It is amazing the effect of words and labeling. The other day, while waiting for an Oil Change, I watched some talking head on a news program make a good point:
“We see the Bush Administration utilize certain words, and the media simply picks up on it without thought as to what those words even mean. Think about the current use of the word ‘Surge’ regarding the influx of troops in Iraq. Normally, when we think of the word ‘Surge” we think of a short burst—like a surge of electricity or a surge of water—which quickly returns to the original state.
“However, what we have in Iraq is an increase in troop size with no apparent reduction in the future. This is not a ‘Surge;’ it should be called what it is—an Escalation.”
In the legal community we have seen the same clever use of words when it comes to the “War” on Drugs. See, in “war” things become acceptable which would normally be questioned. If I had an illegal gun in my house – I can be charged with illegal possession of a weapon. We would think it ludicrous to claim the Government could seize my house, simply because I had a single gun within.
Yet if I was growing one (1) plant of marijuana, because we are in a “war” on drugs, the State has the right to take my entire home!
If I get into a fistfight at a bar, the state can charge me with assault and battery. There are no driving sanctions involved—I wasn’t driving at the time. BUT, if I take a puff of pot in that same bar—I will lose my ability to drive for 30 days. No restricted license available. Why?—because we have a “war” on drugs.
I get the same sinking feeling when it comes to the theistic debate arena. As if, to many Christians, I am “the enemy.” And we all know we treat our enemies very differently than our friends. Because this is a “war”—and in times of war we do things normally considered unacceptable.
Could you imagine inviting me to your house, and discover me snooping around your computer—reading your old e-mails? How rude! Or pawing through your financial records in your cabinets? Yet when it comes to our enemies, this is acceptable behavior. We call it “spying.” In fact, we train and teach men and women to do exactly that—spy on other countries. Because they are the enemy.
When speaking to our friends, we expect the truth. But when speaking to the enemy, we actually promote the exact opposite. It becomes wrong to speak the truth; you lie to your enemies.
Many Christians believe it is not only allowable, but honorable to lie to me. Why? Because I am the enemy. The most stark quote on this can be found here “So, for war purposes (believers and unbelievers are at war), I deceived.”
Another interesting facet of people at war is how we caricature the enemy. Look at these war propaganda posters of the Japanese depicting them raping white women, or with sharpened teeth and evil stares. No matter how much a Sony DVD player goes up in price, such an editorial cartoon would be considered slanderous now. Because we are not at war.
Yet I see the same caricature depicted of non-believers. How many times have we been depicted as immoral, alcoholic, sex-crazed social deviants? Or that we are somehow bent on turning every convenience store into a strip joint and every church into a brothel.
How many times have I been told, “Try reading the Bible” when I know it better than the person telling me? Or we see the phrase, “You believe there are no absolutes.” It is a common tactic used in time of war—paint the enemy as ridiculous at times, or frightening at others.
The reason I bring this up is that I have been following the reviews of the upcoming movie with Ben Stein - Expelled. I haven’t seen the movie, and have no intention of doing so until I can free-of-charge. I will not provide financial support to the producers of this film.
But what I find fascinating is the umbrage taken by non-believers and evolutionists to the many visual comparisons of Stalin and Hitler to scientists holding to evolution. Or the concern over the falsehoods, in obtaining the interviews, in editing the interviews, in the reasons for kicking PZ Myers out, in the scientific claims made, and in the factual claims made.
Why? Don’t you get it? To them, they are in a time of war. This is behavior which is to be commended! If this movie was a complete lie, yet was the impetus for Intelligent Design being incorporated in one (1) public school—the Christians promoting this film would consider it a success! The ends most certainly are justified by the means.
To them, if a lie brings about a moral good—then the lie is no longer morally wrong. If a caricature of anyone holding to evolution being the equivalent of Stalin or Hitler convinces a single person to not investigate evolution on their own—then the caricature was morally good.
Don’t you see those complaints about falsehoods; complaints about inaccuracies; complaints about incorrect depictions will fall off them like water off a duck’s back? They don’t care; such actions are tolerable when the outcome is noble.
What if a person of Japanese decent complained of the posters and cartoons distributed in World War II? They would be equally laughed at and disregarded—the enemy complaining about being treated like the enemy? How amusing! Or a foreign country complaining we “lied” about a person in the Ambassador’s staff not being a spy. One lies to the enemy. It is right, just and fair to do so.
You are fighting with the wrong weapons on the wrong ground. Every complaint of “Lie!” is met with a solidifying of their position. Shoot—if the enemy is complaining of your lying, you must be doing something correct! ‘Cause one lies to one’s enemies.
I do think it important to point out the errors. I think websites, such as I linked, must be created to counter the falsehoods in this film. But I equally find it naïve if you think a single Christian will care—even if we prove it a lie.
I am the enemy. What I say is to be rejected outright.