Spiderman Homecoming.

Did the title make you groan or was it intrigueing?

Or maybe both?

Yes, in keeping with my record off seeing movies months after they come out, I’ve finally given this one a watch. Now I wasn’t feeling too well at the time (and I’m still not actually) so perhaps that affected my impression of it, but I doubt it.

Because I don’t think it sucked, per sec.

If you thought it did, I completely understand, but also if you thought it didn’t.

Normally I would pick a side, but this movie really defied you to do that.

I’ll be upfront, this was not Tobey Maguire’s Spiderman in any way, shape, or form.

That is a negative for me, though it won’t be for everyone. I love the profoundness and even the occasional campy-ness of the old trilogy, and the strong moral themes. I think the casting was perfect. And for a nineties trilogy (or whenever it was) the special effects aren’t half bad.

If there’s a downside to that series I don’t know it, but it doesn’t follow that any break from style would be a negative.

One thing I miss from the trilogy, though I wouldn’t chalk it up to a negative, is the wisecracking Spiderman I loved in the old comics. And this new movie…does not have that.

Sorry, this Spiderman is a lot of things, but he’s not good at the quips. His repartoire had the wittiness of a VLOG…because it usually was a VLOG. As a VLOG (that’s making video logs of your life for you none YouTubers) it was okay. Not the worst thing I’d ever see on the internet. But as superhero quips, Hulk has had it better.

But there is more to Spiderman than wise cracks, there’s also emotional depth.

And the movie….doesn’t have that until about halfway through, and then in small amounts that don’t really seem to last.

I mean, sure Peter gets chewed out by Tony Stark and almost cries; and gets his suit taken away; and can’t be Spiderman anymore; but except for when it gives you painful flashbacks to getting chewed out by your parent or teacher when you were in high-school, the most emotion you feel is “What a wuss.”

And this Peter is, sadly, a wuss. He’s not the biggest wuss ever, I mean, compared to a lot of guys, he’s pretty cool…in a nerdy, annoying way. He spends the first chunk of the movie annoying both Tony and the audience with his hormonal energy and bouncing around and not following instructions and basically just sucking at being Spiderman.

If you’ve seen Maguire’s version, you just shake your head or roll your eyes watching this dork.

And I have nothing against the actor, Tom Holland is not bad, and he’s kind of cute some of the time, I blame the script.

And my other complaint is that for a movie with so much young talent, like Zendaya, who is not my favorite actress or anything but I know she has comedic talent, it wasted it. Zendaya was perfect for this more ironic form of MJ (who I don’t mind because this Peter is not the sensitive type and the old MJ wouldn’t suit him at all) and she had like six lines. Six! What a waste.

So you may wonder why I am so ambiguous about whether this movie is good or not if I disliked so much.

Well, it is inferior to the old trilogy in almost every way. But it’s an okay film, maybe even a good one if you’re into teen action films.

Because that’s what this is, it’s Avengers for young teenagers. I mean 13-15 year olds who may not be as up on the darker side of the adult Avengers, (and that’s a maybe.) The language unfortunately rules it out for anyone younger than 13 otherwise I’d say this was a good movie for your preteens who are into the Marvel hype.

I want to say that I don’t think teen action flicks are bad movies. I’ve seen plenty and I’ve like most of them. I even saw a Ninja Turtles movies once, that I thought was pretty cool, and I’ve watched weirder ones than that. (Aliens in the attic was my favorite for awhile. I was young.)

And this movie felt like Ninja Turtles with Spiderman. Replace the warthog or whatever he is with Tony Stark and Happy as the serious-yet-still-humorous mentor character, combine four slightly different teenage turtle personalities into one character who varies from sort of serious; to completely goofy; to whiny; to incautious and reckless.

Add in the comedic quality of one of those movies, which have funny moments but are mostly slapstick/awkward situational comedy.

And you have Homecoming.

It’s like a Junior Marvel film.

