Cowboy Savior

Spoiler alert:  I will be discussing 3:10 to Yuma (2007) with bad-guy bank robber Ben Wad (Russell Crowe) and struggling rancher Dan Evans (Christian Bale).  I really enjoyed the movie and plan to watch the 1957 film soon to compare them but I thought I’d write these impressions while they are fresh in my head.

Who was your favorite character in the film?  I was very disappointed when the film started.  During the first half an hour I thought for sure it was going to be another cheesy film to make the bad guy the star: John Dillinger in “Public Enemies” (Johnny Depp), Bonnie and Clyde, Al Capone and others.

Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) was the leader of a criminal gang but:

  • Ben was good lucking
  • Ben had an artistic side
  • Ben had a romantic, woman-charming side
  • Ben was smart — Ben knew his Bible
  • AND Ben turns himself in and gets the rancher’s family the money they need.

So everyone was suppose to fall in love with Russell Crowe (Ben).  Ben seemed to have redeemed himself in part by killing all the truly bad guys but his redemption was bought by the cowboy savior — Dan who is the true hero of the story.

  • Dan, like Jesus, was totally human with all his doubts and weaknesses.
  • Dan, nonetheless, even when tempted stuck to deep principles
  • When Dan could easily have walked away with his life and with money to save his family, he choose to do what is right.
  • Sure, he wanted his son to be proud of him, but it was still the same Dan who wanted to do right.  And Dan was willing to give up his life so his sons could keep a true memory and a real example while all along doing what was right.

This was a very Christian movie in all the good senses of that word.   I would have been happier if Dan had not died.  He could have just been wounded, and Ben turned himself in anyway.  The death was not necessary.  But for some, maybe death of what is truly good is what it takes to open their eyes.

Ben formed a relationship with Dan who he originally looked down on.  He began to see both Dan’s human frailties and his immense strength of character — something Dan’s son finally saw (albeit too late).  It is this relationship that saved Ben — a very human, caring and principled relationship.

Question for Non-Christians:  Does it feel awkward to compliment important Christian themes like love, forgiveness and redemption which are presented in such a clear analogy?  How do you keep the baby when throwing out the wash? (see first comments – I agree)

Questions for Christians:  What do you think about Non-Christians who value all these virtues but feel no need to pay attention to Christianity?


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

34 responses to “Cowboy Savior

  1. NFQ

    “Does it feel awkward to compliment important Christian themes like love, forgiveness and redemption which are presented in such a clear analogy?” No, not for me. Christians don’t have a monopoly on the themes of love, forgiveness, and/or redemption. The archetypical story of someone who makes the ultimate sacrifice for people they care deeply about is much older than Christianity. I remember reading ‘Lord of the Flies’ in high school and being informed by my English teacher that there were all these instances of Biblical symbolism, and my reaction was basically: what? Why does “the good guy who wants to help everyone” have to be Jesus and “the bad guy who betrays the good guy” have to be Judas (or whatever it was)? It’s possible that William Golding *intended* for it to be Christian symbolism, and that’s fine. I don’t actually remember. But I think that these themes are part of the human experience, and that’s *why* they’re important themes in Christianity, and in many other religions.

  2. Jen

    I have to agree with the above comments. Rather than say it is a “Christian” theme of love, redemption, and forgiveness. I see it as simply a human theme. In fact, the Christian story is one of apparently many of those based on a theme of love, redemption, and forgiveness.

  3. @ NFQ & Jen:
    Exactly ! I totally agree. I was curious if, rejecting or battling the dominance of Christianity in their culture, some atheists feel an allergic repulsion to this stuff. I agree with your analysis 1000%.
    Well said, thanx.

  4. DaCheese

    Disclaimer: I haven’t seen the movie (yet), so I skipped most of the post. But based on the final questions:

    One of the things that’s weird for me is that I’m not Christian, yet I have very definite opinions of what a “good Christian” should be –and it’s not the mainstream view. It seems like most Christians completely misunderstand Jesus’ message, especially the parts about unconditional love and charity for your fellow man, not judging, etc. There are a few Christians who seem to “get it”, but they’re definitely in the minority.

    I think that most* of what Jesus actually taught was morally good (perhaps even excessively self-sacrificing), so I feel that’s it’s important for Christians, if they’re going to claim the name, to understand and implement those teaching correctly. But at the same time, I just don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God.

