Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Unbroken by Susan L.

  My friend and I went to the movies last night to see "Unbroken", the true story of a young soldier who was an Olympic gold medal winner. In WWII, he survived forty-five days at sea following a plane crash only to be rescued by the Japanese. His time in the POW camp was terrible. Following the war, the commanding officer of the camp went into hiding because he would have been tried for war crimes. He was later pardoned when the Americans and the Japanese began forging a new, peaceful relationship.
  But then both sides did horrific things to each other.
  It strikes me as odd that one man would face charges for his acts of cruelty yet the American president didn't for his orders to drop the A-bomb on Hiroshima. I guess that's what power and having an arsenal at your fingertips enables you to get away with. I'm also not sure if there has been any restitution given to the Japanese-Americans who were forcibly interred during the war, their assets seized by the government.
  I'm not saying we Canadians have such a great track record for upholding human rights. I believe we also interred Japanese-Canadians during the war. Our own treatment of aboriginal peoples is a disgrace in this day and age. The African-Americans who fled the southern states during the era of slavery weren't always greeted with open arms. The last segregated school in Canada closed in...can you believe? The 1970's.
  Probably every country in the world has some sort of skeleton in their closets. Human rights still get tromped on worldwide. It doesn't mean it is something to be accepted.
  Forgive me Lord for judging. More importantly, forgive us Lord for the harm we do to each other. Thank You that the global village has been born. Propaganda no longer has as much power. The internet, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube enable us to validate or discredit what the masses are being told by those in power. Cell phones are the sword of the age. Video's don't lie.
  There was one amazing upside to the movie. The young man, Louis, while floating in the boat prayed that the Lord would save him. He offered up a bargain. If God spared him, when he got home he would dedicate his life to serving the Lord. And he honored that bargain.
  "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with a lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering , bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Eph 4:1-3


  1. I’ve just been studying the Encyclical (a letter to the world) from Pope John 23rd, in 1963. It provides an excellent description of the rights of individuals (para. 11), and talks about the purpose of public authorities being the attainment of the common good. The common good ensures that individual rights are upheld, and that in doing so, the public at large and the authorities which govern them are all strengthened. Interesting reading! It is online at http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-xxiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_j-xxiii_enc_11041963_pacem.html

  2. I understand from an interview that Louis returned home, but ended up being an alcoholic and bent on revenge towards the commander. He was saved at a Billy Graham crusade (early ones, in tents). God changed his heart and instead of revenge he found forgiveness. Amazing story. I don't believe Angelina Jolie, as director, told the whole story. I guess salvation is not "politically correct". Apparently the book is awesome. Written by the same author that wrote "Seabiscuit". Louis was so encouraging to her and her battle with fibromyalgia that he gave her his purple cross. Hope to see the movie. Happy New Year!!!

    1. The movie also noted that he struggled with Post Traumatic Stress when he got home although it wasn't identified as such back then. Alcoholism is an attempt to self medicate, to ease the pain and torment of the nightmares that haunt the sufferer day and night.