When We Lie

Lying, Liar, Lies

If mere humans may have things abominable to them, mine is lying. I hate it in nearly all forms: commercial advertising and political propaganda, of course, as well as even when people doing good things feel compelled to pretend they are flawless: that the rotten thing they just did is required by that good thing they’re doing, for instance, or that they didn’t do the rotten thing at all.

There is no I don’t know which is worse there, because it doesn’t matter. Both are lies.

Alas, there are children in this house, and also we grown-ups in it occasionally venture into the world of other putative adults, which are to say that we get a lot of lies.

And it’s still strange to me in many cases, especially the times involving children — because there are usually multiple systems both human and the mechanical in place to catch them. I mean what the hell are they thinking?

Well, that’s half right. Hell’s involved, but they probably aren’t thinking, at least not well. Internet filters are watching, as are adults — slightly less reliable than software, but far more experienced at being human, which means we were kids, which means we know what the hell they’re thinking.

Still, it’s encouraging that they’re not thinking, as is the foreignity of the falsehood. It’s good when it’s strange because it means we retain hope — modicum … smidge … whatever. There is yet faith.

*

Only two things can happen when we lie. One is we get away with it. One is we don’t.

If we don’t, we may suffer consequences. To take again the example of kids, they often get punished more for disobedience also involving deception. They are less like to be trusted each successive time. If they don’t stop, they will be come dishonest bastards. There’s a lot of downside.

If we do ‘get away with it’ we also suffer. We think we don’t because we get what we wanted — the sweet slake of sin — and there may even be little or no quick or immediate response. It might take a few days for the lie to come to light, or parents have grown too weary to do any real good, or, if it’s been a long slog of subterfuge, both. But even in the worst case, where the least good is done, the parents know, and God knows.

That is to say, the liar has slimed the one or two human people in his life who care the most about him, who want the most for him, who will be one of his only sanctuaries when the world lies back at him, not to mention the one God who is even more of each of those things. So really we never get away with it. God knows. This is said to carry no weight in the world these days. But many people who say so are also known to … lie.

And then there is that pesky Natural Law, which says the truth will out.

One of my favorite speakers is Dr. John Mark Reynolds. He is also a philosopher, theologian, and university provost, but I like him most and know him best for his speaking. Once he asked an audience why, if forces of evil ever overthrow the government of the United States, why he asked us, is that effort destined to fail, those forces destined to fall?

We guessed and guessed and guessed, our flailings focused around troop strengths and covert intrigues and other men-and-chariots concepts.

No, he said. It will fail because it’s false.

Bam, as some of the kids used to say.

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly.

The truth will out. Lies fail.

If you’re five years old, the slime squirms out from between your crossed fingers in less than the time it took you to gather it up into them. If you’re twenty-five, an adult say, you may get a little longer. If you have an army, the Soviet Union say, the lie might last nearly a century.

Woo Woo.

Of course John Mark is also a father, and a grown-up operating in the big good world, so he sees a lot of lies. Prolly has engaged in it himself a time or two. Men doing good things you see, are not unflawed.

Whatever we may claim.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent

Ensamples

Among the worst things about The Slap is how it has fed self-righteousness in all but the two participants, and they already had it or it wldn’t have happened. But there is Solzhenitsyn, again, with the line between good and evil that cuts through every human heart, and there is Dostoevsky, always, reminding us via

Read More »

Lipstick

Pig is revelation. Revealing is when what’s here is hidden then seen. It’s really many individual ones, though widely considered they’re the same, and all the individuals are related, perhaps only proximately at first, but also in ways they themselves don’t initially see. + Key is it’s here. Problem is we don’t see it. Action

Read More »

Not For Teacher

There’s an unfortunate instructor-y thing where the guy on stage [I’ve found it’s usually a male doing this] asks a question he already knows the answer to, one of the people in the audience … err, classroom … is the target, the answer given is wrong, and the stagehand just goes and gives the answer

Read More »

Diminishing Me

You’d think a guy’d remember if it was the first time he’d seen a body but I didn’t not at first. [Hadda chance to graduate from college into one of our acceptable wars but didn’t, into the war that is, and no shot at a medical profession: left HS Chem as it had only 28

Read More »

Random

What We Need

Seek and find We all need something. I need a new power cord. They need to read the Psalms. You need to shop shouting at your kids. Guy on that bus bench needs a sandwich.  Two. Fellow on the couch at this Starbucks needs to stay off drugs. Woman talking to herself, petting a collie

Read More »

Room Where It Happens

If the line between good and evil cuts through the human heart there’s gotta be some overlap. The lovely mesh seems so far to last oh … about forever and it occurred this morning it will never quite be clean this side of the fundy conception of the Jordan. Even Dr. Willard, averring as he

Read More »

Centurion Prayer Day One

Going to start a little experiment. Well, it’s not terribly small, given that it will take nearly a third of a year that’s already one-fourth done. I’m calling the idea Centurion Prayer. I already like the name, so don’t try to change my mind. The idea is 100 days of prayer, and it’s not a

Read More »

Shock and Appall

Our system is perfectly designed for the results we’re getting. We worship wealth and crave power. We have a job called “celebrity” and wink at vulgarity and reward villainy. We admire brashness. We randomly excuse or excoriate peccadilloes: depends on the news cycle, the fame or infamy possible, and the money and status of those involved.

Read More »

Related

Burning and Bleeding

Of mercy’s fire and blood Mercy burns, wrote Mary Flannery O’Connor, by which she meant … well, let’s think on it for a minute or so, before we say. For we have ideas of mercy, several actually, and we must discard them all the time, and destroy them if can, as quickly as supernaturally possible.  One

Read More »

Centurion Prayer Day One

Going to start a little experiment. Well, it’s not terribly small, given that it will take nearly a third of a year that’s already one-fourth done. I’m calling the idea Centurion Prayer. I already like the name, so don’t try to change my mind. The idea is 100 days of prayer, and it’s not a

Read More »

Unintelligent Design

Your plan is not working, they say. Ah, but my plan is working, we respond. (I just haven’t fully implemented it, yet … ) But look at the results you’re getting, they say. Things a’gonna change, just you wait, comes our reply. * The truth is, our plan is working. Mine is, yours is, theirs

Read More »