The Audacity of Former President Obama: Today we’re talking about absolute truth. Dr. Everett Piper from Oklahoma Wesleyan University will be with us with an interesting commentary on a speech that former President Obama did recently talking about restoring and coming back to absolute truth. Tune in now for more!
Air Date: 08/13/2018
Guest: Dr. Everett Piper
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about the day’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. Always from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
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David, Tim, later in the program Everett Piper will be with us with an interesting commentary on a speech that President Obama did recently talking about restoring and coming back to absolute truth. Interesting topic for the president.
By the way, I’m totally in favor of that topic.
I think it’s a great idea. We’ve been arguing that for a long time. So, I would say, “Mr. President, welcome to the discussion–”
More Political Posturing?
“–Thank you for joining us.” But it’s very interesting when one of the things we see politically is that oftentimes people will position and posture themselves based on what is the most beneficial for them at that moment. Which is where, historically, you can go back with President Obama during his first run for presidency. He supported traditional marriage. In his second presidential run he said, “My position on marriage has evolved.”
And this is not unique for President Obama. This is kind of the history of politics where when people want to be elected their position will evolve to whatever the culture says, but because there’s an evolving position then there’s no longer absolute truth. Because absolute truth does not involve, it doesn’t change over time. It’s a standard, a foundation that you can build on because it’s not constantly shifting and changing.
So, it is just interesting he’s now taking that position. We need to support absolutes or absolute truth because it makes me wonder, has he now discovered truth and this is the new revelation like, “Wow, no, truth does exist and we need to stand on it.” Or is this maybe just more political posturing.
Yeah, and what does he mean by absolute truth all of a sudden if the left has been all about destroying moral absolutes and saying anything goes and everything’s okay? So, why would he even use that terminology? It’s very, very, intriguing. I think Dr. Piper’s a great one to get commentary on this.
And it will be interesting because when you look at President Obama’s operational method that he used in office it was always about activism. It was always about redefining and moving things forward. It was, as he said, he had a pen and a phone, so he would create policy, and make policy, and institute new policies, and push down this barrier, and this wall. And it wasn’t good walls and barriers that he was pushing down.
As Tim mentioned, things like marriage, or when he created that policy within the State Department that, hey, we’re going to withhold state department funds unless your nation internationally is pushing abortion and pushing LGBT rights. He was pushing against things that have been considered absolute truth for not just generations, but for millennia.
Let’s See What He Means By That
There was, he spoke about some of this evolving view of man. And a book that he wrote 12 years ago as a sitting U.S. senator before he became president was Audacity of Hope. It became number one in the New York Times bestseller list. Number one on Amazon the list. So, to hear him come out now and say that he supports absolute truth, it’s kind of like, okay, I really need you to define that for me, or at least show me where you had the epiphany. Because I don’t know that I really heard what you said because I’m kind of in confusion. I’ve never seen that or heard that from you before.
So, it will be interesting to see what he means by that. And one of the guys that has looked at this and and really did a great piece on what Obama said about absolute truth was Dr. Everett Piper. And we love him, he’s very articulate, he is very forthright and outspoken, but President Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
Dr Everett Piper will be with us when we come back. Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
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Welcome back. Thanks for being with us here at WallBuilders Live. Dr. Everett Piper is back with us from a Oklahoma Wesleyan University. President and just all around great guy. Dr. Piper, great to have you on.
It’s always an honor. Thanks for having me on.
Hey you write great articles. I’ll tell you, you’ve had some great articles last few years. This one on the audacity of Obama is just fantastic. I didn’t even see this speech, so I didn’t know about him making this statement on objective truth. But you nailed it – great article. We’re going to have a link today at WallBuildersLive.com today so folks can read it. But I guess, were you just sitting there watching the speech and this stuff started hitting you as you were watching it?
Bemoaning the Loss of Objective Truth
Well, it’s just, your jaw drops. Sometimes you just can’t believe, again, the audacity of the left, progressives, who will say something that is completely opposite and completely * to their worldive. And everything that they’ve espoused for the last decade or two.
