This silhouette cut-out of me from first grade reminds me that some things are actually black and white. When it comes to speaking, the Pope ends his prayer with the words, “Where there is falsehood, let us bring truth.” George Orwell, in his famous essay, “Politics and the English Language” written in 1946, carefully elucidates the way language can be used to obfuscate and confuse.
In the United States, at the moment, the president has taken to calling any reports with which he disagrees, “fake news.” In essence, he is accusing most of the press of lying. Language can also be used to disguise the truth. Torture can be renamed “enhanced interrogation. Lying can be called “spin.” Truth can be reshaped as “my truth, ” as though we somehow can make anything true by stating it.
Real truth is pretty straightforward. It is an accurate description of actual events. The climate is changing. One can argue about the cause of the change, but one cannot say that climate change is a hoax and be truthful. Assault weapons were designed to kill people in wars. Saying that regular citizens need to own them is a lie.
May we have the courage to challenge falsehood when we encounter it. May we have the courage to speak truth to power.