The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


June 24, 2014

Truth can set you free

This is in response to the letter of June 17, titled, “Still Preaching Hate?” I would like to make five points.

First, it is not “hate” to speak the truth. Truth can be spoken hatefully, but is not of itself hate — unless of course you believe there is no truth, but only each one doing what is right in his or her own eyes. Such a view renders the word “truth” meaningless. A doctor is not hateful simply because a diagnosis is not what we want to hear. And we have the freedom not to listen to or follow that doctor’s advice. To label him “hateful” says more about us than the doctor. What is truly hateful is labeling someone a hater because of a difference in views.

Second, if truth is objective and not up to personal opinion, percentages mean nothing. Even if all the world believes a lie, it is still a lie, and eventually will collapse under the weight of truth.

Third, the supposed niceness of a person means nothing in terms of that person’s choices being right or wrong. True justice is blind to such things. No judge worth the office would say to a jury, “I don’t care if the defendant is guilty or innocent — just decide among yourselves if the defendant is ‘nice enough’ to set free.” But after reading about the treatment received by the founder of Chik-Fil-A or the originator of Firefox, among others, I find it hard to take seriously claims of how “nice” the homosexual community is to anyone who dares to disagree with them, even in private.

Fourth, many people must wrestle with self-loathing. Most addictive behaviors involve self-loathing, as do most self-destructive attitudes and lifestyle choices. Because an addict hates himself, is it loving to simply say “go ahead and do whatever you want; your pain justifies your choices, even if they are wrong or self-destructive”? Such a response is not love.

Finally, you are right: the Bible is not the Constitution, nor was it meant to be. The Constitution defines government and its proper limitations and is meant to bring clarity in regard to the workings of that government. It does so, by the way, only as we let it speak, instead of twisting it to find “rights” that were never intended; which may be one reason why our government is in such a mess today.

The Bible reveals the truth regarding God and humanity and brings clarity to moral issues. But you would be hard-pressed to find a time in our nation’s history when an appeal to the Bible concerning issues of the day was dismissed simply because it was the Bible being appealed to.

It was the Bible Washington appealed to in many of his addresses. It was the Bible Lincoln referred to often in his second inaugural address. Even as recently as Martin Luther King, Jr., the Bible was openly used in arguing for needed change in our society.

One need not be Jewish or Christian to appreciate the value of the truth delivered to us by Moses or Jesus or the rest, but when the Bible must be silenced or disqualified as a source of guidance simply because it is the Bible, perhaps it is the type of change being sought that needs to be abandoned, and not the Bible.

In any event, the consequences of our own choices will determine our future, for we ignore truth at our own peril — and the peril of all whom we convince to follow us. In the end, it is the truth that remains, and our convictions will be judged by it, not we who will pass sentence on the truth. The truth can set us free, but only if we listen to it.

David McCarty,

West Milton


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