I was doing some reading last night along the themes of environmentalism when I came across this piece, written by a Christian, about the number 350. That's the parts per million of CO2 in our atmosphere that the scientific community has general consensus on as most hospitable to climate stability. We're presently at 387 and rising, and according to the article we're rising faster now than ever before.
The article links with a fundamentalist response to environmentalism which calls into question the basic facts of science, building the case that to reduce carbon output would exacerbate poverty issues in developing countries. The only way such a case can be made is by alternatively calling upon, and dismissing science, depending on whether particular findings fit their desired conclusions. This is bad science, bad theology, bad living.
And it's everywhere. This morning's Seattle Times offers two book reviews that highlight the degree to which our culture is saturated with misinformation. First, Scott McClellan, former press Secretary for President Bush, spells out the deception, half-truths, and misinformation that was delivered to America leading up to the Iraq war. Then, in the sports section, Steve Kelly's article reviews a book about the death of Pat Tilman, and NFL star who left footbal to fight against the Taliban. His death, the result of 'friendly fire' from his own unit, was misrepresented to Pat's family, portrayed as a hero's blazing exit in the midst of intense combat with the enemy. This lie heaped even more grief and loss on a situation already mired in grief and loss.
I'm just wondering this morning...how hard is it to tell the truth? Jesus says that it's the truth that sets people free, and it seems that the high road, the way of integrity, is the way of seeking to know what is true, what is right, what is real, and pursuing it with vigor.
Of course, truth exposes. The word truth, by itself, sounds appealing. But truth never stands by itself. There's always a dose of something else, or several somethings, that must be swallowed with truth: confession, shame, humility, courage, confrontation, forgiveness, and pain. But these elements, like good medicine, lead us into spacious places where progress, transformation, liberation, healing, reconciliation, release, celebration, and justice can occur.
And yet, we lie instead. Why is this? Do we really prefer the blue pill? Would we rather simply not know, and continue living in fabricated realities, sitting in front of the TV, oogling over who the next American Idol will be? What about speaking the truth? Are we willing to have the hard conversation...with child, spouse, friend? What makes 'the hard conversation' something to be avoided?
I hope that we who follow Christ can be, before we're anything else, people willing to walk into whatever territory truth takes us. This will no doubt mean sitting at times with people and confessing, confronting, reconciling, forgiving, and hammering things out until, together, we move a step closer - in our marriages, friendships, and churches, to making the invisible God visible.
I'd like the truth please...