Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

Everybody's a Hero

So I was reading Jonah Goldberg's G-File newsletter today. He's got a moderate amount of SFnal geek cred and was today discussing the recent episode of The Big Bang Theory where Amy watches Raiders of the Lost Ark with Sheldon. And let's just quote Jonah here, purely for the purposes of literary criticism:

In a recent episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon introduces his girlfriend, Amy, to the Raiders of the Lost Ark, which she'd never seen before. She liked the movie, she explains, despite the big "story problem." Sheldon is aghast at the suggestion there could be any story problems with the "love child" of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. "What story problem?" he demands to know. She explains that Indiana Jones is absolutely irrelevant to the story. If he'd never gotten involved, the Nazis would have still found the ark of the covenant, they would have still brought it to that island, and they would have still had their faces melted.

I'd never thought of it that way before, but it's actually a very close parallel complaint to the one I've written about many times. My dad -- who loved the movie -- always laughed at the idea that the Nazis would be able to use the ark for their dastardly purposes. The idea that God would be like, "Darn, it's out of my hands. I guess I have no choice but to lend you my awesome powers for your evil deeds," is pretty ridiculous. They even returned to this idea in the third movie, when the Nazis tried to get their hands on the Holy Grail -- because, you know, Jesus would totally say, "Nazis!? Rats. There's nothing I can do. It's life everlasting for the SS!"

I'm no theologian, but I just have a hard time believing that's how God rolls.

Well, yes, but I think this misses the point.

See, like most everyone else, the Nazis are the heroes of their own movie. Of course, God is on their side and will allow them to use the Ark of the Covenant, even against the Jews. Maybe especially against the Jews. After all, there's a new covenant now, right?

Now, we -- from our morally enlightened position -- know that they're wrong. And because we are the heroes of our own movie, we know that the things that we do and believe in are right and just.

Unless, of course, we're wrong.
Tags: home, musings

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