The defeat of the Justice League

The superpowerhouse members of the Justice League were planning strategy in a super-secluded location. Secluded…but not dark, for from within each of them a glorious, shimmering light radiated warmth, wisdom, and life. As a unit their beautiful brightness was irresistibly captivating but not blinding. Rather, it was in their combined emanations that goodness, joy, and love…the desires of every heart…were able to be truly seen and experienced. And without them these desires would ultimately go unsatisfied.

The task before these superheroes had eternal consequences and no one but them could meet the challenge they faced. Though they all knew the strategy necessary, the outcome was anything but certain, so they came together to encourage each other and pledge their mutual support.

Truth, you’re the vanguard.” Righteousness locked eyes with Truth as he reminded him of his crucial, central role. “The rest of us can’t advance unless and until you have first established yourself in the center of town as a foundation for goodness, equity, and contentment and a bulwark against oppression and corruption. When you have succeeded in winning over the hearts and minds of the citizens, and particularly their leaders, the rest of us will be able to come in and secure peace, justice and prosperity.”

Uprightness looked very grave as he listened and pondered their chances for success. “Truth has taken quite a beating lately,” he remarked gently. “He’s not as robust and respected as he once was. He’s been hated, disregarded, compromised and actively suppressed. I hate to say it, but he’s weakened. This will not be an easy victory.”

Truth, Righteousness, and Uprightness together turned to their leader who appeared ready to give the command to go. “The battle before us is a noble and necessary one,” Justice began, “and if Truth succeeds in securing the public square he will regain his strength. If the rest of us could enter with him we surely would. But we cannot until he is firmly standing where all can see him…unmoved, honored, loved, and believed.”

The four members of the Justice League stood together silently for a moment, the seriousness of their task foremost in each of their minds, but strengthened by their mutual commitment and the primacy of their cause. Then, with a resolute yet almost imperceptible nod from Justice, Truth took his leave and headed for the public square.

But as Justice, Righteousness, and Uprightness watched and waited for the advance and establishment of Truth so that they could go in for the good of the people, they saw those people attack, mock, and ridicule Truth to the point where he could not stand. Though he called out to them with warnings of dire consequences if they rejected, distorted or dismissed him, they closed their ears and hurled whitewash and lies at him until he stumbled and fell.

Truth’s defeat meant that Justice, Righteousness, and Uprightness were forced to retreat, and that town would not know them. The well-being of that community was determined by their treatment of Truth. They made their choice, and would have to live with it.

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. – Isaiah 59:14