The World Needs Cowboys

    Whether in fiction or in real life, the cowboy stands as the symbol of moral certainty amidst the horde of terrorizing evil-doers.  For that reason, the world--and not just America--needs cowboys in an age of terror and uncertainty.

    Westerns movies (of the 1930's through early 1960's) era typically contained themes that carried moral connotations--such as justice (the sheriff and his posse tracking down murderers, or cowboys saving a ranch from thieving cattle rustlers); friendship and loyalty (a cowboy backing up his friends in a gunfight, even at the risk of his own life); self-sacrifice (the gunslinger who decides to lay down his life for his friend); honor (the "code of the west"); defending the weak and innocent (such as fighting to save a child or guarding a defenseless wagon train from marauders); repentance (a reformed outlaw turning from his wicked ways to defend a good character in the story); and the importance of republican principles of self-government and respect for ordered liberty.  These are only samples of westerns' many moral themes.   Therefore, morally good westerns are morality plays, as well as entertainment.   They teach a lesson that one can apply to situations in real life.

    Cowboy themes are really values, encoded in the Ten Commandments and summarized by Jesus in the "Golden Rule": Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Though westerns are seldom listed among the "Best Pictures", yet, those westerns that include positive presentations of God's values should be commended as the greatest movies ever made.  They not only entertain, but also reinforce God's principles by showing people what to do and what not to do in life.   This is "serious art"--the goal of which is defined as a creative product that accurately mirrors reality--both the good and the bad--presented in the light of God's judgments about that goodness or badness.  So, since the Almighty creates and rules the world through the use of His principles, in order for art to reflect reality, it must present that reality as God sees it--through the lens of His principles and the consequences of either following or not following them.

    In that sense the Cowboy Hero is heroic because he acts according to God's values (justice, honor, fairness, honesty, etc.).  That's why those who believe in absolute right and wrong, and God's absolute truth, admire the cowboy hero.  The hero is not popular with those who don't like God's principles or don't believe in absolute truth.   Secular nations object to the cowboy because of the Christian themes he represents.

    Greatness is all a matter of definition and who does the defining.  What some label "the best" movies can be more accurately labeled "sinful" movies.  Conversely, what some call "B" movies can be, morally speaking, the best movies of all, in the sense that the characters, through the actions and dialogue, act according to God's standards--even if God is never mentioned in the movie at all.

    Likewise, in public policy, sometimes it's the humble leader who seems all-too-human, yet has the perseverance and determination to go on in order to achieve morally laudable goals, who is the real "cowboy hero".  He best exemplifies the virtues of the cowboy--not just American values, but values personified by cowboys in the nineteenth-century American West, yet applicable world-wide.

    Firm adherence to, and belief in, those values is the reason why the cowboy remains to fight the good fight at "high noon", even if he must fight alone while everyone else runs, cowers in a corner, or criticizes the cowboy in his moment of greatest need.  While everyone else turn away their faces so they won't have to see the evil, the cowboy strides forward, in the middle of the street, steely-eyed, to meet it--with one aim: to defeat the evil, for the good of the town.

    The world needs those values today.

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