The World According to Tiff Sniff

Meandering ponderings and wonderings on the state of things.

Thoughts on a Friday

So I went to see the new Batman movie last night. First of all, I feel the need to express my deep admiration and lust, oops, I mean love, for Christian Bale. The man is an amazing actor, and looks great in black vinyl, to boot. But I thought the movie was very well done. It's more grown up than those other Batman movies, and does a good job of explaining Bruce Wayne's journey.

Like any good superhero story, the movie spends a good deal of its time exploring themes of justice, revenge, right and wrong. Since this is something we've discussed lately in our lifegroup, I really responded to the way the movie dealt with them.

Okay, I'm not going to "spoil" anything, but I am going to talk about some of the early plot, so quit reading now if you don't want to know. Although, it's kind of like "Titanic" or "Revenge of the Sith" - you know how it's going to end and where the story goes from here.

Anyway, a large part of the movie is spent on Wayne's childhood, before his parents die, and his adolescence, after they die but before he becomes Batman. His father is an intriguing character. He is the wealthiest man in Gotham, and extremely influential. Although he lives in an elegant manor, he has a heart for, of all things, charity and service. He works as a doctor, but lives off of the family business, which he leaves to itself. He explains to Bruce that he feels the need to do what he can to make the lives of others better.

After he and his wife are killed, Bruce tailspins. First of all, he blames himself for their deaths. Plus, he has a deep hatred and desire for revenge. Against who, though? He disappears, and ends up in a situation that suggests he is trying for revenge against himself, although he claims to want "justice" against the criminal element.

He encounters a person with a view of justice that is, I think, very typical and human. To him, justice involves the eradication of the people that commit crime. An eye for an eye, making things fair, etc. Usually, this would involve execution or incapacitation, because he has no faith in courts.

Another character provides a different interpretation - justice involves eradicating the crime itself, through prevention and mercy. In other words, if we want to make the world a just place, where people treat each other fairly and act rightly, then we start at the beginning. Instead of looking at it from the tail end, and using punishment, we should at least try to also look at it from the front end - providing people with education, opportunity, and compassion, so that they do not make the decision to act out of desperation or having given up on anything better.

"Justice: The act or practice of giving to others what is their due." That means meting out punishment, right? What does it mean to give others their due?

As Christians, we are quick to throw ourselves on God's mercy. We know that we don't want to get what we are due. Why, then, do we often insist that others should get what's coming to them? Is it possible that, although we are all broken, we are all due a chance to better ourselves? The best form of crime prevention is not deterrence, but education and opportunity. How does that inform the way I live? Doesn't it demand a more active and public involvement in the lives of those around me? Doesn't it require my time and energy, and not just my check in the offering plate on Sunday?

Anyway, I highly recommend the movie. Batman/Bruce Wayne comes to his own conclusions about what justice entails and demands, and it's an entertaining ride. But I would encourage a deeper look at this particular story. I think there is a huge lesson to learn from it.

0 Responses to “Thoughts on a Friday”

Post a Comment

© 2006 The World According to Tiff Sniff | Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Learn how to make money online | First Aid and Health Information at Medical Health