The only movie I watched more times than “Saving Private Ryan” was “We Were Soldiers” …. mostly because it redeemed the war in Vietnam for me and every helicopter scene reminded me of what my brother did for us over there 50 years ago.
My “Ryan” experiences were quite different though. My first watching back when Ryan was first released in 1998 was shortly before I was released from my religious bondage. As each year went by and the Lord kept showing me more and more about how endless His revelation of Himself is… and the horror of religious systems… I kept seeing more and more how Saving Private Ryan shows exactly what religion does to us.
I enjoyed a little googling on Ryan … never before realizing that there was so much different thinking about the movie…. especially the negative responses to the prologue (this very old guy visiting the endless field of white crosses, and breaking down at the gravesite of Captain Miller” as we segue into Omaha Beach … then the whole horror at the beach where we see one of Ryan’s brothers laying there dead on the beach…. learn his other brothers have also been killed… then the decision to save the last remaining child of Mrs. Ryan…. Captain Miller and his squad of 7 men are sent to find him and bring him back…
This was not a 1943 war movie… when we were the good guys and they were the bad guys… they did horrible, ugly things to us… we were brave and wonderful, righteous and true… this movie was presenting the horror of war, with a zillion things to reflect on and have opinions about… like I said… just google it.
My point is different… people who didn’t like the prologue, hated the epilogue… there is the old man again, with his wife, their son’s family, the grandchildren… and this broken old man at Captain Miller’s grave… his wife comes to him… he says to his wife… “tell me I was a good person”…
before the epilogue, we have seen most of the squad die trying to “Save Private Ryan”… (not to mention thousands of others we watch die) the final death being Captain Miller, laying there propped up on the bridge, where the good guys have finally beaten the bad guys…. he beckons to Ryan who puts his ear close to Miller and hears Miller’s last two words…. “earn it”
All these men died to save your life, Ryan…. now… earn it. I hear these same words from every dying religious system… “Jesus gave His Life for you, He died on a cross for you… now… go earn it…”
Ryan was in bondage the rest of his life trying to earn it…. broken… guilty… needing to ask his wife if he “earned it”….
Think on these things… I promise to say more…. 🙂