In this case, Barack Obama actually bemoans the loss of objective truth. Those are his words, “the loss of objective truth” in the political arena. And then he says there are folks out there that just make stuff up and then they double down when they’re caught in a lie.
I’m listening to this of Barack Obama, and I’m thinking I can’t believe these words are actually escaping your lips because you’re the guy who in the Audacity of Hope actually said that the Founding Fathers used objective truth as a means to control people. And that we needed to move beyond objectivity and the objective truths that the Founding Fathers claimed – i.e. a two day old Christian ethic comes from language, Declaration of Independence, self evident truth. We move beyond that if we’re going to gain human liberty and human * in our culture. Talk about self-refuting nonsense, and perplexity, and hypocrisy, at every turn.
I did not even know that he had said that in the book. So, yeah, absolute hypocrisy and a total turn. And you point out in the article how important it is to– and by the way, I love your tone and the way you wrote it, “Thank you, Mr. President, for being on this side of the equation now” and then you point out several of the fallacies that we see in his own actions and speech. But obviously, we want people to read the article.
It’s Got To Mean Something
But when he says this is that an indication to us? Does that mean that the American people, for the most part, want objective truth? Because he wouldn’t say that if he didn’t think that’s what people wanted to hear. We know he doesn’t believe it, but if he said it then it’s got to mean something.
Well, I think it’s an affirmation not just of the American people, but of the human soul and the human heart. We go back to Mere Christianity and C.S. Lewis when he tells us why one of the reasons he became a convert to Christianity out of atheism. Because he recognized that the whole idea of good and evil, of right and wrong, was an objective standard that never changed culture a culture and from time to time.
You remember where he says you’re standing in line as a little child and somebody steals your orange and you say, “Wait a second, that’s my orange.” Or if somebody cuts in line you say, “Stop it, you cut in line.” Why? Because you got a sense of objective right and objective wrong, of objective truth.
So, what we see right now is the left is admitting the value and the high ground of the biblical worldview. That there are objective truths out there and that it does matter what you believe. And just because it works for you doesn’t make it right – it could be wrong. So, this whole idea of the progressive agenda, of making it up as you go, of hope and change, of progressing beyond the sterile antiquated ideas of the Bible is nonsense. Because when culture starts unraveling around them, what do they try to grab a hold of? The biblical worldview, objective truth.
Let’s go into what you talked about in terms of you asking him, “What standard are you going to use for evaluating truth?” And you had several great examples there.
What Standard Are You Going To Use?
Well, what are you going to do when it comes down to– and one of the things I pointed out in the article – I’m glad you all of a sudden care about this because your agenda actually believes that it’s okay to label a child a biological lump of cells even though he’s three quarters way out of the birth canal–
–arms, and legs, and toes, and hands, and everything but his head, and you’re going to label him– you’re going to lie and say that this is a blob of tissue rather than a human being. Well, I’m glad all of a sudden you’ve got an objective standard that will stop this atrocity, and actually correct this nightmare, and tell the truth about what it means to be human.
You also pointed out that this was an administration that decided to disregard– this is that what the article says– “Disregard the 2000 year old meaning of marriage and replace it with a contrived and court imposed subjective construct never before conceived of in a free society.” So, you said, “I’m delighted he now stands against making stuff up.”
Yeah. Can you– is there a * for making stuff up in our culture and in our time. You take a sacrament of the church, marriage, and you break down this wall of separation of church and state that they’ve worshipped for the last couple of decades and that they made up. You break that wall down and now you disparage, if you will, a sacrament of the church and you make it a government imposed idea. I mean, please. Thank you, Mr. President. I’m glad you’re not going to make this junk up anymore.