    [* On a side note, I find that this is true of many religious gurus, etc.: Most of their teachings are wise and virtuous. But it seems that no one can entirely throw off the shackles of their cultural upbringing, personal motives, etc., so you inevitably see a couple of really dubious opinions slip in over the course of their careers. The problem is that when you treat the teacher as an infallible source, it’s impossible to weed out the few bad teachings and just keep the good stuff.]

  5. I really enjoyed this film. It’s one I own, and need to watch again.

    I was going to write a long comment answering the question, but NFQ and DaCheese pretty much said what I was going to say.

    I always find it curious, but not surprising, when Christians act like Christianity, or even Judaism for that matter, invented morality.

    Even Jesus’ famous law of reciprocity didn’t originate with him.

  6. I throw the baby out with the bath water because I DO NOT believe in redemption or martyrdom. I have found those Christian principles don’t help the “saved.”

    Giving our lives for others is counter-productive. The receptor of our sacrifice often doesn’t understand or value what we give. It does not make them better. I have found that to become better people we need to be roughed up by life, and being sheltered from life’s harshness by “redeemers” disallow us the chance to get to know ourselves and to become better people.

    That must be why Christians aren’t necessarily better folks than the nonbelievers. The so-called forgiveness shelters them from experiencing the consequences of their actions, thus stopping them from growing up and maturing.

  7. Haven’t seen the movie. I agree with NFQ, Jen, Sabio, and Mike: love and forgiveness are human values. No awkwardness, except maybe to point out to Christians that they did not invent these values.

    With regard to Lorena’s view about redemption, I think I understand what she’s getting at and I agree, I think. Rather than become a willing martyr, perhaps a more skillful and helpful approach is something akin to Aikido as explained by Morihei Ueshiba in “The Art of Peace.”

  8. Atheist Ken Pulliam used to periodically review movies with “Christian” themes, too. Undoubtedly, the Christian heritage of the West has influenced our receptivity to certain themes, just like every Bollywood movie has a dramatic “lover’s test” like in Ramayana.

    Personally, I don’t think Christians should rally behind such movies as being “good for Christianity”. At this point, these themes are just part of our heritage, and have no theological value independently.

  9. @ JS Allen
    I have seen some Christians rallying behind such films — thus part of the reason of this post. Likewise, I have seen some Atheists rant on in disgust at blatant redemption plots. I have found both to be mistaken.

    @ Lorena
    I agree that much of the self-righteous talk and the polluted intentions of many Christians I knew and know who make the holy talk of redemption and sacrifice nauseating at best at times. Religion is often used to sanctify neurotic patterns by putting new clothing on them. That said:

    I think most parents understand martyrdom — it is genetic programming, I am afraid. And I think that serving others is one of the many ways to find happiness. I don’t know if it was included in the meta-analysis done here.

    But I also agree that the rough lessons of life, if taken with the right attitudes can redeem us also. So you see, Lorena, you believe in redemption — you just don’t believe (like me) it can be done by killing an innocent person intentionally for the mere sake of the magic of the kill.

    But I liked this movie — Did you see it, Lorena? I’d love to hear your analysis after you get a chance to see it.

    Dan Gurney
    Maybe you and Lorena agree, maybe not. I’d wager your temperaments are very different and thus the philosophies that your brains generate for you differ immensely too. (sorry, had to sneak in some Triangulations Philosophy 101 there). I think Lorena would like Karate much more that Aikido just now in her life and it would probably serve her well for a while! (What do you think, Lorena. I am just trying to “rough you up” for redemption purposes!)

  10. @ Mike
    I totally agree, well put.

  11. @ DaChees
    Let me know what you think if you see the movie.
    I personally don’t have an opinion of what Jesus taught because the Christian scriptures have been manipulated so much as to have him saying lots of different stuff. I find everyone, atheists included, pick out their favorite Jesus.

    But I agree with you that “morality” or “social rules” are a large part of how religion supposedly functions. However, some cement divisiveness and some inclusiveness depending on their felt social needs. Religion ain’t about being good — it is about serving its customers.

