The Big Lie That Still Plagues Humanity, and America
Those who tell you The Big Lie claim they are telling the truth. And they think they are.
People believe and perpetuate The Big Lie because it enables them to think they are more worthy than others, and even more superior -- whether it's because of their wealth, or their religion, or their race or nationality or partisan political ideology or gender or ethnicity or culture.
Of course, it's no longer politically "correct" nor socially acceptable to claim in public that one is superior. However, many people think they are, whether it's for one or all of those reasons, and The Big Lie is still going strong. Many people still think that their wealth or religion or nationality or gender or race or ethnicity makes them superior to others -- and some of them even shamelessly assert it or imply it in public.
In America, one of the biggest lies now is the claim that the largest, dominant religion is superior to all others, and the people who make that claim do not realize they've been misled by theocratic false shepherds of the same sort that caused the oppressive Dark Ages, the cruel Inquisition, the bloody Crusades, and much of the "religious" military industrial imperialism and colonialism that plagued the world during the last sixteen centuries.
In fighting for theocratic power, they betray God and ignore the universal spiritual truths taught by all great spiritual teachers, including the founder of their religion: Jesus of Nazareth.
Furthermore, they also ignore the fact that in 1776 the Founding Fathers of the United States of America intended to establish a new nation in which all people would be recognized as equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable human rights, which include liberty, freedom of religion and freedom from Theocracy, and they intended the U.S. Government to ensure our equal human rights.
Clearly, and unfortunately, there are still people who believe it is not true that we are equal. They have been led to believe in a big lie by those who think and claim that we are not equal, and that certain people are more worthy and even superior because of their wealth, or gender, or race, or nationality, or culture, or religion.
Thank God, time after time, conscientious, brave people have stood up to face down the big lie.
Now we must do that again. But this time let us learn and acknowledge the lessons of history, and let us wage a new kind of revolution --- a peacful revolution. And even though those who regard themselves as superior for any reason do not and will not give up that notion easily, and even though they may fight dirty, let us use the fair and honest truth as our only weapon. For even though we must speak truth to power, it will be the humble, gentle, kind, peaceful people who shall inherit the earth for the benefit of all.
The Big Lie Regarding Race
In America, as in many other countries, the idea that certain people are superior because of their race is generally not socially acceptable any more, at least not in polite society in public. Even so, many people still cling to that idea in private, and sometimes even demonstrate it openly. But conscientious, empathetic and compassionate people have always known it is wrong.
Way back in the mid-1800s many conscientious Americans realized the wrongness of racism, and the movement to abolish the slavery of African Americans gained momentum.
One of the significant events in the advancement of the abolition of slavery movement was an 1841 U.S. Supreme Court case involving slaves who had been captured in Africa and put on a Spanish slave ship, the Amistad (depicted in the movie by that title). The case went to a federal trial court which found that the Africans had been illegally captured and thus were free men. Then the case was sent to the Supreme Court on appeal because President Van Buren was intimidated by politicians from the South, particularly Senator John Calhoun, who was threatening civil war if the slaves were set free. Fortunately, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Africans, who were then set free and returned home.
While that ruling was a tremendous advancement of the movement to abolish slavery, some people in the South were enraged. Many wealthy and powerful Southerners felt that the North was judging the South wrongly. In fact, rather than see the wisdom of abolishing slavery and doing the right thing, they took offense and felt insulted by abolitionists. And they even took an attitude of superiority not only to African Americans, but to Northerners.
Before the Civil War, white Southern Christian preachers insisted that the institution of slavery was justified by the Bible, and together with large Southern plantation owners, they were instrumental in forming the "Confederate States." They claimed that it was a "state’s rights" issue, that President Lincoln and the federal government was just being dictatorial. So the white Southern "Rebels" waged a horrible deadly Civil War to separate themselves from the Union, which ultimately caused the deaths of approximately 700,000 Americans.
During that war there were, of course, many atrocities committed by both sides, as happens in war. But when the armies of the South took Northern Union soldiers prisoner, they took only white ones and murdered the African American soldiers. And even the white prisoners were treated inhumanely. In the Andersonville prisoner-of-war camp in Georgia, 13,000 Union prisoners died from starvation and disease due to lack of food, no shelter, and horribly unsanitary living conditions.
