World magazine contains an article about the opening of Return of the King that includes the following comment (made in Hollywood!!) by actor John Rhys-Davies, who plays Gimli the dwarf in the film:
"I think that Tolkien says that some generations will be challenged and if they do not rise to meet that challenge they will lose their civilization. That does have a real resonance with me.... What is unconscionable is that too many of your fellow journalists do not understand how precarious Western civilization is.... The abolition of slavery comes from Western democracy. True Democracy comes from our Greco-Judeo-Christian-Western experience. If we lose these things, then this is a catastrophe for the world.
"And if it just means replacement of one genetic stock with another genetic stock, I dont think that matters too much. But if it involves the replacement of Western civilization with different cultural values then its something we really ought to discuss because ... I am for dead white male culture! If Tolkiens got a message, its that sometimes youve got to stand up and fight for what you believe in."
Wow! An actor said this? Their may still be hope for Hollywood. Now if only we could have an American actor say such a thing.
While some of the other commentary reeks of relativism that LOTR clearly contradicts (Frodo, Gandalf, and Aragon DONT say, "well, maybe Saurons not too bad. I dont want to make a judgment about him.), the Rhys-Davies comment is surprisingly clear and perceptive for an actor.
LOTR is a highly insightful book into the nature of man and the classical and Christian virtues that help man to defeat internal and external evil. Steadfastness, brotherhood, courage, honor, wisdom, and truth are stronger than deceit, corruption, and relativism.
I look forward to sharing Tolkien with my children right up there with the Bible, CS Lewis, Homer, and Shakespeare.