Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s a muscly blue bloke with red accessories who flies and has a yellow S emblazoned on his chest in case anyone is confused about his identity. Yes! Superman has returned. After an absence of x years from the big screen the man of steel, with the allergy to kryptonite is back on the sliver screen. He still has the worst disguise of any superhero, favouring a pair of glasses, while others shroud themselves in hoods and masks. Superman remains the most globally recognised hero with special powers. He is an American icon, coming from outside the country, growing up in Smalltown and finding a place in Metropolis with a steady job and a few good friends, from where he quietly exercises his responsibility as protector of the weak, enemy of evil and saviour of the world.
For much of his life the man of steel stood for three ideals. Ideals that could be openly articulated and found widespread agreement not just in Metropolis but around the world. He fought for Truth, Justice and the American Way. The returning Superman only contends for truth and justice. In 2006 it is not possible around the world to connect truth and justice with the American way. It is interesting to observe as I have travelled to different countries how the United States has moved from a position of admiration and aspiration in many peoples minds to one of fear and loathing.
America, in its latest caped crusade has become more the embodiment of Batman. Dark, dysfunctional, driven by revenge, with vast wealth, the most technologically advanced gadgets and few friends. In fact Bush as Batman and Blair as Robin would make a great PhD thesis, even if it has not always made great television.
I do not buy into the all pervasim anti-American fervour. I believe there are many ordinary Americans who share God’s concern for truth and justice.
The problem is with those people of all nationalities who are more interested in
claiming that God is on their side than seeking to be onside with God
God is concerned with truth and justice. He has shown humanity what is good – that we act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God. He does not endorse particular countries and automatically bless their foreign and domestic policies. Jesus says “blessed are the peacemakers”.
“God Bless America” is a commonly used phrase stateside. Offered as a genuine prayer its impact could be powerful.
If my people who are called by name would confess their sins, turn from their wicked ways and humble themselves and pray; then would I hear from heaven and answer their prayers and heal their land.
Now that would be super.
[Oh and a word of caution. If you are of a nervous disposition while flying – its probably wiser to choose an alternative in flight movie. The plummeting jet scenes will work better on DVD in the serenity of your own living room!]