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February 5, 2020

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With more and more lies, Trump delivers this year's State Of the Union Address.
Image Credit:Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Fact-checking President Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address via the Washington Post. President Trump’s State of the Union speech once again was chock-full of stretched facts and dubious figures. Many of these claims have been fact-checked repeatedly, yet the president persists in using them. At least 31 of the statements made during the address are of dubious truthfulness.

"Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a ruler." 

-Proverbs 17:7; New Revised Standard Version

Mark Twain famously popularized the saying, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” On the day after another falsehood-laden speech by the President, it seems to me that if Twain were writing today, he might have to add a fourth kind of lie: lies, damn lies, statistics, and Trumpisms.

After three years of near-incessant lies from the Oval Office, it’s easy to become numb to news of the President telling yet more lies. In fact, many of the misrepresentations, half-truths, and downright lies he told last night are already familiar to fact-checkers, as he has uttered them before--sometimes hundreds of times! Whether he’s misrepresenting economic numbers, taking credit for achievements that started in the Obama administration, or inventing facts out of thin air, Trump’s penchant for lying is part and parcel of the morality of this administration. Can it be any surprise that a President with such disdain for the truth might be accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress? Are we really taken aback that a Commander in Chief who lies about charges brought against unauthorized immigrants would separate children from their parents? Can we really expect anything better than giving the Presidential Medal of Freedom to as notorious a liar, racist, misogynist, xenophobe, and homophobe as Rush Limbaugh from a chief executive who rose to political prominence by pushing the explicitly racist “birther” conspiracy theory?

As Christians, we are called to follow the one who came to us “full of grace and truth.” We must commit to speaking the truth in love, and to responding to the grace of Jesus Christ by working for justice for all our siblings. 

Don’t let the President’s false statements go unchallenged. Share a fact-check of last night’s speech (like this one from WaPo or this one from NPR) with your social network so that they can see your commitment to the truth.

Eternal God, Incarnate Word, Spirit of Flame and Dove, Enlarge, expand all living souls to comprehend your love 

And help us all to seek your will with wiser powers conferred. O God, grant yet more light and truth to break forth from your Word. Amen.

-From We Limit Not the Truth of God
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