Truth to unprincipled people is like salt to a slug. It destroys them, but to honorable people it is their foundation for life. Truth is essential for developing a vibrant nation, especially necessary for politicians, preachers, professors, and performers who give direction to a nation.
A lie doesn’t become truth with time, talk, or twisting. Likewise, wrong does not become right; and evil doesn’t become good because it is accepted by the majority. I would rather experience hateful truth than loving error. Truth is often unpleasant but unpleasant truth is not always hate speech. The more society drifts away from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.
The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once noted, “All Truth progress through the same three stages: First with ridicule, then with violent opposition, and finally acceptance as self-evident.” I have observed that throughout history and throughout my life.
People prompted by principle will stand for truth when they are first exposed to it even if they know it will annoy and destroy them. Truth will inform you and reform you. Unused truth becomes useless as an unused muscle. Roman statesman and historian Cicero declared: “The first law for the historian is that he shall never dare write an untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is true.” I will follow that maxim today.
Tolstoy declared, “I know that most men…can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.” That will be a problem with the reading of this column. However, when a man of principle gets new truth that conflicts with what he has always taught, he either changes his mind or loses his principles.
The 18th-century scientist/philosopher Georg Lichtenberg said, “It is almost impossible to carry the torch of truth through a crowd without singeing somebody’s beard.” I am sure I will singe some beards today because I will deal with truth as it relates to an American icon.
In March of 1993 I sent a note to the editor of USA Today and told him not to waste money sending me my annual contract. I quit. Some of my closest friends thought I had lost my mind since the largest paper in the world gave me an opportunity to express my very Christian and Conservative views–and paid me for doing it! I quit because of truth. I got my gig at the national paper because I came to the defense of my friend Jerry Falwell who was castigated by the media and academia for saying Bishop Tutu was a phony. Of course, he was a phony; but because Tutu was a religious leader and a leading South African Black, the truth was rejected. I sent a column to the paper in Jerry’s defense, and they sent me a check and a contract! They were looking for a “token fundamentalist.”
The editor knew I traveled across America, Europe, and the Middle East and told me to inform him what was “hot” at the time and we would deal with it on the daily “Opinion Page.” One day it was guns, another day AIDS, next abortion, next street people, etc. However, when I told him I wanted to do an article (four other authors including the editor would also deal with the subject) on Senator Ted Kennedy romping on the floor of a major Washington restaurant with a waitress, he refused to deal with the subject. The story never was published. I thought truth was important.
When I returned from a brief stay in London after a Middle East trip I told the editor that Martin Luther King’s plagiarism of his Ph.D. dissertation was hot news in England and I wanted to do an article on the subject. The editor refused to permit it. It seems truth was not important to the paper. On Nov. 9, 1990, The Wall Street Journal broke the story that USA Today could have published.
That was not too surprising since every January 10 or 11 I sent him an article dealing with Martin Luther King, Jr. I believed four other people would deal very positively with him but I would not seek to ingratiate myself to the liberal loonies on the left or the radical rascals on the right. I was never extreme other than reporting the facts with few opinions. The articles were never accepted in my eight years I was under contract to them. One year they did an Opinion Page dealing with King but refused to use any King article I had submitted. All five articles on the “King Debate” were positive. Not one word of criticism. Debate? Truth? Fair? Balanced?
Although my adult life demonstrates the absence of racism, I suppose I must establish here my bona fides as an unbiased Christian Conservative–not a knuckle dragging Neanderthal hater of Blacks. I have dear Black friends who visit in our home and we in theirs; others we have financially supported. My childhood hero was Booker T. Washington; and some of my favorite people are Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, and Ben Carson whom I would like to have as friends and neighbors. Plus, I supported Herman Cain for President. I may be a rascal but not a racist.
So, surely no sane person can accuse me of racism because I am critical of King. One may think I am wrong but no one will reasonably charge me of being racist. That charge has been hurled my way all my adult life and when that happens, I know I have won the discussion or debate.
I believe truth still matters. When I was a young preacher I vowed to speak and write the truth without regard to family, friends, foes, or finances. I have tried to keep that vow and hope my epitaph announces, “Here lies Don Boys, a preacher and author who couldn’t be bought.”
The truth will set us free but sometime it stings as in the case of King. King was courageous and charismatic, but short on character. He was a gifted speaker and natural leader usually without fear–all commendable attributes. But there is more than that. Here are some facts about King followed by a few opinions. No one can disagree with facts while everyone can disagree with my opinions.
King was an admitted adulterer according to his own admission to Parade Magazine; his “best friend” Ralph Abernathy (And the Walls Came Tumbling Down); the FBI tapes; and reported by his very friendly Pulitzer prize-winning biographer. It seems that sleeping with female members of his church was the norm rather than the exception and King declared that he didn’t know a single black preacher who was chaste! Of course, that is an outrageous, slanderous statement and falsely indicts many Blacks who are faithful to the Bible and their wives. Or, it could indicate the religious leaders with whom he ran!
Repeated immorality should be sufficient to tarnish King’s image since principled people don’t endorse people who don’t keep their marriage vows. Many progressives will not be concerned with that while all principled people will be.
King plagiarized many of his seminary papers (and included all the mistakes), many of his books, and his masterful “I have a Dream” speech. That speech was taken from another black preacher who delivered it at the 1952 Republican National Convention. Question: why has no national media outlet ever mentioned that fact when praising the speech?
Truth matters to me. That’s why I “go on the record” about King without being mad, mean, or malicious. When the King FBI tapes are released in 2027, thinking people will realize that I have been rather mild in my position on King. Truth is never relative. There are no half-truths and there are no degrees of truth. You have faced truth today. How will you handle it?
I’m not promoting a crusade to remove the King national holiday although it is embarrassing what Congress did to remain politically correct and keep the votes and money coming in. I am simply an educator, preacher, and apologist trying to inform my readers about truth.
I think truth still matters.
(Boys has written a brief eBook titled, Martin Luther King, Jr.: Judged by His Character Not His Color. Available at amazon.com for $4.95 or sent free via email to anyone who sends a request to DBoysphd@aol.com)
(Boys’ new book, The God Haters was published by BarbWire Books; to get your copy of The God Haters click here . An eBook edition is also available.)
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.