Along the Way: Surviving on Lies

In her acceptance speech of President Biden’s nomination to be the next Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson promised to uphold the rule of law and defend the Constitution. But it was not enough to curb the ire of rightwing politicians. Before serving a single day on the Court, she was vilified as being part of the progressive left’s “agenda to destroy America.” [1] On the day when true American history was made, the false history foisted on us by the imperialists was on full display.

This knee-jerk and bogus denouncement of Mrs. Jackson further exposes the feverish attempts of rightwing politicians to advance their dark-money agendas through caricature and falsehood, and their opposition to teaching history in a way that is truthful. [2] These extremist efforts are driven by their lust for power and their desperate attempts to prevent the exposure of their vileness. The draping of their degradation in faux Christianity and junk science reveals that their goal does not require them to be truthful or ethical.

“Othering” and “less thaning” are acceptable means of maligning people not like them. And in 29 states laws exist, and are being added, which undermine equality and dignity with respect to education, health care, athletics, housing, immigration, women’s rights, and voting rights. [3] Dr. Paul Farmer, renowned physician and anthropologist (who recently died), encapsulated the truth when he said, “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” [4] The radical right’s multi-faceted undermining of the human family is the essence of their sinfulness.
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We are experiencing Orwellian double speak, when rightwing allegations of upholding democracy and strengthening patriotism are actually attempts to undermine both. Their counterfeit claims that views other than theirs are Marxist and Socialist are flat-out wrong and a misuse of both words. Their lies spill over into religion where any who are not in line with Christian Nationalism are declared to be unbiblical, unorthodox, and unChristian. To be “of God” you have to be of them. Under cloaks of deception and hypocrisy , the radical right is using every means at its disposal to create a nation where oligarchy and supremacy defeat equality and the common good.

We like to tell ourselves that the radical right is a minority in this nation. The 2022 elections at all levels of our government will be a means to see whether or not this is so. In our system, the vote is still the voice, and that’s why the right’s attempts to make it harder for non-whites to vote is so telling…and evil. But then, if the only way you can stay in office is through deception, then trying to silence the voice of truth makes perfect sense.

And yet…”truth is marching on” as it always has and always will. Ketanji Brown Jackson is a most recent proof that this is so.

[1] Florida Senator Rick Scott’s “Eleven Point Plan to Rescue America” is the latest in-print illustration of the far-right agenda, and its scorched-earth denouncement of views other than their own. It remains to be seen if his plan will become the “normal” view of the Republican Party, but its existence shows this kind of thinking is alive and well in parts of our nation’s political vision and agenda.

[2] The series “Black History, Freedom, and Love” on Amazon Video features prominent black spokespersons who expose our nation’s sanitized history, and in doing so show why rightwing opposition to Critical Race Theory is “Exhibit A” of its white supremacist essence.

[3] The New Poor Peoples Campaign, led by William Barber II and Liz Theoharis, is a good source for staying informed and for engaging in nonviolent resistance. There are many others too.

[4] Quoted in “The Daily Good” e-letter, 2/26/22.

About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 43 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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