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wonder woman

In two weeks the latest super hero movie earned $435million internationally. More than a little controversy spiced up traditional Hollywood promotion of the Wonder Woman movie. October 2016 the United Nations designated Wonder Woman an honorary ambassador, a publicity coup for some marketeer and all-too-revealing of what the UN is all about—symbolism over substance. Just two months later the UN dismissed their ambassador for the “empowerment of women and girls” due to protests from Muslim nations.
The UN fired Wonder Woman not because Muslim nations are against empowering females (honest), but because lead actor Gal Gadot grew up in Israel, and is a proud veteran and vocal supporter of Israeli Defense Forces. Several Muslim countries banned the movie from playing within their borders.

Early screenings of the movie exclusively for females created further controversy (i.e., more ticket-selling publicity). When the movie premiered it was disclosed that Ms Gadot had been newly pregnant with her second child during filming. She hid her baby-bump so as to not be treated differently by the producers (it’s unclear if she feared being treated like a mother-to-be or feared being fired.)

Stephen Spielberg predicts super hero movies will die off like westerns. In a lot of ways super hero movies are like the old westerns. They both communicate that injustice can by stopped by one person, or a small group of somebodies, fighting back. Victory needs only personal courage. Sadly, throughout human history most individuals who fought injustice have been crushed (e.g., Sophie Scholl, The Final Days). The upside-down reality is that it is self-sacrifice, even martyrdom, that most effectively undermines injustice; but usually only eventually—only after the justice warrior is dead and buried.

The fun of the super hero is that they’re hard for bad guys to kill. The tragedy of super heroes is our belief that they exist. People keep believing there is a super hero, a Barak Obama who can keep hope alive. People keep looking for a courageous sheriff, a Donald Trump to drain the swamp.

Super heroes don’t bring justice.

Justice depends upon tens of millions of people doing the right thing (living out
Jesus’ sermon on the mount) over and over and over. And sometimes it depends upon thousands of people willing to lay down their lives. Even harder, justice seldom has majority support. Most of the time too many of us are too busy trying to get ahead to concern ourselves with slaves being worked to death in cotton fields away down south, or boxcars full of Jews rattling down the tracks, or unborn children dismembered at an inner-city clinic, or inhuman working conditions in Asia tech manufacturers, or children sold into sex-slavery—over 20,000,000 and climbing.

No super hero is going to set them free. No western sheriff is going to round up the bad guys. Until Jesus returns to judge the world they’ve only got you and me. Thankfully we can access the power of the Holy Spirit, if we’re courageous enough to follow God’s wild and out-of-control Spirit into those scary, even dangerous places that profit from human misery. ~

Dan Nygaard