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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Greater Love

I watched a movie recently, which left me questioning humanity and our lack of progress. Perhaps I haven’t seen enough multi-media or war to become desensitized to violence.

I like my movies to have heroes and Clint Eastwood has always been an icon of one of those rough and tumble, imperfect, movie heroes. “Gran Torino” is one of Mr. Eastwood’s latest. The movie is filled with racism, sexism, and language that made me cringe (especially because it reminded me of the way my step-dad used to talk).

The biggest thing I walked away from the movie with was anger. Anger so deep it left me momentarily motionless. How could anyone watch what happened to Sue, Walt, or Thao and not want to grab an arsenal of weapons and destroy that gang?

But one of the points in the movie was to show there had to be a different way. I knew Walt was smart and had guts, so I knew he wasn’t going to load up his gun and shoot up the town. But I felt a kick in the gut when the best thing the movie writers could come up with was Walt sacrificing himself, especially when the desired outcome was not guaranteed.

Come on people! There has got to be a better way!

I know the verse, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

But one more death doesn’t seem to be the answer. Humans have been on this earth for thousands of years. We continue to destroy each other as well as the planet that sustains us. My brain just hurts realizing that after all this time, this is what we do. We haven’t outgrown our childish need to belittle the other guy. Can we ever learn how to preserve and defend ourselves without the playground bully antics of coming back with bigger weapons and more henchmen?

It bothers me that there are people out there with more intelligence, more education, more resources than I and yet we can’t master self-control, a fearless peace, or grant all people an honorable dignity.

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