Lego Movie Theology

LegoMovieWhen I first saw the trailer for The Lego Movie, I thought: “Dude, who wants to watch Legos when you can play with Legos?” But now I realize: why not do both?

So after reading the ever trusty [soon to be Deacon] Steven Greydanus’ review, I finally had the chance to see the film for myself and I noticed a few things…


—–1) The movie revolves around a tyrannical perfectionist who tries to brainwash, dominate and freeze the Lego-world into what he thinks is the perfect Lego world and society. Opposite this obsessed character is a resistance group trying to inspire people to be creative, to think for themselves and use their free will.

SheenTIMERight away, this reminded me of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s talk on a Perfect World versus a Moral World: essentially, what kind of world did God create… a perfect one? or a moral one? and why?

Well, we all know the world today is far from perfect. Even in the beginning, when Adam and Eve sinned, we became imperfect. In fact, even before our beginning, one-third of the angels sinned and fell from Heaven! So… if even 33.33333333 percent of the angels crashed, what in the cosmos was Almighty God thinking when He made everything?
Again, we can see here that God had two choices: make a perfect world, or make a moral world (not quite the opposite of perfect). And obviously he chose a moral world. That leaves us to ponder: WHY?????!!

Because a perfect world would mean he is a puppetmaster, an overlord, a slavedriver, a Matrix. He would call all the shots, make all the moves, think all the thoughts, and do all things done. There would be no possibility for anyone else to have freewill, self-determination, self-mastery, etc., etc…. including LOVE.

That’s right — if God created a perfect world, there would be no love, because we would all just be programmed to love, we would all merely love because we would be forced to. And if love is forced… guess what? it ain’t real. We need to be able to decide to love. If we cannot choose, we cannot love. This is why we inherently feel there’s something off about a 100% arranged marriage (some parts may be arranged, but to the point of forcing the man and woman to join against their will? that’s not gonna fly in the Faith.)
HelixNebulaSo God took the humongous risk: to create so that his children have free will. Free will for what? Free will to decide if they will love each other, to love Him back. If He forced them to love, that’s not good enough because it ain’t real. So He let us choose, and many choose not to love others, not to love Him… but those who do choose love, well then their love is true, real, free, total, faithful, and fruitful (or at least become that way eventually).

God made us with freedom not so that we can do whatever we want, but so that we can choose love. Love was worth it for God to forsake perfection. Love is always worth it for Him to forsake perfection. And if even He believes so, then we should also believe perfection is worth losing for the chance to love. And once you have real love, then the true creativity begins, because no one creates something to hate it, but to love it!

And last thing: God is the only person who can make something better than perfect… over and over, for forever. What was great, He can make even greater. What was super, He can maker superer (I know that ain’t real word), and yes… what we think is “perfect,” He can upgrade into eternity.

—–2) There’s a line in the film where Morgan Freeman says: “Sometimes you have to believe in order to see.”

Well, as awesome Freeman is, this line is not his. Saint Augustine already thought this thousands of years ago, and I just learned this a few months ago! A lot of people think we need to see something before we can believe it, like an “I’ll believe it when I see it!” kind of attitude… but actually, the reverse is more important!

If scientists didn’t believe in the logic of the scientific method, if they didn’t believe the laws of nature were consistent and non-contradictory, if they didn’t believe the facts and the data, then they would never see the truth. They would be closed to their own illusions, unable to see the intricacy and complexity of what they observe.

This also goes in our relationships: if we don’t believe our mother loves us, if we don’t believe our father protects us, if we don’t believe our siblings care for us, then we will always be suspicious of them, make up reasons to think they’re untrustworthy and lying, make up a fantasy that fits our disbelief.

Augustine and ChildThis is similar in our faith in God: if we don’t believe He is real, we will not know how to see Him. If we don’t believe he could be real, we will not know where to seek Him. If we don’t believe, we close our mind (and heart) to Him and will make up reasons that explain Him away instead of thinking more, meditating and contemplating into the deep.

And so, keeping an open mind involves leaving the window open, but also keeping the screen on… since there are always pests that want to sneak in and distract you.

—–3) Lego is successful because it teases our creativity. There’s a line that Saint John Paul II once said: “Man is, in a sense, condemned to create.”

When I first heard this, it hit me hard, because it’s so true. Our creativity is a powerful gift. We can create — like no other creature can! Our cities, stories, songs, sagas, civilizations… our arts, technology, cultures, societies… these are amazing things. Yet, at the same time… these can be a burden, a curse, a condemnation to us. How many times does an artist slave over her work? How many engineers become workaholics? Creating is laborious, tedious, and exhausting… yet our creativity drives us on (like right now… I should stop writing to get to my studies, but… just… one more… sentence!). Creativity is a mixed blessing, given to us by God. I only hope we use it for love and not evil.

LegoEnemy—–4) Finally, we see in the film an example of the best way to crush an enemy: by making him into a friend. After all, if you kill your opponent, he dies as your enemy, he dies in evil ways (assuming you are right and he is wrong) and you become his killer. But, if you can win him over, get him to understand and believe in your cause, then he becomes an ally, a friend, and the evil in him dies and leaves nothing left but love and friendship. The person is not the enemy, but it is the evil he thinks, believes and does that is the true enemy.

That’s all I got! I hope you enjoyed those insights! Thanks for reading. Now go play with some Legos!