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By Doug Tjaden
November 19
, 2013

"The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy the gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people; then shall we both deserve and enjoy it. While, on the other hand, if we are universally vicious and debauched in our manners, though the form of our Constitution carries the face of the most exalted freedom, we shall in reality be the most abject slaves." -Samuel Adams

The digital ink is flowing over the now obvious, blatant, and repeated (30 times by the latest count) lie that President Obama told about his healthcare plan. This time, the mainstream and the alternative media too, have missed the real point. It isn’t that our President is a liar. It isn’t that the vast majority of those in Congress are liars. It isn’t that lying is relegated to politics.

No. We have become a nation of liars.

Let’s consider some of the lies that are told every day by people like you and me. Maybe even by you and me…

“I’m fine.”
“I’m not addicted.”
“This will just take a minute.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“With all due respect…”
“I’m not trying to tell you what to do, but…”
“Trust me.”
“I didn’t mean that.”

It is difficult to pinpoint when we tipped over into becoming a nation of pathological liars. Such things usually happen in a slow fade, over many decades.

We used to categorize lies into “little white lies”, “big whopper lies”, and “half-truths”. I say we “used to”, because now we’ve replaced those terms with words such as “misspoke”, “misled”, and my all time favorite, “untruth”. Really? Untruth?

Have we become so afraid of telling the truth, that we cannot even tell the truth that someone LIED?

Yes. We have. And it is a major problem that is tearing this nation apart.

Trust Now Equals Risk

George Orwell once said, "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." Deep down inside, Americans know they live in a culture of universal deceit. They know that, absent a well-established and verified trustworthy relationship, they are taking a risk if they trust anyone.

Anyone. That includes friends, family, co-workers, religious leaders, and yes – politicians.

The number people any of us have grown to fully trust is very small. Thus, whether or not we realize it, when we deal with others, we suspect that they might be lying. We may not consciously think it, but a lack of trust is is always lurking. We stand on guard, ready to validate our suspicions and say, “Yep. I knew it. He/She lied.” And worse yet, we easily add, “I’m not surprised.”

How many of us were really surprised to find the NSA lied about spying on the world? How many of us are surprised to hear of marital infidelity in church leadership? I mean really surprised? How about hearing of someone reneging on a contract? Happens all the time these days.

We now expect to be lied to. We have grown to anticipate it, because there is often little consequence born by the liar. Our secular culture sees those who are upset when lied to as gullible and old fashioned. Why would they even think that one should expect virtue, honor, and truth from their fellow man?

I Count Myself Among Them (Liars)

Lest one think I’m self-righteously casting stones, I recently had an up close and personal experience that confirms my suspicions about how deeply rooted lying is in our culture.

Two weeks ago I was in Richmond, Virginia with my oldest daughter. We took a tour of the Confederate White House with about a dozen other people. We were told that no photography or video recordings were allowed. No problem.

A few minutes into the tour, I could tell that our guide was good. Really good. He was an African American man in his 40’s, who had a personal reason for looking into why the south chose to leave the union. He did not shy away from what he learned; that there was a multitude of reasons other than slavery for why the south seceded. I decided to audio record him on my iPhone. No harm I thought.

About half way through the tour, he abruptly stopped what he was saying to the group. He saw something on my phone that made him think that I might be recording him. He looked at me quite intensely and asked, “Are you recording this?” He caught me off guard. I didn’t want to create a stir, nor did I want to get kicked out and miss the rest of his excellent narrative.

So, I lied.

I told him “No.” Immediately, I thought "Where did that come from?" It was the first blatant lie I've told in a very long time. But my lie didn’t simply validate the ease with which we lie today. It didn't just remind me that I've got to guard my heart at all times, especially with strangers in unfamiliar surroundings. It was what happened after the tour that really got my attention.

I waited until everyone had left and I pulled the guide aside. I took out my phone, opened the recorder app and held it up to him. I said, “I’m sorry. I lied to you about recording you. I’m deleting it now.” I proceeded to show him as I hit the “delete” button. I didn’t expect what happened next.

The guide got tears in his eyes as he looked at me. “Brother, you’ve made my month. You just don’t see that anymore.” We spoke for another minute or so, and as I went to leave, this complete stranger reached for me and gave me a hug.

For simply confessing a lie.

I can only speculate that this man has been lied to many times in his life. Maybe it has been by strangers, like me. Or maybe by friends, or family. The only thing I know for certain is that he too sees the culture of lies that we live in. When someone confessing to a lie is met with tears of disbelief, it shows beyond any doubt that we do indeed live in an era of universal deceit. To this man, telling him the truth - that I lied - was a revolutionary act.

On The Brink of Revolution?

I have no idea if Obama’s lies about Obamacare will finally push our nation's problem with lying into the moral conscience of the American people. Will it finally expose the fact that, because of our lack of virtue, we are in reality the most abject of slaves? Will it increase our desire to live by, and hold others, to a higher standard?

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I would like to hope so.

But it will only happen if we are willing to talk about our problem, and admit that more than likely, to some degree, at least sometimes, in really rare and special circumstances, we too could possibly be guilty of misspeaking or kinda telling some people untruths.

Or maybe we can just begin by confessing when we lie. Maybe then, one-by-one, tears of disbelief will be replaced by a hopeful expectation that we, and our fellow Americans, can learn to once again live by the values of virtue, honor, and truth - and thus become a free nation once again.

© 2013 Doug Tjaden - All Rights Reserved

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Doug Tjaden is founder and Executive Director of the Christian Liberty Project. He is the author of “Fool’s Gold - How The Traditions of Men Have Replaced God’s Honest Money”, and is a regular speaker for the Tenth Amendment Center’s Nullify Now! tour. Doug also co-hosts the second hour of The Gun Show, with Matt Canovi, on KSGF, in Springfield, Missouri.

Doug spends his time and energy fighting to re-establish honest money through state led initiatives, and to awaken and engage the Christian community to fight for our spiritual, civil, and economic liberty. He regularly blogs at

WebSite: Christian Liberty Project









It is difficult to pinpoint when we tipped over into becoming a nation of pathological liars. Such things usually happen in a slow fade, over many decades.