As I have watched the Washington scene continue to deteriorate over the last several weeks there have been cries of a return to patriotism and the principles of our founding fathers echoed by many. I could not agree more even though I believe that is only part of what is needed. To appreciate the views of our founding fathers we have to understand what the crux of our problem is as a nation. It is all wrapped up in a five letter word called TRUTH. Why have we strayed as a nation and why do we continue to struggle? We've lost sight of the truth. So much so that for many now there is no truth that is absolute. We are caught up in a post-modern society that defines truth as something that can't be known. If we can't know what is truth and error then what do we tell our children about good and bad behavior? Why do we obey the laws of the land if no one is capable of knowing the truth? Truth is the glue that holds a society together. When we see the leaders of our country look straight into a camera and lie to the nation it becomes apparent that things like honor, decency and ethics have gone out the window only to be replaced by situational ethics. It should be no surprise to realize that our founding fathers would not only not recognize their country today, they probably wouldn't be welcomed by most in Washington who now occupy the seats of honor they once held.
There was a time in the first century when chaos reigned as political intrigue and deception was the only game in town. From the political thrones to those in the synagogues truth was a rare commodity. It is in this setting in Jerusalem that we find Jesus under arrest, at His first trial before Pilate. The dialog is laid out for us in the Gospel of John chapter 18 and verses 28-38. As Pilate argues first with Jews He then turns to question the Lord. In verse 37 Jesus tells him, "Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Pilate looked at Him and said, "What is truth?"
Things haven't changed much. Many congressmen, senators and those in Executive Branch operate with that same philosophical approach. Texas' latest "Alamo" is the battle over the content of public school textbooks with every persuasion arguing what to include and what to remove. Here's a novel idea that would simplify everything. Why not just tell the truth? Tell the country the truth, tell each other the truth and please tell our children the truth before this generation is completely convinced that there is no truth to be known. When that happens then all of the patriotism in the world can't undo the damage of hiding the truth.
By the way, what is truth to you?