Thread: God in Lord of the Rings
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That's because it's a good book with a good story (and true as well). And I suppose the movie (with Liam Neeson in a role) did have its effect as well.
At one point of that story Aldarion, the son of Tar Meneldur, the King of Numenor, brings to his father a letter from the Elven King Gil-Galad, telling him about a new shadow rising in the East and asking him to send him Numenorean men as allies in the war against Sauron. Tar Meneldur is deeply troubled, and here are his thoughts:
To prepare or to let be? To prepare for war, which is yet only guessed; train craftsmen and tillers in the midst of peace for bloodspilling and battle; put iron in the hands of greedy captains who will love only conquest, and count the slain as their glory? Will they say to Eru: At least your enemies were among them? Or to fold hands, while friends die unjustly; let men live in blind peace, until ravisher is at the gate? What then will they do: match naked hands against iron and die in vain, or flee leaving the cries of women behind them? Will they say to Eru: At least I spilled no blood
Remark that Tolkien leaves that dramatic question open... For me, this is a great quote for present times.
back to history books.. Israel never belonged to the Palestinian's, who were kicked out of Jordan and Lebanon (Why aren't they attacking Jordanians?)
Israel has occupied (too harshly) Gaza and the West Bank since the end of the 1967 Three Day War. I wish they could figure out some way to give these areas back and live in peace with the Palestinians, who should refrain from killing civilians in the interim, as that just makes the Israeli's harshness worse.
Now back to the quote presented above by Eryan and her ending remark:
For me, this is a great quote for present times
There WAS no Israel until 1947 - the UN made Israel out of MUTUAL agreements from member nations. This land was GIVEN ... not taken. So... if they made land for the jews... why don't they make some for the Palastinians? We (English and American allies) safed africa from the Germans, and they showed grace and gratitude by granting land for surviving Jews - the 1967 war was not begun by Israel - it was a response to incursions... Israel took a great deal of land - entire countries - and gave it all back but gaza and the west bank which it decided to keep as a "buffer" zone from further incursions. When was the last time England gave up a conquered land to it's "current" enemy?
And you are right, it should be moved to a Tavern; or we could just drop discussing the Mid-East situation entirely. Politics and religion are often topics that lead their participants to either fisticuffs, tears, or laughter.
Joshua was a prophet - he had to deal with people - whose spiritual welfare he was responsible for - who were so far away from understanding God that they could not even enter the land promised to them until an entire generation passed away. "Chose ye this day whom ye will serve -" he said. He never took the opportunity to chose who to worship from his people - which was really unprecidented even until the 18th century. He did what he had to to preserve his people (a real minority in the land) and his religion which was on the brink of extinction should he fail. He did not fail. I admire him for his determination, his ability to rally his people with his charisma, and for his obedience to the Lord.
[Edited on 7/5/2002 by swampfaye]
[Edited on 5/7/2002 by Eryan]
All these crusades and religion wars!
I don't think there is any religion that stands for killing.
If you take the essence of every religion, they all come down to one thing: love.
Oh, I know I can expect answers no like: no, not that religion because it says.......
Well, most religions are very old and a lot of things got lost during the years, wrongfully translated, misinterpreted. Also in the Christian belief.
A teacher once told us the Hebrew word for God also means love, so in my opinion God is love, an unselfish uncondional love.
If God is love and *GOD* commanded Joshua to kill - what does that mean? God himself killed people if you believe scriptures.
In the US civil war, brothers and fathers were divided over the issue of slavery and session. Many fathers and sons were killed - did that mean that the fathers loved their sons any less? Is it not the *cause* that justifies our actions? If your child choses evil can you justify inaction to stop him/her? Does that make you love them any less?
Do you think that you can justify yourself to God if you let people *die* when your actions could have prevented many more deaths?
Sam killed... he killed to protect Frodo, to protect the shire and to save the world. Do you think that made him Immoral? Definitely not.. You need to examine the morality behind the knife. You can not "love" your enemy into submission in every case. You can not, as a moral man or woman, allow that enemy to kill your children, your neighbors, your family.
