Why Do Lies Matter?
by Marty Poehler
Last week seemed to be like any other recent week in American Politics. Much of the news was dominated by President Donald Trump. I just got back from a vacation, so was focused on doing my work and getting back into the thick of that again. I heard general talk on the radio and TV and online about how he had lied again. For an experiment and to see if it was true, today, Sunday, I Googled about two days this week which I thought would be random and therefore representative: Did President Trump tell any lies on Tuesday through Wednesday, June 19 through 20?
After looking online for 15 minutes, I found credible evidence from AP Fact Check, and PolitiFact that on Tuesday Trump had made five false claims regarding immigration in a speech, and made a false statement about German crime rising (it has been dropping) from the influx of immigrants. On Wednesday he said the remains of 200 fallen heroes of the Korean War had been repatriated, as a result of his summit with Kim Jong Un. (None had been repatriated yet). He backed off these remarks in new remarks Thursday. I quit looking.
It's not really news any more when Trump lies, as the false claim(s) of the current day make it impossible to remember the lies done yesterday, let alone last week or last year. The sheer number of them is numbing. The crucial question for us is: While the news people are admirably doing their jobs reporting and fact checking, will we start to feel: what's it matter anyway if he or the rest of us tell the truth? What if our close associates are lying? What if we start to "bend the truth"? We'll muddle along anyway, we may say.
Funnily enough though, all of us including me feel very uncomfortable when we're with someone we all know is lying. We know something's "rotten in the state of Denmark." We're wired for truth because it's bound up with life. The reality is that our creator who made us is the Truth, and we are part of him. Our daily life depends on his keeping his word about the sun each day. We're actually part of the one who created both us and this entire world and stars we see around us. His plan is that we would choose to have a personal relationship with him. He would wisely and lovingly guide our choices moment by moment. So, lies around us are an attack on his and our very nature, and bring a deep and troubling and personal response in us.
To keep alive we need to embrace reality – which is that our own life and the entire universe is based on truth in the one in whom we live and move and have our being. To pretend we can throw out truth is to make a mockery of our life and universe. Everyone dies a little each time we let lies pass unchallenged.