Sometimes it's hard to accept the truth, but not always. Sometimes the truth is pleasant and easy to accept, such as: "Last weekend, I got to eat delicious food with old college friends who were in visiting." I have no trouble accepting that.
But when the truth is a little less pleasant, such as "I need to do laundry tomorrow," it gets a little harder to accept. And the more unpleasant the truth gets -- even if the evidence is obvious and staring us in the face -- the more unwilling we become to accept it.
For example, there's this bicycle guy who my friend and I refer to as "Pike Legweak." Mr. Legweak, after being fortunate enough to recover from testicular cancer, went on to win a number of Tours de France in an achievement that many called "inspiring" and many also called "impossible without some sort of performance-enhancement, most likely of the drug variety."
There was a mountain of evidence for the likelihood that Mr. Legweak was doping, among the most compelling exhibits being the fact that all his contemporaries were doping, the fact that many of them had testified to the fact that he was doping as well, the fact that former cancer patients missing a testicle who are not doping do not tend to outrace world-class cyclists who are using performance-enhancing drugs and transfusions, and the fact that Mr. Legweak had a huge full-body tattoo that said, "Ask me about my illicit drug use!"
But the drug use is a very unpleasant truth. Because Mr. Legweak's story was not only inspiring, but he did a lot of noble things in his life, including heading a foundation that supported people with cancer. He also made a now-infamous commercial for Nike implying that everyone's accusations were false. He also got very angry and rude towards anyone who suggested that he might be doping. And we wanted to believe him, even a very smart friend of mine who just a few months back, continued defending Mr. Legweak in spite of overwhelming evidence.
It's hard to accept things we don't like.
I'm sure the school board in Jackson, Ohio, knows what I mean. Just recently, they were presented with a complaint that the large painting of Jesus hanging in their public middle school was in direct violation of the First Amendment's establishment clause against governmental support of any religion, along with the instruction to remove the painting. But the superintendent, the school board and many of the residents would like the painting to stay. (I imagine they would also like to not pay any taxes, but that's why we have laws.)
The outcome of a lawsuit, if they press the issue, seems inevitable -- especially given the similar case in a Rhode Island public school just last year, where a (less overtly religious) prayer banner was ordered to be removed. When that school board decided to fight the lawsuit, it ended up costing the city of Cranston over $100,000. (Although to be fair, Rhode Island enjoys losing money, which is why they funded 38 Studios.)
Alas, rather than saving their local government some money, the Jackson, Ohio, school board has refused to remove their painting, and will not admit that it is a clear violation of the Constitution. I guess they just find it too painful to accept the truth. But eventually that painting will have to come down.
I suggest they replace it with a portrait of Pike Legweak.
Seth Brown is a humor writer, the author of "It Happened In Rhode Island," and refuses to accept that he mainly fills his taglines with obvious jokes. His work appears weekly in the Transcript and weakly on RisingPun.com.