Hypocrisy or Hippocrates?

A 2016 conundrum examined by L. E. Taylor

“Fibs.” Small innocent sidesteps around The Truth.

Well, I’ve done it, oh yes. I’m a flawed human being. I’ve borne false witness. Didn’t mean to. Didn’t think about it as a lie. But over the years, getting into scrapes and cornered by my own fecklessness, it happened.

Notice that impersonal-tense: It happened. As though no one was really responsible. It just… happened. As when the government tells us that “mistakes were made.” Nobody really made the costly policy blunders. No one caused the unexpected consequences – egregious harm done to average families merely happened. No one planned the murders of Americans stranded in various hell holes around the globe. The “stuff” just made itself… happen.

Speaking not as a perfect human being, but as a contrite child of God placed here to witness and to advocate for what’s right, I’m fed up to here with lies. Hypocrisy is not droll or clever or forgivable just because “everyone does it.” We have a demanding system of instituted laws. Not fickle “regulations” imposed by partisan paper-pushers – hard Laws of State. Lying under oath is out.

In our system, men and women are elected to be stewards of our Republic. They hold a sacred trust. They must not enter the halls of government to advance themselves, but – at all cost to their own comforts – they are sworn to protect and defend the constitutional integrity of a sacredly conceived Nation. Unambiguously. No fibs allowed.

The Founders themselves were not without flaw, but they were inoculated with conscience. Whatever their failings, their worldview was informed by the Judeo-Christian ethic that underpinned their classical educations and resulted in the U.S. Constitution. When they sinned, they knew they were sinning. They held themselves, and each other, to account. Vociferously.

George Washington, our first and still our greatest president, knew he was setting precedent for the ages, so he monitored his own behavior. He declined the notion of “president for life”. He rejected any majestic reference to the Executive officeholder, preferring to be called simply “Mister President.” He insisted upon placing his hand upon a Bible for the Oath of Office and concluded his sacred promise with an ad lib: “So help me, God.”

A few weeks ago, along with about seven hundred other informed and thoroughly fed-up Americans of all faiths, races and political parties, I met a great man. Dr. Benjamin Carson may become our next president. If not, it will not be because he is feckless or unprincipled.

Raised by an impoverished mother in a blighted ghetto of a crumbling, graft-ridden City of Detroit, Dr. Carson’s salvation has been documented. He transformed from the worst tadpole in his fifth grade class to a fully-formed “prince.” A graduate of The University of Michigan Medical School, Yale University, and recently retired as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Ben has exemplified the very epitome of an American Dream.

His journey is catalogued in six self-authored best-selling books and one made-for-TV movie, Gifted Hands. Ben Carson is cofounder of the Carson Scholars Fund, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – and at last year’s Prayer Breakfast he candidly spoke truth to power.

one-tourThat’s why I found myself one Friday afternoon, in a crush of good natured, highly motivated Middle Americans at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Plano, Texas.

We’ve had it with corruption in high places. We’ve had it with the bullying of faceless partisan bureaucrats, elected by nobody. We’ve had it with scandal and deceit that riddles both parties for want of a moral compass. We’re disgusted and way past patient, waiting for a person of conscience and spine to grace the office so wisely engineered by our Founders and so carefully crafted by our First President.

We cannot be looking up the sleeve of everyone we deal with. So as Americans, we’ve bound ourselves, over more than two centuries, to a social compact: We shall not lie. In government, we honor the truth above all else. That settled, citizens ought to be free to move with confidence along our journey as a God-blessed Nation.

A couple of days after my excursion to the bookstore, I settled down to read my slim little purchase, One Nation, by Ben Carson. The principle of personal integrity and how to keep it healthy in Washington D.C. is in there. And running through it as unwritten subtext, is the Hippocratic dictum of care givers, “First, do no harm.”

I urge you to read One Nation.

Onward.

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References

Hunter, Derek; Progressives, and the Unnecessary Lie; June 6, 2014
http://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2014/06/15/progressives-and-the-unnecessary-lie-n1851260

Carson M.D., Ben; One Nation; Sentinel – The Penguin Group; New York City, NY; 2014.

Carson M.D., Benjamin; America the Beautiful; Zondervan; Grand Rapids, MI; 2012.

Carson M.D., Benjamin; Think Big; Zondervan; Grand Rapids, MI; 1992.

Bully Boys – Part IV: How Long Has This Been Going On?

Remembrance and Reflections by L.E. Taylor

Fourth Hour was the first class after lunch and the post meridian routine in Mr. T’s shop class always began at 1:01 with Roddy Floutz pulling shut the faded green wooden door and the young teacher calling roll. The shop was in the basement of the old junior high, with steel cyclone insets covering half-windows that allowed in light, and a clear view of only the foot-part of passing foot traffic outside.

The minute-hand clicked. Mr. T loosened his brown knit tie and opened his class book. “Close the door, Roddy,” he said to… no one. The class of 12-year-old boys was unusually restive, peering over their shoulders here and there in a muffled commotion.

Robby and another kid burst through the open doorway. “Mr. T!  Some ninth grade boys have got Danny in the furnace room and are taking his money!”

The ‘furnace room’ was a dark passageway with a wall of lockers, just off the hallway across from the seventh grade shop. It led to a back stairwell.

Still in his natty tweed blazer, Mr. T arrived at about 1:01, point-five. Four sullen mid-pubescent punks pulled aside revealing the little tow-headed Danny. His face was tear streaked and a red welt shone on a pale freckled forehead. Continue reading

A Boyhood in Detroit

Remembrance; Commentary – by L.E.Taylor, author of Elgan and Grace

In the Eastside neighborhood where I grew up there was an understanding among families: When the streetlights come on, the boys go home. Enforcement was the job of parents; no-nonsense reminders by adults on street corners were not uncommon.

Within a couple of generations after the new century dawned, Detroit had drawn a flood of laborers from farms and mines in the South, from Canada across the river, and from afflicted peoples beyond our shores. Quickly, the town became a city of homeowners. (By mid-century, at well over 70%, it had far and away the highest per capita home ownership of American cities.) For most, the homes were their first, mortgaged on the strength of dependable employment in the planet’s greatest industrial metropolis.

Inside the homes that comprised each neighborhood lived a family. A tiny nuclear corporation, headed by a father and a mother. Their property was precious beyond its financial worth. Continue reading

Who That Masked Man Was

Commentary by L.E. Taylor

Did we really need another Lone Ranger? A post-modern Tonto?

Well, in 2013, some of the smartest and most talented people in Hollywood thought so. The franchise goes back to its first radio broadcast in 1933, and at its best, over the next 20 years, it was very good indeed. In every sense of the word: good drama; good character development; good theme music; and goodness itself.

The Lone Ranger was a morality play. Good defeated evil three times a week in the limitless imaginations of thousands of youngsters across America. (Don’t argue with me. I was there. You weren’t even born yet. So just sit still and learn something.) Continue reading