Truth-telling is difficult because the varieties of untruth are so many and so well disguised. Lies are hard to identify when they come in the form of apparently innocuous imprecision, socially acceptable slippage, hyperbole, masquerading as enthusiasm, or well-placed propaganda. These forms of falsehood are so common, and even so normal, in media-saturated, corporately controlled culture that truth often looks pale, understated, alarmist, rude,or indecisive by comparison. Flannery O’Connor’s much-quoted line “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd” has a certain prophetic force in the face of more and more commonly accepted facsimiles of truth – from PR to advertising claims to propaganda masquerading as news.
In the face of those deceptions, the business of telling the truth, and caring for the words we need for that purpose, is more challenging than ever before. Simply the scale of which lies can be and are propagated can be overwhelming.
From “Caring for Words In A Culture of Lies” by Marilyn McEntyre – Eerdmans Publishing