  12. I look forward to seeing this movie. I wished that I had not read the ending though.
    I like movies with sad endings because I think that they are more realistic than happy ending movies. Happy endings might not be such a pain in the butt if 98% of movies did not end that way. I have seen so many good movies ruined by lasting 15 minutes to long just to give the movie a happy ending.
    I like movies that inspire people to act in a less selfish manner but I agree the moral of a sad ending movie is that we should not expect to be rewarded for acting unselfishly either by the people who are the reciepient of our good will or by “higher” powers. If we expect to be rewarded then it is really not an unselfish action now is it?
    I think that rather than striving for unselfishness a person who wants to live ethically should strive for fairness in relationships with others. I think that is hard enough.

  13. Sabio, I’m concerned to see you list “love” as a Christian theme. Do you just mean that it’s a typically highlighted theme by Christians? I’d hate to think Christians have been so successful with their godawful PR tactics that they’ve convinced pop culture they have a copyright on love😉

    As a Christian, I absolutely believe non-Christians are quite capable of love and any other virtues — sometimes MORESO, because non-religious folks may not have as many underlying motives for demonstrating those virtues. If Christians are being kind to you, is it because they are trying to convert you? Because they want to avoid going to hell? An atheist is either just being kind for the sake of being kind, or trying to get in your pants (which is another reason a Christian might be kind, too, but would never admit to it).

  14. Hi PJ,

    Great catch about “love”. I think you are right, but so is Sabio. Christianity arose in the milieu of Babylonian Ishtar (goddess of love) worship, so the early Christians had to make a distinction between Christian definition of “love” and the non-Christian definition. The Christian definition of “love” was primarily about “sacrifice your life for your friend”, and about “sacrificial giving to the diseased, poor, and imprisoned”. That definition seems to have been deliberately chosen to contrast with the mainstream definition of “love” that prevailed at the time.

    The prevailing definition of “love” seems to have been more about desire than mercy. About showing kindness in order to gain something. To me, the Babylonian (and Thelemite) version of “love” says that we provide charity to the most beautiful and edifying people who might depend on us for salvation; not to people like lepers, elderly widows, and orphans.

    Of course, I don’t think that someone needs to self-identify as a “Christian” to be properly aligned with the God who is Love. Sabio has made this point before about the “good Calormene” (Emeth) who worshiped Aslan without knowing it.

    Imagine, on the one hand, a nominal “Christian” who helps a beautiful but vulnerable young lady under the delusion that he is doing God’s work and thinks to himself, “if she falls in love with me and seduces me, it’s just a side benefit”. Contrast that with someone (perhaps Sabio) who is a professed atheist, but who helps only the most hideous and undesirable lepers simply because “it is the right thing to do.”

    Both people could make an appeal to “love”, but you can make a judgment call about which one deserves to be called “lust and exploitation”, and which deserves to be called “love”.

  15. DaCheese

    Sabio, you’re right that that we don’t really know what Jesus said (and some would even argue about whether there was a singular “Jesus” in the first place). And you’re also right that everyone has their own version.

    Personally, my understanding of him may be informed by my perception of him as an apocalyptic prophet/cult-leader with hippie-ish values. Since some aspects of that conception are incompatible with him being the all-knowing Son of God, maybe it should be no surprise that practicing Christians see his teachings differently…

  16. Another thought provocing post. I haven’t had time to read all the comments yet, but I’m sure someone else has said what I am about to. “Does it feel awkward to compliment important Christian themes like love, forgiveness and redemption which are presented in such a clear analogy?”

    While the theme may be forced from a Christian view, forgiveness and redemption aren’t the sole property of Christianity. Yes, if the analogy of forgiveness and redemption is in the form of a divine entity, then the point gets lost. If it is ona much more human and basic level of forgiveness and redemption, then I can completely relate. Like in the movie No Country for Old Men, the sheriff tried to find forgivness for himself for what he saw as his faults.

    BTW, I love western movies. I’m assuming you do as well?

  17. @ Curt :
    Sorry about the spoiler — but you were warned!🙂
    Your “Tit for Tat” ethical theory apparently works to some degree, but feuds thrive under it.

    @ Peter J. Walker:
    So, in your Christianity [there are many different types] it sounds like “being a Christian” gives you no special moral ground. Does it give you any special ground at all or just make demands?

    @ JS Allen:
    Spelling out the different uses of the word Love are important. Thanx.

