We are living in a time when the line between fact and falsehood, truth and lie is becoming increasingly blurred and confusing, especially when we cease to be intellectually vigilant and morally faithful. Every day, it seems, our integrity is being challenged, our sympathies are becoming numb, our commitment to justice is waning from the onslaught of lies, deceit, and mental manipulation.
Martin Luther King warned us of this tendency to be worn down by the assault of the status quo, the acceptance of the “new normal,” the mental laziness of receiving easy answers to complex social challenges. He said:
“Rarely do we find (people) who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is almost a universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”
Soft-mindedness is “one of the basic causes of race prejudice,” King says. It is perpetuated when people critique the effects and not the causes of injustice, which happens when we confuse the source of an unjust event with the victim’s response to that injustice.
Faith leaders cannot afford to give in to that tendency to believe the fear mongering and fact distorting strategies of people in power. We must remain tough minded, do our homework, gather solid resources and data, and articulate the truth with courage and clarity.
Rev. Gary R. Weaver
Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.
Pueblo Faith Leaders in Action