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BY DANIEL WILLIAMS

November 27, 2019


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Lies and deceit, deceit and lies-is Trump ever truthful?
Email Trail On Citizenship Question Is Longer Than Trump Officials Said via NPR. Months after the end of the legal battle over the now-blocked citizenship question, the trail of emails and internal memos about the Trump administration's push to include the question of citizenship on the 2020 census is getting longer. In addition to a lawsuit that the House Oversight and Reform Committee filed Tuesday over redacted documents, two recent surprising turns of events have resurfaced; questions about whether administration officials are holding on to potential evidence of the citizenship question's true origins.
You are not a God who delights in treachery--
evil cannot live with you.
Arrogant people cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who twist the truth;
you destroy those who lie;
and abhor the bloodthirsty and deceitful. (Psalm 5:4-6)
The President lied about the motivation for his proposed census question. Then, when caught, he lied, covered up, and withheld evidence about his original lie. It’s a familiar pattern. The President lies about Ukraine. Then the President lies about his lies about Ukraine. The President lies about the border, then lies about his lies about the border. The President lies. He’s counting on the idea that we will all get so caught up in the confusion, the baffling web of lies that he’s spinning, that we won’t pay attention to the bloodthirsty, deceitful works he’s lying about.

A lot of us are uncomfortable with the tone of anger in passages like this one from the Psalms. The condemnatory words of the Imprecatory Psalms, those Psalms containing words of judgment and calamity directed at those perceived as the enemies of God, are a far cry from the comforting words of Psalm 23 or the words of praise of Psalm 122. It’s easy to ignore these words, to forget they are in our holy scriptures, to glide over them when we talk about the Bible shaping our progressive political values. Yet there they are, and it's a good thing that they are there.

Just as we sometimes need to be reminded that God is a good shepherd who sees to it that our cups overflow, we sometimes need to be reminded that God does not delight in treachery. We need to be reminded that, no matter how normal the people in power want us to believe that lies and deceit and abuse of power are, they are not normal and they are not acceptable and they cannot stand in the presence of God’s truth and justice and righteousness.
The ACLU successfully challenged the citizenship question and has fought for the truth to come out about Trump’s efforts to change the census. Support their work today.
Holy God,
You teach us the ways of justice and you abhor the ways of deceit and evildoing.
Give us the strength to counter evil with good,
Deceit with truth,
And injustice with justice,
So that we might know the delights of your presence.
Amen.
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