    @ DaCheese:
    Yeah, “practicing Christians” see him lots of different ways too.

    @ Kyle:
    Your comment was right in line with several others – Christians and Atheists alike.
    Well stated. (Yes, I like Westerns)

  18. Sabio,

    I won’t watch the movie, because I seriously don’t believe in sacrificing for others. I call sacrificing for others co-dependency, and it is a serious mental health issue.

    I detest it because too many people in my life claim to have sacrificed themselves for me, but I never did ask them to do anything and didn’t want them too. They just did it to control me. They had an agenda. “I’ll do this so you do that.”

    When it comes to parenting, I don’t call that redemption, I call it parenting. Children are so much a part of their mom and dad that sacrificing for them is natural, in my opinion. Turning against them I think is unnatural.

  19. i liked this movie and presented the moral quandary to my confirmation class and most would have chosen to walk away with the money. not the way i would hope to go.

    your phrase “But for some, maybe death of what is truly good is what it takes to open their eyes” is repeated in the movie “Stranger than Fiction” starring Will Farrell and echoed throughout Christian history, specifically St. Augustine in his Confessions stating “i contemplate the cross and see the death of the one who was truly good and did not deserve the fate that awaited him, and thus it brings new life to me; bringing out the good and putting to death the bad.” (my paraphrase)

    for your question “What do you think about Non-Christians who value all these virtues but feel no need to pay attention to Christianity?”
    -i love it. one doesn’t need to know how much the gift cost to value and admire it. there is this whole thing in Paul’s letters about following the “spirit of the law, fulfilling the law” and never really knowing the intricate details of the law. of course, this has been taken a super-sessionist route, but i value this teaching and try to live accordingly. when i see nonChristians acting very Christian it makes me happy and i try to follow their good example as well. it helps me be open and trying to act and see Christ in every person… or the concept of Namaste… or Umbutu. not in a colonial way.

  20. after reading through the comments, i must say i disagree with a few. while i agree that “Christians don’t have a monopoly on the themes of love, forgiveness, and/or redemption.” it’s the HOW these things get played out that mirror Biblical narratives. our society is awash in Judeo-Christian symbolism and narrative themes and often these get played out subconsciously in our fiction. my fave movies are those who recognize this and play with the themes, like the Matrix, or Fight Club which are very intentional with their use of symbol, even as they over-turn and play with expectation.

  21. @ Sabio,
    Is your reference to my tit for tat ethical therory something that actully comes from my comment on
    I gave that only as an example for my comments about ethical subjectivity and objectivity. It is true I would at times support tit for tat. The idea of a person getting a taste of their own medicine is one that I fing artictically pleasing. But then I also find granting mercy at times artistically pleasing. I may even support two or three tits for a tat. It all depends on the circumstances of who has done what to whom.

  22. @ Lorena :
    Strong feelings — I can understand why you have them.

    @ Ghost:
    I never knew what “acting Christian” meant since there is no apparent consistent Christian model. Instead, I understand, “acting Moral”, “acting Kind”. I think you just gave me a new phrase to dislike — it comes packed with all kinds of bigotry: none of which you hold, I realize.
    Think of: “Acting Buddhist”, “Acting Hindu”, “Acting Muslim”….

    Could you be specific about exactly which comment, and what aspect you disagree, I don’t follow you.

    @ Curt :
    Nope, it is a computer program I was thinking of. See this Wiki article.

  23. @Sabio: acting moral works, but in this specific case, it’d best serve as acting Christian as, after all the post is entitled “Cowboy Savior” and to me is a clear meditation and midrash on Mark 8:34-37. so acting Christian is appropriate here, unless you just want to go off on an emotional, irrational rant as you just did on that phrase. and you also admit as you state “it comes back with all kinds of bigotry, none of which you hold, i realize.” then freak’n realize and hear what i’m saying instead of trying, what i feel you’re attempting to do, to put me in my proper place: which would be a friend who happens to be a Christian and not a Christian friend.

    as for the disagree: the whole “it’s not really about Christianity, it’s an archetype, it’s universal, it’s older, it’s anything other than Christianity” which i see in more than a few comments. it seems like y’all are crapping in my catbox and trying really hard to cover it up. they liked the movie, i get that. but there is Christian symbolism out the wha-zoo here and i don’t think y’all are dealing with it.