Even after the South lost that war, they still maintained virtual slavery in the form of Apartheid, oppressing and persecuting black people. They even still indulged in lynching some black people who dared to declare or demonstrate their humanity, and the white Ku Klux Klan utilized terrorism like that to keep black people submissive. And it wasn’t until a hundred years later in the 1960s, thanks to Civil Rights leaders like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the brave actions of the Freedom Riders and individuals like Rosa Parks, that things slowly began to change.
Yet, even though today there is much more equality in terms of race, full social equality is slow in coming. Today we see many successful African Americans, but success is mostly limited to a very talented or smart or skilled or beautiful few. The average and below average African American still faces prejudice and discrimination.
That is largely because despite the progress of the 1960s, in the early 1970s and 1980s policies and legislation regarding civil rights and the administration of law enforcement, the criminal justice system and the courts became stilted, mostly because of the Nixon and Reagan administrations. And their policies, initiatives and legislative efforts have resulted in biased treatment and disproportionate arrests and incarceration of African Americans and Hispanics.
Racism is still very much alive in America. Police still indulge in racial profiling. Landlords and employers still find ways to discriminate on the basis of race. And Immigrants of minority races are still looked down upon in America by those who believe in the big lie that their race is superior to all others.
What will help is to realize that the color of one’s skin and one’s appearance is merely the product of genetics and biological parentage, and that our spirit-soul could just as easily have been born with parents of a different race.
The Inner Self, the Higher Self and True Self, knows that the superficial physical characteristics, appearance and the place and circumstances of birth have nothing to do with who we really are inside. We are all made in God’s image, as Children of Light. What we are is not this body, because all bodies are different and God's image is not of a body. God is the Divine Light-Energy Source of our existence. What we are is pure Light Spirit, one with God and one with each other in that Spirit. We just tend to forget that as we develop and nurture our own separate-self ego.
If we allow the Spirit of truth to prune our ego and gradually peel away all its layers, it is like the petals of a rose bud gradually unfolding until the rose is in full bloom. Thus we become spiritually reborn and our True Self is manifested and Self-Realized.
The Big Lie Regarding Sex or Gender
In 1920 the Women’s Suffrage Movement finally established women’s right to vote in America. Prior to that, perhaps because the Founding Fathers had declared that "all men are created equal," women were not allowed to vote or hold office.
However, even though women gained the right to vote, the idea that "a woman’s place is in the home" prevailed in America. It was set aside out of necessity during World War Two so that women could work in the factories that produced all the equipment required for war, but it returned afterward.
In the late 1940s and 1950s it was back in full force. Television programs like "Father Knows Best" were quite popular in America, portraying the husband and father as the good, kind, understanding patriarch who didn’t lord it over his household. But it was in fact patriarchal propaganda, in a very real sense, because it upheld a very deep religious belief instituted by men for the sake of men. And because it is a belief that regards a male sacred, it can be and has sometimes been at the expense of and to the detriment of the female.
In the 1960s the Women’s Liberation Movement was in the spirit of the times, and it produced some further reforms and improvements in the status of women. And very gradually, over time, and despite the efforts of the "Religious Right" between 1980 and the present, women have become corporate CEOs and even candidates for president.
However, in spite of all the progress there is still a "Glass Ceiling," a barrier that prevents women from being paid the same amount as men even when they are just as qualified, just as skilled, and have the same level of education. Christians even keep the wedding tradition where the person performing the marriage ceremony asks, "Who gives this woman?" Like certain other patriarchal religious traditions it treats the daughter or female as if she is a subject of her father, to be given away to a man who will also be master of his house. It is traditional sexism, but we are so accustomed to it and so indoctrinated that we don’t even notice it.
It is perhaps because Christianity is the predominant religion in America that there is still an idea that men are superior, and that women should be subservient and submissive. Some Jewish and Muslim men are in Israel and in Arab countries also believe that, and it's probably because the basic idea that God is a "He" is deeply entrenched and ingrained. The idea that God is a male was written in the religious scriptures of Jews, Christians and Muslims, so it will be very difficult for some Jewish, Christian and Muslim men to accept it is not literally true.
