Humanists and the rise of 'post-truth America'.

Author:Boston, Rob
Position::CHURCH & STATE - Column
 
FREE EXCERPT

DONALD TRUMP SAW THOUSANDS of Muslims dancing with joy in New Jersey on September 11, 2001.

Carly Fiorina watched a video of Planned Parenthood staffers plotting to cut up a live baby and harvest its brain.

Ben Carson is right--the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids to store grain.

There are certain things you can say about these statements: they're alarming. They're strange. They're shocking.

They are also not true.

Yet they are being recited, over and over again, by men and women seeking the highest office in the land--the U.S. presidency.

What on earth is going on here?

As the American Humanist Association celebrates its seventy-fifth birthday, it's time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. But it's also time for us to face a hard truth: any group that promotes the use of reason, science, and evidence-based inquiry now faces a daunting challenge--the continuing growth of what I call "post-truth America."

Post-truth America is an America where lies are spouted by politicians and their followers brazenly and openly with little or no consequence. And I mean it when I use the term "lies." I'm not talking about nuances, little fibs, or differences of opinion. In post-truth America, people claim that certain events and things happened when, in fact, they did not happen. Furthermore, it's easy to prove that these things didn't happen. Yet prominent people continue to say that they did--and their supporters do not care. In fact, they applaud it.

Don't confuse post-truth America with eccentric beliefs and strange obsessions. Your neighbor's insistence that Bigfoot lurks in the woods upstate is probably harmless. But many of the assertions heard in post-truth America are anything but quirky.

Robert Lewis Dear muttered "no more baby parts" to police after he was apprehended for allegedly killing three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on November 28. Dear was likely referring to a series of deceptively edited "sting" videos produced by a radical anti-abortion outfit--the Center for Medical Progress--that accused Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood hadn't done anything illegal, and the video Fiorina claimed to have seen about the ghoulish plot to harvest a baby's brain simply doesn't exist. This was pointed out to her more than once, but she continued to tell the story. In the wake of Dear's attacks, Fiorina was incapable of self-reflection and blamed "the Left" for demonizing her because...

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