Nothing says "Jesus is born" quite like American Sniper. Or that's what Hollywood would have you believe as it entices you to leave your home on Christmas Day so you catch the release of its new blockbuster about a Navy SEAL sniper who kills so-called bad people. Those who follow Jesus, or at least respect his teachings, should know better and stay away.
Jesus was no killer.
He was the Prince of Peace, not the Prince of Death.
He said, "Blessed are the peacemakers," not "Blessed are the death-dealers."
He taught his followers to love their enemies, not to kill them.
To forgive them, not to destroy them.
At his last meal, he offered bread and wine -- sources of life, not death -- to those who would betray him and lead him to the cross.
He instructed his disciples to put their swords away, not to wield them, even against those who would kill him.
He did not advocate passivity in the face of evil, but he did say, "Don't react violently against the one who is evil."
And that's how he lived and died -- nonviolently -- in a society poised to kill.
However inspirational American Sniper turns out to be, however much Bradley Cooper's character displays a conscience when facing the choice of shooting a young boy carrying an explosive device, however just the cause may seem when he kills the bad people, there can be no credible reason for anyone to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace by leaving their homes on Christmas Day and spending their money on a glitzy blockbuster that so flagrantly undermines the nonviolent life of Jesus of Nazareth.
There is a more excellent way.
Perhaps we can best bear witness to the Prince of Peace on Christmas Day by fiercely resisting Hollywood's beckoning and crooked finger and by boldly daring to spread peace as Jesus did -- by giving food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty, visiting those who are sick and imprisoned, and loving and forgiving all.
Even Hollywood executives.