Oxford Dictionaries has selected the 2016 Word of the Year: post-truth.
Definition:Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief:
‘in this era of post-truth politics, it’s easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire’
That pretty well sums it up this year, doesn’t it? I remember when post-modern was newly applied to Christianity and all the hoopla it generated in seminary academic circles. I was too preoccupied with babies, preaching, and my work as a hospital chaplain to get caught up in academe.
This, however, is scary. The word of the year might be post-truth, but I know this: facts are real, evidence does exist, and civilized people can find common ground. I’m also reminded me of a passage from George Orwell’s 1984:
“The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.”
It’s time to be vigilant and seek truth .
The Psalms can also bring us comfort in times like this. I’ll take whatever I can get this penultimate day of 2016! The Psalter for today is Psalm 146.
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.