When did truth die? Was it yesterday, eight years ago, 30 years ago or centuries ago? Is the absence of truth a new thing or has it been going on forever and we just didn’t notice?
Either way, it appears to be dead or at best, on its deathbed.
Truth was born prior to God’s creation of the universe. He knew there had to be a code to live by that was so black and white there could be no debate.
Today we hardly recognize it. And gone too is certainty, confidence and stability.
Over-analysis dominates the day. Even in professional football we try, with the aid of countless slow-motion replays, to dissect a catch and ascertain that it wasn’t a catch. In fact, catches that were once catches are no longer catches, never mind that no one ever actually dropped the ball.
A receiver might juggle the ball for a visually indiscernible amount of time. We then stop the game and its rhythm and come to the conclusion that it wasn’t really a catch, technically.
If we were to go back a decade or three, they’d declare many of the catches in the NFL non-catches. And we’d have to take back Super Bowl trophies from some teams and do a complete rewriting of NFL history, kind of like we’re now rewriting American history.
Yet, I wonder if we can accurately pinpoint when the truth’s demise began. Personally I think it was Nov. 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated.
After all, we are a country of hundreds of millions of people and no one ever discovered the truth about what happened in Dallas that day. Therefore, that day represents a dramatic change in America. Because it was then that we decided we didn’t really need to know the truth. And no one needs to be held accountable.
Years later the truth was put on life support when President Richard Nixon declared that he was not a crook, followed by Bill Clinton declaring that he did not have sexual relations with that woman.
It’s true that Nixon didn’t actually break into any offices. He just approved the break-ins. Meanwhile, Clinton showed us that he was a better side-stepper of issues than Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. And it worked because, even though he was impeached, it was only a slap-on-the-hand kind of impeachment, much like being shot with a Nerf bullet.
Then again, perhaps we do still have some semblance of what truth is. And perhaps it’s not that truth is dead, but that we just don’t care what the truth is.
Years ago a reporter I knew discovered, after months of research and combing of state records, that 70% of the oil sites in his state were in noncompliance with health department regulations and were leaking poisonous chemicals.
He revealed his findings in an extensive, well-written newspaper article and expected readers to be outraged. But there was no reaction. Not one letter to the editor.
So it might not be that truth is dead. It might be that we just don’t see it as being that important. Or maybe we have cast God so far aside that we can’t quite discern it.
Either that or we’re just so naïve that we’ll believe anything.
Kevin Holten is the executive producer of “Special Cowboy Moments” on RFD-TV.