Thursday, December 04, 2008

UPDATED -- Best Redemptive Films

Don't be surprised not to find these recommended by churches or anything, necessarily, but at their core, films all have messages that "preach" better than most sermons.

And yes, if you're a moral majority type, be warned that a lot of these are rated R and include things like "bad words" and some nudity.

In no particular order...

1. The Spitfire Grill
2. The Apostle
3. Saved
4. The Shawshank Redemption
5. Chocolat
6. The Sky Is Watching
7. Black Snake Moan
8. Shadowlands
9. Cool Hand Luke
10. The Green Mile
11. Meet John Doe
12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
13. The Poseidon Adventure
14. Luther
15. Spirited Away
16. The Return of the Jedi
17. Blade Runner
18. The Matrix Revolutions
19. Unbreakable
20. Pulp Fiction
21. Kal Ho Naa Ho
22. 16 Blocks
23. The Dark Knight
24. Superman
25. The Reaping
26. The Exorcist
27. Star Wars: A New Hope
28. Ghost in the Shell
29. Stephen King's Desperation
30. Stephen King's The Stand
31. Ikiru

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My favorite t-shirt design I created:

Even folks at my church really dug this one. If I could find a distributor interested in my designed, that'd be great.
Current Events and Past Events (the circle of history)
While I've been working today, I've been watching/listening off and on to a special on the History Channel about the history of the KKK. According to the show, the KKK had all but died at one point, but fears about immigration and the loss of national identity laid the groundwork among many Americans for the explosive rebirth of a renewed (and more violent) KKK.

I couldn't help but think about current fears of border control and illegal immigration. I know many people -- many otherwise sane, wise, caring people -- who fall into the trap of generalizing about "them" when it comes to anyone of Hispanic descent. It makes no difference whether the person is legal, illegal, or U.S. citizen, he or she is seen as lazy, dirty, or trying to beat the system and get one over on the U.S. government and take jobs away from good, hard-working U.S. citizens.

I also notice a growing agitation and outspokenness among young adults and teenagers (in my area at least) against "Mexicans" -- even though many of the targets of this speech are from various Latin and South American countries and not Mexico after all.

I wonder what the fallout of this will be. Are we breeding a new rash of KKK-like thought among the next generation by the us-vs.-them talk we adults use in this issue? Are we laying seeds for future hate crimes as our population becomes more Latin in the years to come? I hope not.

I don't know what the answer is or the proper response should be, but something about my understanding of faith and humanity says that it should be one based in humility and love and grace and service rather than one of irritation, distrust, superiority and (not so) righteous indignation. It's one of those "What Would Jesus, Ghandi, Buddha, etc. Do" kind of moments, I think, regardless of your faith or choice not to believe any faith. The central truth remains -- at least in my mind -- that people have an innate value we should preserve and we should treat every person with respect in however the issue is handled.