I received an e-mail from NewsMax today about the Disney film “Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” It contained warnings from variously striped Christians that the movie may not be true to the Christian intentions of C. S. Lewis.
Included in the e-mail was a quote from the film’s producer, Mark Johnson: “When I read the book as a child, I accepted it as a pure adventure story. It never occurred to me Aslan was anything more than a great lion” rather than a Christ figure.
Disney Studios, for sure, has been no friend to Christianity in recent years. The company was among the first to actively promote homosexuality among its employees and park guests.
Still, I remember the lesson of Patton.
The 1970 movie “Patton” starring George C. Scott was intended as an anti-war film. Scott and the film’s producers hoped to capture Patton, the greatest General officer in American military history, as a blood-thirsty murderer. The goal was to vilify a WWII hero, thereby vilifying the military in general. In 1970, though, a film could be only so false. There were more than 200,000 men who served under Patton still alive in 1970. Gross lies would be exposed.
The writers and producers believed that Patton’s own words, culled from his memoirs compiled into a book called “War as I Knew It” would be enough to make America hate him and the Army he stood for.
They were wrong.
Instead of becoming a beacon of anti-military leftism, “Patton” is the darling film of the pro-military right. Patton’s true character was too powerfully and sincerely American for a director, writers, and actor to spin. Scott’s Patton turned Americans back toward its beloved Army, not against it. The truth betrayed those who hoped to hijack it.
C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, I trust, will survive Disney’s attempt to secularized. The Word of God will always overpower attempts as usurpation. Indeed, just as Patton’s renown only grew from the movie, Lewis and Christ, Lewis’s protagonist, will grow from this film.
“We believe that God will speak the gospel of Jesus Christ through this film,” said Lon Allison, director of Illinois’ Billy Graham Center.
While Graham might not like an endorsement from a Catholic, I have to say that if this film is good enough for Billy Graham’s folks, it’s good enough for me.