Monday, February 7

I have listened to the theme song from Chariots of Fire twenty times tonight, and this is why.

I love Chariots of Fire—especially the character of Eric Liddell—and here's why.

Eric Liddell and friends celebrate a race well run

Sure it’s a great movie about honor, motives, and ambition. But I love it because Eric is a person committed to his faith, enough so that he’s willing to make a huge sacrifice to be true to his convictions. And he’s still normal.

He’s not a weirdo; he’s not an over-zealous fundamentalist. He’s a dedicated Christian and he’s cool. He’s an awesome athlete, he taunts his opponents in good fun, he winks at bashful choir girls, and he likes to joke around. He’s not a nut. His devotion to his faith doesn’t make you roll your eyes or shake your head. It isn’t hokey or trite. It’s just normal. God is a big part of his life, and he’s willing to take a stand, but that doesn’t make him a freak.

Not exactly how religion gets portrayed in the movies much, unfortunately--if it gets portrayed at all.

Why can't there be more media about people for whom religion is just a normal part of life? Not more media about religion, because that seems to either ridicule it or make it look schmaltzy (a la Letters to God*). (*judgment made based on previews only) I mean stories about interesting people that don't ignore or distort the role of religion but don't focus on it either.

Like in Sound of Music. I love that Maria prays and gets advice from a religious leader, but that isn't the focus of the movie or even a tangent. It's just who she is. No big deal.

So that's why I loved Chariots of Fire. I loved that Eric wasn't depicted as some religious zealot for refusing to run on Sunday. In fact, he's a hero! The movie ended and I thought, "Go Sabbath-keepers!" I was inspired to be a cool religious person. What if more of our movies were about role models like that?


Mariley Johnson said...

I LOVE that movie and i equally love the theme song! They just don't make movies like that all the time.

Janssen said...

This post is very awesome.

I need to watch that movie again. It's been YEARS since I saw it.

Jillian said...

Hmm... I'll have to admit that I've never seen it :S Guess it's on my to do list ;)

Ann-Marie said...

We just got done tending my brothers four kids, and in her two boy's rooms she has a poster that says "Who is your hero?" And in the picture is a ripped and totally buff Nephi or Moroni etc. They are really cool, and the boys love them. It makes such a valid point.