  24. @ Ghost
    First issue: I am not trying to put you in your proper place, I am trying to put the phrase in its proper place. I realize it is common jargon in this Christian dominated country but having spent much time out of this country and seeing how Christianity negatively affects my kids, I want to disempower the empowered self-righteous feeling of Christians in this country whenever I can. I am only aiming at the term.

    As for the second issue: Let’s dissect this:
    (a) you agree that the notion of sacrificial love exists in many cultures that pre-date Christianity, correct?
    (b) do you think this movie was intentionally made with a Jesus theme?
    (c) do you think similar movies could have been made in other non-Christian background countries without borrowing from Christianity?
    (d) Many non-Christians feel that Christians used the ancient sacrifice archetype issue as a selling point for Jesus after his unexpected death. You don’t think Christians did this, correct? Is it wrong for non-Christians to hold a different opinion than you on this topic?

    Lastly, I would not be surprise that Christian stuff informed the theme to start with. But it may not have either — all to say, such theme are by no means merely Christian. I think that is the main point.

  25. One example of Sabio’s “acting Christian” is an anecdote from my youth. Around age 13, I was a fairly militant atheist, and would often debate with my parents, who were Christian. I was quite close with my younger brother, who was also an atheist. Once, when my mother was extremely angry at me and began yelling and screaming, my younger brother jumped between me and my mother. He turned to her and said, “Hit me instead of him, mother”. Then he turned to me with a perfectly straight face and said, “I’ll be your Jesus”. We both burst out laughing, and it only made her angrier (and less Jesus-like).

    We have a great relationship with our Mom today, and I’m sure I’ll get payback from my own kids when they torment me mercilessly; so that’s not the point of the story. The point is that there are obviously situations that are directly “acting Christian”, as in my atheist brother’s “I’ll be your Jesus”. There are many other situations where the “acting Christian” is indirect, and others where it’s purely accidental or speculative.

    I was fascinated by the examples of “Fight Club” and “The Matrix”, since I didn’t see Christian themes in either movie (though I saw definite Christian themes in some of the movies Ken Pulliam mentioned).

    In “Matrix”, I was deliberately looking, but I couldn’t find a Christian theme — I even tried to look for a solid Jewish theme (due to the mention of “Zion”), but couldn’t find it. I was pretty disappointed with my conclusion that “Matrix” was garden-variety techno-paganism. So I’d be interested to see an exposition of a Christian theme I might have missed (and I would expect that it would’ve been accidental).

    In “Fight Club”, I didn’t even think to look for a Christian theme. I remember reading an article saying that there was a problem of copycat fight clubs popping up among Mormon young men, but it never occurred to me that this might be related to any Christian theme. I just assumed it was a cultural side-effect of the Mormon emphasis on manliness and personal achievement. So I would likewise be interested in understanding the link between Christianity and “Fight Club”.

  26. @ JS Allen
    Christians are the vast majority in my area. “Acting Christian” means “Acting Kind or Moral” here. Thus, if someone is an atheist, it is assumed they have no basis for morality and thus are dangerous or perverse or untrustworthy.
    Being a minority here we feel the impact of the ugly bigotry — thus push against the phrase. You’re brother, though Atheist, bought into the language too because he was raised with it.

    When minorities challenge the language of the majority, there is always resentment. Language is power.

    Last week, my 11-year-old was in the school play — the emperor’s New Clothes. He was the boy, who throughout the play questioned and eventually challenged the King for make-believe clothes. Several folks came up to us after the play and said, “Well, I guess that is the perfect fit that your son played the Skeptic”. Some said it out of support and some were trying to say more. You see, it is palpable where I live because our family is outspoken when confronted. Three weeks ago my wife told me how most the ladies who take their daughters to ballet with our daughter have stop speaking to my wife who challenged their language which assumed everyone in the room agreed with their talk about “our Christian Nation”.

    If you give the signal that you are not Christian in our town, it mean ostracizing. If you challenge, “Acting Christian” and substitute “Acting Kind”, people bristle.

  27. “What do you think about Non-Christians who value all these virtues but feel no need to pay attention to Christianity?” (Sabio)

    Like you, big fan of the movie and might even watch the original – which I think stars Burt Lancaster or someone cool from that era.

