the definition of marriage to allow any consenting adults to believe they are “married”–something which can only take place between a man and woman as recognized by 5000 years of history. (You can watch a powerful short video here that shreds this deception into pieces.)
- That man-made global warming is the great issue of the 21st century when there is no proof that it is taking place and temperatures have been constant for over fifteen years.
I could list scores of others, from politics to medicine. But there are two that are currently in the news that really got my attention.
They both involve the tactic of compassion as a tool of deception.
It is clear from the Bible that the origin of lying and the spirit of deception so prevalent in our fallen world comes from the invisible satanic world. Jesus called Lucifer “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44) and Revelation 12:9 gives him the description “the deceiver of the whole world.”
As the dictionary definition states above, to deceive is to get someone to believe something that is not true–oftentimes mixing a partial truth out of context with a lie to create confusion.
Two stories in the news use the good character quality of compassion out of its proper context to distort our thinking.
I am talking about compassion as a tool of deception in the immigration crisis and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
The greatest illegal immigration blow-up of my lifetime is currently happening at the Mexican border. The ebb and flow of illegal immigrants has been a problem for decades, but almost overnight it has overwhelmed the border patrol, outraged the citizens of the nation, and caused a fractious debate as to what should be done.
And much of that debate is built on deception.
First of all, let’s lay our the simple facts on why scores of thousands of children are “suddenly” crossing the Rio Grande and overwhelming our border resources:
- The Democratic Party (for potential votes) and the US Chamber of Commerce (for cheap labor) have encouraged the practice for years. There are lots of things to blame Republicans for, but the border crisis is not one of them. Most Republicans want the border secured (as do 70% of Americans). The Dems and crony capitalists do not.
President Obama used his pen to sign the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, memorandum on June 15, 2012, rolling out the welcome mat to those seeking to immigrate illegally. From 2011 to 2013, the number of minors crossing the border illegally increased from 8,000 to 25,000. Officials now expect that number to be close to 90,000 in 2014.
- The president also changed the rules on deportations and refused to obey the law when it came to other immigration statutes (which is why impeachment talk has been in the air).
- The Democrats have changed the words “illegal alien” to “undocumented worker” to try to alter American public opinion about the crisis.
- On the positive side, the United States has a history of loving and welcoming foreign immigrants–more than the rest of the world combined on an annual basis. The message of the Statue of liberty is a part of our DNA.
- We have welcomed immigration to our country for most of our 238 years. Only from 1924 to 1965 did Congress curtail immigration quotas to allow the previous flood of new immigrants to assimilate fully into American culture and values.
We Americans believe in immigration. For most of our history, it was regulated in a fairly orderly fashion. President Obama and his political and business allies have now turned it on its head.
And the rationale they are presenting to the American people is that we must approach the children and overall problem with “compassion.”
This new argument is built on a series of lies.
First, we are told people are coming here because of gangs, wars, poverty etc. in Central America. They say we should consider most of them refugees or worthy of political asylum. But the last time I checked, there were democratic governments in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, no wars are taking place, and life is the same as it’s been for decades.
I can understand poor people wanting to emigrate seeking a better life (that’s why my poor German ancestors came to America in the late 1800s), but in the past, we’ve have an orderly process.
The difference now is that President Obama sent the signal that children could come without a good system or fear of being sent home.
So the deluge started–and we have a mess on our hands.
Second, we are told that we must leave things this way because it’s the “compassionate” thing to do. We must care for them because we are a Christian nation that must take the higher moral road.
Interesting how this is the only circumstance today where our “Christian values” are being encouraged. On every other issue, they’re being shot down and removed from the public square.
Here is the heart of the deception: Governments are not supposed to be compassionate. Governments are meant to be just--to protect citizen’s property and rights. That is their God-ordained role (Romans 13:4).
Families and churches are the God-given spheres where compassion should flourish. That’s why it’s wonderful for Glenn Beck to be bringing supplies to the churches near the border to help the needy children and many charitable groups are dispensing aid.
Yes, God’s people must rise up and be charitable to those who have come because of our government’s stupidity.
But the government’s job is to seal the border–to protect its own citizens. They are failing miserably–and hiding behind the argument of compassion.
Third, this confusion of domains is akin to a father not putting doors, windows, locks, fences and walls on his property to protect his family–and inviting the neighborhood to move in. The mother might be “compassionate” toward the first guests, but it is an unworkable system if the father does not “protect” his family.
In God-ordained leadership spheres, civil government is the father (justice and protection) and the Church is the mother (compassion and nurture).
Maybe the destruction of fatherhood in America has something to do with the government breakdown. At any rate, our current political leaders are deceiving us. It is their job to provide sealed, orderly borders to protect our citizens, and also discourage the rape and abuse of children by the coyotes.
Government voices are using “compassion” as a tool of deception.
Middle East Conflict
The same thing is happening in the Middle East where Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank are at war. Before we show how compassion is being used as a weapon here, let’s state the simple facts about the current strife:
- At just over eight million, Israel’s population is a drop in the bucket compared to 300 million people who surround them in hostile Muslim countries.
- Most of those nations, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, are committed to wiping the Jews off the face of the earth.
- Israel is the only democratic nation in the region (Iraq is in turmoil) and thus America’s strongest ally. The other reason for our support for Israel is the American belief in the Bible, God’s purposes for the nation, and the messianic return of Jesus Christ.
- The Palestinians voted Hamas into power–a group on America’s watch list of terrorist organizations. The Hamas charter is committed to exterminating the Jews.
- The Palestinian Authority/Hamas started the current war by lobbing hundreds of missiles into Israel aimed at Israeli citizens. They are the aggressors who started the war.
- Hamas built miles of secret tunnels under the Israeli border for the purpose of terrorism.
- Israel has defensively invaded the West Bank for two reasons: To locate and destroy the missiles that are being fired at their people and to destroy the tunnels have hinder their security. The Israelis are fighting a totally defensive battle.
However, due to two factors, the superiority of the Israeli missile defense (Iron Dome), and Hamas placing its citizens as human shields around their missile launchers and ammo, many more people have died on the Palestinian side than Israelis.
This prompted the United Nations, liberal media outlets, and the bumbling John Kerry, US Seceratary of State, to press for an immediate cease fire in the name of compassion.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the one who has it right:
“If Arabs lay down their arms there will be no more war, but if Israel lays down its weapons, there would be no more Israel.”
It is absurd, even devilish, to ask Israel to stop fighting without utterly destroying Hamas with its arsenal and tunnels. The Jewish government, known for its extreme patience with terrorism, is doing its God-required duty–to do what’s necessary to protect its people.
Any argument about moral equivalence between Hamas and Israel is ludicrous. Hamas is a murderous rogue organization; The Jews simply want to live peacefully on their tiny piece of real estate on the Mediterranean.
Israel is not responsible for the Palestinian casualties. They didn’t start the war, but they must end it. They did not force Palestinians to be human shields–Hamas did.
Asking Israel to stop before victory–in the name of compassion for civilian casualties–is a lie of the highest order. It would reward terrorism and leave our democratic and biblical ally exposed to annihilation.
Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) is credited with saying that “Hell is full of good intentions or desires.”
We must never allow godly compassion to be a tool of satanic deception.