Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

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I've been reading Papal Sin, by Garry Wills. It's an exploration of the propagation of deceit in the highest office of the Catholic church. More specifically, it is how popes lied to protect their own interests, their own biases. I am near the end, and Wills is discussing Augustine's Deception. One of the points Augustine makes is that the words are not important, the intent is. I had to think about Bush's willingness to deceive the public about the Iraq war by carefully crafting words he knew would deceive.

I also thought of my former "lover", who said he never lied to me. But he left things out, allowed me to believe the wrong things. But there was something else. I believe he wanted to tell the truth but found it difficult. I think he would have been relieved if somehow I had discerned it from his manner. He was lying but in a way not wanting to, not wanting to hurt me but also not wanting to bear the consequences of the truth.

The few times I saw him after our breakup he was more honest. He told me straight out that he had a disease he may have given me (he didn't; I was tested). I think he tries to be truthful but he engaged in various forms of prevarication for so long that it was difficult for him, and he allowed himself to slip into the easier role. I haven't come upon a section of Augustine's treatise that goes into allowing falsehoods to be believed while actually wanting the truth to be known. I suspect he could state it more elegantly than I am here.

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