A Twitter Rant on Truth

I don’t normally turn my tweets into a blog, but I don’t normally tweet a thread nearly 900 words long that ties together a Russian novelist, the American Founding, Christianity, Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, a postmodernist, a line I stole from Reagan who stole it from Lincoln, and a senator from Nebraska…. So here it is:

In honor of being granted—along with the rest of the world—the privilege of 240 characters, and because I’ve had Dostoevsky, Richard Rorty, and Ben Sasse on my mind, I shall go on a rant. I would apologize for the spam, but I think it’ll be worth your time. 1/

“If only I, too, could someday offer myself as a sacrifice for truth! I should like to die for all mankind, and as for disgrace, it makes no difference: let our names perish.” — Kolya in The Brothers Karamazov 2/

I just finished writing a paper on the transformation of this supporting character. The moral of his story? Ambition should be pursued—not selfishly for one’s own praise, but selflessly for the praise of the truth. 3/

It is not wrong, then, to shoot for the spotlight, so long as you are doing so not for your own glory, but as a way to stand for what is true, noble, and pure—in essence, not the things of this world, but the things of God who is Good. 4/

So when Senator Sasse talked about being asked the question, “Does the character of our leaders matter?” I wholeheartedly agreed with the core of his response: yes. 5/

As he points out, American exceptionalism is rooted in the view of the American Founding that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. 6/

The Founders implied a universal principle: the source of human dignity and our natural rights: the imago Dei. And though God’s image in man was marred by the Fall, we are being made new in Christ by salvation found at the Cross and sanctification found in the Spirit. 7/

But the idea of the imago Dei, of human dignity, of our natural rights, of the bonds that tie all of humanity together—of Truth—is being rejected by our society, prodded along by so-called philosophers such as Rorty. 8/

They have taken up a new view of the world which says that anything appearing to be intrinsic to humanity is merely a social, historical construct. To them, the idea of the imago Dei, and indeed any sort of human dignity, must be tossed out of the window. 9/

I should note that Rorty and his leftist followers cling to a shadow of truth by aiming to end cruelty—this inconsistency is a thread of hope that despite their central belief that nothing is intrinsic to humanity, they still have the work of the Law written on their hearts. 10/

But as CS Lewis points out, with the rejection of objectivity and Truth comes the Abolition of Man. And sadly, it follows that with the Abolition of Man comes the Abolition of Democracy. If the people lack an understanding of the Good, how can they rule themselves well? 11/

But perhaps republicanism is the last best hope for democracy. In a republic, leaders ought not be chosen from the worst of us, but from the best—those who recognize human dignity and who are, by God’s grace, being made new toward it’s perfection in Christ. 12/

Leaders are needed now more than ever before to take a stand for Truth. Their boldness for what is right may just so happen to breed the same boldness in others. 13/

Virtuous republicans may inspire virtue in their constituency; and out of the constituency, more virtuous republicans will arise; and the wheel might continue to spin on as individuals begin to see that the Good is actually good. 14/

Only such leaders might help preserve democracy and with it, Man. And in the American republic, this is not limited to politicians—I speak also of teachers, pastors, businessmen, writers, artists, and so on—everyone lifted to a position of influence. 15/

But let me bring it full circle back to our favorite Russian: standing for the Truth may result in something much less desirable than a society walking toward Truth; it may result in the destruction of your reputation. 16/

Although virtuous republicanism may result in a more dignified people, it is not guaranteed. No one but God can know how receptive others will be to the Truth, and so we must leave that in God’s hands. 17/

We need not look further than the recent lists of sexual misconduct as an example. In a world full of names not worth mentioning, we need more leaders like Mike Pence—leaders who understand sex as it was designed: confined between one man and one woman in a union before God. 18/

Yet Pence was ridiculed for taking safeguards to protect the dignity of marriage—in his own life nonetheless. But while the Truth was mocked, the example he set might be seen in the minds of some, either now or later, as a testament of the Good. 19/

The world may make us their laughingstock. They may go on hiding from virtue. But we—we happy few, we band of brothers—we have a duty to forever stand on the side of Truth. 20/

So use your influence for Good. Defend what is Right. At all costs. The world will hate you, as it hated Christ before you. Your name will perish. “Friend” will perish. But we must stand firm. God will be our Judge. 21/21

Now that you’ve finished reading, you should follow me on Twitter. Sometimes I post more humorous things too: https://twitter.com/DanielJFriend