By Terry Dashner, Fri Dec 9th
Terry Dashner….. Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 BrokenArrow, OK 74013
In his autobiography, Leading with My Chin, comedian Jay Lenorecounts numerous stories of his rise as a young Boston comedianto hosting the “Tonight Show” as successor to the legendaryJohnny Carson. One chapter tells of his appearance on the DinahShore talk show where he learned the importance of what inshowbiz parlance is called the “outcue.”
“Okay,” said the talent coordinator. “What’s your last joke, sothe band knows when to play you off?” “Listen, do I have to giveyou my last line?” Leno asked. Like all comedians, he hated tohave any band step on a laugh and cut off the applause. Buteventually he agreed. “How about if I just say, ‘Thank you,thank you very much!’ Twice, okay? And that’ll be the cue.”
Unfortunately, Dinah Shore’s welcome was so warm and theaudience’s ovation for his one-line entry was so overwhelmingthat Leno was taken aback. Flustered, he muttered “Thank you,thank you very much.” The band leader looked up in panic,stubbed out his cigarette, brought the band crashing in, andushered Leno out. Whereupon Dinah Shore smiled even morebroadly, the audience went wild with applause, and the interviewwas over before it started. “It was the most ridiculous slot ofmy career,” Leno said ruefully.
An amusing, somewhat embarrassing anecdote in a book full ofstories and jokes, Leno’s account has only one problem: itdidn’t happen—or rather it didn’t happen to Leno. As a New Yorkjournalist brought to light, the incident actually happened to afellow-comedian and friend of Leno’s. But Leno was so delightedby the story that he paid his friend a thousand dollars for therights to use the story as his own material for a chapter in hisautobiography. [Os Guinness, Time For Truth, (Baker Books: GrandRapids, Michigan) pp 40-41.]
There is nothing odd about this practice, especially in apostmodern society like modern-day America. Truth is no longersomething to be discovered. Truth is created. Remember PresidentBill Clinton? He was the first postmodern president of theUnited States. The Lewinsky affair is therefore an
excellentgauge by which to assess the impact of postmodernism on Americanpolitics and law. In terms of the standing of truth in theAmerican republic, the scandal represents the postmodern crisisof truth in presidential form: America’s “Nietzchean moment” inthe Oval Office; the year America learned to live with the lie.[Ibid, p. 59]
Scholars have described Clinton as “the most skillful liar inAmerican presidential history” and journalists have come up witha host of words to describe him—his “want of truth,” his “fluidconception of what’s real,” his “situational veracity,” his“believing everything he says when he says it,” and the like.One of the earliest bumper stickers skewered his lyingperfectly: “Bill Clinton: 99% Fact-free!” [Ibid, p. 60]
Do you think I’m giving Clinton an unfair assessment? I wish Icould say that his leadership legacy was one of impeccableintegrity—punctuated with openness, honesty, straight-talk, andself-effacement. But, I can’t because he chose a postmodern lifestyle over absolute truth—or even objective truth. AleksandrSolzhenitsyn, the former Soviet Union’s one-man dissidentmovement—said in his Nobel speech: “one word of truth outweighsthe entire world.” [Ibid, p. 10]
I think Jesus said it best—you “shall know the truth…” Thenagain if truth can be known, then truth exists. If truth exists,then it can be discovered. It should not be created at whim. Iftruth exists, is it universal? I think so. It’s as morally wrongto murder someone in France as it is to murder someone in theBible belt of America. And if moral truth is universal, then aperson who defies the moral law of monogamy in a civilizedcountry will eventually transmit sexual diseases just like aperson would in a third world country. Therefore, to know truth,to practice truth is to live a liberated life. Why? Because thesame man who said that truth is to be known also said that truthwould set a man free. After all, doesn’t everyone—even thepostmodernist—want to be free? If so, then all should seek outand live in truth. The Word of God is truth.
Keep the faith. Stay the course. Jesus is coming soon.
About the author:Pastors a small church in Broken Arrow, OK US Navy veteran,retired
police officer, and father of three grown children.