If Marvel is going to start making junior spin offs to their own movies, I’m cool with that, they aren’t hurting anybody. But I would prefer they use less famous superheroes as the teens, because the ones who already have better, more profound movies are too good to throw away on B-quality films.

I should touch on the message:

The message is that you should not try to grow up too fast. That it’s okay to stay at the level you can handle until you’re more mature.

And while I agree with that message in some ways, it goes against the grain for me to tell teens to underachieve.

While I think no teen should have to go through what Peter Parker went through, the sad truth is many of them do. Teens who have no lost people close to them, or been betrayed terribly by friends or family are the exception, not the rule.

Peter is clearly a better person deep down then the movie would make him out to be at first, I saw sparks of a noble character in their. In a very annoying package.

But mos teens are an un-tempered, annoying, package of good potential. I can’t fault a film for being honest; but that version of teens is not the whole truth, because it’s a recent development. Teens used to be young adults, and that it was Maguire’s Spiderman was. It helps that in his first movie he goes from high-school to college, and frankly if he hadn’t, the maturity he achieved would have been harder to believe.

But it’s attainable.

I don’t think I would tell my kid to be like this Spiderman, and that’s the biggest test of any young hero. Even though they often are reckless and immature, some are better at learning from their mistakes.

Peter does learn, and I won’t say he made the wrong decision at the end of the film. I would question what we were supposed to take away from a two hour film showing all the reasons why being a superhero is just too hard for some people.

Okay, yeah, we get it. But how does that help us? Did it make a more enjoyable movie?

Still, for what it is, it’s fine. I won’t begrudge you your liking of it if you liked it. But if you like the old trilogy and don’t like seeing superheros changed, and if you like profound meaning in your films, then don’t watch this.

That’s all I have to say about it, until next time–Natasha.

P. S. ( DCU fans keep an eye out for Justice League, that should be next on my list.)



X-Men: Apocalypse

I never intended to watch this one, but my curiosity was aroused by the reviews.

And it was not so terrible. It seems to have gotten a lot of hate from the fans, but it had its good points.

I’ll list the negative things first: This movie had inconsistencies, it was unrealistic in many ways, notably when some idiot shot Magneto’s wife and daughter with the same arrow when he wasn’t even trying to. I’ve taken archery folks, unless it’s a loaded crossbow, if you aren’t trying to fire, there’s no way you’ll be pulling back on a regular bow hard enough to shoot clear through a child. It would be hard for most people to do that on purpose. Let alone enough to kill someone else at the same time. Give me a break.

Yeah, so I had a problem with that, and I’m so over Magneto changing sides (sort of) and then changing back. I love redemption, but the man has blown every chance he’s had in all previous films, he is consistently bad, and worse, he’s a mass murderer, I think they need to cut their losses, sorry.

Aside from that, the biggest flaw to me was Apocalypse’s whole back story. There’s no way he was the first thing to evolve, that makes no sense in terms of mutant context. (He had to be lying, I figure,) and being reborn all the time…really? Even if I allowed for that, he seemed kind of dull. He was more of a mind controller then an active villain.

And are you seriously telling me that Storm, Angel, and whoever the other girl was, would not bat an eyelash at destroying the whole world? Really? Their lives were so terrible?

However, I do get how it played into the movies central theme, which was also its best theme. After decades of movies convincing us that mutations are only dangerous when they are not controlled, and that powers need to be accepted, we finally get a reality check about the other side of having power. Power corrupts.

We always saw the difference between the older Professor X and Magneto, The Professor is humble and kind with is powers, while Magneto is cruel and sadistic. Then we went back and saw what made them that way.

yet we know that Charles will suffer a lot of the same things Erik suffered later in life, and he will remain the same. Why is Magneto so different?

There’s a myriad of reasons Erik became the way he did. But one of the best moments he had in this movie was when he yelled at God asking “Is this what you want from me?”

We know Magneto later called himself a god among ants (though I suppose that was erased in the previous film) but no one ever gets tot heat point without firs coming to hate and reject God Himself, either as an idea or as a reality. (Both usually.)

