Captain America: The First Avenger
Called by SHIELD, Captain America is helping to recover the Tesseract, a powerful energy source and one of the Infinity Stones. Loki, Thor’s brother who is in his most evil state at the moment, has stolen it to create a wormhole for an alien army to come through to take over planet Earth. He means to rule the Earth by whatever means necessary.
Loki shows himself in Germany for two purposes: (1) to aquired the final ingredient for the wormhole; and (2) to cause a distraction. Obtaining what is needed, Loki walks out the building, corrals all those attending the event outside and forces them to kneel.
Loki closes his self-important monologue: You were made to be ruled. In the end you will always kneel.
An elder stands and faces him: Not to men like you
Loki: There are no men like me.
Elder: There are always men like you.
Loki aims his scepter at the elder: Look to your elder people. Let him be an example.
As he fires the scepter, Captain America lands in front of the elder using his shield to protect them both.
Captain America: You know the last time I was in Germany, and saw a man standing above everybody else, we ended up disagreeing.
Then a fight ensues between Captain America and Loki, with Ironman joining in at the end to capture Loki.
There are always men like you...
There are always men like Loki, unfortunately. Men and women who wish to gain power and control over others, oppressing people, harming the Earth and our resources. As I have said in previous posts, we currently have one of those men in the White House.
I see a correlation between President Trump’s behavior, his vitriol, hatred, anger — and the rise of violence, hate crimes, mass shootings, and more. When a person of power begins to use violence as a tactic, those around him/her, those who follow him/her, begin to use it as well.
This scene is such as awesome scene. It takes a great deal of courage to stand, as the Elder did. Let’s be real, Loki is not just any person. He uses magic to bring about his desires, to trick people. His eyes, his facial expression show a hint of enjoyment in all the evil that he is perpetrating throughout this movie. And, he is of Asgard, basically a god — mortal (yes), hard to kill.
Faith of Christ
It takes true courage to stand up against those who seek Power through corruption, hatred, violence, greed. It takes a deep inner strength to be willing to put your life on the line and say, “Not to men like you…”
This, for me, is what faith is all about. Faith is not a noun. It is not a good feeling that keeps us connected to the Sacred. Faith is a verb. It is an action. It requires something of us, no matter how small or big that something is.
If we say we are followers of the Way of Christ, then we must stand in the Faith OF Christ and act. Christ would not sit by and watch Love, Compassion, Justice be torn apart.
Jesus would be in the White House flipping the tables, calling out, “You brood of Vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil?…The good person brings good things out of good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure. I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned!” (Matthew 12: 34-37)
We must all stand in the face of men like Loki. We must do it as the Elder did by calling out the darkness and bringing forth Light.
Martin Luther King, Jr reminds us: "Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Even as we are experiencing the dismemberment of our values and culture, of our country and democracy; there is hope. Hope comes in the presence of those who stand in the face of Power as did the Elder to Loki, calling out the darkness, witnessing the Light.
Standing strong, confident and proud; letting our Light shine forth from us, as the Elder did, is powerful, transformative and contagious…
Let me take a moment to bring forth a few I have seen and am seeing now:
Chris Evans and Twitter
Since I am writing about Avengers and Captain America, Chris Evans uses his Twitter voice well in calling out corruption, abuse of power, racism, homophobia, sexism and more. He does it, not just by sharing other's tweets, but by adding his voice, his thoughts and opinions to the conversation. (For those who do not know, Chris Evans portrays Captain America.)
Very much in our hearts and minds is the racist tweet by the Bigot-in-Chief, who currently resides in the White House, telling four amazingly powerful authentic Congresswomen to go back to their own country. It was an abusive tweet, meant to bully these Congresswomen into silence. It did the opposite. They rose with Integrity and spoke Truth to Power.
Chris Evans, via Twitter, joined the conversation speaking Truth and Justice in the face of white supremacy, with his tweet: "The only thing worse than actually being hateful and racist, is casually wielding hate and racism to activate your base in an unrelenting, painfully transparent, and crushingly on-brand effort to soothe your only true devotion: feeding your insatiable ego."
or as Jesus would put it, "You Brood of Vipers..."
And earlier in the summer, in June, during Pride month, he spoke Truth to the group of people in Boston who decided they want to have a straight pride parade. This hit the news and social media as we were coming to the Pride Celebrations.
Chris sent a Tweet that had me laughing and called out the hatred and homophobia: “Wow! Cool initiative, fellas!! Just a thought, instead of ‘Straight Pride’ parade, how about this: The ‘desperately trying to bury our own gay thoughts by being homophobic because no one taught us how to access our emotions as children’ parade? Whatta ya think? Too on the nose?? “
My heart (being that I am a preacher) was laughing and shouting, “Preach it, Brother!!!”
When one has a public platform to use, it is a moral imperative to use that platform to extend Compassion and the manifest of Justice in this world, to call out the Brood of Vipers!
I am grateful that Chris Evans choses to use his public platform to call out injustice, racism, sexism, homophobia, hatred and more. When fear, racism, sexism, homophobia are allowed to be, they grow within the hearts of those who harbor them and spread like an infectious virus. When called out, it is brought before the Light of the Sacred and something begins to shift and transform it, undermining its message; creating a message of Justice and Love. A seed of Hope is planted in the hearts of those who need it, who have experienced personally the violence of racism or homophobia in their lives. It kindles a coal, a spark, a fire that reminds the queer community and people of color that they are not alone, that they are loved and Sacred in God’s eyes, full and whole members of the Body of Christ just the way they are.
When Trump began to separate children from parents at the border, a detention center was set up for the children. Baptist Family Services stepped up to help out, not realizing the injustices that were about to happen. As more and more children were being taken to that detention center, public outrage grew. The government did nothing to reunite the children and parents who were separated.
But there was one man who stood witness, Joshua Ruben. Day after day after day he stayed calling out this injustice, standing witness, not moving. Standing strong, confident in the face of men like Loki, men like Trump. He continued his silent protest until the camp was officially closed and all children were moved.
He committed himself to months and months of protest, to putting his life on hold for the sake of those who needed a voice calling forth: “You brood of vipers!”
Because of his stand, because of those who joined him in his peaceful protest, Baptist Family Services chose to close the camp. They recognized the atrocities that the Trump Administration was committing and ended their involvement. Although disappointed and disheartened (angry really) in BFS’s involvement, I recognize they did not realize the full extent of what was about to happen. When the awoke to it, thank you Joshua, they stepped away.
His protest and commitment to justice moves my heart.
Members of the congregation I serve went down to the border and met him. The stories they shared from their experiences there was powerful. The work of this man is astonishing and truly Christ. (Not Christ-like, but Christ himself.)
I have shared the above stories because we can all stand in the face of corrupt power. It is our duty, our calling as followers of Jesus to stand and not be silent.
How are you standing for justice this week?
It can be small or it can be huge.
Whether you use your public platform
Physically Stand protest…
However you feel led, it is an imperative that
“You brood of vipers!”
we Stand, not kneel
“Not to men like you.”
Spirit is counting on us...
Pastor Jocelyn Emerson weaves together her training as a Light and Energy worker, Reiki master, spiritual director, and Pastor with her life experience as a mystic and contemplative to offer a space of trust, safety, and honesty to support you on your life's journey.