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.