Autor: Terry Dashner
Truth is no longer discovered but, rather, Created
In his autobiography, Leading with My Chin, comedian Jay Leno recounts numerous stories of his rise as a young Boston comedian to hosting the “Tonight Show” as successor to the legendary Johnny Carson. One chapter tells of his appearance on the Dinah Shore talk show where he learned the importance of what in showbiz parlance is called the “outcue.” “Okay,” said the talent coordinator. “What’s your last joke, so the band knows when to play you off?” “Listen, do I have to give you my last line?” Leno asked. “How about if I just say, ‘Thank you, thank you very much!’ Twice, okay? And that’ll be the cue.”
Unfortunately, Dinah Shore’s welcome was so warm and the audience’s ovation for his one-line entry was so overwhelming that Leno was taken aback. Frustrated, he muttered “Thank you, thank you very much.” The band leader looked up in panic, stubbed out his cigarette, brought the band crashing in, and ushered Leno out. Whereupon Dinah Shore smiled even more broadly, the audience went wild with applause, and the interview was over before it started. “It was the most ridiculous slot of my career,” Leno said.
This is an amusing, somewhat embarrassing anecdote in a book full of stories and jokes, Leno’s account has only one problem: it didn’t happen—or rather it didn’t happen to Leno. As a New York journalist brought to light, the incident actually happened to a fellow-comedian and friend of Leno’s. But Leno was so delighted by the story that he paid his friend a thousand dollars for the rights to use the story as his own material for a chapter in his autobiography. [Os Guinness, Time For Truth, (Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Michigan) pp 40-41.]
There is nothing odd about this practice, especially in a postmodern society like modern-day America. Truth is no longer something to be discovered. Truth is created.
On August 15, 2011, Time magazine published an article by art critic, Richard Lacayo. The article was a review of an exhibit by Rembrandt. The exhibit was advertised as “Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus,” which, at the time, was on loan from the Louvre in Paris and displayed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Lacayo’s critique of the exhibit noted that Rembrandt’s earlier works depicting Jesus tended to be dramatic and filled with brilliant light. Rembrandt painted those master pieces while in his early forties, and they highlighted the divinity of Jesus, a Christ who is higher than the human predicament. However, Rembrandt’s later portraits of Jesus show him in more subdued, human images.
Lacayo suggested that a series of personal losses and misfortunes in Rembrandt’s later years may have contributed to the artist’s increasing emphasis on the humanity of a more gentle Jesus: “Rembrandt in middle age appears to have gone in search of a consoling Christ, quieter, more meditative, somebody who would listen.” Lacayo continued to write, “You see the great Dutch painter effectively inventing Christ as we tend to picture him now – not as a remote divinity but as the ideal human being….”
The question at hand goes to the heart of how today’s world views truth. There are basically four different world views today: (1) Atheistic Materialism—the late astrophysicist Carl Sagan, said it best, “The cosmos is all that is or all that ever will be.” (2) New Age– The basic philosophy of New Age thinking has been summed up in three pithy sayings: “All is God” “All is one” and “All is well.” (3) Christianity —sees Christ as fully man and fully God. He is the Redeemer of our souls. (4) And, finally, Postmodernism. Postmodernism– is the term used by sociologists and others to generally describe a way of thinking that has become very pervasive in the Western world. It purports that reality is in the eye (or mind) of the beholder. All moral attributes are relative. Each person or culture develops their own moral values. It purports that there is no absolute truth. New Age guru Shirley MacLaine holds a typical postmodern perspective. In her book, Out on a Limb, she asks David, her spiritual guide, if he believes in reincarnation. He replies, “It’s true if you believe it, and that goes for anything.”
It is truth if you believe it is true. What an absurd statement in my opinion. For example, in May 2014, US News and World Report, published a study by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which in my opinion, is astonishing. One half of the people in the world have never heard of the Holocaust. And in the other half – the ones who have at least heard of the Holocaust and the truth that Adolf Hitler ordered the deaths of 6 million Jews – a third of this group simply did not believe the Holocaust happened. If I want to believe it is untrue, then it didn’t happen in spite of the evidence. According to one report, three out of four Americans believes there is NO ultimate truth.
Today, he is a consulting for government and business fraud protection tactics and working on a life coaching program and a memoir, but how is it possible that the greatest counterfeiter in the world should have such a rosy future? His name is Frank Bourassa and he is a Canadian. Let me tell you his story. The Daily Mail reported on May 9, 2014, that a Canadian counterfeiter who made up to 250 million counterfeit dollars had been released from jail after serving only one and a half months.
The paper used to make the fake US dollars was made in Swiss and German mills that made the specific cotton and linen blend used in the U.S. currency. ‘You have to start with that…It’s got this crisp feel. If you don’t have that you’ll have nothing,’ Bourassa told ABC’s Brian Ross. From there, he sourced the ink and the detailed security features added to each bill in China and had the different parts shipped to a Canadian town outside Quebec. Just FYI, the $20 bill is thought of by counterfeiters as one of the easiest to emulate because it was last updated in 2003 and all of the parts of the creation process can be sourced online. Bourassa cut a deal with Canadian authorities: He handed over $200 million in fake bills, and all he had to do was pay a fine of $1350 for drug possession—no more jail time. Canada also agreed not to extradite him, so he was safe from U.S. authorities. And he even walked away with some cash: Bourassa told GQ that he didn’t disclose to the authorities that there was $50 million more of his fake cash, which he may have squirreled away—or he may have sold. “The deal was already done when they figured out that the $50 million was missing, so there was nothing they could do,” he said.
Why is it so important to understand and embrace the concept of absolute truth in all areas of life? Simply because life has consequences for being wrong. As Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias puts it, “The fact is, the truth matters – especially when you’re on the receiving end of a lie.” Eternity is an awfully long time to be wrong. The statement “truth is relative” is, in fact, a self-refuting statement. In saying, “Truth is relative,” one states a purported truth. Humanist John Dewey, co-author and signer of the Humanist Manifesto 1 (1933), declared, “There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes.” Humanists believe one should do, as one feels is right.
In today’s world, the problem is that those who cannot change the truth bend it or spout partial truth. This is best illustrated with this story: To please his father a freshman went out for track. He had no athletic ability, though the father had been a good miler in his day. His first race was a two-man race in which he ran against the school miler. He was badly beaten. Not wanting to disappoint his father, the boy wrote home as follows: “You will be happy to know that I ran against Bill Williams, the best miler in school. He came in next to last, while I came in second.”
What is truth? It is genuine, it is right when all else is wrong, and it is the final answer. Be encouraged. Continue to stand in truth for truth’s sake. When time is finalized and the earth is no more—truth will still stand. Truth can be ignored, but it cannot be destroyed. Something to think about.