Before they watched the movie I told them that I thought The Lord of the Rings would be a very good movie to watch in a maximum security prison.
And if they doubted me, I said, pay attention to the ring, pay attention to the ring.
In The Lord of the Rings evil, wickedness, temptation and sin is symbolized by the ring. "And what," I asked the inmates, "is that source of ring's allure?"
"Power," they replied.
"Exactly. Can you see now," I asked, "why this is the perfect Christian move to watch in a maximum security prison?"
They all nodded. They saw my point.
The men in the prison bible study live in a world that is ruled by power. The relationship between the men and the officers is all about power. And the relationships between the inmates themselves is all about power. Physical power, yes, but economic power as well.
Power rules their entire world.
And so the men are tempted to play by the devil's rules, tempted to grab power and use it. Even the good guys want the power so that they make the world come out right.
It's just like the ring in The Lord of the Rings. Everyone is being tempted by power, even the good guys who want to use the ring for good.
And it's that thirst for power that corrupts us. If it is anything The Lord of the Rings is a prolonged meditation upon the allure of power and its corrosive influence.
Which makes The Lord of the Rings the perfect movie for a maximum secure prison.
And, I suspect, for the entire world.