Believable Lies


If you say something often enough, people will begin to believe it. If you pronounce it from a place of authority, it may be readily accepted. If it is artfully, passionately, and creatively communicated, it will eventually weave its way into culture as reality, no matter how faulty the logic may be.

The key is to not readily accept something because someone says it, even if you like her, even if you are passionate about the issue, and even if you want to believe it. Scrutinize what you hear and read.

Lies always have a little truth in them.

Here are some popular (and rather random) lies that have a lot of pseudo-gravitas, but little logical and factual support.

  • The church is a building, a place you go, a service you attend.
  •  It is a community whose faith is in Christ and mission is to be the good news.
  • The church needs trained clergy, buildings, a budget, and programs to support its mission.
  • Usually, these things become encumbrances that must be maintained to serve its members, rather fulfill its mission.
  • God can be summarized by a systematic theology or doctrinal statement.
  • Because he is God, he is, at least, somewhat beyond us and mysterious.
  • If you disagree with our president, you are a racist.
  • The vast majority of Americans are thrilled that we have finally gotten to the place of electing a black president, but being black doesn’t make him infallible.
  • “I didn’t know about it” or “that was just a lower level issue” are acceptable answers from leaders whose administration is embroiled in serious scandals.
  • It follows, then, that the leader is inept, aloof, or lying.
  • The Affordable Care Act has (or will) accomplished its main objectives of providing healthcare for all Americans and bringing down costs.
  • While there are many good motivations behind healthcare reform, this plan is incredibly flawed, overly complex, and was disastrously rolled-out at a horribly inappropriate time for our nation economically. But, most striking is that it doesn’t even accomplish its stated objectives.
  • One political party has a corner on the truth.
  • This is so partisan, naive, and destructive. Usually, there are ulterior motives for a party to promote a particular position. The other side is characterized and vilified. There are more than two sides to an issue, anyway. The good ideas that minority party has usually are not considered. Hence, we wind up with less than stellar legislation.
  • The media should not have an outlet that challenges the current administration.
  • There always needs to be opposing voices of caution, representing the minority in a democracy.
  • People who watch Fox News, MSNBC, or listen to NPR are idiots (for different reasons).
  • We have freedom of speech and each of these outlets has something to offer and appeals to a segment of the media market.
  • Delivering a well-crafted speech makes you a good leader.
  • A good leader provides guidance and knows how to negotiate. A good speaker just needs some good writers, a teleprompter, a smooth delivery, and a nice suit.
  • Everybody starts with equal opportunity to succeed.
  • Family of origin, economics, geography, age, education, ethnicity, and many other factors figure in.
  • Party spokespersons on news programs are a good source of information.
  • I am Nigerian Prince who needs your bank account number.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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