Truth is Stranger than Fiction
Mark Twain wrote in his book “Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World” a phrase that is often quoted and misquoted. The words written are “truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities, truth isn’t.”[i] Although the phrase appeared in his book, some people attribute the quote to Lord Byron. The point here is to observe the possibility of fiction proving true.
Baby Boomers are perhaps the first generation to truly see sci-fi predictions come true in their lifetime. They grew up with a fictitious character, George Jetson, that lived a fantastical life of ease as he stepped into a chamber that magically dressed him, he ate food cooked in a box on the wall and sped off to work in a flying car. The imaginative cartoon was set in time 100 years from 1962 and George was around 40 years old. Besides the assumption that the “wall box” is the modern microwave, what other possibilities depicted became true? The flat screen television, smart watches, video calls, drones, holograms, digital newspapers. Basically, what we call a “smart home”.[ii] Still waiting for your personal-sized flying car? Check out the Jetson 1.[iii]
Some key elements of the futuristic Jetson world have not born true for all. George had a solid family lifestyle. The kids, Judy and Elroy were engaging, and got into the typical kid trouble but issues were solved thoughtfully and lovingly. The Jetsons were typical 60’s two children, Mom stays home, and Dad works family, depicting that lifestyle in the future. Would boomers have watched the show if their future Jetson family bore the truth of family life today?
The average family in America in 2023 indeed consists of 2 children. But the number of children living with two parents has dropped. “In 1968, 85% of children under 18 lived with two parents; by 2020, 70% did.”[iv] Women in the workforce began to grow in the 60s and grew steadily for 50 years. 34% of women participated in the labor force in 1950 and by the year 2000 that number was 60%. The number of working women is predicted to reach 92 million by 2050.[v]
Elroy was a typical American boy and Judy was a typical American teenager of 1960. Their gender roles were obvious in their dress and behavior. The woke movement would have us believe that Americans have evolved into more gender-fluid humans since 1960. Safe to say, viewers would have been horrified to see Elroy in drag, except to believe the automatic dressing cylinder was accidentally dialed in for Judy.
God’s word is truth, and it is not based on anything except the truth of itself. God’s word is not fiction. It is truth and can be clearly seen as truth through many ways, including fulfilled prophecy and the changed hearts of people who live by that truth. Psalm 119:160 proclaims “all your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.” May truth never be strange and fiction remain a mere possibility.
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[i]https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/mark_twain_122865 [ii]https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/mark_twain_122865 [iii]https://www.jetsonaero.com/ [iv]https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/04/number-of-children-living-only-with-their-mothers-has-doubled-in-past-50-years.html#:~:text=The%20majority%20of%20America's%2072.6,with%20mother%20only%20(22%25). [v]https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2002/05/art2full.pdf