I am totally against this, personally (and because of this, I probaby didn't accuratly represent the position I explained in the first paragraph...). Maybe I'm idealistic, but I believe there are better ways to go about things than to kill off the enemy. Violence does nothing but breed more violence; it doesn't solve anything - it just changes things around for a while. Faye, you brought up the Civil War: as with any war, it wasn't the killing that fixed things. It was only when both sides had lost so many lives that they realized it wasn't working, and then there were peace treaties and discussions and agreements that solved things.
I agree when you say that there is no way to justify letting people die when you can take action to stop it. But I believe that there is more than one way to help people. In LotR, it is cut and dry. Destroy the Ring or else the entire world falls under shadow. In our world, things aren't so clear. Here, you can't always look at a situation and know what is going to help the most people. I agree that you must do whatever you can to save your family and actually, every other person as well, but when your method of saving involves killing the enemy, they (the enemy) are going to retaliate - it's an endless cycle.
You are (as many christians do) confusing killing with murder.
I don't believe there is a difference between killing and murder. As for misinterpretations, there is no way to know the exact meaning of anything, in any religion. The Hebrew commandment is no more correctly interpreted than the Christian commandment.
To me, God is life. If you destroy life, you are blaspheming God. The reason that we "cannot 'love' our enemy into submission in every case" is because there are too many people out there who think that bigger guns, better bombs, continuing violence will get them what they want. It doesn't work...war doesn't kill problems - it just kills people. The conflicts will live on in the memories of a culture. Even if things appear to be resolved, they probably aren't - look at the South today: there's still discrimination, there's still bad feelings and the Confederate flag still flies.
You can't let an enemy kill your children, your neigbors or your family, but how can you expect them to let you kill their loved ones in the name of peace?
Violence does nothing but breed more violence; it doesn't solve anything - it just changes things around for a while.
It is self-destructive for any society to create a situation where a baby who is born into the world today automatically has pre-existing grievances against another baby born at the same time, because of what their ancestors did centuries ago. It is hard enough to solve our own problems, without trying to solve our ancestors' problems. - Thomas Sowell
To my way of thinking, this is the main problem standing in the way of peace in the Balkans, in Ireland, in Southern Asia, and especially in the Mid-East. - Grondmaster
This is a problem that stands in the way of other nations in a less violent way. Governments are constantly being served with petitions for compensation from various groups for injustices that took place over 50 years ago and some as long as 300 years ago. Why should the Queen of England apologize to a group for an action that took place under her great-great-great-great grandfather? With this type of mentality then we all would be seeking out descendants of those our ancestors wronged. History is important; unfortunately, instead of learning from it we use it as an excuse to seek revenge.
It takes more courage to forgive then to avenge.
As for the Commandment being Murder rather than kill, I think that's just typical of christian hypocrisy, giving themselves a loop hole so's they can still twist it to do what they want.
Live your life according to what is wrong and what is right, not what some twat in a dress tells you you should do. Sorry if I offended anyone, but as most of you know, I have very definite views on religion, it's unneccessary and causes way too much grief.
Peace, Love and Soul,
The "human goodness and morality" that Plastic spoke of is in fact a gift from God... commonly called "the light of Christ" - it helps direct us, even if we don't believe in God, to doing right. It's perfectly understandable that people fear killing - we should all fear it, but killing is not always murder and to dismiss the one because of the other is a mistake that we can't afford to make as human beings. and BTW the Christian community is equally divided over this as well so I don't think you can say it's a Christian vs nonChristian POV
[Edited on 7/7/2002 by swampfaye]
If killing is wrong, then what we are doing now is wrong. The Civil war was wrong, we were wrong to join in WWII, we should have just sat there while Hitler killed 6 million Jews and the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and demolished whole cities in England, France and Poland.
I don't mean to say that we should have sat by and did nothing and allowed millions of people to die, and I didn't mean to make it into a Christian/non-Christian thing. If that's how it came across, I'm sorry - it wasn't what I was trying to say. However, I do think we should try and find a better way of handling things than going in and committing some of the same atrocities that we're fighting against. And I do believe that our actions in the Middle East are wrong. I think if we all abided by that 'human goodness and morality' all the time, we wouldn't have to worry about the difference between killing and murder and all that; it wouldn't be a problem, because everyone would just do what is right. This sounds idealistic, I know, but if everyone would just make the effort to be nice to one another, to forgive and forget, and to respect each other, our world would be so much a better place. (and now I'm sounding cheesy, but it's how I feel, so whatever )
"Expect the best, but be prepared for the worst"
You sound like my mom...
