So how does a nation get convinced that either Obama didn't lie, as the NYT's now destined to be infamous editorial suggests, or come to the point where it just doesn't care if he lied? The answer would be known as PC. Political Correctness that is. You see, Political Correctness is basically enforced dishonesty. It's either saying you can't do or say something even if you believe it, or it's saying that you must say something is true even if it isn't (or vice versa).
Case in point, the Common Era. Otherwise seen as C.E. or B.C.E. That is replacement for B.C. and A.D. for reckoning the years. It wasn't necessarily the result of PC censorship. Though some point to European usage as far back as the 18th century, it had its origins as we use it most prominently among Jewish scholars who refused to use a designation pointing to any lordship of Jesus. By the 20th century, it was still a minority usage. Even my secular textbooks published as recently as the mid-80s used the BC/AD designation.
But somewhere, between the mid-80s and now, during the dark years of the anti-Christian West movement of Multi-culturalism and the rise of the PC, the designations became embraced, and eventually mandated. Now it's everywhere. Just about any scholarly work published now, including some by Christian authors and publications, uses CE/BCE. In school, my boys were told in their World History class to use that, rather than BC/AD, citing possible offenses at those more exclusive and antiquated terms (and using the ever popular "because of the troubled history, it can cause stress to some people today").
The problem? According to any academic publication, government publication, or anything else, it is now 2013 C.E. What does that mean? It means 2013 of the Common Era. What makes it common? Well, I don't know. Through some happy coincidence, it is a common year that just happens to mirror the same roll of years that point back to He Whose Name Cannot Be Mentioned. So not too long ago, it would be 2013 A.D. That's Anno Domini. That means the 2013th year of Our Lord.
I know, I know. Jesus wasn't born in the year one. But we all know what the reference point is. At least those of us over the age of 25. Younger folks might be shocked to find out. But we adults know to what the year number 2013 is supposed to point. Yet we just can't say it. It's deceptive. It's dishonest. It's enforced thought control. It's saying 'we don't care if it points back to the date Jesus was once believed to have been born, you can't say it. You must say that in instead.'
Growing up, we were told that's what the totalitarian states of the 20th century did. That's what the Communists did. They demanded that you call a square round, whether it was true or not. Not only because a non-round square or the birth of Jesus might be inconvenient. But like the military or football, you start with the basics. You start with the fundamentals. If through sheer threat of possible intimidation, much less outright persecution, you can convince even believers that they must adopt the less than honest and forthright designation '2013 of some vague common reckoning even though we know what it points to', then you can get them to accept other less than honest or up front "truths".
Get a generation to accept that we have to call squares round whether it's true or not, and you'll get a generation willing to accept anything, whether it's true or not. It's not lying. It's not even false. It is a Common Era because that's what everyone calls it now. But it still points to that event that cannot be named, and does so almost proudly. If they picked a different starting point, like the year 371 AN (After Newton), then at least that would be honest. We would have surrendered and accepted some other designation. But that's not what happened. It kept the historical reference point - the birth of Jesus Christ - but simply demanded we call the year something else.
No big loss. No big defeat. Heck, Catholics and Protestants now use CE/BCE. But like many wars before, it is the first skirmish, the first nudge away from being honest and standing on up front honesty that has led us to this point. A point where our president can lie to overturn American society, ruin the lives of millions, be shown to have lied, and yet in the end of the day, it's no more than a parlor discussion, if it's even that.
It's more than lying. Lying is a sin they say. But it's also honesty. To not lie but accept and promote untruths is a willingness to accept deceit and falsehood as the MO of society. It's better than lying in the way Gulags are better than Extermination camps. Once that happens, expect a lot more of what we've seen here. A country where truth will be the last thing demanded, expected, or much less offered.