Sign of the Times: Post-truth
We reported in our TBC Updates that Oxford Dictionaries had selected “post-truth” as its Word of the Year for 2016. Part of the selection criteria is the term’s recognition, use, and acceptance worldwide. It is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief (emphasis added).” The Washington Post further notes that “post-truth” is seen as a general characteristic of our age.
Examples of post-truth abound, but one of recent record is the US Justice Department threatening to take the state of North Carolina to court for declaring that high school students must use restrooms based on their birth records rather than what gender they “feel” like at the time. This running from reason is not new, although it seems to be increasing exponentially. Biblical Christians have had to oppose the subjective promotions of pseudo-sciences such as psychotherapy and evolution for more than a century.
Scripture tells us not to be surprised when such things take place (1 Peter:4:12), and we are all too aware of how much more difficult that makes witnessing. Who then can hold a reasonable discussion with a person when feelings rule the day? Nevertheless, we persevere according to God’s instructions, His grace, and through the prayer of Jesus to His Father for us: Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth (John:17:17-19).
TBC: At the time of this writing, North Carolina’s governor elect has announced that the repeal of HB2 (restricting what restrooms “transgendered” people may use) is certain and will most likely take place before the end of 2016. The reason given is that “full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports, and entertainment events…and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state.” The new governor’s repeal is simply one more submission by a government to post-truth, which is a further escape from reason.
T. A. McMahon