As a general rule, we don't watch R rated movies at our house. In fact, my husband hasn't watched a single R rated movie since he came home from his mission almost 20 years ago. Our church leaders have asked us not to, and Marty has followed that counsel to the letter. And I really admire him for it.
But I hate to admit it, I'm a more rebellious soul than he is - while I agree that most R rated movies are destructive, there is one that I really love, and even own. In fact, it's one of my favorite movies of all time - right up there with The Sound of Music, my all time favorite movie (see, I'm not too much of a heathen).
The movie is The Patriot.
It's rated R for violence and blood, and there is plenty of that, in fact, there are a couple of parts I fast forward because they bother me. But in the case of a movie about the Revolutionary War, it helps to bring home the reality and horror of a time when wars were fought with sword and bayonet and musket and cannon.
What I love about this movie is not that it stars Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger.........
...although that isn't exactly a downside.
But that it poignantly demonstrates the love that our founding fathers had for freedom and the sacrifices they made for the cause of liberty.
They shouldn't have been able to win - they were facing an army that was trained, seasoned, fed, supplied and paid. The British Armada was 100 ships strong. At one point in the movie, after the the British defeat at the battle of Yorktown, General Cornwallis says, (I don't know if this is an actual quote by Cornwallis)
"How did it come to this - an army of rabble, peasants. Everything will change, everything has changed."
They should not have been able to win - the only way they could have, was with Divine help.
I believe that with all my heart.
You see, I was raised in a very patriotic home. And it really rubbed off on me. I have read quite a bit about the Revolutionary War and I really love this country and all it stands for. Yes, we have plenty of flaws and I'm admittedly a little afraid at the way things are heading, but I still believe that this is the Promised Land.
The Patriot helps me to appreciate the great men and women who starved, froze, fought, and died for a cause which they knew to be just.
At one point in the movie, the younger children in the family are reading a letter from their brother who has been away fighting in the war. He says,
"I envy you - your youth and your distance from this cruel conflict of which I am a part. But I consider myself fortunate to be serving the cause of liberty. And though I fear death, each day in prayer I reaffirm my willingness, if necessary, to give my life in it's service. Pray for me, but above all, pray for the cause."
I've always loved this painting by Arnold Friberg.
He painted it to celebrate our country's bicentennial in 1976. I recently learned about the story behind this painting. A Quaker man named Isaac Potts who lived near Valley Forge actually witnessed this scene and overheard Washington praying for the army, the cause of "the country, of humanity, and of the world."