• Denial Is Not A River In Egypt

Denial Is Not A River In Egypt

According to Quote Investigator, the earliest evidence of the phrase “Denial is not a river in Egypt” was inferred in the “Reading Times of Reading, Pennsylvania, in April 1931. Eighth-grade student Florence Kerns won a contest by submitting the following wordplay joke, which fit in a question-answer template:

Question: Do you know how to use “denial” in a sentence? Answer: Denial river runs through Egypt. QI sourced it as shown below.1

Self Help And Addiction Counseling

In 1986, the popular columnist Herb Caen published a version of the joke in the San Francisco Chronicle. The words appeared anonymously as a witty response: Sighted by Ivan Cutler at Kent’s Deli at Ninth and Mish’: a sign on the cash register reading, “Tipping Is Not a City in China.” The sequel is a nearby graffito: “And Denial Is Not a River in Egypt.” This time, QI sourced it, as seen in footnote 2. When Al Franken used the phrase on Saturday Night Live skits, it was already circulating in the self-help and addiction counseling domain.

My Experience

Additionally, I have some experience in denial. The details of my life are not needed to understand denial. It suffices to admit that I have suffered from trauma and cognitive distortions in my life, as many others have. I remember being consumed with sadness and lying on the floor. I walled off my sad thoughts, only for them to eventually return. Denying things that have happened doesn’t solve them. Only confronting the truth and dealing with it helps reconcile our lives.

Our Experience

Although, as individuals, we may be in denial about vastly different things. However, collectively, we may be in denial of similar things. For example, as church congregations or denominations, political parties, or nation-states, we may merge into similar distorted views that are not securely attached to the actual truth. Lies and propaganda from our political leaders and their minions in the media are examples of reasons for these mergers. Likewise, false, incorrect, or unbalanced teachings from religious leaders may contribute to our divergence from the truth. Denying things that have happened will eventually make matters worse. This is true whether it is an individual mental health issue or a collective religious/political scandal.

My Concern

My concern is that what happened to Israel will happen to America and all of Western Civilization. Jeremiah wrote Lamentations. It is about the Jews being led into Babylonian captivity. It seems something like that could happen to the United States. I do not mean captivity to Iraq, Iran, or any Muslim country. I mean loss of influence and a subservience to China. Some believe America will become better if we elect the correct political leaders. I believe America must get closer to God before significant improvement happens. Others believe a lie that one particular leader is in league with Russia. Meanwhile, evidence mounts that the liars’ party is in league with the Chinese Communist Party.

Take a look at this passage from Lamentations 1:5.

Her foes have become her masters; her enemies are at ease. The Lord has brought her grief because of her many sins. Her children have gone into exile, captive before the foe.

Please follow my links to previous blogs concerning China. China may be America’s master. Many nations with bad intentions will be at ease if America loses her strength. Of course, if or when China becomes a nation that attempts to follow Jesus. Then, China might be a force for good that might put evil actors at bay. Right now, China’s government is a threat against Christianity.

Some Comparisons

Comparatively,  just as Nebuchadnezzar was an enemy of Israel, it was God using Nebuchadnezzar to punish Israel. Likewise, God may use China, Russia, Obama, and the Muslims to punish America. Is there not some truth in Elihu’s words in Job 34?

Referring to God,  Elihu states in verse 29: “Yet he is over individual and nation alike.” In verses 31-33, he continues, “Suppose someone says to God, ‘I am guilty but will offend no more. Teach me what I cannot see; if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.’ Should God then reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent?” Should we expect God to bless America if we do not repent?

In Conclusion

Denial is not a river in Egypt. We all need to find the truth, and the truth will set us free. This is necessary for all parts of our lives, no matter our country. All are exposed to the dangers of sin, and not all are covered by grace. America is under attack from without and within.

  • For spiritual help, pray and search the Bible. Here is a path if you don’t own a Bible. https://www.biblegateway.com/
  • For mental health help to deal with trauma and cognitive distortions, I suggest you search in your local area.
  • The links embedded above open your eyes to our political leaders. These links are within the text above in the words “Obama” and “Muslims.” They are long reads but well worth your time, and, likely, you have not been told this account in the American media. The links are scripted below.



Denial can be a temporary bandage until you are healthy enough to handle the truth. However, denying things that have happened worsens matters in the long run.


1 1931 April 11, Reading Times, Section: Junior Times, Florence Takes Prize for Joke, Quote Page 13, Column 1, Reading, Pennsylvania. (Newspapers_com)

21986 June 19, San Francisco Chronicle, Once Upon a Deadline by Herb Caen, Page 45, San Francisco, California, (NewBank Access World News)