Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Keven O'Brien sums up the Lying Debate

From the point of view that lying is always wrong, period.  But then, Keven O'Brien also called Ferris Bueller's Day Off "one of the most Christian movies ever made."  Really. That celebration of 80s hedonism and narcissism, laziness and selfishness, mockery of education and families, is really quite Christian.  How does he conclude that a movie made for my generation, that my generation knew full well was a celebration of the Great ME, is actually the Paschal Mystery unpacked?  Well:
"It's about how a father should love his son more than his car; it's about how the small minded indoctrination of compulsory education is a prison; it's about freedom of spirit; it's about overcoming jealousy; it's about loving your brother; it's about loving life."
In other words, it's about the problems everyone else but Bueller had.  It's not about Bueller wanting a day of selfishness, narcissism, lying, cheating, stealing, exploiting the kindness of a city, mockingly using his parents' love, using his friends, treating people like objects for his own gratification.  Nope.  His parents, his friends' parents, his principal, his school, his town, his society, you see, they were all the problems.  The real solution was freedom of spirit!  It's about loving life!  It's about focusing on all the problems of everyone else but that main character who is giving us a blank check to focus on the Great ME.

Think on that for a while.  And think on the great lying scandal of our time as unpacked across the Catholic blogosphere.  After all, isn't this whole lying debate really that?  I mean, there could be some folk arguing against all lying who never, ever lie.  But I can't help but think some, if not most, have lied at one point or another, and for reasons far less noble than Live Action's.  Not to say Live Action is right.  I think there is something to be said about using lies and deception to promote the Gospel truth.

But you know what?  Given how little I actually get out there, get my hands dirty, and sacrifice it all for the Pro-Life cause, I'm going to stop a minute before I spend hours and hours of my energies pointing out just how badly others are doing what I spend so little of my own sweat and blood doing myself.  If nothing else, I'll have the balls to get on the horn and find a way to contact Lila Rose or someone and speak to them face to face.  I may mention I disagree with their methods, and heck, may even say that lying isn't right, and we should strive for the truth in all things.

But it takes a special generation of believers to think that our energies are best spent writing endless reams of condemnations of other believers for how they work their ministries and pilgrimages.  It might actually take a generation that looks at one of Hollywood's greatest celebrations of hedonism and narcissism ever put to film, and concludes that's really what the Gospel is all about.   See it that way, and the entire lying debate begins to make more sense.

1 comment:

  1. What's strange is that if you look at #2 on this list:

    There was a deleted scene that DOES make Ferris Bueller a bit more Christian as a movie (no, I'm not kidding, it totally changes the movie from what you said, all about "me", to one that's all about someone else)

    Otherwise, I think you're totally onto something. We shouldn't wallow in sin that grace may increase. However, we shouldn't be so neurotic about keeping clean that we never get our hands dirty to help others (wasn't that one of the chief faults of the Pharisees?).


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