This time Erik has given normal life a try, and still found it taken away, this time by accident on the human’s part, though he still hates them, we see now that he really hates God for letting them do this to him.

Since Erik is Jewish, it makes sense that he would find it baffling that God would let any of what happened happen. It’s a question that’s hard for us to answer.

And later Magneto asks Apocalypse “Where were you when my family died?” This question is one of the many points in the movie where Apocalypse seems to be equated with God. Yet the movie gives several instances where it’s clear that Apocalypse is not God as we would define Him. He is not omnipresent. He is not all powerful. he is at best a cheap imitation. Most of us would think him more like the devil then like God. What with him being evil and power mad and all.

Especially since Apocalypses goal is to acquire ultimate power, notice he doe snot already have it. God would already have all power.

It’s almost as old as time that people want to acquire ultimate power to become gods. And that’s why this theme is important in the movie. Magneto and the other evil mutants don’t just hat humans, they desire to shed their humanity, which is still part of them, and become god-like.

Though any real examination of their powers reveals that they are all limited, and I thought Apocalypse magnification of Magneto’s power bordered on the ridiculous.

God is not limited, (except by choice,) is what I’m saying, or He is not God. It’s as simple as that.

A limited god is not worth much to any of us.

Charles gets it, his message that power corrupts and that great power is given to the strong so that they can protect the weaker is profound though it is glossed over. Mystique sort of echoes it when she tells Erik he has the power to save his remaining family for once.

I am a firm believer that we are given gifts sot hat we can use them for others. They benefit us, it is true, and it’s not wrong that they do, but that should never be the only reason we use them. Magneto’s consistent flaw was his selfishness. He refused to deal with it, to try to be different.

Charles greatest strength was his selflessness.

Though this movie still continues the theme about embracing your power, it makes a point of saying you should embrace it for the sake of other people. Disregarding humanity is not that answer.

The reason I like X-men is because it actually faces the prevalent issue of superhero movies head on: that supers could come to despise humanity for its stubbornness and weakness.

And sure, they could, some have. some brilliant people in real life do. But X-Men is always trying to remind us that even the gifted people are human too, and they need to keep their compassion if they would keep themselves intact.

So, despite its faults, this latest X-men movie is worth checking out.

Until next time–Natasha.

The problem with authority.

Here’s one of the main problems I have always had with authority:

Should I question it?

And if I were to expand that, I would add, should I view myself as inferior to authority.

Let;s start with the highest authority in my life, God Himself.

The Bible tells us to talk to God as we would to our father, or our friend, which is pretty humble on God’s part, and surprisingly hard for us to do. If we believe in God at all, then it’s daunting for most adults to think about addressing Him, especially as a friend. That’s why religious jargon is so common in all types of religions.

Just because I can talk to God as my (almost) equal does not make Him my equal. That’s the truth. But God has no interest in creating distance between us and Himself, so He allows for that equal kind of communication.

Language, by the way, is the best equalizer between people, especially for those in authority, we’ve all known the frustration of someone talking over our heads and then talking down to us in a condescending way.

God’s authoriyt is untouchable, so clearly He is my superioer. I hav eno problem with that, He doesn’t rub it in.

But any other authorities in my life are going to be human. Since I dont’ belive Animals to be above me, and the Bible says that even angels are not higher in authority. (Make what you will of that, it’s a whole other post.)

And the problem with humans is that they make frequent mistakes.

Knowing this, and being by nature a bit of a smart alec, I have always been unsure about authoiryt. I didn’t wonder aobut it when I was very young and would call my teachers out on inconcistities in whtat they wee saying when held up agaisnt my NLT Bible. And yes, hat was in Sunday School (I’m not giving you non church goers much confidence in the institution am I? It’s really not so bad as that, I’ve been to much more accurate churches since then.)

When I was under some family friends instruction, this attidtude I had became a problem. I’m sharing this becuase I figure I’m not the only one.

