By Dr. John E. Morgan
Pastor–Collinsville Baptist Church
Heroes. I love movies with heroes who stand up to the bad guys and make everything right. Like Star Wars with Luke and Yoda. And Lord of the Rings with Frodo and Aragorn. As a kid, I watched a lot of hero movies. John Wayne arriving with the cavalry in the nick of time. Jimmy Stewart standing up to corruption in Washington as Mr. Smith. TV shows with Roy Rogers and Zorro.
And movies with Errol Flynn. Captain Blood. Swashbuckling sword fights standing up to Spanish aggression. Dodge City. And my favorite, The Adventures of Robin Hood. There are lots of movies about Robin Hood. Even a Disney animated one with animals playing the roles. But the best Robin Hood ever was Errol Flynn. Swinging through Sherwood Forest. Archery Contest. Sword fights.
Do you remember the story? King Richard the Lion Hearted went off to the Crusades leaving his brother, Prince John, in charge of England. Richard is being held for ransom with no real prospects of returning anytime soon. Prince John takes advantage to usurp the throne using his position to bring him power and riches. He had henchman such as the Sheriff of Nottingham and Sir Guy of Gisbourne. And he got money, money, money. By taxing the poor. Over and over. Robbing the poor to make the rich richer. The poor became downtrodden and hopeless.
Then Robin of Locksley arose against the forces of evil. He hid in the Forest and gathered a band of men around him. Little John. Friar Tuck. Will Scarlett. This band of men provided a safe place in the forest for the poor. They began to stop John’s followers and take their money and jewels. Then they gave the money to the poor to pay bills and buy food. They robbed from the rich to give to the poor. Robin wanted to create a place where “all are treated well – rich or poor, Norman or Saxon”.
All of this made for a great action movie. What young boy wouldn’t want to see a movie with all that fighting? All that evil being defeated? The good guys winning. I could even put up with love scenes with Robin and Maid Miriam.
The climactic scene is yet another sword fight. Bad guys beaten. Sir Guy dispatched. Good guys win. Errol Flynn leaving with Olivia de Havilland. Robin and Miriam. You could learn a lot from them. Stand up to evil. Help the downtrodden. Who doesn’t want to be Robin Hood? Who wants to be evil Prince John? Nobody.
Except a lot of people in Alabama. Who are desperate to have a lottery. Lotteries are Prince John. They rob from the poor to give to the rich and powerful. Every study of lotteries shows that they unfairly affect the poor. Who are so desperate for hope that they will buy false hope with lottery tickets. Alabama will become a state who robs from the poor through a lottery.
Do you remember the end of the Robin Hood movie? King Richard returns to England. He reclaims his throne, and, with the help of Robin and his Merry Men, defeats his evil brother who is cast out of the country. Richard the Lion Hearted sets all things right in the Kingdom.
Christians believe that there is another King who will return one day soon. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Lamb of God, King Jesus. And He will definitely set all things right. He will bring true justice. And defeat evil forever. God has a special concern and love for the poor and the helpless. And a particular dislike for those who take advantage of them.
When you stand before the King, do you really want to be standing with Prince John? Do you really want Alabama to rob from the poor? Robin Hood would not approve. And neither will Jesus.