Commentary: If ‘beauty is the smile on the face of truth,’ then what is the smile on the face of deception? Republicans and Democrats are smiling a lot these days — which is odd given the state of the world and the United States.

All too often we see leaders put interests over truth, and smile about it. The recent V.P. debate with Messrs. Biden & Ryan reinforced the notion that truth is not an option in America today, which is especially troubling given that both are Catholic.

“Let Christians walk in wisdom in the face of those outside, ‘in the Holy Spirit, in unaffected love, in the word of truth’ (2 Cor. 6:6-7), and let them be about their task of spreading the light of life with all confidence and apostolic courage, even to the shedding of their blood.” Declaration on Religious Freedom, December 7, 1965

“Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred.” Vaclav Havel

Photograph: Stephen Wise