Friday, August 20, 2010

Too Good To Be True

When I wrote about President Obama during his 2008 campaign, one of the topics I dealt with was how easily some folks were willing to believe the worst about him.

Whether it was the birth certificate issue, his supposed ties to terrorist cells or the lie that he was a Muslim, Socialist, Communist-baby killer, it seems like the falsehoods surrounding the president are so enticing that folks don't want to let them go. The New York Times tackled this subject recently after a Pew study came out with the news that nearly a fifth of those folks surveyed believe Obama is a Muslim, up from 12 percent when he was first elected.

When most of us were kids, we were chastised for lying, and told in no uncertain terms that dishonesty was wrong. In fact, polls have found that the vast majority of parents see "honesty" as one of the most important traits they want their children to possess.

Yet, many, many of us still love a good lie. We especially love a good lie that feeds into our own prejudices. That's why stories about the evil done by groups we don't trust and don't like are so easy to accept. We don't need proof, we don't need sources, believing these lies just "feels right."

The Times story notes that people have been told over and over again by Obama and others what he believes and how long he's believed it. Yet, many of them say his actions speak louder than his words, and that they just "know" he's a Muslim terrorist hellbent on destroying America. They don't care that he spoke about his salvation and how he came to God in a book written well before he ran for president,

But that feeling should be what gives us pause. When information lines up too easily and neatly with all of our pre-conceived notions about life we should make a special effort to vet that information. We shouldn't just swallow it whole and go off feeling smug and self-assured.

Some people use the "truth" about Obama to justify their own action and inaction in the face of the Christian beliefs they claim to hold. They've decided it's ok to "set aside" their religious beliefs because Obama is a threat that must be dealt with harshly. That means they do and say things that run against Christian beliefs, or they stand by silently while others do the dirty work for them.

But, what comfort does a lie really offer? What pain does a reality built on an obvious and detrimental lie bring?

Remember what people say about things that are too good to be true?


1 comment:

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Raving Black Lunatic