And it’s important even for people in authority to think about this because  I’ve had my teachers be just as confused as me over the nature of our relationship.

My Youth Group Leader used to tell me not to answer every single question, because the other kids wouldn’t even try since they knew I’d answer. I thought maybe he had a point, so I attempted to hold back. (It wasn’t fair though, because in youth they ask you “who knows…?” and it would be dishonest not to raise my hand, wouldn’t it? It’s a honest question, right?)

“Someone other than (insert my name)?” My leader would ask despairingly as the rest of the group looked blankly at them.

Nope. Only me.

I began to get really frustrated with this. Often the leader didn’t know the answer either. Until they looked it up. If I knew, why couldn’t I say?

Why did I have to play dumb for the sake of everyone else?

This came up when those family friend’s tried to teach me also. Whenever I caught on, I would be impatient and interrupt them. Which bugged them. Sometimes I jokingly said “Not the way we do it,” when referring to a lesson that compared to a household function (like cooking.)

I shouldn’t have been rude, but at the time I had no inkling that my jokes were being perceived as disrespectful. I just wanted to be funny.

And that’s when it came up again, my teachers, or just adults in general, seemed to think I owed them greater consideration just because they were older than me. I didn’t have the same freedom with them as I did with my family.

And if they did something wrong, I had to be careful about saying so. Often, I couldn’t say so without offending them.

Once I talked to a whole group of adults about how stupid I thought their arguement with this other group had been. I thought, (and my dad hadn encouraged me in this)that I had as much right as anyone to point this out; but they ended up very offended over it.

Looking back, I think I was right. It was stupid. And I also think a kid has just as much right to point that out as anyone else, sometimes kids are the only ones without an agenda.

I now know that that stuff doesn’t fly with many people. I would say one of the main reasons is, we (because I am an adult now) are insecure.

I’ve caught myself getting annoyed with kids for doing the same things I used to do, and I feel guilty, because I know the kids are right. And I’m wrong. But I don’t want to admit that to them because I don’t have to.

And there’s the rub. People prefer not to admit they are wrong anyway, but most of us who are healthy will admit it to our peers and our superiors, but precious few will admit it to kids. Because kids can’t make us do it.

Kids would, if they could, they are pretty straightforward about their sense of justice. Bless their hearts. IF they had control, we’d all be more honest…and probably in more danger. I am not suggesting we always give in to kids and their sense of right and wrong, kids are apt to be one sided too.

But I do think we need to remember that as far as morality goes, kids are often superior to us. They may lack the social skills we’ve invented in order to not offend each other when we notice something’s wrong, kids don’t have that, they can chafe our hide with their bluntness; but they’re still right.

And adults who are like kids in this respect are usually disliked by many people for their blunt honesty, the wise know they should be listened to.

I don’t know where I fall in this category anymore. I’ve bitten my tongue for many years, and only now are people starting to encourage me to un-bite it. I’m finding some people can accept my more difficult qualities.

But people like me, and I know you bloggers are like this or you wouldn’t use the freedom of the internet to express ideas you have no audience for in your social circles, we aren’t encouraged a lot in this world.

So, here’s to all of you who blurt out the truth and step on toes and challenge authority, and can’t seem to help it, there is a reason we desperately need you.

Until next time–Natasha.

Wiser than my teachers.

“You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies;
For they are ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the ancients,
Because I keep Your precepts.” (Psalm 199:98-100)

When I first read this passage, years ago now, U think what came to my mind was the many clashes I was having with teachers and elders at that time. I shared in a recent post how I am a free spirit.

Well, free spirits can have a lot of issues with authority.

We hate being bossed around.

Over the years, I have not really changed much when it comes to how I see authority.

I am not one to say I know more about fishing than a fisherman, or anything like that, of course I don’t. Yet it’s been my observation that even the experts in a field can be blind to the most obvious things about it, sometimes you need a novice person to make you see the profoundest things.

