If you haven’t seen Hacksaw Ridge, see it.
I started to write a simple Facebook post, but thought better of it. There’s more I want to say than I think should go there. So, I’ve decided to write a proper blog post. My first in months.
Generally, I don’t like movies that glorify war. I don’t condone war. Or the death penalty. Or really violence of any kind. But this movie doesn’t glorify war. Not really.
It’s about a man, a Seven Day Adventist, who doesn’t believe in killing. For any reason. But he decides to enlist in the Army during World War II as a medic. His faith and conviction allowed him to save 75 wounded men.
He never picked up a weapon and never took a life.
I admit to a sensitive side (don’t tell anyone), but rarely to I shed more than a tear at the most emotionally wrenching scenes. But I cried at more than one point as I watched.
As the 140-minute movie ended, watching real-life accounts from just a few of the men he saved and of Desmond himself, I thought about my own pacifist convictions.
Unlike Desmond Doss, I don’t believe in the notion of a “just war.” He didn’t believe in killing, but saw the war as justified and wanted to do his part. Without killing anyone. Despite my belief, however, after watching this movie I couldn’t help but wonder about the strength of my own conviction. What would I be willing to sacrifice to avoid committing violence? Or to prevent someone else from committing violence?
The answer is simple; I don’t know.
But if I don’t know the answer to those questions, I’m forced to wonder just how strong my convictions are. Maybe no one really knows until their put in an impossible situation.
In the end, I guess it’s just ethical or philosophical theory. Either way, I’ll close where I began. See Hacksaw Ridge. You won’t regret it.
And if you can get to the end without sobbing, you’re stronger than I.