Illustration on Lying: The By-Whiskey Speech – A Misleading Equivocation

The illustration of the The By-Whiskey Speech – A Misleading Equivocation provides us a great example of how lies and deceptions can easily be taken as truth. Equivocation is a word seldom heard in our society, but it is practiced frequently by politicians and persons in authority who have no moral compass. Equivocation means “ambiguous expressions, especially in order to mislead or hedge”. As Christians, we must refrain from equivocation and ambiguous expressions as it hides the truth. We have a moral compass and follow the teaching of Jesus Christ. There is a right and wrong as defined by God. We are not to succumb to society’s norms if they do not line up with the word of God. Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Enjoy the sermon illustration of “The By-Whiskey Speech” below.


The By-Whiskey Speech – A Misleading Equivocation

While pursuing a story about equivocation in high office, I was told, “He gave an if-by-whiskey speech.” My source, asked about his curious compound adjective, said he thought it was a Florida political expression possibly borrowed from a Minnesota Congressman. That triggered a call to Richard B. Stone, now a Washington banker, but a former U.S. Senator from Florida familiar with that state’s political patois. He immediately recognized the phrase, meaning “calculated ambivalence,” and provided the following anecdote:

Fuller Warren, Florida’s governor in the ’50s, was running for office in a year that counties were voting their local option on permitting the sale of liquor.

Asked for his position on wet-versus-dry, he would say: “If by whiskey you mean the water of life that cheers men’s souls, that smooths out the tensions of the day, that gives gentle perspective to one’s view of life, then put my name on the list of the fervent wets. But if by whiskey you mean the devil’s brew that rends families, destroys careers and ruins one’s ability to work, then count me in the ranks of the dries.”

William Safire in New York Times Magazine.

From Lies