I don't wish to tar an entire nation with the same brush, and please don't take offence at this, but if America kept their big noses out of other people's business, then a lot of these little wars would never have escalated to the level they got to. Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan (not a popular view, I know, but certain recent events would never have happened) and way back in 1947, the UN made a pigs ear out of rehousing the Jews and didn't notice there were other people living there already, and look at the trouble that's caused.
Please could your government keep their stars and stripes to themselves? It would save a lot more lives than you constant interventionist policies.
Once again, I apologise if my views offend you, but this is a place of free and frank discussion isn't it?
BTW - ask a Vietnamese, Cambodian or Korean refugee what happened to his country when America pulled out of the Vietnam war.. that will give you an entirely new perspective on the "justification" of that war.
[Edited on 7/9/02 by ProgHead777]
They did a terrible thing to our country, and the parties responsible deserve to be punished. However, there's a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The legal way of dealing with terrorism is through the UN. The US should have gathered evidence against Afghanistan and presented the case to the UN or World Court. They would then have determined guilt and punishment, and overseen the implementation of whatever actions are decided on. If necessary, the UN would send in forces. This system was designed to minimize conflicts. The US, however, didn't do this. We just went ahead and bombed - this is vigilantism and it's wrong. We disregarded international systems of justice and have persecuted not just the terrorists, but thousands of innocents. We have delivered food to thousands, but they are just a fraction of the millions we have cut off from food supplies. The people we're most hurting are not the people who hurt us. We hate to see the little guy picked on, except for when we're the big guys.
I am not attacking all Americans by any means, and I know their assistance in WW2 was invaluable. I just get really arsed off with all these wars going on all the time, yeah I know I'm an old hippy, but someone's got to do it.
Right now our foreign policy stinks, because we don't really have one. The Shrub is my president; however, I didn't vote for him and certainly can't agree with the way he is playing "Risk". We hardly ever pay or UN dues in full; we unilaterally abrogate treaties; we pooh-pooh the Kyoto Treaty; and now we 'Just say No!' to the World Court. Most of Plastic's complaints are legit; and the driving force behind most of our foreign policy is spelled: O - I - L .
[Edited on 10/7/2002 by Grondmaster]
I know your European and haven't had a taste of real freedom and don't really understand what it is to be American.
You don't honestly believe that we are the only democracy in the world do you? Perhaps they don't understand what it is to be American. Neither do we understand what it is to be British, Belgian, Palestinian, Israeli, Australian, Emirian, etc.
I'm inclined to agree with your as*essment of the U.N. They did, after all, allow the Taliban to stay in power for 7 years. That in itself is an atrocity. But keep in mind, America was NOT alone in Afghanistan.
As I said before, this is a difficult subject. I don't wish for there to be hard feelings over it. Friends?
[Edited on 7/11/02 by ProgHead777]
Facism is: 1. often Fascism a. A system of government marked by centralization of postAuthorIDity under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism. b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.
I am not dictating or using terror - I have no real power on this board and can not threaten to ban or delete postBody. I find it insulting that I, because I am passionate in my defense of America - am singled out as a "facist" - I didn't start off insulting Europe - that was a response to an insult to America. I can tell you why I think America is better but I don't think you're interested... I think you're fine with people insulting America but you don't want me to insult Europe ... what's that about?
The people that hate America don't hate us because of our policies, they hate us because we are successful - because we are a Judeo-Christian country that not only profits from it, but helps the world profit because of it. And though we are hated and despised, we still come to the aid of those who ask...
Yes I do think America is better and I can't be sorry for that view.
[Edited on 7/11/2002 by swampfaye]
Face it.. you hated the team captain because he had all the hot chicks, was popular and good looking and not because he was more athletic or talented than you were. You didn't hate him for him, you hated him because he was successful - because he maximized his best assets. I still agree with chika... expect the best and plan for the worst..... I think that's what we do. And I don't think it's that attitude that gets us on peoples black list... it's the fact that we do what we do so well that makes us hated.