    Doesn’t bother me that a non-Christian (which is really about labels) sees no need for the Christian faith – as long as the values we share can be meaningful towards the building of our societies – that’s all I am really looking for.

    I value the teachings of Christianity – but for me they have a certain appeal and meaning attached to them due to where I built up from with the direction of the teachings. Not everyone is in that same spot nor seen the same need I did.

    What is key is that we can look at some of these values and agree they are worth celebrating or sharing…like honor (for example).

  28. Oh, right. I forgot that you’re living in the middle of Fundamentalistan. I suppress any memories that could remind me that places like that still exist in America.

  29. “I realize it is common jargon in this Christian dominated country… I am only aiming at the term.”

    aaaahhh.. okay, i’m totally with you on this mission. being a progressive, and surrounded by like-minded heretics, i forget the evangelical nature and general nastiness perpetrated by the majority of those calling themselves Christian in this country.. anyone who thinks this is a “Christian Nation” i’m immediately at odds with… this is specifically a Unitarian/Deist nation and the faith of many of the founding fathers would be an affront to those who normally claim them and this country as Christian. another reason why i find more friends in atheist and agnostic circles.

    for your questions, i believe you’re leading the witness, and a biased one at that. i see a Christian message because as C.S. Lewis states “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” so all of those things could be true, but for this movie, with all the symbolism and outright Judeo-Christian attitude and setting (bible quoted many times, dude dies and lays in a cruciform position) i can’t see it any other way. are there other stories out there that can be interpreted in other ways, yeah, the Matrix and Fight Club being two prime examples.

    the Matrix, as an example, there are elements of gnosticism, Buddhism, Taoism, all mixed with Martial Arts, and tons of philosophical stuff, dressed in S&M subculture and wrapped in a technophile’s dream come true. for Fight Club, you have an obvious psychological model of the incarnation (a dualistic model) which leads a small group of men into anti-empire activity that seeks a return to close-knit community and agrarian practices. we have John Dominic Crossan’s Jesus here.. but we also have a Maccabees’ typology as this “messiah” is more militant than Jesus ever was.. we also have Socrates (if Socrates was anti-empire and schizophrenic) or we have a yogi-ascetic type leading people into a new society. it’s all in how you cut it.

  30. @ Society

    “What is key is that we can look at some of these values and agree they are worth celebrating or sharing…like honor (for example).”


  31. @ JS Allen:
    Yep. LOL

    @ Ghost:
    However the nation began is completely irrelevant. A nation is what it is now. Founders don’t call the shots. And besides, lots of people “founded” this country, not just political leaders or constitution writers. Many of the founders you allude to, you can be sure would be atheists today!

    I agree, they “would be an affront to those who normally claim them and this country as Christian.”

  32. “Many of the founders you allude to, you can be sure would be atheists today!”

    umm, they’d be unitarians. but since it’s irrelevant, who cares?

  33. Sabio

    Well, speaking about the future is full of theoretical assumptions. But what I meant is that if those “founders” were born in this time with the same temperaments and same minds, I’d wager they’d have been atheists of some kind. I feel their deist leanings were largely a cultural phenomena — it was the way to talk back then. But all that is far to speculative, of course, you are right.

  34. I just saw the movie. Normally I find the action genre of which westerns are usually a subset not to be my cup of tea. The action scenes are flaky beyond belief. If Dan had not died I would have thought, “a typical hollywood mush movie.” The fact that Dan died was the only thing that stopped it from being a typical hollywood mush movie. I can not deny that I liked the idea of Ben turning himself in. As for shooting all of his subordinates well that left me with mixed feelings. I imagine that he knew them well enough to know that thery were beyond hope of reform.
    But if that is what he thought then I have to question is decision. He got a chance at reform. The men that he led in to a life of lawlessness and then killed did not. Is that Ben’s fault thought? One could say, “Yes becasue if he had not killed them then they might have gotten a chance to reform if they had lived longer.
    One could also say, “No it is not Ben’s fault becasue it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you only hang out with thieves your are always going to be a thief. With the life that these bandits led the chance that they would have ever come to ask themselves, “Why do I live this way?”, would have been very close to zero. Furthermore Ben saved the taxpayers the money of putting the men on trial and executing them or giving them life in prison for the crimes that they had already committed.
    In the end the only good Westerns are those with the Indians as the good guys.

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