church bell from below

No Other Foundation

Reflections from Fr. Lawrence Farley

Borrowing the words of an old Gordon Lightfoot song, there hangs a ribbon of darkness over Canada, my home and native land.  The Lightfoot song described the singer’s sadness and grief at the departure of someone loved and needed in his life, so that gloom followed him about like a continual ribbon of darkness.  In the song, the loss was a romantic one.  Our present Canadian loss is a political one, a cultural one, for a great light shining much-needed truth has been extinguished.  Rex Murphy, long-time and universally-respected political commentator is dead at the age of 77, having succumbed to cancer.  He worked on his last piece for the National Post newspaper right up to the very last days of his life.

       Rex was born in Newfoundland, Canada in 1947, and in 1968 headed to Oxford as a Rhodes scholar.  For 21 years he worked for the CBC (that’s the “Canadian Broadcasting Corporation” for you foreigners), hosting a call-in radio show “Cross Country Checkup”.  Being a man of integrity, he eventually left the CBC in 2015 to work in less obviously-compromised venues, such as the National Post newspaper, for the CBC had sadly come to share in the spiritual and moral decline affecting the country as a whole.  It had become a tool for the government, promoting its woke ideology.

       Why write about Rex here?  Because in the world of secular media, he was a voice crying in the wilderness, a beacon of truth in a world of half-truths, government propaganda, tyranny, corruption, and lies.  There are apparently an endless host of reporters and communication shills willing to toe the government line and fall in with whatever government agenda is currently ascendent.  Rex Murphy was never among them.

       That is why getting one’s views and truth from the six o’clock news is so perilous.  Paul Simon had it right:  “I get the news I need on the weather report”.  Whatever personal and private virtues might be possessed by reporters, news anchors, and other no doubt honourable other people working in The Media, when the news stories begin at six o’clock, we can know that we are being played, manipulated, and lied to.  Exactly which words are the lies and which words are truth, we cannot know—which is why the wise get their news from the weather report. 

Is this mere cynicism and paranoia?  Maybe.  But to quote yet another modern prophet, “When people are out to get you, paranoia is just good sense” (the prophet being Dr. Johnny Fever from WKRP).  That is, if there is one thing the wise have learned since the 1960s (a lesson writ large in our recent Covid experience) it is that Governments Lie.  That is not cynicism.  It is sad and documented fact.  If you doubt this, I have some ocean-front property to sell you in Saskatchewan.

       All of this is why we should mourn the passing of Rex Murphy—a man who loved his country and who loved the truth even more, and who therefore always told us the truth.  He was the opposite of a political partisan.  Rex always called it like it was, regardless of whether it bolstered or blasted the current regime. 

       The take-away?  Always love the truth more than politics and more than political parties and their leaders.  Seek after the truth regardless of whether or not you like the person speaking it.  And when you have found the truth and garnered the facts, speak out plainly and fearlessly.   

Christians especially should take care to love truth more than political agenda.  We serve a King whose Kingdom is not of this world, a Kingdom in which the flags of this world will find no place.   Our King once said, “I am the truth” and He informed Pilate that everyone who was of the truth would hear and heed His voice (John 14:6, 18:37).  Our love for Christ and of the truth should overflow; we should also love all who speak the truth in a land of lies—and especially in my own land over which now hangs a ribbon of darkness.

Fr. Lawrence Farley

About Fr. Lawrence Farley

Fr. Lawrence serves as pastor of St. Herman's Orthodox Church in Langley, BC. He is also author of the Orthodox Bible Companion Series along with a number of other publications.