What will help is the Wisdom and words of Solomon, which were written by Solomon himself, not interpreted or written by followers (as were the words in the Christian Bible and the Muslim Hadith).
"Wisdom is beneficent and kind. She is the aura of the power of God, the radiance of the eternal Divine Light, a spotless mirror of God. She renews all things, and passing into holy souls from age to age, She produces friends of God and prophets. She is firm, but Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon Her. And Wisdom is far better than weapons of war." – The Book of Wisdom
"Wisdom has built Her house and She calls to all: Come, eat my food and drink my wine and you will live abundant life and walk in the ways of understanding. Forsake the foolish, and live. Go in the way of understanding. For the fear of the Lord God is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by Me your days shall be multiplied, and the years of your life shall be increased." – Proverbs 9
Wisdom is the female aspect of God, a Tree of Life. And as John wrote in the Christian book of Revelation, the leaves of the Tree of Life are for the healing of nations.
Let the healing begin.
The Big Lie Regarding Religion
Most of the articles on and linked to this site reveal how and why the idea that a certain religion is superior to all others is a big lie. But to sum it up, it could be said that the basic problem or the biggest problem in that regard is threefold:
1. Certain religious Jews have focused on the idea written in the Torah that the Lord our God is the God of the world and that Israel is a "holy nation." The problem is that they do not understand that God let Moses know that the nation of Israel could be "a holy nation," but only if and when her people behaved properly. Furthermore, God meant that Israel would be only one of many nations that would eventually all honor the words and judgment of God’s chosen servant who would unite the nations in peace;
2. Certain religious Christians have focused on the idea written in the Christian Bible that Jesus of Nazareth and God are one. The problem is that they do not understand why Jesus said "God is greater than I," and "You have not heard God's voice or seen God's shape at any time." They also do not understand why Jesus said: "I have other folds," nor do they understand that Jesus prophesied the coming of the chosen son of man would come at the end of the age, who would issue judgment, guide you unto truth, show you things to come, glorify God and "His Christ" in heaven, and unite the nations in peace;
3. Certain religious Muslims have focused on the idea written in the Islamic Hadith that the prophet Muhammad was the "Seal of the Prophets" of Judaism and Christianity, and that Allah will ensure that Muslims and Islamic Law prevails in the world.
It will help when all Jews, Christians and Muslims understand that the God of Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad is the same God, which is the One God of the whole world and of all peoples, and that God’s will is that we all love one another, respect one another, share with one another, cooperate and collaborate with one another, and use the common wealth for the common good.
The Big Lie Regarding Wealth
The idea that wealthy people are superior has not been recognized as part of The Big Lie, because we have been led to believe that wealth is a measure of one's "worth," as Forbes Magazine so notably states.
That idea originally came from the European tradition of royalty, nobility and aristocracy, of course. However, in America it is generally associated with the "rags to riches" story, which is an American ideal. The idea is that whoever and whatever you are, if you work hard enough and persevere, in America you can become wealthy.
That idea was touted as America’s promise, and it brought increasing numbers of immigrants from Europe, especially between 1823 and 1921. That’s when Congress established quotas to limit immigration, because many members felt there were enough workers and enough settlers to build and maintain the empire.
As it turned out, only a relative few were able to go from rags to riches. But even so, that ideal and promise of wealth and riches became deeply ingrained, and it included the idea that wealth is a measure of one’s worth. And, admittedly, in a sense that is true. People who are very talented and/or very intelligent and/or very skilled and/or very hard working usually earn good incomes, become wealthy, and are deservedly worthy of their wealth.
However, even those who are deservedly wealthy are not superior because of their wealth. They are superior because of the talent, skill, intelligence and hard work, which brought the natural reward of wealth. And, if you ask them, they will tell you that their wealth came not because being wealthy was their main goal, but because they sought to live their dream and share their talent and do good work for the benefit of society.
In spite of that, some people — such as some who have inherited their wealth or gotten it in unethical or unscrupulous or unfair and inequitable ways, or gained it through "legal" but unjust profit — think they are superior because of their wealth. And they tend to lord it over others.
