Saturday, May 17, 2014

Everything is awesome - theology with Lego part 1

There may be spoilers in this if you have not see the Lego Movie.

I enjoy kids' movies. A lack of too much sex and violence, often times a gentle world, but often by no means babyish. Sometimes there are explicit or implicit themes that be picked up on. Other times, they can be an opportunity for spin off ideas.

The first theme I want to deal with is that of belonging. Emmet tries so hard to fit in, to follow the instructions. He is so much like everyone else, he has no distinguishing features. When he goes missing, most of his workmates don't even remember him. Everyone else has a distinguishing feature but him.

At one level, it is rather sad to try so hard to be like everyone else. Yet at the same time, humans are social creatures. Most animals look pretty much the same, but many have differences in personality. Having known four Labradors now, they look similar but not identical; they have similar traits bit differences in personality. So identity means belonging, and we often try to "look" like others, while thinking we are being different.

Take the hipster trend - so many similar beards and dress sense. There's nothing wrong with the particular trend, but in seeking to be unlike others, they are often much like each other. Same for goths, punks, etc, etc. Of course, unlike Lego, we are quite different from each other.

And yet our humanity is what unites us. In theological terms, this is the image of God. We are all really the same, exactly in our differences. We should however be thoughtful in our attempts to fit in - sacrificing neither our humanity or our individuality. That said, elevating individuality to God itself has gotten us into a lot of trouble.

Everything is awesome when we are individuals who use our individuality to build a better society.

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