The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state (Martin Luther King). Don't get discouraged. The truth of life consists in the sure hope that the sun will eventually dispel all the clouds (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin). The year 2020 at its beginning makes this advice both a source of hope and an unavoidable issue.
We cannot hope to receive truthful information by sovereign concession. We have a duty to look for it and, once found, to verify it, to weigh it, to compare it, and to evaluate whether or not it is worthy of acceptance. The information makers, moreover, have the duty to evaluate their responsibility to make it known to the public. Great is therefore their responsibility and equally great should be the autonomy and freedom they enjoy in every democratic country.
The press cannot be subject to authorizations or censorships, for almost any Constitution states the right of freely expressing one's thoughts with verbal or written words, and in any other means of diffusion. A right that implies an even greater duty of being able to know and then of freely choosing what to make known.
Adam R. Taylor, the executive director of Sojourners, is concerned that truth will be on trial in the US Senate impeachment proceedings because "it’s not at all clear that the truth will prevail in this process." What about the conflict between the UN and Iran? What about taxes war, migrations, abortion, sex change, and all other social, economic and political matters?
While expecting anyone to respect the diversity of opinion of others, Adam R. Taylor advises, "We shouldn’t tolerate the direct promotion of proven falsehoods that are meant for distraction and confusion." Saying that, he goes on, "Our shared identity in Christ should supersede every other loyalty or affiliation, including party." However, it is not just a question of faith or of religion affiliation. It is a question of freedom, peace and political health in every society. Further on, he notes, "Embracing or tolerating lies and the abuse of power undermine a more just and equitable society" that could lead us to "further polarization and, at worst, a fascist and imperial state."
Looking for true information is a difficult job, since it means looking for the truth, or at least trying to get as close to it as possible. This is the mission of the journalist; this is the mission of every man of good will. But the government's power - either executive or law makers’ power - on wiretapping places many, too many limitations in the search for truth, which, by preventing facts and circumstances from being brought to light, fundamentally compromises the pursuit of that common good that is the knowledge of reality brought in by objective -even limited - information.
Never, as in recent years, has the ethical dimension of the social and civil fabric been so threatened. The answer cannot be a minor, but a greater sense of truth. Therefore greater protection of freedom of information is needed and greater formation of people in using it.
The limits placed on the judiciary and the mass media are an aggression against freedom of information that, by threatening the truth, is threatening the very essence of democracy. Adam Taylor, in his article In Times of Crisis, Christians Must Seek and Act on the Truth adds, it is threatening also the very essence of Christianity, whereby only the truth truly makes us free.
The year 2020 at its beginning makes of this advice both a source of hope and of unavoidable issues. Freedom is a real problem for us humans in the personal and in the political field. We define ourselves as having free will. And we certainly have the potential for that. But do we really function in that way? Can we think of a completely free choice we made recently? We have the potential for free will, however our consciousness is subjective and we can’t get away from our own subjectivity. No matter how hard we try to be free and objective, to weigh options and events fairly, it is impossible for us to see things as they are. We can only see things as we are. And we keep inflicting this limited viewpoint on others.
Wisely, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state and the Social Doctrine of the Church should be the checking list for the conscience examination of the state.
Abraham Lincoln, on 21st November 1864, advised, As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow. The money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic is destroyed. "Ethics in politics matter," speaking of "Jesus’ radical commitment to justice, including by comforting the afflicted and afflicting those who abuse their power," suggests to enthrone social justice through rule of law and transparent processes. "This can generate living wage jobs, affordable and accessible health care, schools where all students can thrive, criminal justice reform, bold leadership to address our climate crisis, and so much more," and eventually a healthier democracy.
The future is a question mark for every one on earth! Regardless of his place in life or his financial worth! Tomorrow is uncertain, in fact there is no way of knowing what tonight will bring or what will be today. Clint Eastwood remarked in one of his films, Absolute Power, “Tomorrow is promised to no one”. However, Dr. King wrote in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail": "We have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.” Agustin of Ippona, following the Greek advise, Look at yourself, son, if you want to overcome the mistake: when you don't know, don't believe you know, but to know, learn to know that you don't know.
Each one, when truth and true information come around is accountable of her/his our action as a duty, as to "praying for truth during the impeachment trial" in the United States, for truth in any United Nation document, for truth in any personal act.