If you’ve been reading Tim To Get Right for any length of time you’ve probably picked up on one of my biggest pet peeves: gossip, slander, ignorance spreading untruths. As you can imagine, someone with this kind of pet peeve has a heck of a time in today’s society, which is positively filled with lies, slander and the spreading of untruths in ignorance. One person picks up a newspaper – reads a lie, and begins spouting to all of their friends and family, many of whom propagate that lie even further. As I mentioned in my post imploring Christians to stop lying through social media, this kind of gossip-spreading, and lie-telling are things God positively detests. I am right there with Him.
Politics > Truth
I promised myself I would refrain from turning this blog into a center on modern politics but when it comes to this issue, I hope you will forgive a slight slide. We live in a nation of liars. Bald-faced, make-it-up as they type liars whose only aim is to destroy their political opponents. These liars then print their words in major newspapers, magazines, and go on the air to anchor news shows to tell their lies. Their audiences hear the lies and then it turns to gossip as they go out and spread the untruths they heard. It breaks my heart to see such ignorance celebrated in a nation sadly lacking in critical thinking ability or a healthy dose of skepticism. Few seem interested in actually seeking out the truth anymore.
So we live in a world that believes a man to be a racist and a fascist among many other nasty names. Fascist? This grieves my heart, first because it is clear the education system has failed the speaker – they obviously don’t know what the definition of fascism is. Secondly because they are sinfully slandering someone without cause. It gets worse if you attempt to confront many of these individuals with terms and definitions, because the sin of pride enters and they refuse to back down from their gossip. A fascist is one who attempts authoritarian, dictatorial rule by implementing lots of laws and regulations that both give them ultimate power and authority, and tries to control the populace to the nth degree. The current President has actually reduced the number of regulations Americans live under by a huge percentage, deliberately slashing them to set us free from onerous burdens. This is the opposite of fascism. It is – get this – anti-fascist.
Similar to the fascism claim, I’ve asked many people to show me examples of racist conversation or action from the President, and you know what I always get? The misquoted (lie) statement about illegal immigrants crossing the border. Asked for any other examples, even if I were to concede that statement as slightly racist, what do they come up with? Nothing, zip, nada, zero. So they’re content to broadly slander and defame a man because a friend told them after he heard from their cousin, who read a news magazine article stating it without proof. Racism is a terrible thing – a sin, to express hatred for your fellow man because of the color of their skin. To accuse someone of that sort of hatred without real evidence is gossip, slander, lying, ignorance…sin.
I didn’t vote for this President, and I am by no means a fanboy, but I repeat: I detest lies, slander and untruths spoken in ignorance. What have we sunk to as a nation when we think it’s okay to heap the worst insults upon another person and then revel in our ignorance when challenged? How can such a nation hope to survive? The number of news story retractions and corrections is through the roof these last few years, only the trouble is, relatively few people ever pay attention to such corrections. The lie has been told and immortalized by a thousand tongues, most of them cemented by a proud look.
I am a teacher, not in any school system but at my church, and in the Trail Life group I help lead and other places I have taught. If I detest ignorance, I detest ignorant teaching backed by pride most of all. I teach because I hope to instill in people a small thirst for truth. The desire to – when they hear a claim – want to know if it is accurate. To be willing to do the research and seek confirmation. This, I believe, should be the highest goal of any educator; to instill in their students a thirst to uncover the truth. Not simply swallow anything they hear that confirms their current bias or worldview. It isn’t so much that a person believes a wrong thing – we all do at times, it’s a given part of human nature to be wrong. The problem is our refusal to seek out the truth, or when confronted with it, proudly deny it and state our opinion even more stridently.
Seek Truth – Promote It!
One of my favorite radio hosts – who I will not name because ironically many people hate him simply because they’ve been told to – is constantly saying “don’t take my word for it, go do your own research.” That to me is gold. Any time he writes a book the footnotes and references section is almost as big as the text itself. Here is a man who devours many books every single month because he is seeking truth and knowledge. Believe it or not, much of our country used to exist in a similar state. Now it is being shown that most people cannot tell a fact from an opinion! What happened?
Humble yourselves. Remember you are not perfect. Acknowledge that of all the things you think you know…some are probably not true, and be open to factual correction when it comes your way. Be the kind of person who, at least once a week says, “Hmm…I did not know that,” and goes off to do further research. There is a time for debating opinions, but for goodness’ sake, do not be one of those people who will argue their opinion against the facts; righteously showing off your ignorance to the world.