Have you ever been falsely accused?
You are Colonel Mustard in the study with the revolver and have been accused of murder with a knife in the conservatory. There are no cards of defense you can provide and the truth falls on deaf ears. Mr. Green and Mrs. Peacock are engaged in a lurid affair, you caught them, they now conspire to eliminate you, and break the rules of the game to guarantee you will never set foot in the billiard room again. If you are reading this and don’t have a clue what I am talking about, don’t worry, it’s just a game.
Have you ever been the focus of a false accusation where you want desperately to state your case, but the accuser only raises their voice louder and regurgitates their accusation against you with ever increasing intensity. And then when you believe you will finally have the opportunity to defend yourself, the accuser tromps away. Lastly the jury and judge exit without any desire to hear your side of the case. You are a chick wet from the shell feeling cold and exposed.
After publishing my latest book, ACID, The World Has Changed, But Man Has Not, I and my book repeatedly fall prey to accusations that are false. Throughout my residence on this earth I have been falsely accused of some minor transgressions, however this is different.
As an author and an actor, and a preacher for that matter, I am open to both compliments and criticisms; now thanks to email they come poorly written and from faceless people. I’ve come to know that some folks love me, some folks hate me, and most folks . . . well, they are silent fence sitters. Book clubs or reading groups are typically ones to sign-in with a review. Book clubs and reading groups generally offer creative criticism or humbling compliments. A representative of one group of readers referred to me in terms that if I shared them here would change my rating from G to R. They deemed my book a worthless bit of drivel focused on demonizing Hillary Clinton. (On a side note, they spelled her name Hillery.) First, Hillary Clinton manages to be demonized by the media without any help from me. Second, allow me to defend my book.
ACID, is an apocalyptic, science fiction, adventure with a twist of romance set 40 years in the future. The book is only shaded with politics. Yes Hillary Clinton is mentioned. There is a character named Hillary who is a pirate queen. Statistically speaking the book is 79,827 words long, the mention of Hillary Clinton is found in a brief conversation that takes 420 words. Queen Hillary never really appears in the story. The name Hillary occurs 6 times. You do the math to determine the percentage of the book dedicated to “demonizing Hillary Clinton”.
Have you seen the movie, The Princess Bride? If you haven’t you should. In the movie there is a character named, Dread Pirate Roberts. Actually he is not the Dread Pirate Roberts, he only assumes the name because the name instills fear and respect. So it is with my story. Queen Hillary isn’t Hillary Clinton, she only uses the name Hillary (and wears a blond wig) to instill fear.
Bottom line. Did I write the book to demonize Hillary Clinton? No. But you be the judge. If you haven’t read, or listened to, the book then please get a copy and decide for yourself.
What can we do when we are falsely accused?
Assuming you are a scholarly Christian you will likely quote Jesus’ sermon on the mount, specifically the part recorded by Matthew and found in our Bible in the fifth chapter of the gospel of Matthew, beginning in verse 38.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love you neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
– Matthew 5:38-48 (NIV)
That’s all good and right, and fine for Jesus to say, but it ain’t so simple to live, anyway not for a regular guy like me. Maybe you are one of them super Christians who have proven yourself by walking on water—living these verses in the adversity of being falsely accused is simple for you.
Now don’t go accusing me of something! Hear me out. And if you are a regular Christian like me, maybe, just maybe, my words will help. Admittedly I am not a theologian, anyway not by the standards set forth by the institutions of higher learning. However I am a theologian based upon the Latin: I think about, and or study about God.
I am very fortunate to have had a dad who was good, kind, wise, intelligent, good-looking, a hard worker, creative, inwardly and outwardly a Christian, loved his wife and family, and was generally loved by everyone. Okay, he would probably make a fuss and downplay all those . . . except maybe being good-looking. Throughout my life he offered his proverbs or sayings, some of which didn’t make sense until I was wise enough to understand them myself. Give ear to a couple of his proverbs that provided me with the stamina to get through the event of false accusations.
“Keep the nose to the grindstone.”
“Keep your front porch swept.”
– Maurice Klinger 1920-2012
Beginning with the second, “Keep your front porch swept.” Basically keep your own business in order and don’t worry about the business of your neighbor; they need to worry about their own front porch. And, it is not important to point out that your neighbor has a messy front porch. Being an accuser tends to make folks scrutinize your porch. Do what is good and right. Be a Daniel and keep on honoring and praying to God. When the accusers come and demand you be thrown into the lions den, don’t worry, God will defend you. As long as you keep your front porch swept, you’ve done all you can do.
“Keep the nose to the grindstone,” took me a bit longer to decode. My dad was a welder for much of his life. I will add: He was a really good welder. When I was young he taught me some basics in metal working. Much of my welding required grinding afterwards . . . still does. He taught me to always, when holding material with a pliers while I was grinding, keep the pliers straight on at the grinding wheel. If you hold the pliers off to a side, the grinding wheel conceivably can catch the material and throw it, potentially injuring you. Referring to the pliers he would remind me to keep the nose to grindstone. In life I have come to understand that to keep the nose to the grindstone, is another way to say, whatever you do, do it right, approach it straight-on, and it likely won’t come back at you and injure you. Be like Stephen in the book of Acts, answer your accusers straight on with truth. You may get stoned to death, but you will have seen heaven open beforehand.
In life, I earnestly try to keep my front porch swept. Doing so provides me with the assurance that I am keeping my life in order. The accusations of my demonizing Hillary Clinton did not weigh on me too much. My book is science fiction not a political essay. True I occasionally wonder, knowing some of the history regarding people who fell into disfavor with the Clintons, if some strange accident will befall me or my book will be banned by the Feds. Typically I make an effort to keep my front porch swept by living a fairly transparent life. Admittedly there is some clutter on my front porch, I don’t hide the fact that I’m not perfect.
Being declared, in no uncertain terms, to be less than a male cow’s excrement when it came to my writing stung (maybe I should say it stunk). Because I keep the nose to the grindstone, I do all my work and my writing to the best of my ability, I didn’t suffer injury. I know the truth. I’m not doing anything on the sly, working an angle to demonize anyone. Like most writers I aim for an audience. Originally I aimed for a Christian audience, now however I find the Steam Punk culture more receptive. Again let me say, my book is science fiction not a political essay.
Although I wasn’t given opportunity to verbally defend myself, I don’t need to. My book speaks for itself.
This month I have attempted to defend myself from a false accusation or bad rap. Next month I will attempt to defend one of Jesus’ disciples from what I believe is a bad rap.
Scroll back to the top and take another look at that smoking gun. Beware of making a presupposition about that smoking gun, next month you will probably be proved wrong.