Truth: How we handle it reveals our national character

truth

We’re losing it, America. We’re losing our country, our pride, our sense of fairness and rightness, our justice and freedom, our uniqueness—our everything. What happened? How are we losing our way after only three and a half generations as a nation? One word: truth. We’ve mangled, devalued, redefined and diluted it.

We’ve warped our perception of truth. We treat it à la carte: selecting what we like, rejecting what we don’t. We replace it with “my truth,” which is rooted in desire rather than reality. Instead of discerning genuine truth with our heads, we embrace desirable falsehoods with our hearts. When we do this consistently, we lose the ability to think critically. We base our beliefs on our fickle feelings rather than on immutable truth.

When we ignore truth’s essential nature—its objectivity—we lose the ability to weigh opinions and assertions against it. Without truth’s constancy, we lose a fixed reference point. We’re like mariners navigating without the North Star.

This failure leaves us open to accepting others’ truths and well-intentioned falsehoods—even when their truths are diametrically opposed to reality.

True believers

It’s not that others mean to mislead us. Most don’t do so consciously or nefariously. Almost all are true believers. They swapped truth for their truths long ago. Most are professors, politicians and pundits who’ve had a lot of practice in front of podiums and cameras.

What makes them effective in eroding our trust in truth is their passion. They believe what they believe more than we believe what we believe. It’s a power play. College professors tell students what is true; they don’t teach them to think for themselves. Defending viewpoints through debate is no longer part of the curriculum.

Professors are so sure of their beliefs and so unwilling to allow spirited dissent and sealed so tightly in their echo chambers that they propagandize rather than prepare students for the real world. Same goes for celebrities, senators and talking heads.

Is it any wonder that our social media interactions are drenched in talking points and accepted opinions? Facebook and Twitter are not platforms for respectful discourse or persuasion. Without honest debate and respect for differing viewpoints, many resort to name-calling and shutdown words like troll and hater and racist and bigot.

Dark days and a sure hope

When great nations and empires fall, they erode and crumble from within. How a people handles truth reflects their national character and determines their future.

As Americans, how have we treated truth? By justifying abortion on demand and for convenience as a woman’s “choice?” By discarding basic biology and science by pretending one’s feelings about one’s gender is a matter of choice rather than design? Do we continue trampling truth by rewriting history for political purposes and ignoring context and common sense?

It’s not too late to right our national ship. To do so, we must change course from a heading that’s bearing us toward the shoals of subjectivity to the surety and safety of time-honored truth. As in all things, Jesus is the answer: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Jesus invites us to embrace truth and, with it, freedom. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

God is the source of all truth. Rejecting what he says is true and replacing it with subjective, desire-driven falsehoods is a form of rebellion. Accepting the true and the beautiful reality of God leads to joy and peace. When we know there is a firm foundation of truth and goodness and joy, we can rest in it—and in a God who, in truth, loves his children with a perfect and eternal love.

Transgender rights: One side’s sense of fairness hurts, not helps women

fairness

What do you feel when you look at this photo? I feel pity. Pity for the girl who’s being manhandled by a bigger, stronger girl who wants to be a boy. Pity for the girl who’s dissatisfied with how she’s made and is trying to remake herself. But mostly I pity the girl who, for the sake of fairness, is unfairly overmatched. If I saw this happening in person, my instinct would be to step in and stop it.

Why is it happening? It’s happening because the party in power and a minority of Americans embrace an ideology that elevates “fairness” to the level of virtue.

Look again at the photo. Does it look fair to you? It’s certainly not fair to female athletes whose dreams—and in some cases, bones—are being shattered for the sake of a misguided sense of fairness.

Let’s grapple with some biological realities. Male hormone therapy produces stronger bones and muscles. It also provides significant advantages in testosterone, which powers aggression. Testosterone produces physical advantages—just as performance enhancing drugs do. Look at the photo once more. Notice the size and strength disparity in the arms, shoulders and overall musculature.

Our cells are coded with gender-specific chromosomes—no amount of hormone therapy can change the code. All that changes is physical appearance and levels of strength and aggression. In short, hormone therapy produces masculine women and feminine men and, in women’s sports, unfair advantages.

In light of these scientific truths, is it fair to pit chemically- and physically-altered girls against other girls? If I saw my daughter in a mismatch like this, those sanctioning the mismatch would find themselves facing 185 pounds of fatherly fury.

Fair play

To be fair, what if we created a separate competition for transgender athletes? We separate boys and girls in virtually every sport and have done so, commonsensically, for centuries. Why not give transgender athletes their own competitions and every fair opportunity to excel in their sports? Sociologists assign them their own gender categories beyond male and female—why not do the same for competition?

An obvious question arises: What if there aren’t enough transgender athletes to provide robust competition? This scenario is likely because biological transgenderism is exceedingly rare, but in the name of true fairness, isn’t it worth exploring? After all, sports dreams are at stake. So are bones. So is equality for women, ironically.

To our president: Please stop pushing your party’s version of fairness on us. You may elevate it beyond virtue and into dogma, but you cannot force those who disagree with you to accept its dangerous detriment to their daughters and sisters. Same goes for locker rooms and restrooms. You’re not helping women move forward; you’re hurting them and setting them back.

To those who are trying to be something they’re not: God says you’re fearfully and wonderfully made. He created you in his heart before he created the world and everything in it. If you were born to be a woman or man, it’s because that’s how he made you. He loves you deeply—as you are—so much so that he died for you.

Our national unity is only possible by loving God, so we can love one another

unity

In his inaugural address, President Joe Biden spoke of national unity and used words from St. Augustine. Augustine wrote that we can discern the character of a nation’s people by their shared loves, Biden spoke of rallying around those loves.

St. Augustine: “it will be a superior people in proportion as it is bound together by higher interests, inferior in proportion as it is bound together by lower.”

Augustine describes the consequences of a people who are unified by their love for the wrong things and their failure to direct their love toward God. He tells of Romans, Athenians, Egyptians and Assyrians—all once great nations that fell because of common loves of vice, selfishness, strife and disunity.

Augustine encourages us to be a people of shared higher loves, the highest being our love for God. He warns us of the fates of republics whose people loved poorly—and beneath themselves—as bearers of their Creator’s image.

By using St. Augustine’s words, but missing their meaning, the president lost an opportunity to encourage us to be a better people. When read and applied contextually, the passage challenges us to soften our bitter hearts toward each other by loving the lover of our souls.

Unity means nothing when we unite behind just anything. It means everything when we come together powered by the greatest loves—our love for God and for one another.