I love stories about Nazis. There is something the important (and dangerous, which needs to be said) about the simple personification of evil into one group, one entity. And most Americans, and I would assume a significant part of the world, view the Third Reich as close to Hell on other as we have come.
I would say they haven’t looked around the world long enough,.
Nevertheless, I like Nazi movies. But, because I believe in the potential of redemption of all people, I don’t see a person and see evil. So, my preference for Nazi stories includes the incorporation of the occult, the demonic, the worship of death. That is the true enemy. Not flesh and blood.
And this brings us to the blind, patriotic violence of Captain America: The First Avenger.
Now, before you get really frustrated or defensive, this is not meant to tear down the closely held beliefs of an entire nation of believers in Christ. I will wait to do that later. No, I want to take the message and meaning behind the film and not get hung up on the issues of right or wrong displayed there in. After all, this is a work of fiction based on a comic about the blend of science and magic created by Norse deities, and the creation of a super-soldier through technological means in the 1940’s.
If you have eyes to see, look at the metaphor.
To begin, there is this concept displayed in the film of the serum for a super-soldier, which has the ability to amplify not only one’s physicality, but also one’s inner most self, that which defines them. So if a person is good, it makes them great; if they are bad, it makes them worse. That is why the Captain is a handsome man, and the Red Skull is, well… a red skull. In the real world, the super serum we have is the word of God, the Holy Bible. It is a powerful tool, or weapon; how you use it depends not on your knowledge of it, but your proclivity to righteousness or wickedness, which is only measured by one’s right relationship with God. There is precedent for using the word of God as a weapon towards the right enemy, which once again, is not flesh and blood. There are those who say they follow God, and yet, they see their potential brothers and sisters as foes. Like the Red Skull, they have claimed to excel to a level where they have “left humanity behind.”
But not the Captain, because he is the example of the pinnacle of humankind.
Kind of reminds me of a friend of mine. Anyways, the Captain also expresses his heart on the issue of war. When asked if he wants to kill Nazis, Steve (Captain America) responds by saying “I don’t want to kill anyone. I don’t like bullies, I don’t care where they are from.” And from these eyes, he lives up to that for the most part: he takes very few lives, if any. Though the government around him and his fellow soldiers do, he is at a level of human-hood that supersedes the need to steal another’s life to prevent them from stealing the lives of others. My thoughts go to the actual second World War, and if more of those who claimed to be at a higher human level had followed the Christ they said they did, there may not have been a World War II.
Check the history, and let me know what you think.
The third and last point is related to the second. Tommy Lee Jones’ character in the film says a very true statement while debating on Steve’s potential as a soldier: “Wars are not won with niceness.” As I said, this is very true. Wars are not won with niceness; neither are they won with violence. Nations don’t win wars, they postpone the battle for another day, breed imperialism, and create casualties on both sides of the battle. No, wars are won by the conquering of war itself, meaning their cessation. There is One who has come who, unlike Steve Rodgers, overcame every failure and was, is and always will be the Perfect Soldier. In fact, He is King. That person is Christ Jesus. In His Kingdom, there is only violence to that which itself violates: sin, death, and the demonic presence that perpetrates that. Follow Christ today, use this film review to engage the culture around you, and to be a support in your own daily subversions. Subvert the powers today.