On Display January 6: Lies, Not Masculinity

We continue our lead-up to discussing the Sacred Masculine with some thoughts on its opposite.  

“Capitol Breach” January 6, 2021. Photo by Brett Davis on Flickr.

When I listen to today’s news–including the denial of the violence that we all saw happening on television on January 6; and the denial of the results of a presidential election; and now the revelation of how many conservative media people and even the son of the defeated president tried to get through to the White House to end the riots, I recognize an epiphany of the shadow masculine.  

bell hooks tells us that Patriarchy begins with teaching boys to lie and unfolds from there.  “Lying is one of the most powerful weapons in this arsenal [to] maintain dominance over women.”  Women often fall into the same trap since “the mask of patriarchal ‘femininity’ often renders women’s deceptions as acceptable.”*    

Sean Hannity speaking with attendees at the 2019 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Originally posted to Flickr by Gage Skidmore.

How masculine are lies?  Saint Hildegard of Bingen says that it is through “the evil of lying that all injustice and all sin rose up.”**  Liars bring about injustice and from that great evil follows.

We are learning that big shot media names at Fox News all contacted the White House on January 6 to get the president to end the rebellion—it would “destroy his legacy,” they shouted.  Yet, when they went on air that day and weeks and months since, there has been no effort to tell the truth they knew and confessed that fateful day.  Instead, an unbridled shouting of the very lies that aroused the violence fills their airwaves.  

The foundational Lie, what has been called the “Big Lie,” that there was a purposeful miscount of presidential ballots, goes on and on, enflaming the souls of people who cannot bear the truth that even the attorney general at the time and over 69 court decisions have declared: No fraud in the election.  Based on that lie, in state after state, numerous legislatures are passing laws to make voting for minorities and young people harder or impossible.  

Hildegard seems to have been right: Lies cover for injustice and birth all kinds of sins and havoc. 

*bell hooks, all about love: New Visions, pp. 41, 45.

**Hildegard of Bingen: The Book of the Rewards of Life, trans. By Bruce w. Hozeski, p. 287.

See Matthew Fox, Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen and Hildegard of Bingen, a Saint For Our Times.

To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Metropolitan Police attempt to hold back the insurrectionist mob, January 6, 2021. Photo by BlinkO’Fanaye on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you recognize with bell hooks and Hildegard that lying is the launch pad for injustice?  And that lying is not just a personal thing but can sustain political, media and economic violence?  (It can also help make lots of ill-fated money.)  

Recommended Reading

Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen

An introduction to the life and work of Hildegard of Bingen, Illuminations reveals the life and teachings of one of the greatest female artists and intellectuals of the Western Mystical Tradition.  At the age of 42, she began to have visions; these were captured as 36 illuminations–24 of which are recorded in this book along with her commentaries on them.
“If one person deserves credit for the great Hildegard renaissance in our time, it is Matthew Fox.”  – Dr Mary Ford-Grabowsky, author of Sacred Voices.

Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century

Matthew Fox writes in Hildegard of Bingen about this amazing woman and what we can learn from her.
In an era when women were marginalized, Hildegard was an outspoken, controversial figure. Yet so visionary was her insight that she was sought out by kings, popes, abbots, and bishops for advice.
“This book gives strong, sterling, and unvarnished evidence that everything – everything – we ourselves become will affect what women after us may also become….This is a truly marvelous, useful, profound, and creative book.” ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism.

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

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9 thoughts on “On Display January 6: Lies, Not Masculinity”

  1. Avatar

    In my personal experience, as one whom has taken a vow to advocate for the well being and needs of the elders under ones care, I have chosen to speak truth to injustice many times. It still shocks me, when I encounter individuals whom are in positions of authority and power and the lengths they will go to, choosing to deliberately lie to protect their own self-interests, rather than stand accountability and responsible for the error of regarding profits over people, as well as many other inhumane vices. It’s as if these individuals have no conscience, which often surprises and appalles me at the same time.

    Speaking truth to injustice has cost me, as it did Jesus. But even though I suffered much as a result of doing so, I would do it all over again, because that’s what the truth, light and salt of God’s love, compassion and mercy does. The really hard part comes later, when you are challenged to forgive, prayer for, and yes dare I say love these same individuals. What helps me meet this paradoxal challenge is to try to understand that I do not know their personal story, those life experiences that wounded and hardened their hearts, that armored their conscience, that drew them into the darkness of apathy.

