A Reminder to “Live Not by Lies”

On February 12, 1974, Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was arrested. That same day, he released a short essay titled, “Live Not by Lies.”

Besides being a political dissident, Solzhenitsyn was a Christian, a teacher, a thought-provoking intellectual, an author, a Nobel laureate, and a survivor of the gulag.

The day after his arrest, Solzhenitsyn was exiled to the West. In the following years, he received the prestigious Templeton Prize and delivered the commencement address at Harvard.

In 1983 Solzhenitsyn famously wrote that Russia’s trouble stemmed from the fact that “men have forgotten God.”

In an era when it’s difficult to know what’s true and what’s false, Solzhenitsyn’s 1974 essay “Live Not by Lies” is still a timeless reminder that free men and women should not participate lies.

In it, Solzhenitsyn writes that a man who does not live by lies is one who:

Will not write, sign, nor publish in any way, a single line distorting, so far as he can see, the truth;

Will not utter such a line in private or in public conversation, nor read it from a crib sheet, nor speak it in the role of educator, canvasser, teacher, actor;

Will not in painting, sculpture, photograph, technology, or music depict, support, or broadcast a single false thought, a single distortion of the truth as he discerns it;

Will not cite in writing or in speech a single “guiding” quote for gratification, insurance, for his success at work, unless he fully shares the cited thought and believes that it fits the context precisely;

Will not be forced to a demonstration or a rally if it runs counter to his desire and his will; will not take up and raise a banner or slogan in which he does not fully believe;

Will not raise a hand in vote for a proposal which he does not sincerely support; will not vote openly or in secret ballot for a candidate whom he deems dubious or unworthy;

Will not be impelled to a meeting where a forced and distorted discussion is expected to take place;

Will at once walk out from a session, meeting, lecture, play, or film as soon as he hears the speaker utter a lie, ideological drivel, or shameless propaganda;

Will not subscribe to, nor buy in retail, a newspaper or journal that distorts or hides the underlying facts.

You can read the entire essay “Live Not by Lies” SolzhenitsynCenter.org and you can hear it read below.

This May Be One of The Finest Speeches Ever Delivered in the Arkansas Senate

Elected officials have always disagreed and leveled personal attacks. While disagreements have been commonplace, personal attacks used to be rare and short-lived, but not anymore.

There is a big difference between fighting to defeat a bill and fighting to destroy the person sponsoring it.

After the Arkansas Senate convened on Wednesday, Sen. James Sturch (R – Batesville) addressed the growing hostility in Arkansas politics and the breakdown in civility.

It may be one of the finest speeches ever delivered in the Arkansas Senate. Watch it below.

Library Board In Jonesboro Fails to Adopt Policy Protecting Kids From Graphic Sexual Material

On Monday the Craighead County Public Library Board rejected a proposal to move books containing graphic sexual content out of the children’s section of the Jonesboro Public Library, according to KAIT News.

This is at least the second time that the library board has failed to adopt a policy addressing sexual content at the library.

You may remember last year the library made headlines after a lawsuit revealed that extremely graphic material was on the shelves in the children’s section of the Jonesboro library.

The proposed policy that the library board rejected on Monday said,

“The purpose of this policy is to protect minors from unintentional exposure to sexually graphic/explicit material in the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library and to assist parents who wish to allow children to browse through books in areas designated for minors by ensuring some areas of the library are free of detailed descriptions of sexual encounters. 

“Any material in the library placed in areas that are designated for use particularly by minors shall not contain text describing or images depicting sexually graphic/explicit acts.”

This proposal wouldn’t have eliminated sexually-explicit material at the library altogether, but it at least would have moved sexually-explicit material out of the children’s area.

Arkansas’ law against obscenity contains an exception for schools, museums, and public libraries, and to our knowledge libraries in Arkansas have never faced any consequences for loaning pornographic material to children.

Libraries have the ability to remove pornographic, obscene, or inappropriate material from their shelves — especially in areas of the library where there might be children. Unfortunately, the public library in Jonesboro is not taking steps to do that.