|X-Men First - something beautiful|
The X-Men First Class is an incredible story of the contrasting approach to injustice, pain, and the annihilation of an entire minority group of people. :-
a) The serene backgroud of Professor Charles Xavior coming from a rich and loving family and having the very best education at Oxford, versus Erik Lehnsherr whose childhood was deprived in a concentration camp with his parents killed by the Nazis, a reminder to the similar kind of violence he now faced against the Russians/Americans of what was done previously by the Germans against the minority Jews to exterminate them. We feel with him, the rage when they killed his mum, and the pain and suffering through the torture and the Nazi experimentation.
When the guns and missiles of both the East and the West changed their focus and pointed at the mutants, Professor Charles hopes on the better side of mankind and humanity failed, and Erik used his power to reverse the flight of weapons aimed against them. Is there any point in having dialogue? when even after they saved the world, their ungrateful beneficiaries tried to kill them? sense may never prevail in a world gripped by fear. It may be pointless to have debates with the Christian Right because their interpretation on the bible is based on fear and self righteousness and not on reading the Word correctly in the first place.
Professor Charles showed incredible grace urging Erik not to return the very missiles that mankind had fired upon them. Surely, they had deserved the very harm they intended on the mutants in the first place, yet Charles pleaded on their behalf - "There are thousands of men on those ships just following orders" said Charles. Erik's reply going back 20 years earlier in the Jewish concentration camps where the Germans killed at least 6 million Jews and a hundred thousand gays “I’ve been at the mercy of men just following orders" alluding to their individual responsiblity that cannot just be negated. For the thousands of gays killed by the Christian Right or the millions libing in closets because of their rethoric, why shouldn't the Christian Right be taken to task! They shouldn't hide behind the freedom of religion or free speech.
The answer to the question may be Charles accessing Erik's brain seeing the Lighting of the Jewish Chanukiah with his mum. “I accessed the brightest corner of your memory,” said Charles. To reach his potential, Erik must “find the point between rage and serenity.” In Christ, there is much more to our lives after surviving the concerntration camps of the Christian Right bcause of being gay. There is much more in life than the experiences pain and anger, when we choose to find beauty and God in our darkess experiences.
b) The contrast of lives and responses between Hank McCoy and Raven. Hank could easily go unnoticed and was vary of who he was on the inside. He could easily hide, his outward "nerd" like gentle nature contrasted to the beast he was to become. He was limiting and constraining what he was inside. Many Gays lived in the closet. We could easily hide. As McCoy told his director when outed accidentally by Charles "You didn't ask; i didn't tell." reminding us of the many good people serving in the US army being kicked out because of the Don't ask don't tell policies. Do we continue to hide?
The quest to hide or to find a cure eg Christian Right ex-gay theraphy etc, back fired against McCoy. Instead of being cured, his full identity was released and he could no longer hide. He became the full blown beast, his inner self coming out of the closet. There is incredible damage by Christian ex-gay groups using all sorts of human psychology and emotional persuation leveraging on the fear of failing Christ, destroying the inner spirit and soul of many. At the end, Beast came out far too fast.
There was a struggle between accepting the queerness within and wanting to feel "normal", desiring to be seen and considered by others as normal. It did not matter how good the mutants were, even if they had saved the world, they will still be rejected. Regardless on whether they saved the world (ie better than the humans), they shouldn't have to hide their true selves just as GLBT people shouldn't have to hide what is innate or need to pove themselves to "be the better men". GLBT people shouldn't need to hide or to prove and justify to the world or be in dialogue with the Christian Right! It is "normal" for gays to have same sex orientation.
The world only sees them as mutants but not the humanity within them. Similarly, the Christian Right only sees gays based on their same sex orientation, but not the individual humanity. In US, there is a move by the Christian Right to avoid using the term "gay", but to use only the term "Homosexuals" because they want to reject the humanity of GLBT peoples. If Gays are no different than others except their same sex orientation, it just makes it more evil that we limit their rights because of our own selfish reasons. Is accepting gays gonna stop us from worshipping God!
c) The on-going dialogue between Erik and Raven on self acceptance was profoud. For Erik, the greatest victory is self acceptance as contrast to Charles whose focus is on dialogue to show that we are no different so that others can accept us. Raven who is a shape changer looks like an "alien" in her innate form who would certaintly be frowned upon and targeted by the humans. She could never lived openly in the outside world. Yet, even in the safety of friends, she still maintains an outward apperance. Erik thought Raven to love herself, to see the beauty of her innate being, to feel comfortable with herself.
In a classic statement "You want society to accept you, but but you can't even accept yourself." said Erik. GLBT people wanted so much to be normal and to be accepted by others, yet the first step is not that the outside world change or than the laws against gays be repealed, but that we should love and accept ourselves. In some inclusive church, we are still debating on whether being gay is a gift from God, when we shouldn't even call ourselves inclusive if we hadn't include ourselves in the first place.
I believe that God wants us to be true to ourselves because He is a God of relationships. Jesus came down, not in a form of a messenger or an angel because He wanted that close communion with mankind face to face without any veil or masks.
Jesus wants to know us and have felowwship with us. He cannot do so if our lives are closed and bottled up vary of others seeing our true selves. Once, we close the doors to our inner self, we shut of exposing our real lives to others and to God.
We should be motivated to live a life true to ourselves because this is who we are, this is how God created us as, wonderfully and beautifully, and when we spend less time trying to be normal and more time paying attention to our relationship with God, it sets us free in our walk and relationship with Jesus, no longer having to hide our face to God or to man.
"I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. " - Top 5 regrets of life at deathbed - Ms Ware
Erik Lehnsherr /
"You want society to accept you, but but you can't even accept yourself."
Hank McCoy / Beast:
Hank McCoy / Beast :
Hank McCoy / Beast:
Erik Lehnsherr /
Moira MacTaggert/ CIA
"My name is Sebastien Shaw. I am not here to hurt you."
"Each of us will face a choice, being enslaved or rise up to rule"
"If you are not for us, by definition you are against us."
Erik Lehnsherr /
“Blue eyes, blond hair, pathetic,”
Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto:
“This gold is what remains of my people,”
Professor Chales: "There are thousands of men on those ships just following orders" Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto: “I’ve been at the mercy of men just following orders,” Erik replies. “Never again.”