Peace, Love and Soul.
I must say reading all this made several emotions pass by in a very short time. But the main emotion that is overwhelming me is sadness. I don’t think I will be able to express how sad I am finding all this hate and anger. And don’t tell me there isn’t any.
There are a lot of things I would wish to comment on, but Grondy managed to get the peace back, so I feel I better try to cope with all the things I’ve read in silence.
However there is one thing I can still say without getting of the topic again.
I don’t want to argue about the difference between killing and murder, the result is the same: you are the cause of the death of your fellow man and that is not a good basis for peace. I don’t know Hebrew so I will never know whether the fifth command is ‘you shall not kill’ or ‘you shall not murder’. But this is the Old Testament, which also says ‘an eye for an eye’. As a Christian, I also believe in the New Testament which states to offer your other cheek when hit on one cheek. If this sound dull, please excuse me, I never read the bible in English. Of course when our loved ones or our own lives are in danger, like in a war, we fight back, defending ourselves and our loved ones, killing whoever is threatening that. But the reason for this is that we love ourselves and our loved ones more than the stranger who is standing before us. As a Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ, who was tortured and killed (or murdered if you want) but he didn’t kill the persons that were threatening his life. Why, because he loved all life, because he didn’t love himself more than someone else, even if it is a stranger. He was very strong, being able to forgive and to see all lives as equal, including his own. Some among you (if not all) will probably think ‘Yeah, what if someone enters your house trying to kill you or your loved ones, would you just sit there and watch it happen’. You only know what you would do if it actually happens, but I know that I wouldn’t be strong enough to find at that moment in my heart any love for the person trying to kill my family. But this doesn’t mean it is justified. Who am I to take someone else’s life. I also think if that would happen to a strong spiritual person, like Mother Teresa, they could be strong enough to love even that person, threatening there live. This only to say that I don’t believe God orders to kill because for God (not meant as a person here) all life is equal. As for Sam in Tolkien’s LOTR, he doesn’t love all living things equally. He has a very strong love for Frodo, so if the only way to protect Frodo is to kill, he will. I can’t really remember Gandalf killing anyone, but I can be wrong at this one.
And a last remark, it is said if all people would live the way of God (or whatever you like to call it) the would be paradise on earth. And indeed if everybody would love others as themselves, respect their differences, there would be world peace. But we are just not strong enough to resist the temptations like money, power and possession. But at least we can try to. So maybe we can start here to respect each other as different persons, with different ideas, different cultures, from different countries. We are all inhabitants of the same Earth after all.
About Harry Potter, can't comment on that one. I didn't read any Harry Potter books yet. I did see the movie, but I was told the book is much better.
I believe that many things in the new testament render the old testament moot. I believe Jesus was trying to say, in a nutshell, "Hey, wouldn't it be great if we all were nice to each other for a change?!" and they crucified him. He is still being crucified to this day by many people including some that call themselves His followers! They don't even recognize that their actions and words grossly misrepresent the truth of His teachings and the reality of the origins of the Bible! People take the Bible too literally and don't understand that many of the books that are lumped together as 'The Bible' are hardly even related! There isn't even a known postAuthorID for some of the books! And don't even get me started on translations...
Anyway, what can you do? Different people have different opinions and that is the beauty of God's greatest gift...freewill.
As for HP, I can't say much as I haven't read the book OR seen the movie. But from the outside looking in it doesn't appear that HP has the emotional or moral depth of LotR. It is, in short, a childrens book. That doesn't mean it won't last as such. I'm sure it will remain in print for many many years. But I dont believe you'll ever hear it seriously compared to LotR as a literary work.
I've always figured that the supposedly infallible god who suddenly changed his mind about everything between testaments cannot exist for just that reason. Also, you have to remember that the Bible was written by men "interpreting" Gods words, who knows which bits are real and which were just embellishments? (yes I know that I don't believe any of it was true, but even if I did I'd have a hard time working out which bits I thought were made up). A very good example of what I sort of mean can be found in Terry pratchett's "Small Gods" technically just a very funny book, but it makes some really good points about religion inbetween all the jokes.
