How refreshing it is it in life when a misunderstanding or conflict occurs, and the ancient tradition of honesty is practiced. It is shocking! People just do not believe it and then mistake honesty as character or honor and then praise us for telling the truth. It is one thing to praise a child for telling the truth; it is quite a different matter to praise an adult. In politics and religion, we assume all the time what people are really trying to say as if words are just a coded message we must decipher to get to the truth. Honesty is very closely connected with telling the truth as you might assume, but in a culture where truth is believed to be a personal matter it should not be surprising to us that people have a hard time speaking it. We expect more from our leaders. What people want is integrity. This is the endearing quality of great leadership. The reason our leaders do not just clearly represent their positions or actions is that people cannot handle it. Here are two examples from the news this week that would have shocked the public if honesty and the truth were clearly spoken
The first public outcry would have been over Pope Benedict. The Pope delivered a message during Mass this week stating, "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father the atheists?' Even the atheists? Everyone!" This message could have given the impression that the redeeming power of God covers everyone no matter what they believe. The reason it gave this impression is that this is what the Pope said, which is in conflict with Christianity. It may not have been what he meant, but the Pope is the direct communicator from God to man, so if this was not what he meant, then maybe theologians should be having a different conversation.