Thirsting After Righteousness

Most Spirited Reasoners have heard of the Sermon on the Mount, which includes a series of sayings known as The Beatitudes. Each Beatitude begins with the phrase “Blessed are [a named group of people],” sometimes translated as “Happy are [they].” Some of these are more popular than others. For example, I have attended a number of funerals where I heard the Beatitude that promises “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4.

Rarely, though, does anyone preach about Matthew 5:6, which reads as follows: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

I confess that I paid little attention to that particular Beatitude until recently. As Fox News began its litany of doubt about the results of the 2020 election, and as Alex Jones spun tales about Sandy Hook and other conspiracy theories, I found myself hungering and thirsting for righteousness. In other words, I wanted those who spouted lies with impunity to face consequences; not so much because I wanted to see them punished, but because I wanted to see truth encouraged while lies were discouraged. To me, righteousness is not about seeing someone get hurt. It’s exactly the opposite. It’s about preventing bullies from hurting innocent victims.

This past week, I saw three news items that left me more than little hopeful that my hunger and thirst were about to be satisfied.

First was the news from the Texas jury in the Alex Jones trial. After heaping lie upon social media lie about the Sandy Hook tragedy, including a claim in his deposition that he had never texted anyone about the tragedy, Alex Jones with surprised to see contradictory evidence in court coming from his own cell phone. Parents of a 6-year-old child killed in that horrible massacre were finally able to taste a bit of righteousness—to the tune of a verdict totally nearly $50 million. Hopefully, they and their attorneys will collect every penny.

Second was the news from Mar-a-Lago, where the FBI (after months of foundational legal work and research) executed a search warrant for the return of documents that belong to the American people. Whether private citizen Donald Trump’s possession of those documents constitutes a violation of the Espionage Act remains to be seen; however, at the very least, We the People deserve an explanation as to why those documents were not delivered to the federal government when they were requested in subpoena many weeks ago.

Third was an article I saw in the New York Times regarding the slow but steady progress of the defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News. That lawsuit, filed in Delaware, has progressed past a number of procedural hurdles, and appears to be worrying those at Fox News who claimed, without merit, that Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory may have been achieved via fraudulent votes cast on Dominion machines. Months could elapse before this case is settled or reaches trial, but the point Spirited Reasoners find so satisfying is the principle that those who assert facts—and especially those doing so to an audience of millions of trusting viewers—have a responsibility to the truth. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/13/business/media/fox-dominion-lawsuit-first-amendment.html