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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Does The 'Wonder Woman' Movie Contain A Relevant Religious Message

The wife and I just saw the movie Wonder Woman with the son and his wife. The son loves the super hero movies while the rest of us went to be with the son.

The movie version of the story saw the Amazons as a society of superwomen who were created by the gods to protect the world. However, they ended up living on an island paradise that was protected from any human contact until an American spy flying a WW I German plane crashed off their shore. Wonder Woman, who was special among the Amazons, witnessed the crash and dove into the water to save the pilot. The pilot was followed by a German task force that attacked the island as they were pursuing the American spy. There was a brief battle in which the Amazons defeated the Germans but the Amazon woman who trained Wonder Woman was killed in the battle. 

Because of her mentor's death, along with hearing about WW I from the American pilot, Wonder Woman feels compelled to enter the fray. She helps the pilot leave the island paradise so that he could lead her into the battle where she thought she knew who was responsible for the war. At first, she blamed the war entirely on Ares and sought to kill him to end the war. She later learned that Ares was using the war to allow men to destroy each other. So while Wonder Woman fights against the Germans in a couple of battles and then defeats Ares, man's cruelty to man does not end and she decides to live in a mixed world of good and evil to do what she can to provide justice.

Now here comes the spoiler alert: there is no documentation that indicates that any of this, outside of WW I itself, actually happened. Thus, the movie Wonder Woman is neither theologically nor historically correct. But despite that, the story itself might have something relevant to say to certain groups of Islamic and Christian Fundamentalists. For certain sectors of both see war as a way of allowing men to destroy each other and usher in the rule of their particular religion over the whole world. This choice between allowing war to destroy almost everything or to live and work for justice in a mixed world of good and evil was the choice Wonder Woman faced after defeating Ares. And is the choice faced by all of us now.

Those who seek to escape that choice have already picked the first option. But not only have they opted for letting mankind destroy itself, they seek to live in their own spiritual island paradise where they are shielded from many of the distresses of the world. It's not that they won't love their immediate neighbor; it is that they will not lift a finger to fight against the social injustices and wars being forced on the world. They prefer their island paradise.

For my fellow Christians who prefer not to intervene to work for social justice and oppose war as part of our faith, how can we honor the Gospel when a fictional character shows more compassion for those suffering in the world than we do? Doesn't our lack of compassion driven courage indicate to some that our faith is not only as fictional as the Wonder Woman story, but is not as inspirational either?

In addition, I know that there are Muslims who are telling those who claim to be Muslim but are driving the world to Armageddon that they do not represent Islam. Rather, Muslims who are working for an all out war between civilizations, just like their Christian counterparts, are really following the god of war.

It isn't just Wonder Woman who has decided to fight to promote justice in a mixed world of good and evil, there are people of all faiths and of no faith who are doing the same. So those Muslims and Christians who want Armageddon or who withdraw from working for social justice and against war in a mixed world of good and evil are not bringing honor to their respective faiths. Instead, they seem to be following Ares, not the God whom they claim to follow.

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