Those of you who know me know that I have been sheltered from almost every aspect of popular American culture. As such, I just recently discovered the cultural phenomenon of the Godfather.
I started by reading the book by Mario Puzo, which I really enjoyed. I was completely fascinated by this world of friendship, respect, and favors. The story was compelling and the characters were well developed. I instantly decided that I want to be Don Corleone when I grow up, and so I have started to shape my worldview according to that perspective. Recently, I have gladly done "favors" for others as a sign of friendship and goodwill, confident that someday that favor might be returned when needed. The book ends with a masterful elimination of all enemies of the family, and really made the concept of redemptive violence look attractive.
As soon as I finished the books, I watched the first two movies (many people told me the 3rd movie was worthless, so I will wait to watch it). I really like the 1st movie and thought it did a good job of visually telling the story of the book. I also like the 2nd movie, and I thought it definitely showed the darker side of redemptive violence. In the end, Michael Corleone is either alienated or forced to kill most everyone that is close to him, leaving him utterly alone. I am glad I saw the second movie because it snapped me out of my illusion that I could lead this lifestyle. I guess I will stick to the difficult task of following Jesus and loving my enemies instead of "taking care" of them.