I recently took my family to see Disney/Pixar’s "The Good Dinosaur." The kids were excited, and so was I, given these companies’ track records.
But I’m afraid to say the name does not fit the movie in this case. "The Good Dinosaur" wasn’t very good.
That assessment is coming from their target audience, the kids. They simply said it wasn’t very funny. And it wasn’t. It wasn’t very original either — it was "Lion King," without Timon and Pumbaa. (I know!)
There is another thing for which I didn’t particularly care. Even though the movie has a good message in that the dinosaur overcomes his fears and struggles to “put his print” on the world (just trying not to spoil it here), the overriding philosophy of the movie is one that has been very damaging to our world.
I am referring to the belief that men and women are just animals – the product of “time plus matter plus chance,” with no real purpose or significance. "The Good Dinosaur" presents the idea that billions of years ago, human beings were nothing but critters. That, of course, makes perfect sense if you believe in the theory of Evolution, but it also goes against what is plain and self-evident inside each and every one of us.
Such a philosophy leads to despair, as Friedrich Nietzsche so vividly illustrated, and an understandable devaluing of life that explains much of what we are seeing today in the way we treat each other. We would do well to lead our children away from that belief toward the philosophy of liberty and freedom that our Founding Fathers relied on to establish this country.
When the Founding Fathers wrote that we are “endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable rights,” they knew the massive implications they invoked. We are not just born, but created. This powerful truth denotes first and foremost the existence of a Creator.
The Christian citizen knows this by faith: “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible,” (Hebrews 11:3). That is the ultimate explanation of our beginnings, even for those who want to believe in the Big Bang Theory and the Evolutional Theory. For something to explode, it must be something first. The atheist scientist and the post-modern secular philosopher offer nothing to alleviate this obvious existential problem. How can something be created out of nothing? It is simply not possible.
Unless one dares consider God.
In the God of the Bible, more specifically, we find His Word in complete harmony with reality. He is eternal. He has no beginning and no end, but has always been. Not only that, His creation came to be by His Word, “so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” That is much different than saying He took something out of Himself and created with that. This is simply an extraordinary claim that fits perfectly with our universe. He spoke, and it was. Talk about a big bang.
The Founders asserted not only that we were created, but that we were created in a certain way: endowed with certain unalienable rights. Why would they say that? Could it be that this vision of the reality between men and women and God is indispensable to freedom?
We are more than a collection of cells that developed through “time plus mater plus chance.” Here is the Genesis account of the creation of man and woman:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26–31)
The Biblical account is explained further in Genesis 2 where the Bible tells us, “[T]hen the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature,” (Genesis 2:7). Once again, this helps explain what we know to be true, that men and women are more than their bodies, we have souls. We have reason, the breath of life; we were created in His image. Ever wonder why we are such creative beings? We resemble the original “Creator.” We bear our Maker’s mark. It fits perfectly.
No other creature was created in that way. We are not animals. That is why it is self-evident that modern efforts to treat animals equally (sometimes protected even more than we protect people) are deeply misguided.
Sure, we are to be good stewards of God’s creation, but to equate man with an animal is to devalue God whose image we bear. Men and women are rational beings and, as such, we are especially capable of taking care of animals and the rest of creation. In fact, this is what God desires us to do. He takes care of us; we are to take care of each other and creation. We were made that way. Notice, we did not have any say in the way we were created. “Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’” (Romans 9:20).
Therefore, we do not give ourselves value, we have it intrinsically. That is the type of worldview that we must promote to our children, for it will serve as the fertile ground where freedom and liberty can flourish in our land once again.
This piece includes excerpts from Mario Diaz' new book, "Be Spent: Winning the Fight for Freedom’s Survival."
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