Another Poster Child
Well, you go on to say, “At a time when we no longer seem to understand the biological facts of what it means to be a male or female, I’m grateful Mr. Obama wants to stop ‘doubling down on lies’. Thank you for being so concerned about the veracity of certain ideas.” Again, another poster child. The fact that we’re just going to throw out basic biology is clearly rejecting objective truth and he was a big part of that.
Exactly. Is there anything more objectively true about our reality than when we’re born a scientist pronounces upon us “it’s a boy” or “it’s a girl”, “it’s male” or “it’s female”. That’s an objective fact. We shouldn’t lie about it. So, thank you, Mr. President. I’m glad we’re not going to do that anymore.
You close it out actually talking about the fact that if we’re going to return to objective truth, that it can’t be– I love how you use his words. I’ve got to just read this. I don’t usually just read the articles, but this is too good.
Now you said, “Perhaps, President Obama, if you want to see our culture return to the standards of ‘objective truth’ that you now champion, it might be wise to admit that you are not ‘the one we’ve been waiting for’. And you are not ‘the change we seek’. And that anyone who says that ‘implicit in the idea of ordered liberty is a rejection of absolute truth’”– and that’s where he quoted him out of Audacity of Hope— “is not the one to now be lecturing the rest of us about truthfulness and honesty.”
Let me just get you to zero in on how that objective truth has got to be outside of ourselves.
A Measuring Rod Outside of Ourselves
Again, I love the quote of C.S. Lewis. You must have a measuring rod outside of those things being measured or you can do no measuring. And that measuring rod isn’t you, Rick, and it’s not me, and it’s not Barack Obama. He’s not the one we’ve been waiting for, he’s not the change we seek. The one we’re waiting for and the change we seek is the objective truth of Jesus Christ, the truth of Christ and the truth of Scripture. And without that measuring rod judging what’s right and what’s wrong we’ve got a mess on our hands.
And one of the most frightening quotes I ever heard from any candidate for the president who later got elected to be president was Barack Obama in 2008 when he said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for and we are the change we seek.” That’s frightening. No, you’re not. You’re not the measuring rod and if you think you are than we don’t have a constitutionally free republic any longer. We’ve got a despot.
It’s so great to be able to just have everyone agree. Now, we all want objective truth. Now, we just need to seek it. So, yeah, like you said in the article, thank you, Mr. President, for saying objective truth is what we want.
Dr. Piper, always appreciate your moral clarity and just the way that you communicate these things. It’s just great. Oklahoma Wesleyan University and where can folks go to find out more?
www.okwu.edu. And you can follow me on Twitter. It’s Dr. Everett Piper, that’s Everett Piper. And don’t forget my book – It’s Not a Day Care. You can get it a NotADayCare.com.
NotADayCare.com. We’ll have the Twitter link, the link to Oklahoma Wesleyan, all of it at WallBuildersLive.com today to make it easy. Dr. Piper, have a great one. Thanks for your time today.
Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
Hey, guys, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our Founding Fathers about the original intent of our nation, a constitutional heritage that we have. And really we’ve seen how far we slipped away from that. And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk think, “I wish there was a place that I could go where I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the Founding Fathers firsthand. See the things they did.”
I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing. If you get online you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon Project, to the Founders Constitution, Google Books, or even the internet archives.
Or you can just go to WallBuilders.com. We have a section for our WallBuilders Library. And under that section we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites. Where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself. Friends, this is the time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. WallBuilders.com is a great place to go.
Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks to Everett Piper for joining us today. And just a side note – Oklahoma Wesleyan University, check it out. If you’re looking for where to send your kids, you want to know it’s good worldview.
In fact, we’re back with David and Tim, by the way. Tim, last week at Patriot Academy I had a few students asking me about schools to go to. And of course Liberty, and Dallas Baptist, there’s a lot of good good options out there. But I said, man, you also need to check– especially this one kid, he’s a baseball player, and Oklahoma Wesleyan has a great baseball team. So, I was like, “You need to check out Oklahoma Wesleyan.”
