Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where is Truth?

Throughout the course of history humankind has relied on two basic sources for truth-religion and science. Typically people have viewed these perspectives as mutually exclusive -but that is the topic of another blog. My purpose in this musing is to register my concern that as a society as a a whole we have abandoned both. Most major religions don't stand for anything anymore or at least what they preach today is not even what they promoted 20 years ago. Their "doctrines" shift with the ever changing tide of public opinion. Polls and popularity are deciding what the religions will preach, and many worship at the altars of political correctness, ease and materialism. Even sacred texts like the bible are reinterpreted to fit the wants of an increasingly promiscuous and coarse culture. Fortunately, there are a few exceptions to this trend which has been magnified in the battle over Prop 8. The Catholic church, the LDS church, and many Baptist and evangelical congregations, as well as our Muslim and Sikh brothers and sisters have stood firm in their support of time honored teachings about marriage. Unfortunately, even many in those congregations do not support their church leadership but are living lives totally incongruent with their churches teachings. On the other end of the scale are many mainstream congregations who can no longer be relied on to teach truth but only what helps people feel good and feel free of guilt or sacrifice. Religion is no longer about helping people live a higher and better law-Gods law-but creating their own set of beliefs and arrogantly assuming they know better than God. Isn't anything sacred anymore? Is nothing absolute?

Science has also abandoned it's purpose. The whole definition of science is to discover the truth. But on issue after issue supposed learned men and women of science have ignored foundational principles of research to promote certain ideas and agendas. Very little of the research in the social sciences has credibility anymore due to the unbelievable bias, poor methodology and blatant misinterpretation of data. The mainstream media has been complicit in this process of misreporting findings, not reporting data that contradicts their viewpoint and promoting opinions as actual fact. Ironically, most of this questionable"research"is funded with your tax dollars. NIH (The National Institute of Health) and NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) have authorized numerous studies(costing millions of dollars) to uncover a genetic or biological basis for homosexuality. They will not fund and are very hesitant to publish anything that contradicts or questions such assumptions. This is also true of research looking at the effects of same gender parenting on children.

As a qualifier there are religions and individuals who have valiantly adhered to their teachings in spite of tremendous pressure (and even outright intimidation and abuse) to change what they believe and live. Also, there are some scientists who have courageously found funding on their own and even have paid to have their results published-who are actually searching for truth rather than proof.

Can a society long endure that has no boundaries, no moral stability, no stable social definition? I am deeply and profoundly saddened at the shift from the desire for truth and goodness to a culture of pleasure, permissiveness and pride. If we base our lives on falsehoods how can we expect to progress as individuals, families or nations? People who stand for truth are ridiculed, ignored and minimized by those with angry, illogically based mantras. They twist and distort anything that is traditional to appeal to their vanity and ease and all in the name of tolerance, love and equal rights.

So instead of God and prophets and or science we have Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, Brad Pitt, etc. People Magazine, the LA Times, Newsweek are now more important sources of morality and truth than the Old and New Testament. And this is intelligent thinking? The values found in the Bible actually are similar to those found in the Koran, and other sacred texts and they have been the backbone for most of known civilization. These should be supplanted by people who seek attention for a living? Who gave such a small group of dysfunctional people so much power and why?

"Oh say what is truth...?"


Margie DeBeikes said...

Julann, Thank you, thank you, thank you for standing up for truth! I miss you so much! There is no one that can address these issues as eloquently as you can ! I so appreciate you taking the time and having the courage to write this blog. These are such hard days! I know that my thoughts and feelings have been confused on all of this and by the sound of the different Relief Society lessons in the different wards I've been in lately, I am not the only one! Keep it up!

Granna said...

Bravo on all the posts!
You are a light shining in the darkness, for real. President Kimball said," My dear sisters, may I suggest to you something that has not been said before or at least in quite this way. Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world. … Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days."
He must have "seen" you!
This blog is just what Elder Ballard was envisioning and advocating in the Ensign. Keep it up; we need it.