Watching the January 6th hearings this week, remarks made by members of the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack and witness testimony drew a clear line between right and wrong. Members did not fall into their usual political postures between liberals and conservatives but worked together to discover the truth of what happened that fateful day.

The evidence presented by the committee appears to be a genuine attempt by Democrats, and some Republicans, to decipher what happened leading up to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, what transpired during the attack, and if the former president, Donald J. Trump, committed fraud by profiting from lying about the election.

While potential indictments of the former president and his supporters remain unknown, a clear reality is emerging: (1) Trump created and perpetuated the lie of a stolen election even after advisors told them those claims were erroneous, (2) Trump abandoned his duties as Commander in Chief by not acting to defend the very Constitution and institution he pledged to protect, and (3) Trump and his family profited from the “Big Lie” by defrauding his supporters of $250,000,000 for a defense fund.

On March 23, 1775, before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Patrick Henry ended his speech to the Virginia Assembly with the refrain, “Give me liberty or give me death.”  However, prior to delivering that famous line which became a battle cry for the revolution, Henry spoke about the importance of truth.

He said, “Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.”

In a  world where the phrases “fake news” and “alternative facts” are used to corrupt and confuse, we must be a people willing to hear and accept the truth no matter how it makes us feel.

Jesus encouraged his followers in the Sermon on the Mount with these words: “Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37). Jesus understood the importance of truth-telling. A person is only as good as their word.

As I listened to the remarks of the January 6 Committee and testimony from witnesses, the evidence was clear that the former president was detached from the truth. Trump’s own Attorney General, Bill Barr, testified under oath, “Boy, if he (Trump) really believes this stuff, he has, you know, lost contact with — he’s become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.”

Trump’s former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, provided this statement to the committee on why he stepped away from Trump, saying, “I didn’t think what was happening was necessarily honest or professional at that point in time. So that led to me stepping away.”

Barr, Stepien, and other witnesses are not political opponents of the former president. In fact, they supported many of his policies. However, the “Big Lie,” which led to the insurrection at the Capitol and the threat to overturn a free and fair election, was too much for them.

Augustine once wrote, “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.”  Herein lies the great truth of the current situation. The former president and his supporters continue to vocalize the “Big Lie” to raise campaign funds and agitate misplaced anger. However, just because they continue to espouse the lie does not make it any more truthful.  A lie is a lie, and wrong is wrong.

Listen to committee member and Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, “President Trump ignored the rulings of our nation’s courts. He ignored his own campaign leadership, his White House staff, (and) many Republican state officials. He ignored the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security. President Trump invested millions of dollars of campaign funds purposely spreading false information, running ads he knew were false, and convincing millions of Americans that the election was corrupt, and he was the true President. As you will see, this misinformation campaign provoked the violence on January 6th.”

She went on to speak directly to the former president’s current supporters of the “Big Lie.” “In our country, we don’t swear an oath to an individual, or a political party. We take our oath to defend the United States Constitution. And that oath must mean something. Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain,” Cheney said.

Jesus once declared, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).  Cheney and others are now experiencing that freedom.  No longer chained by political systems demanding loyalty over truth, we are witnessing the strength of the human desire to decipher right from wrong.

May the truth prevail and justice follow.

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