And to be honest, one of the chief problems with humanities approach to education is thinking that the person who knows the most facts and figures about something is the one who understands it best.

Facts and figures are crucial, and no mistake, but they feed only the mind. As C. S. Lewis pointed out in “The Abolition of Man” when we know with our mind but not with our soul, we are on dangerous and inhuman footing. We will question the very existence of reality and truth, and become unfeeling, uncompassionate, machine like people.

Which is exactly what is happening to many of us, sadly enough; and both the Left and Right, the Atheist and Theist, are noticing this problem. To their credit, Liberals and Atheists seem to care about it just as much as the sides of the spectrum I come into agreement with, and that should wake us all up.

One of the reasons I have always distinguished myself in Academics is not because I know the most facts about everything, I also don’t know much about math. I barely got through it with a B.

In five weeks of college I am already starting to get positive attention from my professors. Teachers can spot the different types of students a mile away. And it never takes long for mine to identify me as the smart, nice, girl. Who cares about what she’s doing. (Except for math, which is why I don’t take it.)

I appreciate the positivity I get from teachers, I enjoy it, who wouldn’t? I’ve been fortunate to be home-schooled and never picked on for being a geek or teacher’s pet. I have hopefully dodged that bullet since in college is really makes no sense for kids to make fun of each other for that.

Though I am getting on one of my classmates nerves, I can tell, for being white and ignorant of the lower classes problems.

Please. I wonder if she’s been to Skid-row. At least I’ve done something to help the lower class.

I am somewhat ignorant. Because I’ve had little contact with those people, I can’t help that, I am open to learning more. I read books and watch movies about their situation. What else can I do?

Anyway, my point is, my approach to learning is very much based on the heart of the matter. I will try to find, in everything I study, something that ties it into life, and into humanity. If I can’t find that, then why would I care about learning it?

And the secret to loving learning I’m realizing that every single subject out there affects either your life or the life of someone you know or someone you will have heard of and felt sorry for.

My homeschooling background is the chief reason I see learning this way. I pity people who never got that because I think education without heart misses the whole point. Even in public schools some teachers try to pass this on to their students, hopefully with success, but it can’t compare to getting 12 years of it.

My faith shapes my views of learning also. Growing up, going to Sunday school was something I had to do, but I loved it. I love learning life lessons from stories. I really couldn’t grasp why, after years in Sunday school, my peers still got mixed up about details I had known since I was in Kindergarten. Really?

In the end, Learning is a gift, and I apply it to everything I do. Nowadays adults tell me I’m wise for my years, it’s because I learn.

And I am not as wise as I wish. If I could learn as fast with my heart as I can with my head, I would be like Solomon. I can say that without bragging because the fact is all of us would be like Solomon if facts translated to wisdom. But they don’t, do they?

But why did I start this with that passage from Psalms?

This was on my mind because in class this week I actually corrected one of my professors on several points. The Bible was the reference, so I had an advantage. I knew my teacher wouldn’t be offended since our class runs on discussion. He actually asked for further clarification during the break, which was awesome. Though I could practically feel the other students thinking “know it all Christian.” Oh well.

Because of my background I have found that in some ways I do understand things better than my teachers. I always have. Even as a kid this used to happen to me. I think the reason is God has given me, like David, understanding.

I forget facts, I barely pass some tests, I make errors, but I absorb the soul behind the subject. I think and grow and get new ideas.

That’s true learning, and the best thing about it is it never stops, and it’s never too late to start learning that way.

Until next time, Natasha.

P.S. (If you like my movie reviews I should have some new superhero ones out soon. Stay on the look out.)

Free spirits.

Do you know what the hardest thing about college is? Remembering your assignments and instructions.

Some students are going “amen sister.”

Why does the system have to be that we do everything the way the book says?

This is the home-schooler in me talking, I’m too used to putting my own spin on things. I mean, for example, if someone gives you a writing assignment and lists some possible topics you could use, but adds “Or you  could pick something yourself” I am that girl who will pick something herself.

