Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This Really Sucks--Part Two

You knew there was going to be a "Part 2" to this, didn't you?

When I posted my entry "This Really Sucks!" yesterday, I concluded that I couldn't hate the liars, idiots, fools, tools, gasbags, purveyors of lies, cynical opportunists, right-wing nutjobs, left-wing nutjobs, progressive shills, or anyone else who's embedded into the national debate on healthcare reform. I had to be a living embodiment of Jesus instead, and love, forgive, and pray for, all of us flawed human beings.

But that's so unsatisfactory. The ones who yell the loudest win, and they don't deserve to win. Right? Shouldn't truth win out?

Sure it should. And how do you go about working toward that end?

It's very simple, but not necessarily easy. The simple part is, you tell the truth. The not-easy part is, you don't de-humanize those who are not telling the truth.

Tell the truth. Tell it at every opportunity. Tell it with all the passion you can, but make sure it's truthful. Know what you're talking about. Check your facts. Lies and half-truths have no place in a debate of ideas. Spin should be a dirty word here.

I said that there was no sure-fire guarantee that the debate would be won by truth-tellers. God's promises don't always work that way. We're a long way yet from the fully-realized Kingdom of Heaven; it's still a work in progress.

But, again, tell the truth. Confront those spreading distortions and lies. We're told in Scripture that the truth will make us free (check out John 8:32 for background on what Jesus said about this). Don't demonize those you are trying to correct in the process. In other words, once again referencing Scripture, don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (from Romans 12:21).

Once again, tell the truth. Lies destroy. Lies distort. Lies keep people in bondage to false ideas, foment hatred, keep people apart. Lies are the first and foremost tool of the evil in men's hearts. The battle between truth and lies is one that must be joined.

Every man or woman who enters politics finds that there are compromises they have to make in the course of their public careers. They find that they have to break promises they made in the campaigns. This is inevitable. We don't know everything we'll encounter when we embark on a career in politics; we will always be surprised at some point. The noblest man or woman will find that their ideals didn't prepare them for everything. Things will be said that will be heard as lies by some supporters. But they will still try to tell the truth. And so must we. We will fail, but we must try again. And again.

I don't know what the outcome of this raucous "debate" is going to be. I do know, however, that we need to work to get facts out there, and combat the lies and craziness that seems to have taken hold for too many people. Too much of our national discourse lately has been at this level. We as Americans deserve better. Only we can provide it for ourselves.

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