Sunday, January 09, 2011

A Convenient Lie?

So I'm watching Monsters vs. Aliens the other day with the kids, and at a pivotal point near the end of the movie, a few of the main characters are trapped and their deaths are imminent. Two of the characters say their last heartfelt words to each other, "It's been an honor to know you" style. Another of the characters, who is literally a brainless amorphous blob, says to the others, "I'll see you two tomorrow." The other two say, with complete false sincerity, "That's right, Bob, and we'll have cake and ice cream." Bob brings his hands to his 'face' in absolute glee and says "Cake and ice cream!? It's gonna be the best day ever!"

This scene (like all the others) is played for laughs, as we, the audience, are in on the fact that the doomed players are simply consoling the blob in the face of their impending deaths. But I couldn't help thinking of the parallels between the movie scene and the many times I've seen/heard the religious say something along the same lines when people are dealing with grief, pain and anguish.

"It's alright, he's in heaven/with his Father/in a better place now."

Is a convenient lie better than a painful truth under those circumstances? Is it even a lie if it is believed by the one telling it?

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