By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
I Am The Enemy
“Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.” Proverbs 28:5
“The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” Proverbs 29:7
“Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
The Bible is filled with passages such as these, demanding justice and calling those who love God to seek it out. Often we forget these, or do not take them seriously enough.
As I sat watching the movie Hotel Rwanda recently, I was reminded of a column I read in Sojourners magazine. As the author, Brian McLaren, thought about the film, he couldn’t help but think of its importance to Christianity and how this is the type of movie that should be promoted in churches, not The Passion of the Christ.
“If we really had the mind and heart of Christ, this is the movie we would be urging people in our churches to see,” McLaren wrote.
Often, Christians are so focused on another’s salvation and their eternal needs that they forget to see their physical needs. We are called to defend those who are defenseless, helping those who cannot help themselves, etc.
Hotel Rwanda shows the horrors of genocide between the Hutus and the Tutsis. Nearly a million people were slaughtered in the massacre, a tragedy allowed to happen because not enough was done by the United Nations or other foreigners. People failed to intervene out of fear or lack of caring enough, and millions suffered for it.
One person, Gary Haugen, worked at the U.S. Department of Justice and traveled to Rwanda to direct the United Nation’s genocide investigation in the country. He was so affected by what he saw he went on to create the International Justice Mission, a Christian organization that uses law enforcement professionals to rescue victims of injustice throughout the world.
In his book, The Good News about Injustice, he writes of his experience sifting through mass gravesites in Rwanda, concluding that the bodies were not simply “lifeless clods on the dust heap of a fallen world.” They were all created in the image of God and had at one time been cried over by their mothers. His team would not be able to count all the bodies in the graves, but their creator had numbered even the hairs on their heads.
Christians should be at the forefront of efforts to stop injustice in the world. Our responsibility is to care for much more than our own country and communities. Hotel Rwanda is a movie that should be discussed in churches and communities as a powerful testament to the power to fight evil in the world and the necessity for good people to not stand idly by while destruction runs rampant.
While it might seem impossible to combat the injustices in the world, such as forced prostitution, slavery and female genital mutilation, the power to fight evil comes when you acknowledge its existence and recognize the suffering others endure. When you put a name and a face to the child sold into prostitution in a Cambodian brothel, you give her a last shred of dignity. This is both our calling and responsibility.