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.