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Charlie Lyon / October 7, 2013

Fibs From the Land of Fairytales

A favorite Veggie Tales story is *Larry-Boy! and the Fib From Outer Space*. An alien life-form invades the sleepy town of Bumblyberg in the form of a creature that looks like a bouncing ball with a face. It convinces Junior Asparagus to hide the truth of his dad’s shattered collector’s plate in an innocent “fib”. Before long the little “fib” has grown into a gigantic monster with arms and legs that threatens the lives of the entire community smashing through the town square with reckless impunity.

“Oh generation, who live your lives based on lies, how can you, being without truth, say anything worth hearing? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” –Jesus of Nazareth

A favorite Veggie Tales story is Larry-Boy! and the Fib From Outer Space. An alien life-form invades the sleepy town of Bumblyberg in the form of a creature that looks like a bouncing ball with a face. It convinces Junior Asparagus to hide the truth of his dad’s shattered collector’s plate in an innocent “fib”. Before long the little “fib” has grown into a gigantic monster with arms and legs that threatens the lives of the entire community smashing through the town square with reckless impunity.

This children’s story serves, of course, as an allegory, because as adults we know that “fibs” don’t really grow into gigantic monsters that ruthlessly destroy people’s lives. Nor that there are super-heroes whom we can call with high-powered spotlights shining into the sky to save us from our folly. Nor that we should have defense mechanisms in place to warn at the approach of alien invasions…

In a conversation with a middle aged British businessman I met in Nashville, TN regarding the Affordable Healthcare Act, he observed, “You Americans just haven’t given Obamacare enough of a chance. We have nationalized healthcare in England and it works pretty well.” Funny how it takes a “foreigner” to speak the truth when our own government tells us it’s NOT nationalized healthcare. But rather than debate the merits of a system of healthcare designed for masses of people rather than individuals, I pointed to a fundamental of America: free enterprise. It is an economic system that has served this country, and the world, very well because it derives its success from the power of personal choice. It assumes that individuals are capable of reason and are the best arbiters of their own needs, wants and desires.

But the little Fibs of being able to keep our own insurance plans and doctors, insurance premium savings, affordable healthcare, and the lowering of sea-levels are growing into gigantic monsters that are ruthlessly smashing our own lifestyle choices. The dirty little secret here (you didn’t hear this from me) is that if government officials can determine, say, at what age you can live or die, and we are reduced to groveling before them (right Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Lou Barletta?) to plead for our very existence (if not, at least, to see our own national monuments), what is there not that government officials can determine is in your best interest?

A simple preacher from an obscure part of the Roman Empire in a time far far away, made statements that shook, not only that empire, but the power structures of every earthly kingdom since then. What if, as Jesus pointed out and we can only dream now, public officials actually told the truth, made principled decisions, refused to obfuscate facts for their own political ambition, lived by that truth and, God have mercy, actually said things worth hearing? More importantly, what if we actually had the wisdom to discern the warning signals when an alien invasion of Fibs are bouncing around the public square and the courage to say we will not live our lives based on their lies?

Larry-Boy! Where are you when we need you?

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