The Princess Bride, “True Wuv” and The Existence of God
by Matt Rawlings
My wife claims to have watched The Princess Bride every afternoon after high school. She, like many red-blooded Americans, love the movie due to its wit, warmth and witness to “true wuv.”
As a former aspiring filmmaker, I love the movie because of the brilliant script by the greatest screenwriter of all-time William Goldman (who also penned Harper, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men, Marathon Man, Misery, etc.). Goldman is a master and the movie is yet another example of how to make a brilliant film (as opposed to 90% of what comes out of Hollywood).
If you have never seen the film (shame on you!) it is a fairy tale told by a grandfather to his sick grandchild who is home from school. It is about a woman, Buttercup, who is engaged to marry a corrupt prince intent on starting war after her “true wuv (see the movie) is assumed dead after being hijacked at sea by the “Dread Pirate Roberts” who supposedly never leaves a person alive. One day a mysterious man, who may or may not be Buttercup’s long-lost “true wuv” shows up and rescues the Princess Bride from a gang of colorful kidnappers. The ensuing adventure is a lot of fun and even appropriate for whole families to watch (surprising given that Mr. Goldman drops more F-bombs in a sentence than has been unloaded at a Hollywood comedy club over a decade!).
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As a pastor there is another reason to love The Princess Bride, it points to the existence of God. How? Glad you asked.
Love, “true wuv” that is (sorry, I can’t stop using it) makes no sense within a purely naturalistic worldview. If atheism is true then we are nothing but material beings who simply follow whatever is accidentally programmed in to our DNA. Like all other animals we should care about what atheist philosopher Patricia Churchland calls “The Four F”s”: feeding, fighting, fleeing and the crude F word for reproducing. But one need only listen to Top 40 radio (not that I recommend it!) for a few moments to see that we believe in true love…