[Note: In no way is this post intended to defend or endorse any political figure nor is it written in support of either the Republican or Democratic Party. May this be an equal-opportunity blog of offense.]
Without doubt, this is a catchy way to start a presidential term that is sure to be filled with divisive arguments that only make the liberal more liberal and the conservative more conservative.
What else will the next 3 years and 11 months bring us?
Truth D – The 2017 Presidential Inauguration produced a laughingly, underwhelming number of attendees – especially when contrasted with the record-size crowds of the 2009 Inauguration.
Truth R – The liberal media skewed the actual attendance of the 2017 Inauguration by only showing pictures of the crowd at a low point. Actual attendance numbers for the event are huuuuge.
These, America, are your alternative facts.
Cue the media firestorm and social media warfare.
You might respond to this episode with disgust, fury and ridicule.
You might respond to it with defensiveness, frustration, and pride.
Left or right, liberal or conservative, black or white, male or female, America…
You get what you deserve.
The outrage, the disbelief, the excitement over Alternative Facts betrays our hypocrisy.
America, after all, has prided itself on being enlightened enough to recognize the need for Alternative Facts when it comes to religion.
Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism.
Now, we all know these are different, it is argued, but deep down, they’re just different ways of getting to the same finish line. All of these are worthy systems of belief, it is contended, that mean the same thing. As long as you genuinely believe it to be true and you do not tell anyone they are wrong, it is proclaimed, you can believe whatever you want.
These are just Alternative Facts.
But ask just one question to these groups, and you will be confronted by a reality that should produce the same firestorm and fury as our President’s take on the attendance of his inauguration.
Who is Jesus?
Christians believe Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Son of God, who as fully God and fully man, lived a perfect life, died on the cross for the sake of our sins, physically raised from the dead three days later, and sits in Heaven now waiting to return to establish His eternal kingdom.
Jews believe the promised Messiah, the Son of God, has not arrived yet. God has not fulfilled his promised to Abraham and David, but he will one day.
Muslims believe Jesus was a good prophet in a long line of good prophets. He is not God as there is only one God.
Buddhists believe Jesus was a good man who reached complete enlightenment and achieved non-existence.
Hindus believe Jesus to be one god among 300 million.
Atheists believe none of this. At best Jesus is a good man with some helpful thoughts on peace and love. At worst he is a con-artist who has engendered worthless wars and hindered the advancement of humanity.
This is only in answer to one question. We do not need to move to the next one.
But in the spirit of tolerance and unity, we champion the idea that these systems say the same thing!
We do not just believe these to all to be different sides to the same greater truth. We vehemently oppose anyone who would claim an exclusive interpretation of truth.
Forget that Christians say Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and Jews say He’s an imposter.
Forget that Muslims defend monotheism while Hindus embrace millions of gods.
Forget that Buddhists strive for non-existence in Nirvana and Christians place their ultimate hope in physical resurrection.
Forget that these systems express mutually exclusive claims.
We have Alternative Facts.
This week, the president of our country uses a parallel thought-process to give some political spin on his big day, and our tolerant, unity-loving, post-modern society loses its collective mind.
Those who are angry and disgusted that our leader would stoop so low as to present a falsehood as a truth need only look in their societal mirror. We do this everyday, and we label those who reject it as closed-minded bigots.
You are right to be angry. Truth is truth. Falsehoods are falsehoods. They cannot coexist.
Those who are defensive and proud of the president ought to observe caution. If you claim to be a Christian, you cannot endorse or defend Alternative Facts. Your first allegiance is not to an oval office but to a King who claimed to be The Fact (John 14:6).
Truth is truth. Falsehoods are falsehoods. They cannot coexist.
Left or right. It is time to stop the charade.
We get what we deserve.
This week has sown alternative facts for America because alternative facts are what our America has long reaped.