Fiction writers occasionally say that they tell lies. We often see the disclaimer that "any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental." Despite this, the best fiction will depict truths about the human condition that bad fiction omits.
On one hand, consider the Parables of Jesus. He told stories about lost coins and yeast that are posed in such a way that they they don't need to be accurate recitations of events to be--by definition--gospel truth. You needn't take Jesus as your savior to derive useful meaning from the parables.
On the other hand, consider the situation in WW2 when a Nazi soldier came into a house and demanded, "Are there Jews here?" The woman living there replied, "Sure. They're hiding under the kitchen table. Can't you see them?" She uttered the literal truth, because beneath the kitchen table was a trap door that the Nazis couldn't see leading to a hiding place. Nevertheless, her literally-true reply was as misleading an outright falsehood.
This suggests a spectrum of truthiness in stories. Brute facts can be presented accurately with no truth in them. Or fantastic story elements can come together to convey higher truth.
It can be a taxing mental exercise to craft such things into one's writing, but I think it's worth the effort and I'll be delighted to see what people come up with.
We see a much more pernicious way of misleading in advertising--particularly political advertising--where half-truths are uttered without the larger context that would falsify them. Or where inconvenient facts are omitted. I've spoken of this before. But I never got around to mentioning How to Lie with Statistics.
Some years back a US President left some DNA on a girl's dress. That's a brute fact that most will stipulate as being accurate. What followed after that was called a "spin cycle" and it's more interesting, because it started a battle to assert "what does this mean." One narrative was that the DNA-on-dress clearly evidenced perjury, bad faith, and untrustworthy character on the part of the DNA-depositor. This narrative fit the facts, but a competing narrative held sway: The DNA-depositor was just acting naturally, and his accusers were dirty-minded hypocrites.
Words written in a story have their own denotation and semantics, but what a work means transcends that. When you read something or write something, you should have a sense of "what does this mean." The writer may have one thing in mind, but the reader may have a different thing in mind. For instance, I watched a play a couple years back where the villain was a Christian with a Southern Accent. Oh, how original! Instead of passively going along with the playwright's bigotry, I decided to imagine the villain was a Bolshie community organizer with a Massachusetts accent. I recommend the practice.
The writer ought not be so heavy handed. The viewer will identify good guys and bad guys, and then map them to categories s/he finds comfortable. Maybe you LIKE Bolshies, and HATE Baptists. Fine. The smart writer will put neither a red star on the hero's hat nor a Bible in his hand. Or maybe both.
Heroic valor and greedy fecklessness are as easily found in Bolshies as in Baptists. Or Scarlet, or Ruby or Lucille.