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.
That’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.
Hunter, Derek; Progressives, and the Unnecessary Lie; June 6, 2014
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.