I heard it and didn’t believe it but now it is confirmed that 10 days after Christmas a women returned what had been a live Christmas tree to Costco for a refund because she said, “it is dead”. Evidently Costco refunded her the full price. There was a time when 99.9% of folks in this country would understand that a “live Christmas tree” would only live so long after it had been cut down. The remainder were in an institution somewhere.
There is a fascinating thing going on in this country and it may be about the whole nature of reality. The President is insane because he made a joke about a nuclear button on the desk of a monomaniacal lunatic, while the folks that gave the lunatic’s daddy the money to begin to build the weapons in the first place are considered the paragons of sanity and gravitas. Calling the Iranians to task and threatening to stop a bad nuclear deal are considered the ruminations of a madman, while sending billions of unmarked dollars to the Iranians on pallets in unmarked aircraft is masterful statecraft. Movie stars are called to testify before congress on farm bills because they played a farmer in a movie. A talk show mavin is urged to run for President because she is, well, a mavin.
Just recently we reached a new level of the twilight zone however. A book about the President was released that caused a great deal of furor as to its truthfulness to which one reporter said she believed it was “notionally true”. She said about the author, “So he creates a narrative that is notionally true, that’s conceptually true. The details are often wrong. And I can — I can see several places in the book that are wrong. So details can be wrong but the whole concept can be true? It is possible I suppose but there is a thing we used to believe in called telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Telling a bunch of lies to illustrate what you believe to be one big truth is egregious. Lawyers call that kind of stuff “fruit from a poisoned tree”.
I would love to see what would happen if this reporter was on a deadline and the editor calls and asks where her story is and she says she submitted it last week. Upon further review the editor realizes she is lying and confronts her and she say’s “I wasn’t lying. What I said was notionally true, because I thought about it a lot”. My guess is he would say get the story in now and wait for your notional paycheck this month.
We have talked on this blog about redefining reality. That is really what is going on. If we have to define what the meaning of “is” is, we have lost the language and everything becomes notional. Another example happened the other day when a politician that has been screaming for years that he is for the little guy and corporations are evil called for the boycott of a corporation because, wait for it, they gave their employees thousand dollar bonuses after the tax package was passed. Never mind that this politician begs for donations from those same corporations.
The Bible which is read today basically to look for good quotes, is huge on honesty. The Bible is clear that God will judge every idle word that we speak and that the devil is the one who, according to Martin Franzmann, “casts a grey veil of secularity over mans words and conceals from men the fact that words have on them the accent of accountability, so that men think they can “say things” and ignore the fact of that judgement. (Martin Franzmann, “Follow Me – Discipleship According to Saint Matthew, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1981.
God created the world through His Word and His Word is Jesus and His Word is Truth. It is not a notional truth but a truth that brings Life and a Way. A way out of the darkness of our notional lives and conversations to where our “yes is yes and our no is no”,(Matthew 5:37) because our words reflect the One who created us by His Word