Can you go through 2022 without telling a lie of some kind?

I don’t think so. If you disagree, you may be lying to yourself. It’s the most dangerous kind.

I bring up this challenge today because Thursday is the one-year anniversary of 2021’s biggest lie. It started from the highest position of power in the world, and then spread by tens of millions of Americans. That’s a lot of lies. And they continue into 2022.

That lie, of course, triggered hundreds of “patriots” to storm the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to protest what they wrongly believed was a fraudulent presidential election in 2020. That “rigged election” lie was the biggest lie from 2020. You see a pattern here?

U.S. democracy itself was attacked Jan. 6, 2021. But because this violent siege was carried out by good old-fashioned, anti-government, weapon-wielding Americans — not by, say, Islamic terrorists — too many other good old-fashioned Americans looked the other way or downplayed what happened. (And yes, “good old-fashioned” is my euphemism for “white Americans.”)

This is one of the evils behind lying to others and believing lies from proven liars. Lies can seduce people who otherwise would appear to be honest and righteous in every way. You know, God-fearing believers who insist they’re going to heaven even though they’re obviously spreading obvious lies. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s motivated by politics, patriotism or propaganda. Lying is lying. Isn’t that a sin?

“Stop preaching lies! Shame on you! What you’re doing is wrong!” a woman screamed during a protest outside Fairhaven Baptist Church in Chesterton several years ago.

She joined dozens of other protesters to demonstrate against the “old-fashioned Bible-believing church,” as its literature states. I remember watching that woman, a former church member, scream into the wind as deafening church bells rang loudly for more than 30 minutes straight.

It wasn’t a coincidence. This is how we keep from hearing the lies we believe are truths. We drown it out with the ever-ringing bells of self-righteousness.

Look no further than all the lies being spread regarding COVID-19, vaccines, masks and other pandemic-related issues. The politically correct thing to say is that too many Americans are spreading misinformation. I disagree. They’re spreading lies. And those lies are killing people who naively or stupidly believe them.

Who’s at fault here — the liars who purposely spread these mistruths, or the lemming-like sheep who surely know the wool is being pulled over their eyes? Both, I say. They deserve each other and the consequences of those lies.

Last weekend, I learned about the death of someone I knew who chose to not be vaccinated and who believed lies about COVID-19 vaccines. It cost him his life. He left behind a wife, two young children, and a casket of invested wealth. Everything he saved for and planned for died with him and his belief of someone else’s lies. Poof. Gone.

His cause of death was listed as pneumonia. A contributing factor should have been lies.

Lies are so pervasive in our lives that we tend to forget they’re lies. This is especially true with the lies we tell ourselves. Some of us have lies buried so deeply into our psyche that it would take a rescue crew to unearth them. We could do it ourselves but it’s too painful, humbling and embarrassing. Why do that when we can simply cover up those lies with more lies?

I once shadowed an Indiana State Police officer as he caught speeders on Interstate 65. Before motorists could even see him or his motorcycle parked under the 61st Avenue overpass, their speed was clocked and locked in the computer system.

When another officer pulled them over, he asked the same questions: do you know how fast you were driving? Do you know the posted speed limit here? And why are you driving so fast? During just an hour’s span and a dozen pullovers, the cops heard a laundry list of lies under the guise of valid excuses.

“I’m heading to the hospital to visit a sick relative,” one driver told the cop.

Which hospital, she was asked. “Uhhhhhhhh,” she replied, thinking of the nearest hospital. Busted.

Is a lie considered a lie if it’s used to save us from perceived harm or danger? Or do we label it something else?

More than a quarter of unvaccinated workers in the U.S. said in a recent survey that they would consider lying about their vaccination status — and maybe falsify a document or two — to keep their job. Would you? It’s an ethical question that reveals the consequences of lying.

Green Bay Packers superstar Aaron Rodgers flat-out lied about being vaccinated before the season began when he told media and fans he was “immunized.” He knew he lied. All of us know when we lie. Either we rationalize it or we double down and keep lying. I’ve done both. You probably have, too.