Christianity and Middle-Earth

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Men of the West

“Tolkien wrote a fantasy, but his message that evil must be fought was based on sound reality. First, his Catholicism taught him that we live in a world scarred by original sin, and that Satan is real and active. Evil is not a metaphor which can be dispensed with by some rhetorical gimmick. Nor is evil a psychiatric or social condition which can be resolved by the march of progress. Evil is a permanent element in human affairs.” -- Lexington Green, Chicago Boyz

But what should be our response to Mordor in our midst? I think Tolkien’s epic provides guidance. Certainly part of our response should be support for the military efforts currently underway. We did not seek war; war was declared on us, and now we must respond. However, The Lord of the Rings suggests that the terrorists are far from our only danger. During wartime, we must of course look to the enemy without – but we must also look to the enemy within ourselves. For in a fallen world, even those fighting a righteous cause can face temptations destructive of their souls.” -- John West

“Whatever the contemporary West's sins, there is plenty of good in this world we have made for ourselves, and there is no question that it's worth fighting for. That said, Tolkien does not let us off the hook easy. We will be judged by how we use the power we accumulated, by what we have done with the time that was given us.” –Rod Dreher


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