The long-awaited third installment in the film version of the C.S. Lewis’ Narnia chronicles opened this past weekend, and I was fortunate enough to see it with my teenage sons and some of their friends. We are all big fans of the Narnia books, and although the movie departed from the book in some details, it did not disappoint in the least.
Sadly, I can’t say the same about the interviews I read the next day. I’m glad that, going into the movie, I was blissfully ignorant of the views of one of its stars and one of its producers. I would love to hear what C.S. Lewis himself would have said to these people. I’m sure it would hit its mark, for C.S. Lewis was a “happy warrior” — best known for his clear, eloquent and extremely winsome defenses of Christianity against the growing cynicism in his culture. But Lewis is no longer here with us to defend Christianity, let alone his own works, against the secularists.
During his life, Lewis was clear that the Narnia chronicles were about the resurrected Christ, in the figure of a lion, whom he named Aslan. A theme often repeated through the series is that Aslan is a good lion, but not a tame lion.
“The whole Narnian story is about Christ,” Lewis once wrote. He said he “pictured him becoming a lion” because it’s the king of beasts and because Christ is called “The Lion of Judah” in the Bible. Aslan, wrote Lewis, “is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question: ‘What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia?’”
C.S. Lewis died in 1963 and lived in a time before political correctness was master of our words and dictated we give all things equal billing. We must especially be careful not to label something “Christian” as it might hurt the feelings of those in that “religion of peace” Islam….
And so, in today’s constipated language of the elite, actor Liam Neeson, who was the voice of Aslan in the [Voyage of the Dawn Treader] told the London Telegraph that Aslan is not so much a symbol of Christ as he is a symbol for all spiritual leaders of all religions. “Aslan symbolizes a Christlike figure, but he also symbolizes for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries.”
Naturally, the comment went through the Christian world like a sword through the heart. The beloved tales of Narnia have been near and dear to the hearts of Christian children for a few generations. Now, even that is being taken from them through Hollywood’s unwillingness to accept anything remotely connected to Christianity.
And its not just Liam Neeson, producer Mark Johnson apparently agrees.
Johnson agrees with the, shall we say, more inclusive analysis from Neeson, telling The Hollywood Reporter that “resurrection exists in so many different religions in one form or another, so it’s hardly exclusively Christian…. We don’t want to favor one group over another…. Whether these books are Christian, I don’t know.”
Sheesh. Multiculturalism strikes again. I guess Neeson and Johnson didn’t get the memo from Angela Merkel that multiculturalism — i.e., twisting oneself into pretzels in an effort not to “offend” anyone — “is a failure.”
Western civilization is in a struggle for its survival against the same vicious enemy — Islam — that’s been warring against us for nearly 1,400 years, and we won’t defeat it by surrendering our culture.
C.S. Lewis was a fighter. A gentleman, and superbly civil and charming — but a fighter nonetheless. Good, but not tame. And in the defense of his good — but not tame — Lord, he pulled no punches.
Neither should we.
Cross-posted at West to the West Wing 2012