Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Sorry, "Da Vinci Code" fans. "X-Men: The Last Stand" -- on its way to being the bigest blockbuster of the season -- may be the summer's most spiritual popcorn movie. Between frenetic fight scenes, the film deals with issues of morality, tolerance and what the heck "right" and "wrong" really mean. X-Men (the comics and the movies) have always been about prejudice and isolation, and it's hard to watch the film and not see it as a parable, of sorts -- one, perhaps, where mutants are powerful stand-ins for gays and lesbians.

The film revolves around a cure for mutantism -- a drug that will permanently surpress a mutant's "abnormal" genes. Some mutants crave such a drug, which would give them license to return to "normal" society. Others believe such a cure would be tantamount to rejecting who they are. Though the lines between good guys and bad guys are clearly drawn, the ethical themes that motivate them are not so clear-cut.

Producer Ralph Winter, a Christian, said in an interview with Christianity Today that movies are better at asking questions than answering them. And this film asks a boatload.

Focus on the Family, which offers its own answers to such questions, gave the movie a generally positive review on its popular Web site, PluggedIn Online. But it hedges a bit.

"The message that every person is valuable and deserves acceptance comes through loud and clear," the review says. "What's less clear is whether tolerance means embracing the choices other people make along the way."


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