I don’t think that means you have to do everything the opposite of what people suggest. I take advice, I follow important rules.

But when it comes to stuff that is non-essential, I like to shake things up.

I have gotten in trouble with teachers more for wanting to do things my own way, or actually for resisting doing everything their way, then I ever got for being flat out disobedient.

I don’t directly disobey authority, I try to obey it on my terms.

I think someone reading this is bound to relate.

I apply this to my religion also, In fact I give God all the responsibility for me being this way. (Yeah, I can play that card.) I don’t wish to offend anyone, but I could never be Jewish, Mormon, Amish, or any of the more organized forms of the faith.

I hate regimentation.

I know that there’s merit in tradition and discipline, and I have no beef with the above sects for doing things that way, but it would drive me crazy.

I don’t think this about being too good for conforming, so much as it’s my character is already too developed in the kind of freedom I’m used to.

I love a good tradition, don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to storm about how Christmas tress are dull and Easter services are restrictive. And I need to be more disciplined.

But tradition and discipline are like salt and pepper, some like a lot, some like a little, but at bottom they are still seasonings.

The main dish of life is variety and flexibility. Because life is unpredictable.

And that is why people like me, though we seem helter-skelter to those of you who live by a schedule, tend to bounce back a lot faster when our plans go awry.

I will say this, you don’t have to have an outgoing personality to be into individual touch.

My mom, for example, is an introvert who doesn’t like the spotlight and will read the instruction manual before doing something. She likes organizations.

but I admire my Mom, because through her faith she’s learned to be flexible and change her plans a lot. She would naturally prefer organization, but she will stay the most calm in the chaos and crisis, and bounce back the fastest. Though her personality might lead you to believe she’d have a meltdown under pressure, that’s only if you don’t know her very well. All the people who know my mom know she’s tough.

But in a quiet way that’s very different form me. Yet she has that same “design it your own way” thing. Though she reads the manual, my mom believes in creativity.

Which goes to show you can’t put people in a box.

My dad on the other hand prefers things be done his way.

I can be like that too, maybe too much actually. (I have that oldest child bossiness thing.) But I prefer to go my own way.

On principle I tend to object to movies and books that send that message to kids. Because I believe kids need to be guided and they are not mature enough to know which way to go much of the time. But I do not believe at all in micromanagement. My mom never did that with us, and I think that’s why we turned out to be free spirits.

Young teens need to be able to express themselves outside of what their parents like or understand, but I would never advocate letting teens be rebels in the name of expression.

I don’t have kids, yet based on my own experience, I’d say freedom within certain boundaries is always the healthiest way to handle kids and their creativity.

To tie this back into the college students out there, I think this shapes our approach to academia.

I am so used to thriving when I can express myself with freedom. I’ve had a couple teachers in my life who understood me in that way. But college professors are so busy, how cant hey be expected to nurture that?

Well, the truth is, college is the last chance teachers have to awaken that in young people before they turn them loose on the world. It’s a slim chance, because 18-25 year olds are already pretty set in their ways, but there’s a chance.

We need college professors to care just as much, if not more, then high school teachers, because this is the last schooling most of us get before we set off on our career paths.No one is ever too old to be mentored.

I will praise my English professor for being the only one of mine to get this in some way. But there’s precious few like him. IF you have one, you better be thankful.

Any person who is willing to teach thickheaded freshmen for eight hours to 16 hours a week has patience, but not everyone has inspiration.

College is the only part of education that puts two adults together but still on unequal footing. We’re all allowed to choose for the first time what we will learn.

But no matter ho much responsibility we take, it can’t be denied that teachers play a pivotal role in inspiring the student.

That’s all for now, until l next time–Natasha.

Language Barriers.

Sometimes courage is not slowing down long enough for fear to catch you.

And sometime courage is staying still long enough for peace to catch up with you.

But I’d say the first one is my motto today. I woke up feeling achy, but upon getting up I felt better, and I’ve learned that my stress symptoms increase when I’m inactive. Inactivity can be just as hard o your body as hyperactivity.

