The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments regarding the so-called “Stolen Valor” law passed in 2006 which made it illegal for individuals to wear U. S. military awards that they had not legitimately earned. Not soon after, the notoriously liberal Ninth Appellate Court (located in California, naturally) overturned the law, stating as part of its reasoning that if a person wears a medal he or she is not not entitled to, it does not “harm anybody.”
Another justification for striking down the law was the contention, made by the Chief Judge of the Appellate Court Alex Kozinski that “people often tell lies about themselves in day-to-day social interactions. He said it would be ‘terrifying’ if people could be prosecuted for merely telling lies.” (Quote from the linked article, not from the Judge.)
Well, I disrespectfully disagree with the Appellate Court. In my opinion, lying about earning a military award does “harm anybody” — namely the people who earned such decorations honestly and honorably. And as for Judge Kozinski, I think that people should be prosecuted for “merely telling lies” on an apparent “day-to-day” basis. That they would be “terrified” by the prospect says more about their negative character than it does about any legal proceedings that might be brought against them.
Lying is the basic foundation for the decline of society. A society that permits casual lying cannot ever expect to excel to its highest, most positive potential. Lying also tears at the fabric of everything that could be good about a society. Think about how many criminal enterprises depend on lies. And the current financial problems facing this country are in large part the results of dishonesty. Should not the perpetrators of lies with such far-reaching consequences be punished?
The court’s decision and attitude towards lying also illustrates another point — that liberals have no idea of what the concept of honor is about. If they did, they would not hesitate for a second to punish people who disrespect and besmirch the honor of soldiers who have fought and died for this country and who have been awarded decorations for such actions. To them, lying about winning a Medal of Honor (note the name of the award) is the same thing as lying in day-to-day social interactions. (And the liberals’ fear of punishments for casual lying is also revealing of their attitude towards honesty generally.)
Lying is also a strictly human characteristic. It does not occur in the natural world. Yes, there are circumstances in the natural world in which plants or animals utilize deceit, but this is done only in cases where the plant or animal’s very survival depends on such deceit. (Examples of this phenomenon include animals that use camouflage to avoid detection or plants or animals with “lure” features that coax prey within eating distance.) In the nature, this deceit is acceptable. And so it should be to adherents of the Naturalist philosophy. It is okay to use deception, or even to lie, if one’s survival depends on it.
And no, I’m not playing holier than thou (although I will play holier than the Ninth Appellate Court) and claiming that I never lie. But I take a very dim view of lying and will do almost anything to avoid it. If it means beating a murder rap or something like that, then I very likely might lie. But to me lying is an absolute last resort. It is not — like it is with so many people in our society today, from top to bottom — a first option. And it is certainly not a default position.