fake news

Psalm 27:12 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they are breathing out violence.

One of the reasons I have avoided writing – privately and publicly – for so long is that I have been reluctant to get vulnerable in public. I don’t like writing otherwise; I detest doublespeak and platitude and long, flowery paragraphs that say exactly nothing. Say what you mean. Omit needless words.

These last few years have felt like every dystopia come to life. Huxley’s doublespeak and the Hunger Games’ entertainment sacrifice show up in my Twitter feed and on your television every day. We are so inured to the lies and cruelty, the callous absurdity of the world we live in that we find it FUNNY.

Being vulnerable in my writing has been dangerous in recent years. I know what happens when women become the target of angry men on the internet, and I have brushed by that horror closely enough to recoil in terror.

I do have enemies, on the internet and in the flesh. I know some of their names. Some of them know that they are harassing me, others think they are being “peacemakers” or “neutral parties” instead of exacerbating situations of abuse, violence and harm with their inaction and equivocation. The prayer group at my church prays for my enemies – by name – when I can’t bring myself to do it.

Psalm 27:

Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.
 Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
    for false witnesses have risen against me,
    and they are breathing out violence.

I do not want to live in terror, recoiling from the threat of harm. I have censored myself so many times that it has begun to feel like second nature. Here at the end of the world, that feels like a gigantic waste of time and energy – both for me and for you.

I know how scary it is to say what you mean. I know the thrill and the terror of speaking into existence a truth that will upset both friends and enemies. I suspect you know that feeling, too. Plenty of us are avoiding honesty in order to avoid harm, or anxiety, or discomfort, or the pain of being ostracized. I get it.

And also: it is not worth betraying yourself in order to keep the peace. It is not worth disobeying the God of the Universe who gave you that wit and wisdom and wily desire to tell the truth. Keeping your mouth shut for the sake of maintaining a false peace will kill you – body and soul. I have watched brains explode and spirits be extinguished. That time that you were waiting for? It is here. We are at the end. Our souls lie in the balance. Just tell the blessed truth.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

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