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Viewpoint from Rev David Wells 24/08/2018

David WellsRev David Wells
Rector, Holy Trinity Church, Caister

 

as published in the Yarmouth Mercury

 

When I open a newspaper or turn on the news, I often get a sinking feeling that lying has become the new normal.   If seems that we no longer care whether politicians or pundits tell the truth, as long as what they say feels right
 
Back in 2016, post-truth was the OED’s word of the year.  It is no coincidence that was the year President Trump was elected.  Even on the day of his inauguration he lied about the size of the crowd;  claiming it was the biggest ever.   At the time it was a shock that a President would lie so blatantly, but since then it seems to have been an almost daily occurrence
 
dove leftSocial media has hastened the normalisation of lying.  I have Christian friends who in real life are lovely, truthful people, but who on Facebook or Twitter fall into the trap of passing on completely phoney stories claiming, for example, that photos of bacon sandwiches are being banned from Facebook.  Often these lies originate with groups who want to stir up anger against minorities: lying and divisiveness go hand-in-hand.  And when the lying is blatant and shameless then what the liar seems to be saying to us is “I don’t care what you think - you are nothing to do with me”. This is the big lie underlying all other lies
 
Dove rightSome 2000 years ago, St Paul writing to a new Christian community in Ephesus, put truthfulness at the top of the list of the things that should be distinctive about them: putting away falsehood let us speak truth to our neighbours, for we are members one of another.  This is the big truth underlying all our truthfulness, the recognition that we are not isolated individuals free to do or say what we want to each other - rather we are deeply connected one to another, so it makes no more sense for me to lie to you than it would for my right hand to lie to my left hand.  I cannot treat you as a mere object to be manipulated, lied to or ignored, rather you are part of me and I am part of you. We are all children of one God, created in God’s image, carrying the light of God within us: we owe each other the truth

 


 

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