Seeking truth in a world often waging war against honesty

Trust: “Firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing; confidence or reliance. The condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in one” (

Trust is what makes societies function properly. When trust is lacking, conflicts arise and bonds between individuals and groups begin to fray and frequently break. Looking at American society through the lens of trust or its lack spotlights the state of the nation.

Trust/mistrust in government: In modern politics, our major political parties are based upon either trust in government (the Democrats) or distrust of government (the Republicans). Democrats often see government as their only real protection against the power of the rich. They favor large government programs because they see the pharmaceuticals, the bankers, Wall Street and other large corporations out to take advantage of them and steal what little wealth they have. Without strong and effective government oversight, most people feel helpless in the face of the grasping greed of big business. The sugar industry is a good example of this. For decades, they deflected attention from sugary soda drinks, which are a major factor in Americans’ growing obesity, to fats, which, if consumed thoughtfully, actually diminish hunger pangs and help to reduce weight.

Republicans, on the other hand, see government as the enemy because government regulations steal their hard-earned money through taxation and oppressive regulation. This government oversight takes their profits through stupid and bureaucratic rules that make little or no sense. Talk to any business person, and he/she will give colorful accounts of how the government’s rigid regulations reduced their profits and diverted their investment funds to satisfy meaningless requirements.

As I have aged, I have realized that many well-intentioned but ridiculous rules only create stress and provide no real benefit. It’s aggravating.

Trust/mistrust in religion and marriage: Church attendance in the mainline Christian churches has diminished over the last 30 or 40 years. It’s due in large part to a lack of trust. The resulting phrase many non-attenders now use is that they are “spiritual but not religious” – meaning they no longer attend church.

Millions have quit attending because many of the things they were taught as children cannot stand up to the light of adult understanding. One example is belief in the Genesis account of creation in contrast to the reality of scientific discoveries and evolution. Ice core samples found in Greenland go back 400,000 years. Similar samples in the North Pole record 800,000 years of snowfall. Many young adults, having been raised to believe in a six-day creation, leave their faith and their churches behind when they discover contradictory evidence when they become college students. Believing parents have to find a better way to prepare their children for this time.

This is also true in attitudes about marriage. There are a great many couples who are living together without marrying, trusting that their commitment will withstand the stress and that they don’t need the legal obligations of state-sanctioned matrimony. The high divorce rates of the 1960s and 1970s caused many Americans to turn to living together as a trial run.

Unfortunately, statistics show that living together does not guarantee future marital success. It actually makes it less likely.

Trust/mistrust in people/corporations keeping their word: Do you really think your personal data is safe on Facebook or Google? Can you really trust them to protect your information? How many data breaches have you read about in the past two years? Meanwhile, corporations are harvesting important information about you to use for their own financial gain while you become better known to them then you know yourselves.

It’s amazing what people share on Facebook about their thoughts and beliefs. It’s shocking to see what people will reveal about themselves through their posts. Have you ever gone to a website, only to find that similar ads pop up later? Big Brother is watching you and it’s not the government.

Research shows the most important issue for all people is their need to belong to something bigger than themselves. To gain this sense of belonging requires that we trust each other. But how can we trust each other if so much in our culture wages war against truth? The solution to this dilemma on an individual scale is to become trustworthy yourself. Then seek out people whose word is their bond. Trust builds upon trust. It isn’t easy, but it’s the only way.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Jayendrina Singha Ray is a PhD (ABD) in English, with a research focus on the works of the South African Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee. She teaches English Composition and Research Writing at Highline College, WA, and has previously taught English at colleges in India.
Asian women and racial violence in the aftermath of Atlanta | Guest column

In her famous essay “The Laugh of the Medusa,” Hélène Cixous resurrects… Continue reading

Stock photo
Access to cash is a prescription for better health | Guest column

By Danny Low, For the Reporter As I see pictures of my… Continue reading

Tim Eyman. File photo
Editorial: Judge’s rebuke of Eyman protects initiative process

Along with a $2.6 million fine, the ruling places restrictions on Eyman’s future initiative campaigns.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Regional homeless agency behind schedule, but there’s hope | Roegner

It is the middle of winter and it’s too cold for anyone… Continue reading

Courtesy image
Thoughts on police reform and public trust | Guest column

By Steven D. Strachan, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs The… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
A legislative session like no other we’ve seen | Roegner

In even numbered years such as 2020, the legislative session is only… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Time to predict November’s election winners | Roegner

A look at statewide offices in Washington.

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Let’s clear the air on wildfires, climate change

Agreement and commitment is needed to address the causes of wildfires and climate change.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Republican’s write-in campaign highlights post-primary intrigue | Roegner

Can former Bothell mayor beat two Democrats for lieutenant governor post?

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Editorial: State lawmakers shouldn’t wait to start budget work

Making tough choices on cuts and revenue can’t wait until next year and hopes for better news.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Race relations and your local police department | Roegner

The jury is our citizens, and they are divided.

Rico Thomas, left, has been a clerk in the Fuel Center/Mini Mart at Safeway in Federal Way for the past 5 years. Kyong Barry, right, has been with Albertsons for 18 years and is a front end supervisor in Auburn. Both are active members of UFCW 21. Courtesy photos
Grocery store workers deserve respect and hazard pay | Guest column

As grocery store workers in King County, we experience the hard, cold… Continue reading