I recently tried to argue with a facebook group that is dedicated to Marvel Studio’s content. The FB Group did not engage with me nor did their community but often a voice can get lost in the midst of comments. The meme post I tried to engage depicted Spiderman above and Thanos below. Spiderman’s captioned read, childhood is idolizing Spiderman and for the Thanos picture it stated that Adulthood is realizing Thanos makes more sense.
Spoiler alert! In Infinity Wars, the recent blockbuster film by Marvel Studios, Thanos gathers ultimate power with the infinity stones to wipe out half of the universe with the snap of his fingers. Thanos accomplishes this feat and half of everyone just wipes away to death. Mothers, Fathers, daughters, sons, grandparents, friends, idols, leaders, loved one and more, just wiped away. If you are married with two kids, the next day, you’d have no spouse and one child would be gone.
Thanos does this because on his world, he voices concerns that their planet’s resources are running thin and something dramatic must be done. Nothing is done and everyone dies in war and famine. Thanos is proved right and therefore, he sets forth to kill half of everyone on all of the other planets lest the universe meet the same fate.
On the facebook thread, more than a few people argued Thanos was justified. A few days later, the FB group posted an Illustration where the villain was kind to his daughter, who hates him, in some twisted way to make Thanos look loving and caring. Later, of course, Thanos must sacrifice his own daughter, against her desires, to gain more power. While watching the movie, I believed that Thanos believed there was no other way to save us other than killing half of everyone, but I didn’t believe there was no other way; I thought Thanos was a psychopath.
Contrast, for a moment, Jesus’ saving power. Jesus comes to earth and offers everyone salvation and He loves us radically and wants us to be saved by following Him. Jesus though doesn’t force us to love Him or follow Him and He doesn’t just wipe us away. Jesus offers salvation, He offers us Grace – but its often rejected.
“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.”
“Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:2, 5-6
Thanos doesn’t offer salvation to all, only half – and that half will weep their lives away, having lost half of everyone they’ve loved.
Is Thanos merciful? Is murder the only option we run to when faced with potential doom?
Dan Brown’s book, Inferno, had a similar plot, to sterilize a majority of the population to stem the growth of human civilization. How many mothers weep because they are unable to have children? Dan Brown’s book depicts this forced sterilization as humane.
When good is bad and bad is good you know the devil has got you. When murdering is mercy and sterilizing unwilling man and women is kindness, you’ve fallen into the depths of the lies of the evil one. In our world, those that are religious are thought to be hateful by many. Many think if you follow Jesus, you have hate in your heart, but I tell you, when people think Thanos makes sense, who really has hate in their heart?
Will the debates over our population growth, our resources and our planet devolve into something worse than just fictional words and stories? Its scary to think.
Jesus makes sense. Debate His method. He came, sinless, the sacrificial lamb, with ultimate power but He doesn’t destroy us, He loves us. He offers radical love – not just love your loved ones, but love everyone, enemies too. St Maximillian while in a concentration camp, offers his life for another man. When the Nazi prison guards start dragging a Jewish man to be put in a building and starved to death, St Maximillian says, take me instead, I’m a Catholic Priest. Following Christ means to love to the point where you’re willing to lay your life down for another. Thanos doesn’t even make sense when compared to St Maximillian. And what if Thanos had to wipe himself away with half of all, well then he’d just be like a terrorist, no different than those on 9/11.
Jesus offers something greater than death, salvation and life everlasting. He offers His love. Oh that the whole world, on the brink of disaster, fell to his and her knees begging for our Blessed Savior. Thanos would wipe out half, but the remaining would still be men and women, living in a still broken world filled with wrong desires, sinning against a loving God. The problem with this world is always one thing, sin, the answer is never, more sin.