Friday, December 23, 2005

Suspicious Talk (Part 2 of 10)


The legacy of Eden and Babel is a world of suspicious talk. Suspicious talk separates word and deed. It is speech that subordinates others and seeks power over them. It is talk that violates the freedom and dignity of others. Suspicious talk creates a community based on self-interest and mistrust. There are at least four forms of talk that are suspicious.


Talking takes place within a community. Communities are comprised of persons who relate to one another on the basis of mutual trust. The level of trust within a community depends upon the degree to which persons talk to one another honestly, openly and respectfully. Slander, gossip, lies, half-truths and all forms of deceitful speech reduce the level of trust and increase the level of suspicion within a community.

Lies destroy both the community and the individual. Liars wound their victims by depriving them of mutual respect and injure themselves by destroying self-respect. They harm the community by undermining the foundation of mutual trust and personal respect on which civil society is built. Both the individual and the community are degraded.

Lying is Peter in the courtyard of the high priest cursing and swearing he never knew Jesus (Mk. 14:66-72)

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