Thursday, 4 November 2010

What's black and white and red all over?

While doing some extensive research for yesterday's post (surfing youtube) I came across another Christine O'Donnell clip.  In this one she is seeking to promote the idea that lying is always wrong.  Fair enough.

However Eddie Izzard is also on the show with her and he asserts that there are grades of lies, that some lies are more serious than others and that sometimes it is better to lie. He asks Miss O'Donnell what would she do if, during the second world war she had been harbouring Jews from the Nazis and Hitler came to the door and asked her where they were.  Would she lie then?

The Bible clearly teaches against lying (e.g. Exodus 20:16 and Leviticus 19:11) but is it always wrong? When is it ok to tell a lie if ever?  How can we always be truthful and yet avoid problems like in the senario above?

Your comments would be most welcome.


  1. thanks for this one phil. Lies are either used to not offend others or protect ourselves. When asked how we are, many people including Christians, say fine or okay, even when we're screaming inside. In this case do we lie to cover ourselves and risk further questions about us or because we think that other people just are asking out of politeness and don't genuinely care.

  2. Good point. If we all answered the 'how are you?' question honestly it would take a lot longer to get through the day but it may take some of the stress from life. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that.(or maybe people would just stop asking the question). Can lies sometimes be used to protect others such as in the 'Anne Frank' situation above? If so are some lies good lies?

  3. Surely if you are lying to protect others from something then your heart is in the right place, but that still doesn't excuse the lie. There is always the risk that one lie can turn to another and keep escalating beyond the point of return.