Twisting, Spinning, And Outright Lying
I don’t think it will come as a shock to very many Americans to assert that many of our politicians unfortunately are not the most honest of individuals. According to polling data, about 2% of Americans trust the government to do what is right just about all the time and roughly 19% believe they will take the correct steps most of the time.1 Here is the point, citizens of our nation do not have trust in our governmental authorities. Frankly, how could we trust them considering the barrage of lies and false spins that come out of Washington?
As an example, Biden has claimed that over the last two decades more school-age children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active-duty military combined.2 Is that statement true? Well . . . in a way yes, but in a way no. If you go to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention database, and simply look up the amount of firearm-related deaths for children aged 5-18 from 2001-2020, then you get 42,507.3 The databases for military and police force active duty deaths from the same period totals 25,527 for military and 3,583 for police officers.4 So, obviously Biden is telling the truth, right? On this point, we go back to the part of the post about Washington putting a certain “spin” on matters.
Of the 42,507 “firearm-related” deaths from school-age children, 13,874 of those were suicides.5 1,850 of them were declared to be unintentional deaths.6 An additional 668 of them were labeled to be of undetermined intent. That takes out 16,392 from the total of 42,507 giving us a total of 26,115 school-age deaths and over 29,000 military and police-related deaths. However, if we look at the subject on everyone’s minds lately and ask the question, how many individuals die in school shootings per year, we see a different point. According to the School Shooting Database research project conducted by the Advanced Thinking in Homeland Security Program at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center from Homeland Defense and Security, from the years 2001-2020, there have been 274 victims of K-12 school shootings who have lost their lives.7 Did President Biden bother to actually tell the full statistical data around this entire subject? Absolutely not, rather he spun the data for his intended purposes, and that my friends brings us to a crucial problem.
Truth Isn’t Valued
The very fact that Biden can continue to spin misleading statistics like this and get away with it is ridiculous. And, it shows something about our society, we do not place a high premium on evidence, which should sicken us to our core. As Christians we must seek to honor Christ by living according to a biblical worldview knowing we are in need of His grace. Biblical Christianity places a great value on evidence. We see this multiple times throughout the Old Covenant Scriptures:
“On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.” -Deuteronomy 17:6
“A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established.” -Deuteronomy 19:15
And, coming into the New Covenant, we see this principle continues multiple times being reiterated often in the context of church discipline issues:
“This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” -2 Corinthians 13:1
“Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses.” -1 Timothy 5:19
“But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” -Matthew 18:16
So, a Christian thinking biblically will require their political authorities to demonstrate their claims with evidence instead of simply believing everything they hear. A believer anchored in truth will not be caught up by the drumming of the news cycle being swayed to and fro, but will be anchored in the truth of Scripture and the application of that truth to life. However, our politicians frequently claim they want the trust of the people, but then they turn around and spout off senselessness expecting us to believe it. Frankly friends, too many of us do actually wind up believing what they say even though it is flat-out wrong. That is part of the fruit of America turning away from a robustly Christian worldview.
Instability Breeds Acceptance of Lies
The American populace undoubtedly knows it does not trust governmental authorities, however, if we learned anything from COVID-19 it is that many individuals are willing to simply “trust the experts” regardless of the data. That is because when you replace Scriptural truth with the concept of each man simply doing what is right in his own eyes, then you end up in a theologically and emotionally unstable state. The opening Psalm contrasts the righteous man who is stably and deeply rooted with the wicked who are constantly blown away. Verse 4 states, “The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away (Psalm 1:4).” America can see there are issues right now with the winds of our culture, what its citizens have not figured out is the solution to the problem. Countless, though certainly not all, politicians will continue to tell lies, spin the truth, and much of the country will proceed in believing them. Why? It has nothing to do with the fact that they cannot see there is an issue in the culture, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who thinks America is perfect in every regard and there are no major issues going on whatsoever in our nation. Yet, people often continue to believe the lies, not because they do not understand there are issues, but because they are not solidified in the truth.
That is the point at the end of the day, just like a wicked individual is blown around, so also will a depraved society that in large ways rejects God. The solution to lying politicians is not simply to elect better individuals for office, though that certainly is a step that needs to be taken, and we must do so in great seriousness. However, while we must take that action we also must go even deeper and see the need for hearts to be changed by the power of the Gospel. People need to be solidified and trained in the Scripture so that they seek to honor Christ in all of life. As they take that step, they will place a high value on evidence and not merely believe everything that comes along. Instead of simply not trusting the politicians, they will actually seek to know the truth and hold them accountable. A responsible citizenry will develop. My point, the issue of people believing the lies of propaganda is inherently theological leading to political and societal implications. If we are going to see this issue rectified, we must address the root theological issue which will lead to the fruit being corrected. So, was Biden right in his claim? According to a biblical worldview cohesively evaluating the evidence, absolutely not. That type of analysis my friends is what we need more of in this era. Not simply because it is good for our nation, but because it is glorifying to God and demonstrates a heart seeking to live faithfully for His honor!
7 This statistic is taken by adding the data from the years together found here: https://www.chds.us/ssdb/view-chart/?chartid=9