And Lotr is just a kids book as well, never forget that, please?
LotR a kids book? You really think so? I can see that argument for The Hobbit, but LotR always seemed a little 'heavy' to me to be for kids.
LotR a kids book? You really think so? I can see that argument for The Hobbit, but LotR always seemed a little 'heavy' to me to be for kids.
Personally I think near enough all fantasy is kids books, that's probably why I lump Lotr in there with them, well that and the fact that I reckon any book that doesn't have the word f*** in it is a kids book.
It contains a scholarly translation of the gospel itself, a FAQ section that is a must read, a favorable comparison to the film Stigmata and the book The Celestine Prophecy, and a bunch of other little goodies like links and stuff. Overall it seems very scholarly and objective. I'd recommend this site to everyone, regardless of your religious views. It speaks volumes ( beyond the gospel itself) about history, Christianity, and Biblical canon.
If the council feel this is subversive or anything please feel to delete it. If it does stay, please nobody take offense.
well....,where should i start?....., there IS a good on the lord of the rings.....eru,illuvatar,because he created every thing...., and in the sill there are a lot of passages where his cult is mentioned....,specially when they speak about numenorë and the meneltrama...,and the valar are like angels on catholicism,or like aztecs gods....,or like gods in greek culture......,they are just spirits at illuvatar´s service......,though they do not require to be worshipped.....,because that is only for illuvatar...
now that is why melkor(morgoth) was fallen, because he wanted to be worshipped,and that is why at the end of the ainur´s music,eru tells melkor that even his part was going to be an praise and for illuvatar´s glory.....
now elbereth is just the name eldar gave to varda....
and there is a mesiah....., on the sill it is called ëarendil,and latter called " the blessed" because he was the one that spoke for the 2 kinds elves and men.
i think tolkien DID addapted the bible in a beautiful and more-easy-to-believe-in book.....,but i think he improved it in some ways because he used things like atlantis(numenorë),greek culture(valar),avallone,the valhalla(valinor),the bible´s genesis(ainulindalë),etc......,
too late, but if some one reads this later,i think that he/she could use this references.....
aurë entuluva( another day will be done)
(Grondy only turned off the bold.)
[Edited on 26/1/2003 by Grondmaster]
Another question about LOTR, it is sort of a character question but may belong on another postBody board: How much are we willing to compare the themes and characters of LOTR to Christianity? Tolkien has made it clear that he never meant to shove any comparisons or symbolism down the reader's throat, but that doesn't mean it's hard to find similarities if you know Christian doctrine. The idea of something bigger than yourself, the concept of faith, good vs. evil, sacrifice...etc etc. I'm interested in how/if Tolkien readers have taken something away from the story that they could apply to their faith, whether or not it is Christianity. That happened to me with the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis, I confess that Tolkien so far, has not gotten hold of my soul, just my heart.
I tend to agree more with THINGOL77.
Here are more of my thoughts.
I think that Tolkien being a Christian could not keep his beliefs or experiences out of his works. He was well studied in language and lingustics and that we see in his works. As well as, his knowlege of many mythologies. You just can not separate your knowlege and experience from your writing, art, music, etc. It's just part of you and then becomes part of what you do.
So I believe that there are religious themes in his work.
Just my thoughts.
If this is too religious for you council, just delete it, don´t take it the wrong way, I´m not trying to offence you in any way, this is just my believes, I´m at this point in my live when I´m not sure what to think or what to believe! But I hope that I will know later what I believe in!
But the movie Stigmata is very good! I´ve watched it several times and I think it´s a good movie and I like it very much!
Personally though i think it could quite possibly ruin the book if there were a god in it. It would be like Sauron is so big and no one can kill him so they gotta destroy riing or get god to kill him there the end!
Another thing is I hear people say that Lotr is like the bible like a Parody of it but not haha funny. But there's no god so its not like the bible. There is good against evil but thats in every book. There is no jesus or person like him or anyone else there's nothing to do with the bible and i think people shouldn't say because not everything revolves around them and their religion.
So I hope i didn't offend anyone.
Have a great day y'all.