Judas sold his soul and betrayed the King of Kings for thirty pieces of silver. What's your price?
I've pondered the same question about myself lately while watching supposed conservative and spiritual leaders fall like dominoes, exchanging what they once claimed to believe in for heaven only knows what. Did they sell out like Judas, or did they just lose their way?
Truth is, without the presence of a working moral compass, we humans can justify almost anything. If that happens, we're pretty much doomed to a life filled with lots of contradictions, driven by whichever way pop culture's winds might blow. So many are disappointed with some pretty prominent people who once boldly carried the banner of conservatism, but now make a mockery of it with their support for an authoritarian liberal who wouldn't know what conservatism was unless it presented itself in the form of a Victoria's Secret model.
To a degree, it's a losing battle when you read scriptures like II Timothy 3, describing in the "last days" people will have "a form of godliness" and will be "always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of truth." We live in a day when the mainstream of our populous worship the god of secularism, so in their eyes, there's no such thing as absolute truth. Defining "right" and "wrong" is impossible if we claim everything is subjective, based on a continuously moving target.
People care little about substance and are too easily persuaded by whomever sounds most convincing. Politicians take that fact to the bank and use it to garner power and gain votes. And because most people these days have no clue why they believe what they believe (if they believe anything at all), should their beloved leader's compass suddenly turn south, they are likely to follow him like lemmings off a cliff, defending him all the way down until they hit rock bottom.
That's why President Obama got away with saying things proven untrue like: "If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you'll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold."
That's also why the GOP frontrunner gets away with outrageous statements like: "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters," or "He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured." Upon hearing those statements, a flashing red alarm should have sounded in the heads of followers, inspiring them to run the other way.
Problem is, though, if we don't know how to identify true north, we'll never know when things go south.
An intriguing NASA article, "Mixed Up in Space," describes how humans become confused and disoriented, "where up and down have no meaning" thanks to zero gravity. Former Space Shuttle astronaut Robert Parker said, "One of the questions they asked us during our first flight was, 'Close your eyes...now, how do you determine up?'" Parker said up and down had completely vanished - when his eyes were closed.
To remedy this, designers of the International Space Station and Space Shuttle put writing on the walls pointing "up" to help astronauts orient themselves in the right direction -- no matter how they felt or what their brains told them.
The writing is on the wall, America. So maybe it's time we open our eyes and reorient ourselves to true north.