Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Truth About Lying

Lying is Ugly But Growing

By Richard Greene

• A ... study by the U.S. Army War College reported that Army officers routinely lie. Dishonesty and deception” are widespread, the study showed.

• As opening day for the 2015 Major League baseball season draws near, one of the biggest clouds ever hovers over New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. After defiantly denying in public that he had used banned performance-enhancing substances, baseball’s highest paid player reportedly told federal drug agents and prosecutors behind closed doors that he had indeed used steroids. Rodriguez received immunity from prosecution in exchange for confessing. His admission rang familiar to when Mark McGwire came clean five years ago. McGwire had previously misled Congress about his steroid use, but in the end, he acknowledged he had used the drugs, even as he eclipsed baseball’s single season home run record in 1998 while playing with the St. Louis Cardinals.

• Without question, one of the biggest perpetrators of falsehood has been former professional cycling icon Lance Armstrong. Viewed as larger than life, he inspired the nation by overcoming cancer that developed after the second of his eventual seven Tour de France championships. But his career was constantly engulfed in controversy, as doping accusations swirled around him. Like Rodriguez and McGwire, Armstrong fiercely defended his innocence, only to crash and burn when he finally divulged that he had been telling “one big lie that I repeated a lot of times.” Steroids stripped him of all seven Tour titles, and Armstrong was banned from cycling.

• The financial world was rocked in December 2008 when Bernard Madoff ’s Ponzi scheme—the biggest in history—collapsed, victimizing thousands worldwide. One author later portrayed the imprisoned stockbroker as the “wizard of lies.”...

While it’s easy to identify the lies of public figures—and collectively point fingers—could the lying tendencies of our cultural icons and political leaders really just be a reflection of us? The book The Day America Told the Truth would certainly indicate that. According to the book: 91 percent of Americans admitted they lie regularly; 86 percent admitted lying to their parents; 75 percent admitted lying to their friends; and 69 percent of Americans admitted they lie to their spouse.

A 2002 University of Massachusetts study found that 60 percent of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation and told an average of two to three lies. And, according to a 2004 Reader’s Digest poll, 93 percent of Americans reported being dishonest at work or school, and 96 percent reported lying to close family or friends.

What can one conclude? Christian ethicists, commentators and counselors told Decision that America is suffering from an epidemic of lying. Janet Parshall, who has been broadcasting from the nation’s capital for more than 20 years, believes America has morally acquiesced and allowed the tsunami of postmodernism to overpower its society and worldview.

“One of the marks of the postmodern era is that we no longer believe in a transcendent, moral code of absolutes of what’s right and what’s wrong,” said Parshall, whose latest book is Buyer Beware; Finding Truth in the Marketplace of Ideas. “When we fall out of love with the truth, we don’t care about it any more.”

The result, Parshall said, is a plunge toward moral relativism that’s characterized by the practice of situation ethics. “Any means whatsoever is justifiable as long as I get to my desired end,” she explained. “So, if my goal is X, and I have to kind of walk around the truth and twist it and bend it a little, that’s OK as long as it gets me to the goal that I want. We’re doing what’s right in our own eyes, unfortunately.” ...

And lying leaves victims in its destructive wake. “Many Americans are living under the illusion that lying causes no victims,” said Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “When, in fact, lying has victims, starting with the conscience and the integrity of the liar himself or herself. We must realize what lying does to one’s own soul.”

Deep inside the darkened soul, myriad rationalizations for lying are found. The need to look better than we are, and thereby to impress and feel accepted by others. The need to get a promotion or better job, therefore manipulating the truth in order to succeed. The need for self-protection to escape punishment and guilt. The list is endless. ...

  “Lying originated with Satan, who Jesus called ‘the father of lies’ in John 8:44,” Hunt said.

Parshall added: “Ever since we walked out of the Garden of Eden, culture at large has been permeated by an acceptance of lying. What makes the 21st century different is that with the advent of a 24/7 news cycle and being so globally interconnected, lies are more often repeated and more easily exposed than they’ve ever been before.”

So, what’s the hope then? The cross and the Gospel, the four leaders agreed.

“We must be honest about our sin,” Johnson said. “We must not cover our sin but own up to it, confess it and repent from it. We must believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That’s the truth, and there’s forgiveness and freedom in that.” ...

So when Parshall sits before the microphone, before she hits the “on” button, she always prays Psalms 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer." Read full Decision post HERE
For more see my book Lying the Case Against Deception HERE on Amazon 
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Read the book that proves lying is moral wrong

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