Movie Review: Act of Valor

I’m just gonna come right out and say it: every voting American needs to watch Act of Valor. I don’t care if you don’t like action movies, I don’t care if you hate theater seats, I don’t care if you think like Harry Reid and want to throw in the towel on any conflicts that aren’t convenient for your political party or worldview – YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE.

Act of Valor is incredible because it demonstrates a few simple points with sincerity, heart and courage. First, it illustrates how ludicrous the Ron Paul-ian ideal of national defense hunkered down behind our borders really is. The world is a very small place in this day and age, and the people who want to destroy America are barely-through-puberty kids with bombs strapped to their chests, powered by irate dictators and freedom-hating regimes all over the world. To think that we’re not at war until bombs start landing in Los Angeles is naive and dangerous, and Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians all need to get their heads out of the sand (or other body parts, ahem) and start investing in national defense while we still have a nation to defend.

Second, it proves the lengths that a devoted Islamic jihadist is willing to go to stamp out the Great Satan. (That’s us, y’all, don’t you feel all warm and fuzzy now?) As peace-loving people who are focused on the things of domestic life – businesses, jobs, gas prices, soccer practices and church services – it’s easy to forget or downplay the forces at work to make sure that your picket-fenced dream never happens. Terrorists aren’t stupid – they know that without a healthy economy our military can only remain powerful for so long, and so Ron Paul does have some things right – a balanced budget and a robust economy are essential for national defense.

Third, it reminds us that courage and heroism is not something to read about in a storybook, a trait reserved for days gone by. The men of SEAL Team Seven, filmed in Act of Valor, are real active-duty Navy SEALs, risking their lives for our freedoms and somehow we got lucky enough to get a glimpse of what a real mission might be like in this movie. It’s gut-wrenching, heart-pounding, thrill-inducing stuff, and it’s also the environment in which blood and treasure is sacrificed for our country, by brave professionals who we will probably never meet.

You may not agree with our military policy, you may not believe that there’s such a thing as “good guys” and “bad guys”, but you owe it to your fellow citizens to see this movie and to at least think deeply before you cast a ballot cutting defense or bowing to a foreign power. I, for one, believe that America is still a great force for freedom in the world, and the incredible story of Act of Valor, and the countless untold stories it represents, reminded me of why I’m proud of our country and our flag.

“So, I urge you to speak out against those who would place the United States in a position of military and moral inferiority. You know, I’ve always believed that old Screwtape reserved his best efforts for those of you in the Church. So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride –the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.

I ask you to resist the attempts of those who would have you withhold your support for our efforts, this administration’s efforts, to keep America strong and free, while we negotiate real and verifiable reductions in the world’s nuclear arsenals and one day, with God’s help, their total elimination. While America’s military strength is important, let me add here that I’ve always maintained that the struggle now going on for the world will never be decided by bombs or rockets, by armies or military might. The real crisis we face today is a spiritual one; at root, it is a test of moral will and faith.”

-President Ronald Reagan, 1983

2012, Christianity, Culture with a side of Pop, Entertainment reviews


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