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Casey Anthony and the Neccessity of Truth

Casey anthony at verdict Of all the dishonesty in the world, probably few public spectacles (in a non-election year) have matched the Casey Anthony trial. We will never know what happened to her poor child because of the utter lack of fidelity by almost every person called to her defense. Her family told wild tales; contradicting each other and at times, even themselves. When the last words were spoken, the Florida jury, like most Americans, had no chance of piecing together what actually happened to her daughter three years ago. Without a definitive story to go by, the jury had no choice but to declare Anthony not guilty. The only thing they knew for sure was that she was a liar.

I have come to believe that the most important aspect of relationships is honesty. Without honesty all interactions begin from a stance of distrust. Is it any wonder that when Adam and Eve fell from grace, the first thing they did was hide themselves from each other and from God? We often speak in terms of “misunderstanding” and “confusion,” but often these phenomenons are deliberately caused by deceit and evasion. Often times this deceit is so ingrained we don’t even do it consciously. It becomes built into our cognitive communicative process. We use words not to communicate reality, but to communicate in a way to project a version of reality upon those we speak to in order to garner a preferred response. In response, we learn at an early age to treat all incoming communication with an element of distrust. We attempt to “decode” what we are being told based on (sometimes faulty) information weighed against how honest or deceitful we believe the person talking to us is. In the end we are left with a world where we can fully trust anyone and devolve into a mild paranoia.

Contrasting this reality of the world we live in, Jesus told his followers to escape the trappings of dishonesty. He presented to his few disciples a radical standard of honesty, telling them to let their “yes” be “yes” and their “no” be “no.” By reducing honesty to the two most direct responses, and demanding fidelity in those responses, he left no wiggle-room for “miscommunication” or any other sort breach of truth. There is no difference between “little white lies” and criminal cover-ups in regards to this standard. While we may justify our lies as harmless, we rarely dismiss the same sorts of lies when directed at us. The end result is a world where we will never know the full story and will always be forced to act on bad information. We have grafted dishonesty in some form or another into our DNA, and it has reached the point where we don’t even notice or care even more.

During the trial the defense attorney told the jury that Casey Anthony lied to police because lying was all she knew how to do. That was the most honest thing I have heard in a while.

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  1. Tim
    July 6, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    “lying was all she knew how to do”
    I disagree. This is the typical progressive mentality that excuses evil because evil was all around them during their development – therefore it’s not their fault and must be given a pass. While it’s true that lying is a deep part of human nature in all of us, equally true is God’s law written on our hearts and God’s eternal nature on display in the universe around us so that we can come to the Light any time we are willing to humble ourselves and seek after Him. No matter what evil environment we are raised in, we have the ability to choose to reject it. God’s grace is that real to every human in the world. My father was raised in the home of an alcoholic father and no Christian influence. God reached him with his public school teacher and he humbled himself and turned to Christ.

    • July 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      I don’t think anyone is dismissing the evil that she has done. She was convicted of the one thing she admitted to doing and was proven to do, that is lie. Will she stand before the throne for her actions and have light shown upon them, of course. I do not believe she will escape justice, just as I am sure I will not either. As for her ability to resist the sin that surrounded her, I’m less than sure. My belief according to my reading of Holy Scripture is that our ability to resist sin comes only through regeneration, and that comes from the grace of God. God has restrained sin in some individuals (such as the Pharaoh of Exodus), and restrains sin to some degree unknown to me, but he also allows it as a grant to our will. Martin Luther does a much better job than I ever could in explaining this in The Bondage of the Will. The reason I do not kill is not because I am morally above it, in fact by Jesus’ standard I am a murderer, but because God’s grace fell upon me at some point in my life. I do not believe mankind has the ability to choose to reject evil apart from special grace from God, even if we have that ability, no one has used it apart from God’s grace. This does not excuse sin, because sin is sin due to the fact that it offends God, not because of the fact that we can do better than we choose to.

  2. Tim
    July 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    “I don’t think anyone is dismissing the evil…”
    Oh, yes they are. The very statement you like communicates this very dismissing. “Lying was all she knew how to do…” To suggest she had no alternative is to dismiss the evil that she had many opportunities to do the right thing. I referred to scripture that states she has options to be truthful. Yes, she is dead in sin. Yes, she is a slave to sin. Neither of these mean she is incapable of ever telling the truth.

    Most progressives (liberals) don’t believe in evil at all because they don’t believe in any moral absolutes. What believers call evil, they call bad choices or results of unfortunate influences, such that she is not really evil, she just needs to be retrained to do better and escape the bad influences of her past.

    Now that she has been voted innocent by 30 jurors, she is now innocent – as if she did not kill her daughter.

    I work with a very devout pagan. After being his boss for 30 years, I can state he is as honest a man in his work duties as any worker we have who is a believer. He has many spiritual faults but honesty is not a problem for him. Thus, I know Casey does have the ability to be honest at any point that she would see the tragedy of lying. Would that make her a believer, no. Many unbelievers are very honest.

  3. July 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I may not be hearing from some of the same people you are hearing from, Tim, but I do not hear many dismissing the evil of this situation. Mike assessed this situation very accurately, in my opinion, and I hear no dismissing of the evil of this situation from him.

    I didn’t follow the case closely and do mourn the loss of the little child. I certainly hope this verdict is the reality check for this entire family. They have a dangerous history of deceit which must be changed or they will never find freedom from sin.

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