Act of Valor got to the big screen and has been a hit with audiences nationwide, even without applying Hollywood’s standard politically correct formula. It is unapologetically pro-American. The enemy, an Islamic Radical, is clearly depicted as evil. Not simply confused or justly angry with capitalism, but eeeeviilll. How often do we see this? Act of Valor does not ask us to like the antagonists, understand their plight, or underestimate their capacity for evil. And you hope, but don’t assume too quickly, that the bad dudes will be “neutralized” by the good Americans. However my favorite thing about this movie is that from beginning to end it dignifies true manhood and exalts masculine strength. Throughout the movie’s action, one of the SEALS who is soon to be a father, is putting his thoughts on paper, leaving a written description of manhood for his son in the unfortunate event of his death. The essence of what he said is this, “A man starts to feel like he is no longer a man when he is no longer described as dangerous.” Oh how beautiful is this insight. This is so true. If at his core a man feels he has lost the ability or the right to be dangerous, he is a shell. For 111 minutes of the film you watch men who are willing to give everything for something they see as bigger than themselves. It will inspire every man to dream again about being dangerous.
Authentic masculinity has a very needed place in this broken world. Jesus said “The kingdom of heaven is forcefully advancing, and it is forceful men who take hold of it.” Gentle Jesus meek and mild was anything but. One open-minded pass through the gospels and you will conclude that Jesus was not a man to be tangled with. He exposed lies and liars knowing well the cost he would pay. Then he told his followers that if they were unwilling to pay the same high cost, they were not worthy to follow.
God’s purpose, in part, for man’s particular design is to bring justice to the world and put up a fight for righteousness. We are his partners in this. As I see it, the Navy SEALS, along with our local law enforcement officials, are ministers, bringing justice to a world that would suffer all the more without men (and some women) who would put it all on the line to keep their loved ones and their countrymen safe. The desire to fight, protect and defend is as natural to the average man as hunting is to a lion. Some may not see it as a part of their divine design, but we must consider that we are made in his image, and scripture very clearly states that the Lord is a warrior. I think this is the truth that made me resonate so strongly with this film. I was watching real men who were far more in touch with this aspect of their God given design that I am. It challenged me to find the battles God intends me to fight, and to fight them with courage and single mindedness.
Act of Valor was realistic and intense. The performances from actual active Navy SEALS were authentic and refreshing (although a bit stiff). I was inspired watching the actual men who are considered the best in the planet at what they do. I also love that they took great care to communicate the eternal truth that a man’s greatest power and strength come from love. In this case love for both for nation and family.
Go see Act of Valor. It is awesome and inspiring. And lastly I will leave you with a poem one of the SEALS left for his young son.
“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion;respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”
~ Chief Tecumseh
Act of Valor is a film about dangerous men who have given themselves over to something bigger, loving it and their brothers in arms more that they love their own lives. They are dangerous for good. My heart, as a man, cries out to be dangerous for something good. Watching it brings truth to a man’s heart and tears to the eyes. We could all use more movies like this.