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Laughing at the lies

Our task is to see today’s nonsense for what it is

White House press secretary Jen Psaki Associated Press/Photo by Susan Walsh

Laughing at the lies
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We are living through extraordinary times in which we are required to soak in a steady stream of wild claims presented as though they were true. Consider the stream of nonsense:

“The protests are mostly peaceful.”

“There is no border crisis.”

“The evacuation was an extraordinary success.”

“Men can have babies too.”

It calls to mind Hans Christian Andersen’s well-known story concerning a man of high estate who is full of boasts. Because of his position and his power, people are afraid to point out what each person knows to be the naked falsehood of his claims. They also fear each other’s scorn on the suspicion that their insight is not widely shared. When everyone, especially the respectable people, lauds with admiration something that seems obviously ridiculous, it takes courage to question it. In the tale, it is a child who, not knowing enough to fear this great man and untouched by social pressure, says openly and in the presence of His Majesty, “The emperor has no clothes!”

In 2020, a major news outlet ran footage of a reporter in front of a burning building during the riots in Kenosha, Wis., telling us what we were seeing was “a mostly peaceful protest.”

After Portland and Seattle’s descent into a chaos of random violence that summer at the hands of anarchists dressed all in black, then–presidential candidate Joe Biden told us that “Antifa is an idea, not an organization.”

Our current government assures us “We do not have a crisis at the border,” despite the tens of thousands of migrants we see moving through Mexico, crowding at border crossing points, then fanning out across the country with polite requests to touch base soon with an immigration office somewhere.

We are living through a historic high-water mark for brazen blather.

When asked if these masses of migrants crossing illegally into the United States are being asked for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed the concern as though she were pointing out common knowledge the reporter had forgotten: “They’re not intending to stay here for a lengthy period of time.” What?

In an address to the nation just five days after 13 marines were killed in the Kabul evacuation by a suicide bombing, President Biden described as “an extraordinary success” what a horrified American public could see was a bumbling, chaotic, and globally humiliating scramble during an unnecessarily fumbled exit.

Not women but “birthing people” have babies, because, we are told, “men,” or people who identify as men, can have babies. You must refer to people who are obviously women as “he,” and vice versa, or you will be fined, fired, or (worse still) banned from Twitter.

We are living through a historic high-water mark for brazen blather. Members of the acceptable class present us with their utterly absurd conjured reality and we dare not call it what it is or we shall face the sternest condemnations. But God, the Lord, the Ruler of heaven and earth, our God, laughs—and so can we.

After the flood, a proud people in Shinar attempted to build a city and a tower that would touch the sky. They wanted the Tower of Babel for their glorious command of gods and men. But God “came down” and scattered both them and their sandcastles. In Psalm 2, we see that God “laughs” when the godless of the earth rage and plot against Him and against the Messiah. When “human progress” turns against God’s creational order and His kingdom’s advance, God mocks them before He shatters them like little clay pots.

Our place is neither to worry nor put unrealistic hope in politics. Pray with calm. Vote with calm. Speak calmly with your neighbors. The God who laughs from His unassailable divine sovereignty is good, and He is wise, and we are His. So we need not worry. In the right sense, we can laugh along with Him—we need to laugh much more than we do. Then, with quiet hearts, we labor to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). We have much good work to do.

David C. Innes

David C. Innes is professor of politics in the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program at The King’s College in New York City. He is author of Christ and the Kingdoms of Men: Foundations of Political Life, The Christian Citizen: Faith Engaging Political Life, and Francis Bacon. He is also an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

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