26 November 2007

Amazing Grace

I watched an excellent film tonight, Amazing Grace, about the effort to abolish the slave trade in Great Britain in the early 19th century. The protaganist is a man named William Wilberforce, who was a dogged proponent of slavery's abolition until his death in 1833. He was assisted by many other people during the process, but his story is a compelling one.

I wholehearted recommend the film. I found it moving, with strong performances, and a story that moves along at a nice pace. I won't get into more of the film's particulars at this point. I wanted to comment on a particular thought that the movie inspired- what happens when someone becomes converted.

Wilberforce is inspired at least partly by his conversion to evangelical Christianity. In the film he is exposed to the horrors of slavery, and once exposed cannot ignore them. He acts on that experience. This is the essence of what makes some people great and others ordinary. The great to do not merely witness. They become involved. This is a high and holy ideal. We may not always agree on the worthiness of a belief, but I can't help but respect those of are devoted to their cause.

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