Late last evening, it was announced that Sarah Palin had been cleared of all wrong doing in the not so scandalous "Troopergate." I have heard nothing in the media about it today… shocking. Though, I'm sure the report's was just coincidentally released at night before election day.
One of the reasons I'm glad the campaign is coming to an end is because the dishonesty that a campaign brings with it, will likely subside for a while. In America, our thirst to win brings out our worst white-collar sinfulness…the kind that makes us willing to do whatever to win the balance of power. The slime factor in campaigns is huge.
Every study available shows that public trust in the formerly trustworthy voices of society–news, politicians, judges, and yes, churches, is on the decline. For me, it's getting harder and harder to believe that what I watch, read, or hear from allegedly trustworthy sources is coming out clean–that is…it isn't being skewed to manipulate my perspectives, but coming out as purely as it can for the purposes of…INFORMING. I'm not talking only of bias here…but also plain untruth used to advance the agenda of the communicator(s).
If you haven't read David Callahan's hair-raising study, "The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead," a text packed with alarming anecdotes: High schools where 80 percent of the students cheat academically, unrepentant stock-market analysts who enjoy bank accounts fattened by the dot-com bubble, Sears auto mechanics bullied by commission systems into padding estimates, and lawyers who bill 50-hour days.
If Callahan is correct — and some, but not all, of the stats he quotes suggest that he is — today's most competitive high schools are training grounds for plagiarists and scam-meisters of every variety. These get funneled into top colleges, which in turn feed junior employees into the law, the media and the financial industry, among other society-shaping professions, where the fudging and finagling continue unabated. So it's no wonder that we seem to have Jayson Blairs and Andrew Fastows (the former CFO of Enron) everywhere we turn.
My prayer is that whoever is elected today will be honest. I pray that he will do our country the service of speaking truthfully to us. And, I pray that the church would take advantage of it's opportunity to be salt and light in this area. We must avoid the temptation to be less than forthright and honest in our dealings with culture as we seek to advance a kingdom agenda.
The church represents the Truthful One, and we can't let our emotions and fears lead us into the trap of becoming another place where dishonesty, spin, and "the end justifies the means" trumps godliness and forthrightness.
I'm praying for an honesty revolution. We need it…even if the truth hurts.