There Is No Doubt
Yeah, there’s no doubt. And one of the things, actually, Dr. Pyper has been on the program before talking about what parents should be looking for when they look at universities. And he said the first question you should always ask, talk to the president, and he said if the president won’t see you then it’s not even worth sending your kid there. Because if they think they’re too important for the people that they are leading then you don’t want to go there. But he says you need to ask them how do they define truth and what is a standard for truth? Because if there are no absolutes then there’s no point in your kid going to school there.
So, I’ve always thought about that because there’s not many people that are better defenders of truth. Especially when you find– I guess, when you look in academia, then Dr. Piper is. He is so clear, just so unequivocal of defending what truth, is defining those lines and boundaries. And even as he said during the interview, I thought it was such a great point when you can take a guy like a C.S. Lewis who was a noted secular kind of anti God atheist guy and what brought Lewis around was he was looking at the reality of truth. He says, right, even if you don’t believe in God, somebody cuts in front of you in line and you get offended because they violated what is this innate sense of right and wrong.
Well, if there’s something innate in us that says there is right and wrong, where does it come from and what is that in reality? And there’s something in culture that tells us things are true. We’ve talked before on the program where the majority of millennials and GenZers will say there is no absolute moral truth. And I always argue that even though they say that they actually do believe in absolute moral truth. Kind of like C.S. Lewis talked about somebody takes an orange from you and you go, “Hey, give that back, it’s mine.” There’s something innate in us that tells us there’s things that are right and wrong.
A Culture That Doesn’t Want to Acknowledge Reality
And the example I use with with young people is, do you think it’s wrong for someone to take an AR15, to go into a school and start murdering children? Every millennial will say, “Well, absolutely. That’s totally wrong.” Now, wait a second, if truth is subjective and if every individual is supposed to determine truth for themselves, who are you to say what somebody else does is wrong. It’s because there’s something innate in us that says there is truth, it does exist. There is something beyond us. And yet we have a culture that that doesn’t want to acknowledge what reality itself is revealing.
One of the things I found interesting this summer– and really, we’re coming to the end of the summer. And, Tim, we’ve finished three particular sessions with leadership training, than we had other leadership training after that. Three of the sessions are two weeks long, some are one week long at the locations. And what always amazed me was you’re talking to a group of young people, 18 to 25, thereabouts, that have grown up in a culture that has told them that truth is subjective, that you can determine your own truth and don’t let anybody else tell you what truth is. So, they’ve grown up hearing that. But as you point out, it’s really easy to get them very quickly to acknowledge that there are truths that are not subjective.
So, one of the things I enjoyed hearing was we would go through each day and at the end of the day you would say, “Alright, now, what stood out to you most today?” And they would pick this, or that, or whatever. But I was really pleased with how often they would come back to truth and say, “When we talked about this being truth today that makes so much sense. And I see that.”
So, it was so good to be able to see them respond to truth and come up with recognizing there are absolute standards of right and wrong and moral truth does exist. So, to have that is an acknowledge. And that’s one thing you see from history, if you want to go to history, if you want to go to experience, if you want to go to science, there are truths that don’t just change.
Imagine what would happen if in science you said there are no absolutes, you can determine your own truth in science. Well, how’s that going to work for all the laws of kinetics, and thermodynamics, and motion, and gravity. You can’t do that. There’s laws you can’t change.
So, that was one of the things that was really encouraging to me this summer was to see how how rapidly young people recognize that there actually are absolute rights and wrongs, and that they can be identified, and can be proven. So, that’s one of the really optimistic things I see going forward is that despite what other people say and what academia says, there are absolutes and young people respond to that.
And of course, now even President Obama says we should have objective truth. That’s moral absolutes, folks. We’ve got to make sure that the culture recognizes that as well. Stay with us. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
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Not Losing the Concept of Objective Truth
Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. And thanks to Dr. Piper for coming on earlier.