So with that in mind, I want to switch subjects.

Some of you who’ve been reading my college posts know that I’m studying Language. Specifically English and ASL. (Guess which is harder.)

A few of my older followers probably remember that I went on a mission trip two years ago (almost three) to Cambodia, and there I learned a bit of Khmer.

Khmer (pronounced Ka-mai) is not an easy language to learn by rote. You have to hear it, and in my opinion you have to hear it spoken in real settings. My attempts to learn more of it since haven’t panned out well. I need a tutor I bet.

My ASL teacher wanted us to journal on a movie we watched in class about. Audism is a new term, probably not i most dictionaries, that refers to discrimination based on one’s ability to hear.

It’s a real thing. But it seems to bother people the most when their own families won’t include them in conversation by interpreting for them.

Welcome to my world, I would say. I’ve been frustrated many times over the years by being left out of conversations. I wish I could blame it on being deaf but all I can attribute it to is being young and not having common ground.

I guess being deaf makes it hard to have common ground and that’s the sting. Even if they did, they can’t talk about it.

But the problem between people of different languages isn’t really lack of knowledge. It’s a lack of heart.

Very profound things can be communicated between people who speak different languages. We’ve heard that love doesn’t need a language. It’s true. In Cambodia, the people were very welcoming and nice to us even though we couldn’t understand more than a few things they said. We didn’t need to to understand good will.

I’d venture to say the trouble between different groups of people isn’t about language or skin color, it’s about suspicion.

Remember when I talked about strangers? How we wish we could connect with them?

Oftentimes we build walls around ourselves so that we won’t have to deal with strangers as people. The don’t challenge us, we don’t feel guilty.

And that’s the real reason behind slavery I think. Slavery has happened many times between people of the same race by the way, just different divisions. Sometimes it’s not even between tribes, it can be between classes. They don’t talk about that when they teach kids that America is evil for having slaves.

Yes it was evil a lot of the time, but America is not the exception in any way except that it fought a war over it. You look far back enough into almost nay country and you’ll fine slavery. Often not between different races.

We don’t have to look different to make strangers of each other.

We don’t have to look the same to believe we’re kindred.

To be open to new and different ways is to be open to life. Life is constantly changing. People who recognize this are more likely to accept each other, I think. There is n o point in trying to live in a certain time while the rest of the world moves on.

And coming from a home-schooler raised to believe that the old ways are better, that’s a big concession.

I believe they are better. They were healthier, more in line with natural law. But I don’t believe you change the world by staying in the past. The world won’t stay with you. Solutions always lie ahead of us.

True brotherhood between nations always begins, and always will, with the laying aside of suspicions. The willingness to see each other as part of the same family. Just different looking and different sounding. (Heck some of us have that in our immediate family. I’m not exactly like anyone else in mine, my sister even observed that it’s hard to place who I look like.)

Suspicion is the killer of phileo love (friendship/brotherly love.)  You remember that part of Pocahontas? “They’re different form us, therefore they an’t be trusted.” But what led to that? Immediate suspicion.

You know, both the Native Americans and the White men were already determined to think that their ways were the only way and that they had nothing to learn from anyone else. Both of them. Is it any wonder that they were immediately suspicious of each other? While Pocahontas both in the true history and in the movie represented those of us who think we have something to learn from each other.

I will never be convinced that my religion is not the correct one, but what I like about mine is that it allows me to recognize wisdom in other cultures. There is no culture without it’s own revelation of God that it understand better then others.

Americans understand freedom, for example. Jews understand holiness. I think many Asian cultures understand the flow of the spiritual into art and lifestyle better then we do. I think the Native Americans understood a lot about the way God speaks through nature.

The list goes on.

And that’s not exclusive of course. It’s just a sample.

Language is a gap between people, but in God’s mysterious ways, He was made it one of the most powerful ways to bridge the gap between people, if we approach it humbly and with love and patience.