Posted on | September 1, 2012 | No Comments
The tongue is a small part of the body, but it’s influence is out of all proportion to its size, like the bit in a horse’s mouth or the rudder which alters the course of a transatlantic liner. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. Leave a smouldering cigarette stub in dry grass after a picnic and the effects can be devastating.
Bits, rudders and sparks are very useful things in themselves. So is the tongue. The world’s problem would not be solved by a universal vow of silence, any more than a horsewoman would prefer to ride without a bit in her horse’s mouth or a ship’s captain steer without a rudder.
Falsehood poisons social relationships, personal relationships, relationship with God, and it even ruins the consistency of a person’s inner relationship with himself . It is the one powerful thing that destroys our relationships.
How does lie destroy social relationship?
Lies perverts the course of justice. It encourages bribes, tricks or favouritism. It breeds crooked judges, double-dealing businessmen, devious politicians and many others who are economical with the truth.
The British people, especially those who travel widely, have always secretly congratulated themselves on their legal system. British judges are never corrupt and British policemen are just wonderful. Or so we thought.
That illusion has been blown sky-high by events almost 15 years ago. Their was a conviction of ten Irish people, most of whom have spend the last decade in jail. With the discovery that evidence had been fabricated and confessions extracted from prisoners by threats, a special police unit has been disbanded and court’s reputation for fair play badly tarnished.
Lies perverts perception and breeds distrust. Those who are wrongfully convicted and jailed have investigative journalist to thank for their release. But the press can equally guilty of dishonesty. Once on a honeymoon, a couple stayed on a hotel where it happened to be the district headquarter of a local mountain rescue service. A student who had a vacation job in the hotel went missing on his day off. The rescue service was mobilized and the press arrived to take photographs. Told that the rescue party were far too busy to pose for pictures, a group of hotel guests was rounded up to face the camera instead. They were quite surprised to find themselves featured as intrepid mountain rescuers in that newspaper the following day.
C.P. Scott, a long time editor of the Guardian, once wrote,
Comment is free: facts are sacred.
A famous and noble sentiment, but most media people today would regard it as totally unrealistic. Comment will always enter into the way news is presented.
Lies perverts character and breeds corruption. An Anglican archbishop, Baron, writer and author of ten books, once said about politics,
We live in a world now where the lie is not just a hasty response to an unwelcome situation, but an instrument of policy.
Statistics are manipulated to support desired policies. At election time, the propaganda machines set out their special selection of facts and the ‘dirty tricks brigade’ gets to work destroying the opposition.
A famous slogan by George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth has these:
WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
it is not so hard to believe on those slogans today. We have made lies our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.
These are just tiny samples of lies destroying the very essence of our social relationships. How many millions more occurrences of these is currently happening around the world at the moment.? It’s happening in our homes, it is happening in our offices, it is happening in our groups, it is happening in our schools, it is happening in our government.
Our society has become a constant battleground of big lies versus bigger lies.