David, Tim, so we’ve got this speech by President Obama saying we should not lose the concept of objective truth Dr. Pyper pointed out so well how many times former President Obama– actually, can I just say that again? Former President Obama. Can I do that one more time? Former– I’m sorry, I just enjoy that moment. Anyway–
I hear pleasure in your voice as you’re saying that.
–former President Obama actually obviously was trying to change things that are absolute and make them look like what they obviously are not. So, what is this business of objective truth and what does the former president mean by that?
Yeah, it’s one of the things, Rick, we mentioned, I think, in the first segment about how oftentimes politicians will politically posture themselves to put themselves on one side of the issue or the other based on what they perceive to be the most advantageous for their political future, or their career, kind of wherever the wind is blowing right now, They’re going to go that direction.
So, some of the attacks on President Trump are that he’s not acknowledging reality, like he’s making things up. Even this notion of fake news, you have people like Jim Acosta who is a reporter for CNN who’s being very critical of President Trump. And actually, Sarah Sanders, when he says the president has said that the media is against the people and Jim Acosta is asking Sarah Sanders, “Will you come out and say the president’s wrong that we’re not the enemy the American people?” And Sarah Sanders goes through a list of areas where the news media has been very, very, much hateful, and very vindictive, and very dishonest, and never really kind of supports his position.
The Objective Reality
But it’s one of those situations where oftentimes the opposition only wants to argue what benefits them. And this is where we would tell him, “Jim Acosta, you’re not recognizing objective reality.” The objective reality is the news media has been very much against Trump supporters. That if you supported Trump and then you are ignorant, you are these Bible toting, gun clinging, or maybe it’s gun toting, Bible clinging, whatever it was. We have guns and God is what they were getting at. And they painted that as negative.
Well, this has been something that for them they’re saying, “Oh, it’s not true. We don’t, we’re not against the American people.” If you only want to acknowledge truth when it benefits your side then you’re politically posturing. And this is what has happened with people attacking President Trump. They’re saying, “Oh, he’s not acknowledging reality. He’s denying objective reality and objective truth.”
And actually, it’s even some of the great ironies and I think, Rick, you mentioned this even during the interview where people are now wanting to deny science. We don’t want to acknowledge genders anymore. Well, this is objective reality, but it’s not their objective reality.
So, now, if you’re Republicans and you believe in only two genders, then then you’re denying objective reality. This is where we don’t actually know what objective reality is anymore or objective morals and standards. It’s just whatever we define to be truth. And subjective truth is not objective truth and I think we’ve confuse these issues a little bit in culture. If we’re only politically posturing to defend our side that is not objective reality or objective truth. That is subjective we’re promoting for our own benefit and gain.
What We Have to Get Back to In Culture
Tim, what you’re talking about, I think, is really– people are confused on this in our culture today. So, I know you and David Pate, by the way, who came to Patriot Academy last week. He’s just fantastic. People need to get him in. But you guys actually tag team on this very topic where you spend a whole day really teaching this subject and getting people to get a grasp on it.
Yeah, Rick, this is a seminar that David Pate and I will do. We’re invited in based on the venue, based on the group, that invites us. It might be a one day conference, or a two day conference, a weekend conference, whatever it is. But we will definitely go in and the idea is to defend objective reality based on the word of God. Where this is not a standard that changes based on how I feel. And I don’t just promote an agenda based on what I think. No, this is an objective standard revealed from God. What the founding fathers recognized as the laws of nature and nature’s God. And this is what we have to go back to in culture is knowing what truth is.
The Audacity of Former President Obama With Dr. Everett Piper
And that applies to everyone – not just the students who came to Patriot Academy last week, not just, certainly, presidents, but all of us as citizens. We need to understand with that objective truth is. So, folks, find out more about that seminar. We’ll have a link today at WallBuildersLive.com. You should get Tim and David Pate to come in and do that seminar for you. Find out more at WallBuildersLive.com.
And then also going to WallBuilders.com. You can make a one time contribution or become a monthly partner of ours to help us continue to spread this truth and make sure that people do understand objective truth. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.