It’s All Relative: Looking for Truth

Written by Pastor Cory Musgrave

On December 18, 2019, I watched as the divided U.S. House of Representatives debated the impeachment of the President of the United States. While Republicans and Democrats spent equal time proclaiming vastly different positions on impeachment, I wondered how Americans could look at the same set of facts and arrive at opposite conclusions. Impeachment of the president while disregarding facts is not, however, the problem. Rather, impeachment of the president without regard for facts is a symptom of the malignant rejection of truth in our country.

The results of the insertion into the classroom of the idea that truth is relative are now on full display. For decades students at all levels have been led to believe that there is no such thing as objective truth. Statements like “what’s true for one person may not be true for another” have been repeated until a sizeable portion of the population believes them.

In a 2008 LA Times article titled When All Truth is Relative, Gregory Rodriguez states that “undermining the very idea of truth … also undermines the idea that, as a nation, we can collectively and honestly describe and find solutions to the problems we all face.” The current rejection of facts in the impeachment of President Donald Trump is evidence of the relativization of truth, and that is not good.

Our nation’s success was built on the firm belief in objective, transcendent truths. During the debate on impeachment, speakers repeatedly referred to the Founding Fathers, and their genius in drafting the U.S. Constitution was cited continually. If we build again upon the foundation they laid, there is hope yet to correct course.

The ideals the Founders held were rooted in the Bible. Benjamin Rush, one signatory to the Declaration of Independence, stated that removing the Bible from the classroom would have negative consequences:

I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans, and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government; that is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by means of the Bible; for this divine book, above all others, favors that equality among mankind, that respect for just laws, and all those sober and frugal virtues which constitute the soul of republicanism.

The Bible is the foundation of truth on which the Founding Fathers built America.

In 1798, John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Adams further said that morality derives from Scripture: “The Bible contains the most profound philosophy, the most perfect morality, and the most refined policy that ever was conceived upon earth.”

With the Bible removed from the classroom and truth dismissed, the country we love is like a ship adrift in the midst of a storm. The U.S. Constitution that was to secure justice and liberty is now in the hands of the amoral who will twist it to fit their desires.

History shows that America has failed to live faithfully in accordance with the ideals written on parchment at America’s beginning. The Declaration of Independence declares that God created every human being equal, and yet humans were enslaved in the United States because of their skin color. Our nation paid a dear price for rejecting the truth of equality, with 620,000 dead in a Civil War. We should learn from the mistakes of those who went before us and build on our foundational ideals.

The annals of civilization tell the story of societies dying when they rejected truth. Isaiah says of Israel before Babylon ransacked Jerusalem, “Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter.” I fear that if America does not recover an understanding of and commitment to objective truth—truth rooted in the Bible—we will become yet another once-great nation destroyed from within by its abandonment of truth.


Pastor Musgrave and his wife are parents to five children and serve at New Beginnings Church in Fairfield, Illinois. He also serves as the President of Geff School District 14 and the President of the Fairfield Ministerial Alliance. He is a candidate for State Representative in the 109th District. You can learn more about Cory and his campaign at CoryMusgrave.com.