The Case of Whole Truth v. Holy Truth

14 06 2009

. . .and both are man-made fictions, two short stories about truth not sufficient even taken together to tell Real Truth in holistic human splendour.

Whole Truth is the left-brained truth of law and justice, for constitutional courtroom and secular classroom, you know, “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” complete with all sorts of evidentiary exclusions and self-serving objections and storytelling to spin the facts, the search for “whole truth” cynically set up as adversarial, might makes right.

Holy Truth is the right-brained truth of spirit and soul, for family kitchen and communion table, you know, complete with burning fire and brimstone, original sin, prophecies and prayer and punishments, commandments and damnation, belief lacking all evidence as proof for the biggest stories of all.

Seldom the twain shall meet, as any kind of truth at all.


This is back on the front burner, tempest in a tea party pot, small-scale yet honest-to-god religious war over secular education in the news again. Uncivil civil war. Reading through last year’s competing kinds of truth about this case, it’s pretty clear there will be no meeting of minds, no meeting of truths — and certainly no real tea party manners. Nance has confidence that eventually the legal, secular “whole truth” will out. What about you?

We don’t even have ways to think and talk about real truth anymore, except to fight to the death and enlist our own kids at impressionable ages, to keep the medieval grudges going. So I guess we should consider ourselves lucky every day it doesn’t get somebody shot.

Last week it was business as usual, as Republican leaders nattered ad infinitum over the juvenile rivalry of Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich at the party’s big Washington fund-raiser. Few if any mentioned, let alone questioned, the ominous script delivered by the actor Jon Voight with the G.O.P. imprimatur at that same event.

Voight’s devout wish was to “bring an end to this false prophet Obama.”

This kind of rhetoric, with its pseudo-Scriptural call to action, is toxic. It is getting louder each day of the Obama presidency. No one, not even Fox News viewers, can say they weren’t warned.



8 responses

14 06 2009

OTOH, I don’t mean to sound hopeless about holistic human truth.
Did you mark June 12 as Loving Day? Good cause for hope that supposed “truths” of both man’s law and god’s law can be overcome by power of story even both together cannot long deny:

Hard as it may be to believe now, interracial marriage — miscegenation is the pejorative — was once a severely odious concept. In 1912, Congressman Seaborn Roddenbery of Georgia tried to introduce an amendment to the Constitution banning such unions. To his colleagues in Congress he lectured:

“It is contrary and averse to every sentiment of pure American spirit. It is contrary and averse to the very principles of a pure Saxon government. It is subversive of social peace. … No more voracious parasite ever sucked at the heart of pure society and moral status than the one which welcomes or recognizes everywhere the sacred ties of wedlock between Africa and America.”

. . .The Lovings spent time in jail for the high crime of being married to each other and were forced to move from Virginia. Then, on June 12 of 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Lovings’ criminal convictions and struck down all laws against interracial marriage.

Now there’s something like 4.3 million mixed-marriage couples in the United States. And the son of one such union is our president.

It’s easy to get discouraged — if not downright fearful — when the race baiters dial their spew up to “11,” and their reactionary puppets respond with violence. But take a moment on this June 12th to look at where our nation once was and where we are now, and take solace in knowing that we are headed in a better direction.

15 06 2009
Mrs. C

I have been thinking on this sort of subject for a while, and I think there are some major problems with the rationale of “Truth” being located in a particular church. You’re going to have problems and sin wherever you go. The Holy Spirit isn’t some magical Santa-cure for problems in the human condition. Sure, the Bible talks of not sinning any more. I would read that to mean “as a lifestyle” or “intentionally” as of course, there is only one perfect one, Jesus.

There are a couple different points I’d like to make, though. One is that Truth is Truth whether we recognize it or not. And that there can be only one Truth. It can’t be, well, the grass is green for you but not for me. Maybe I’m colourblind and experience grass differently than you do, but the Truth will always be that that grass is green. I am open to the possibility that here we are arguing over the grass being blue or yellow or purple, when really it’s green and we’ve missed it altogether. :] You never know.

There’s also the problem of the “culture.” Hey, lots of people made money marketing slaves… and wouldn’t you know, they give to their local church. So “culturally,” the church, particularly in the South, advocated for slavery. It isn’t like that everywhere, and doesn’t mean Jesus is kewl with it. Guarantee you there are fights within every church for Truth and what it means. I am heartened by stories of people like the Jesuits who were willing to go against “their own” for Truth.

But the institutional church, we can agree, is corrupt. YET, at the same time, it is that institutional church that can (if it so chooses) do great good. Supposing the “church” had great power over the cross-burner guy. Supposing the “church” did something about the lady who locked my child in a closet… I mean, she wore a cross and might actually be a “Christian.”

Well, I can’t doubt her Christianity if it’s between her and God. I can still say her actions were wrong and she was not living out Truth as it should have been.

I am hearing reports about lying and other things we’ve always taken for granted about Muslims as being a part of the “culture” as well. That the lying is taking place is undisputed… just hearing that this is not part of Islam or what Muhammad would teach his disciples (hopefully the right word).


“Islam emphasizes honesty and forthrightness, just as does Christianity. But some people follow a “cafeteria” Islam, just as some people follow a “cafeteria” Chistianity. Sometimes Muslims go to the mosque, yet cheat people in business during the week. (And some “Christians”do the same!) Sometimes Muslims put more emphasis on PRACTICE (saying prayers five times daily), yet don’t follow through in their daily actions.

“Islam does NOT say it is OK to lie; but SOME Muslims have the idea that saying your prayers washes out all your sins (kind of like “confession” in Catholicism). We had a maid who used to pilfer constantly, yet she was always praying! My fifteen-year-old Muslim daughter pointed out to me, “Mom, if she wants it, she takes it. That’s all. She just thinks that if she prays, it takes away all her sins!””

PS. Yep, I’m the “American friend” mentioned. I had seen so much lying and cheating from her maid that I had to ask about this problem and whether it were connected to the Koran or the culture, or both?

16 06 2009
Nance Confer

Sounds about right to me.

I’m poor and believe in magical forgiveness.

You are rich.

I steal your stuff and get the OK from on high next time I am at the magical building.

Not an idea limited to any particular religion.


16 06 2009

Is this how you guys feel when I write something impenetrable? I can’t understand anything about that last exchange?! 😉

So Mrs C, is there One Truth then — as you first say — or competing truths between churches and cultures and classes, as you go on to say? Both, neither, it depends?

16 06 2009
Mrs. C

Oh, I believe there is one Truth. I also believe that as a human being, I’m not always seeing it clearly. Of course, I believe the Bible is that Truth and that other truths are not as relevant, because they’re not true! LOL.

But Nance is right. Sin nature or deception or lying, etc. (whatever your worldview calls it) is not limited to any one religion, and we can say all kinds of things to justify it. We can use Jesus or Buddha to act very unlike Jesus or Buddha, twist a verse here or there, or misapply it… Which I think confuses the Truth to people outside it.

Are ya confused enough yet? :]

14 10 2009

Mark of the Beast or Holy Protection? And Never Mind the Children’s Screams

(Upsetting full-color art of “parent rights” at the link)

31 12 2009
Sunday School Science Teacher Costing Schools Credibility and Cool Half-Million « Cocking A Snook!

[…] religion belongs in his church and if he wants to get paid for teaching holy truth to kids who want to learn it, that’s fine too. Let his church put him on the payroll, not the […]

13 01 2011
Fresh News on “Christian Science” Teacher John Freshwater « Cocking A Snook!

[…] The case of whole truth v. holy truth […]

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