Some big questions have demonstrably true answers. But when they don't fit powerful narratives, some powerful people are making the questions irrelevant.
Or coming up with pragmatic answers, you know, whatever works at the moment to dodge the truth.
As the Planned Parenthood president just did this week, saying that when life begins is not really relevant to the abortion debate.
"It is not something that I feel is really part of this conversation," Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood told Fusion's Jorge Ramos on Thursday. "I don't know if it's really relevant to the conversation."
When pressed, Richards said that in her view life began for her three children when she delivered them.
She explained that the purpose of her organization is not to answer a question that "will be debated through the centuries," but to provide options for pregnant women.
People who choose to deny the facts may find them debatable or beyond their ability to debate, or just reduce them to an incoherent diversion.
But it is not debatable when life begins. It is scientific fact.
Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards dodging the question of human life by saying it's irrelevant to the abortion debate is seriously dishonest and disingenuous, at best. It provides the occasion to recall former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the original architects of the abortion movement in America, telling the story behind the lies and deceptions for many years after his conversion. Late in his life, in a dramatic effort to help secure legislation in South Dakota that would strengthen informed consent laws, he made this video admission that as one of the original founders of NARAL, they made up the numbers and the 'facts', to 'save abortion at all costs.'
His lesson about the importance of devising and driving a narrative "at all costs" applies to the whole choice movement, and Richards' response reveals where incoherence inevitably leads.
It happens in other kinds of politics, too often. Remember Hillary Clinton facing a congressional task force inquiry into what really happened in the notorious Benghazi attacks, finally and angrily shouting 'what difference does it make?'
Political commentator Charles Krauthammer says there's all the difference.
There's a difference between the truth and a lie. The difference is that people in high office with public trust ought not lie. And if it was a lie, for whatever political or other reason, it shouldn't have happened, and the administration itself should have traced it down and corrected it. And they didn't. And that's what is disturbing and remains disturbing.
And some people are still seeking the truth about that.
And, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught, there is an eternal truth, and it applies to all social issues. And those who seek it will find it.