That is why way back in the late 1700s and early 1800s in America, fair and conscientious people like Thomas Jefferson tried very hard to limit the power of banks and the power of wealth. Jefferson said: "Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies." He warned of the danger of private banks and corporations getting too big and having too much power. He even warned that they could "deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless."
Unfortunately, even though Jefferson prevailed regarding certain democratic principles, the traditional British economic and corporate views and policies espoused by Alexander Hamilton, a conservative banker, prevailed regarding economic and financial matters. And it was only a matter of decades before most Americans forgot or ignored that most of the Founding Fathers intended for the U.S. Government to ensure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare.
Instead, the idea that all people who are wealthy become so because they are good, smarter, more ambitious and more worthy was accepted as true and right, without exception. And that of course continued the European tradition of aristocracy, if not nobility.
That was because Hamiltonians (who Jefferson called "Royalists’) honored the British corporate and economic model, and they believed America should be a Christian "Meritocracy." And of course that idea stemmed from the political economic ideology of British royalty and nobility that regarded themselves as good Christians and deserving of their wealth because they were better, smarter, more ambitious and more worthy than "commoners" and "peasants."
Ironically, that political economic ideology simply ignored that the original Christians who lived in the generation of Jesus of Nazareth shared and shared alike, used the common wealth for the common good, and understood why Jesus had said: "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
In spite of that, the Hamiltonian political economic view regarding self-reliant "Christian Meritocracy" flourished, and because many others agreed that government should not literally be responsible for ensuring the general welfare, political economic ideology prevailed in America.
However, even though the basic idea that people get what they deserve and we reap what we sow is generally true, if it is applied in a way that justifies the wealthy few and turns government's back on those who need help, it betrays the spirit of the law and moral code by which Christians and all conscientious, civilized, humanitarian people are supposed to live. And the fact is that the Hamiltonian partisan political economic ideology has always betrayed that code.
Now, there were some progressive reforms established between 1890 and 1920 by good Christians who understood that. But then the hypocritical and deceptive forces of greed and self-interest gained power and enabled the Hamiltonian view to flourish again in "The Roaring Twenties."
During Republican rule in the 1920s, the wealthy few industrialists, land owners and stock holders knew they had to pay most of their servants and employees just enough to keep them somewhat content and avoid a large and widespread worker's uprising and protests. However, when factory workers tried to organize and protest unfair wages and unsafe working conditions, thugs hired by the industrial executives beat them back with clubs. And then, as was inevitable and predictable, the consequences of all the greed, corruption and abuse of power of the wealthy few led to the stock market crash of 1929, a horrible economic collapse, and the terrible Great Depression.
Furtunately, in 1932, Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt won the presidency and established a New Deal for the American people, having waged a successful campaign against the forces of greed and self-interest, who he called "Economic Royalists." Roosevelt established needed reforms, regulations, safeguards, and wage and price controls, and ultimately not only saved and improved the country, the land, the environment, and the lot of the vast majority of the people, he also saved the country from being conquered by foreign imperialist enemies during World War Two.
But, even though Roosevelt’s New Deal saved American and eventually produced a large and great Middle Class and made America great, when Ronald Reagan became president in 1981 touting a Hamiltonian-like political economic model (called "Reaganomics"), things began to go backward regarding the power of wealth (which inevitably led us to the economic crisis America is in now).
President Reagan, with the support of leaders of the "Religious Right’s Moral Majority," sold the American people on the idea that the wealthy are totally deserving of their wealth, that their wealth was even a "reward from God," and that the poor are merely "lazy" and don’t have enough faith. And thus the Hamiltonian idea of "Christian Meritocracy" and "self-reliance" became in vogue once again.
That is what Reaganism is all about, and, because it is simply a rehash of the same old right-wing partisan ideology, it once again led to the corruption of greed and self-interest that began to surface in the 1990s and became unavoidably disastrous by 2008. And that is why we still suffer from its impact.
What will help is for everyone to see the vain folly in that ideology, because while it masquerades as good under the banner of patriotism and religiosity, it is false, and a big fat lie.
(Also see the articles on Ignored American History, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Inaugural Address, The American Economy, Ronald Reagan’s Real Legacy, Partisan Politics, Poverty In America, and other articles on the menu to the left.)