What is Truth
“Help, O Lord, for good men have vanished; truth has gone from the sons of men. Falsehood they speak to one another with lying lips, with a false heart ” – Psalm 12
Standing before Pontius Pilute, Jesus replied,..."For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.Everyone who listens to the truth listens to my voice." - John 18:37
Quit est veritas? What is truth?" This was the question Pilate put to Jesus before condemning Him to death.He did not wait for the answer before returning to the crowd as recorded in the Gospel of St. John.
What is truth? "Too often, the answer is framed from one's perspective because we have lost the sense of God in our world. God is Truth, His Eternal Word is Truth. Without them, we face the dilemma of relativisn. We lose our direction in the ever changing definition of right and wrong, black and white in a world where nothing is accepted as absolute except the principle that everything is judged in the context of the time and the day,. And nothing could be further from the Truth.
"A dictatorship of relativism is being built that recognizes nothing as definite, and which leaves as the ultimate measure nothing but the self and its appetites".
— Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Opening Homily at Conclave,
As time progresses, the question of "What is truth" has become a central issue of our time. Truth seems to have become a rare commodity, a victim of political correctness. The media, our politicians and, too otften, even the average person succumbs to using euphemisms to avoid offending someone. This neither serves the truth nor our fellow travelers in this life. A lie is a lie, no matter how you try to frame it. Those who are slaves to pollitical correctness are slave to a lie. And lies are the trademark of the devil. As Jesus said, "He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44)
Political correctness has become so embedded in our society people have become imune to it. It conveniently covers the truth. George Orwell in his novel, 1984, crafted a term for it: "Doublespeak." But the failure to call things by their true names does not change the reality.
Defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary it is "language used to deceive usually through concealment or misrepresentation of truth; also: language that can be understood in more than one way and that is used to trick or deceive people". In today's politically correct society it a great preoccupation with expressing ideas in a way that supposedly will not offend anyone. But simply put, it is using deception to avoid speaking the truth and deception is not of God, but of the devil.
As a society, we have become so obscessed with this notion of not offending anyone that many are duped into participating in the lie. And herein is where the Christian and the Catholic, if we are indeed following Chirst, must be a sign of contradiction. We must express and live the truth, for to do otherwise is a violation of God's law, as expressed in the eighth commandment: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor," a command that includes lying - something that is an abomination to God:
There are six things that the LORD strongly dislikes, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.—Proverbs 6:16–19
Given the lie of this doublespeak, look where it has gotten us as a society. Terms such as "women's health care," and "fetal tissue," are used to justify the murder of children in the womb, an action abhorant to nature and to God. For how can "fetal tissue," the product of abortions, suddenly become human hearts, livers, brains, even whole cadavers, once they are in a bowl-sized petrie dish? And can an abortion truly be called health care? And what about the charge of war on women? How can the prohibition of the services of abortion mills be called a war on women, when many of the victims of abortion are baby boys. In truth, it is a war on children.
Science and medicine can preserve the life of premature babies as small as a few pounds. Neglect of those children would be a criminal offense. How is it, a six or seven pound baby still in the womb can be burned to death with chemicals or dismembered, and that is not murder? How is it if a pregnant woman is murdered on her way to an abortion clinic, the perpetrator is charged with a double homicide, but once inside the walls of an abortion clinic, the destruction of the baby is not a murder?
"He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44) The lie ends in murder no matter how you view it.
And the lies continue. the ethnic cleansing of Christians from places where Christianity had its oldest communities, by "radical extremists." Until we call them what they are, Islamic Terrorists, and recognize that ISIS is what it says it is, the murders will continue, the lie will be perpetuated in town after town, written in the blood of beheaded, shot, dismembered and crucified martyrs.
In a lesser way, here at home, we call witnesses to the truth guilty of hate speech. Look at those who have lost homes, businesses, jobs and reputations by daring to stand in opposition to judicially imposed redefinition of marriage and adhere to the teaching of their Christian faith and the words of the Bible. In the past few years there have been florists, bakers, military chaplains and enlisted personnel, sports figures in our own nation who have suffered this fate because they believe and live what is written in the Bible. And the Bible itself has been defamed as hate speech.
Are we listening to the truth? As members of Christ's Body, do we also bear witness to the truth? The time is coming when we shall have to decide.
Humanity is under attack. Christianity and Christians are under attack. Whether it be actual executions in the Middle East under ISIS or the persecutions perpetrated by our judicial system against people of faith who refuse to compromise their beliefs, people are sacrificing for The Way, The Truth and The Life. And we, as members of the Body of Christ, must recognize this persecution and support our brothers and sisters.
As members of Christ's Body, we are called to be that sign of contradiction that witnesses against the doublespeak and the political correctness of our times. We must bear witness to the truth.