A frequent casualty in political campaigns is the truth. In the current presidential campaign, at least one online organization has been sending out – several times daily – corrections of false statements made by the candidates, their campaign staffs, and others (see, for example, www.factcheck.org).
Elections at all levels are deeply important, and they need to be based on honest representations of the candidates' views and qualifications. Misrepresentations and lies are intended to wrongly influence elections by obscuring the facts, and this happens all too often. But beyond even the helpfulness of fact-checking organizations, there is a more potent antidote to the influence of falsehood, an antidote that goes to the very root of what truth is.
Actual truth is never in competition with falsehood. It can't be pushed aside by dishonest words or actions because it is spiritual and expresses God, who is divine Truth itself. The book of Deuteronomy in the Bible says of God, "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he" (32:4). Divine Truth is the underlying fabric of all real being. It inspires human integrity, honesty, and uprightness, and is the source of their power – their ability to prevail over falsehood and accomplish what needs to be done.
Truth is a divine imperative. All that is genuinely true is created by God and expresses God. Forever supported by His power, it can't be overthrown. Christ Jesus was able to prove this. He could set aside what was false and bring to light the ever-present spiritual reality. Where the physical senses showed a sick or incapacitated mortal, he could reverse what the senses were depicting and cure the individual, revealing his or her true, God-given perfection. When his enemies made deceitful attacks against him, Jesus was able to parry those attacks and deflate their attempts to derail his mission.
When Jesus was present, evil had no hiding place and no power. He said, "There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known" (Matt. 10:26). He uncovered evil in order to eradicate it. His purpose in exposing evil was not to injure people but to save and heal them. He was always motivated by love, forgiving even those who tried to harm him.
Today, the presence and power of Truth can have a cleansing effect on elections, exposing whatever is false and supporting what is true. Whatever our political views, forgiveness is important as we pray to see truthfulness play a greater role in this election. Instead of reacting with resentment to unjust statements, we can find spiritual peace and power in recognizing that all of us are the children of God. Lies and deceitful actions are no part of anyone's real, God-given individuality. God's children reflect the nature of their Maker. They are united in expressing Truth, and cannot be untruthful any more than the number five can decide to be a negative five. Its identity is established. The identity of each of us is established by God, and it is good.
Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy knew well the harmful effects of malicious falsehoods, and she established the Monitor to counteract dishonest and sensational reporting in her time. She saw in the example and teachings of Jesus the proof that evil is no part of God's creation. In striving to follow Jesus, she proved in her own life that Truth, understood and lived, prevails. She wrote: "Because Truth is omnipotent in goodness, error, Truth's opposite, has no might…. Error is a coward before Truth" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pp. 367-368).
Truth is already present and supreme, and prayer can bring this to light. Our prayers may not completely eradicate the lying and twisting of facts that go on in this or other elections. But to the degree that we're inspired with spiritual understanding – with a love for God and His creation – our prayers will increasingly help unmask falsehood and give impetus to all that is honest and good.