Last Thursday I had a dream. I was on one of my too rare vacations. My friend and I were at a traveling around Santa Ana (which really has some nice areas) looking for something to do on a bright and sunny day.
Somehow we ended up at a conference with about a dozen other people to talk about communication skills. This is a strange part, for my friend doesn’t like to really like to talk. Maybe that’s how we ended up here. But back to the story.
We were all sitting around a large, polished maple and oak table (Hey, it’s my dream, where I have anything I want, including things that are beautiful or don’t make too much sense ;).
The moderator was at one end and started off by asking us a relatively simple question, “What is your pet peeve?” She indicated to the person on her right that he was to start off and then we were all to answer in a counter-clockwise fashion.
I had some time to contemplate my answer. When the question came to me, I knew what to say and my reply was, “BS and lies”.
I had some people look at me so I further explained my answer.
“Someone who is BSing you doesn’t know the answer to your question or doesn’t want you to know the answer. Someone who is lying knows his answer is false, doesn’t want you to know the answer and protecting something, and it’s usually himself”.
However, lies, however, like any human invention, mechanical or verbal, can be either good, bad, or somewhere in the middle, depending how it is used. A lie can help save an innocent man or condemn him to death. It can be used to capture a criminal or let him go unprosecuted. A lie can help the warring nation, of either side, gain the advantage. And finally, they are used to conceal secret birthday parties for the unsuspecting birthday person (which is a nice thing – speaking from experience).
But most lies, and this can be said of most other forms of deception, are used to conceal an evil. They are used to divide us, rather than unite us. And promote things that destroy us.
I’ve been following the recent debates. It can be said, in fact it has been said by those who know such things, that all politicians lie. Now, it doesn’t matter to me if a candidate smoked marijuana in his youth. And it doesn’t matter to me if a candidate has an extramarital affair. These things happen, and can be part of a maturity growth.
I don’t want to get too religious here, but Christ fell three times to get to the top of a hill. So maybe everyone deserves at least a second chance.
But what horrifies me in the recent debates are the sheer audacity of the lies I’ve witnessed. Lies that go against the established facts of our country; its history, its Founding Fathers, its laws, and its Constitution.
And the candidates who tell such lies are lawyers, doctors, CEOs. In other words – intelligent, smart people who know, or should know, the history of the nation which they made their successes and fortunes. It’s like living in the US for an entire lifetime without learning English. You might be make some money, but it also means you are limited in what you can do.
So why do these current lies bother me so much? There are two reasons.
One is that theses lies do nothing to promote the US, its peoples, or its values. They do not help out our allies. And they do not help a neglected child or anyone else. They are told to help exactly one (1) politician get elected.
The second reason is that there is a hidden agenda behind the lies that are uttered. Mostly coming from the Republicans, they are used to promote a conservative version of Christianity. They claim that the US was created or originally a Christian nation (never was), or that the Founding Fathers were Christian (again, not true – most of them were theists and deists), that Churches are under attack (never were – in fact most businesses would appreciate the chance to be under the same IRS rules as churches – no income taxes, no need to divulge financial information, the ability to accept unlimited donations, and have bake sales without the usual regulations), and that prayers are not allowed in schools (hate to mention this, but I seem to remember just before any final exam, every student was praying or at least maintain a moment of silence). These lies also attack science (evolution is just a “theory”, the earth was created in six days, the “Big Bang” is not true, being gay is a choice, etc.).
If any of these lies are true, then there would be a problem, at least to many Christians. And if there was a problem, then Christianity, in the view of many, is the solution. But the problem is not Christianity or even atheism. The problem is that some over-zealous, overly conservative Christian who do not want a democracy or a republic, or even a constitutional form of government. They want a theocracy. Their form of religion. Their form of Christianity.
And that scares me.
I woke up from my dream. It was close to the time I normally wake up, so maybe that was the reason why. But there is a slight probability it was on its way into becoming a nightmare.