    I think that Jesus when he walked upon this earth, had an advantage when it comes to this, for I sense that he could and still does see into the soul of another… he knows their soul stories more than these individuals know themselves, and therefore it is this that enables and empowers him, then and now, to love all those we percieve as our enemies. I also believe that this depth of seeing into another, also helped Him to see these individual souls, then and now, beyond the inner darkness of all of their inner pain, wounding and suffering, into the light of their true identity, as a beloved child of God.

    In and of myself I am incapable of such unconditional love, and yet the potential of that same Holy Spirit, of turning towards and giving of this Divine Nature of Love, is a choice I am called to make… even if I have to fake it till I make it, as I learn to surrender to being Oned With His Sacred Heart.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, It must seem to you and others that Matthew has been spending a lot of time in the Via Negativa with just a few days of a break. But I wanted to share with you and our other commentators that Matthew has received the following awards for his work in peace and non-violence: He has received The Gandhi King Ikeda Award in recognition of service to community and the world through dedication to peace and unity, and commitment to nonviolence, as well as being the recipient of the Abbey Courage of Conscience and Peace Award (other recipients being the Dali Lama, Mother Teresa, Ernesto Cardenal and Rosa Parks). So he’s in good company when it comes to his efforts for peace. Perhaps it would be good to hear him speak more about these efforts…

      1. Avatar

        I would very much appreciate Mathew sharing more of his personal stories, and how he has learnt to reconcile within himself the paradoxes and tensions that we encounter within our spiritual journeys. Often he has spoken of love and justice as being two sides of the same coin. In my comment today I tried to share my own struggle with this. Living on the edge, balancing this coin, of love and justice is often quite difficult and challenging, due to the intensity of inner emotions and thoughts that often arise when one chooses to speak truth, with love in order to restore justice. Mathew has often spoken of the importance of moving away from duality, an us vs them mentality, into the nondualism of unity, interconnection, interdependence and the interreliabilty of oneness that leads to wholeness. This too, I sense is apart of the human struggle one encounters when one chooses to take a stand for love and justice. It seems to me, that you can’t take a stand for justice without love, love for all those involved, even those we often perceive as enemies, liarers, or evil. I believe we all struggle to somehow meet in the middle of this duality of us vs them, to find the we place, in our journey of love and justice. I’m certain Mathew has personal stories to tell about how he’s reconciled some of this within himself and his own spiritual journey that we could all learn from.

        1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
          Richard Reich-Kuykendall

          Jeanette, Very well said. One can get a lot of Matthew’s stories in his autobiography, CONFESSIONS: THE MAKING OF A POST-DENOMINATIONAL PRIEST. But I think others would also like to know how he keeps a balance in his life, and in the midst of division how he can still envision unity…

  2. Avatar

    The “big lie” was of course Adolph Hitler’s primary weapon and strategy. It produced great evil and suffering but ultimately failed. Speak the Truth in LOVE—LOVE will indeed prevail, even make all things new as we choose to participate with Them. }:- a.m.

  3. Avatar

    Hildegard speaks God’s Spirit of Truth about the sin~the unholy~toxin masculinity of the lie and how destructive it has been to our lives/relations/society/nature/Mother Earth… in our human history up to the present time. Very few people such as our mystics, shamans, prophets, social justice workers, contemplatives, genuine spiritual seekers, and ordinary humble loving human beings in our history and in our present day truly have genuine faith and live in ongoing Oneness with-in God’s Spirit of Love~Light(Truth/Wisdom)~Life(Peace/Justice/Joy)… Even though spiritually challenging, this is why it’s such a moral responsibility for the evolution of our personal soul and of our communal Soul consciousness on our transformative spiritual journeys with-in God’s Spirit of Love~Light~Life….

  4. Avatar

    It’s so clear. Two of the most common names for Satan are “the great deceiver” and “the father of lies.” This being so, isn’t it remarkable that people who call themselves Christians (and who are better called “Christian Nationalists” or better yet “White Nationalists” can’t see that the person they follow has attracted people through a lifelong pattern of deception and lies.

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