Ethos Education

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Lies: a tough way to live

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Assembly Objective: 

  • Is it ok to lie? This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching that telling the truth leads to the best life for all.

Film: 

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Marvel, 2014, certificate 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible: 

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of Individual Liberty affirms each person’s right to self-determination, but the values of Democracy, Respect and Tolerance call us to live as part of a community. This assembly encourages pupils to consider how truth leads to the best life for all. 

OPENING ACTIVITY

Super Hero Pie Out (quiz)

Download the Marvel Alter Ego Pie Out PowerPoint for use with this activity.

  • Ask for two volunteers (or play the two halves of the room against each other) to play a round of Pie-Out. Explain that their task is to recognise the alter egos of superheroes or villains from the Marvel comics universe. Wrong answers may include characters from non-Marvel superhero comics, or people from the real world. (Please note that if you click outside the boxes in slide 2 it will jump to slide 3 and if you click outside the boxes in slide 3 the powerpoint will automatically end).
  • Explain that there are ten correct answers, eight marked with a single tick worth ten points and a further two marked with a double tick which are worth 25 points. There are six wrong answers, three marked with a cross which score zero points, and three marked with a custard pie which result in the player who picks it losing all points previously scored in the game. The two contestants take it in turns to pick one would-be villain until all the correct answers have been identified.
  • Here are the answers:
  • Correct answers:
    • Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye (from the Avengers)
    • James Logan, aka Wolverine (from X-Men)
    • Steve Rogers, aka Captain America
    • Natalia Romanova, aka Black Widow
    • Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto (from X-Men)
    • Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man
    • Ben Grimm, aka the Thing (from the Fantastic Four)
    • Tony Stark, aka Iron Man
  • Double tick answers:
    • Raven Darkholme, aka Mystique (from X-Men)
    • Peter Quill, aka Star Lord (from Guardians of the Galaxy)
  • Wrong answers:
    • Diana Prince, aka Princess Diana of Themyscira, aka Wonder Woman. She is a DC comics character, not Marvel
    • Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. A DC comics character from the Batman series
    • Bruce Wayne, aka Batman. A DC comics character
  • Pie Out wrong answers:
    • Kal-El, aka Superman. A DC comics character
    • Maurice Micklewhite, aka Michael Caine. Not a superhero at all, but an actor (who, incidentally, played Albert the butler in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films)
    • Barry Allen, aka The Flash, a DC comics character

Big Lies (something to think about)

Download the Truth Big Lie PowerPoint for use with this activity.

  • Display the PowerPoint, revealing some of the most famous ruses in the history of confidence trickery. The PowerPoint will transition through the slides automatically. If you want to move through the slides more quickly, simply click the mouse to change slides. To end the presentation once the final slide appears, click on the mouse – it will continue to display the final slide until you do.
  • The presentation will work well with a suitable musical accompaniment. We suggest Little Lies, and Tango in the Night by Fleetwood Mac.
  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Introductory slide.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • In 1925, Victor Lustig read that the cost of maintaining the Eiffel Tower was proving to be a burden on the post-war French economy.
    • Pretending to be a government official, he invited six scrap metal dealers to a secret meeting.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • One of the dealers, Andre Poisson, paid a large sum of cash to secure the deal.
    • When he later realised he had been duped, he was too embarrassed to go to the police.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • George Parker regularly sold public buildings. A favourite was the Brooklyn Bridge, which he sold twice a week for several years.
    • Police were often called in to remove toll booths set up by Parker’s gullible customers.
    • Parker also sold Madison Square Gardens, the Statue of Liberty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • In the late 1870s, ‘Soapy’ Smith would regularly pull off ‘the Prize Package Soap Sell Swindle.’
    • Smith would gather a crowd and let them see him wrap money – ranging from $1 to $100 – around ordinary bars of soap. He would then add an outer wrapper and offer to sell the bars for a $1.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • An accomplice in the crowd would buy a bar and loudly claim to have got one with money in it.
    • Desperate not to miss out, the crowd inevitably started buying the soap themselves.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Smith would, of course, secretly remove all of the bars with actual money and sell only the ordinary soap.
    • At some point he would announce that the $100 bar of soap was still unsold, and proceed to auction off the remaining bars to the highest bidders.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • In 1871 Philip Arnold and John Slack sold over $500,000 worth of shares in a diamond mine in Wyoming.
    • Investors were impressed on a site visit, with gems littering the ground in the mine. They promptly paid up to buy a share in the mine.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Unfortunately, the gems had all been placed by Arnold and Slack. The mine was just an ordinary cave.
    • The gems were subsequently valued at a mere $30,000. The investors lost everything, Arnold and Slack made a fortune.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • In 1911, Eduardo de Valfierno paid a team of men, including Louvre staff members, to steal the Mona Lisa.
    • Prior to the theft, he commissioned a forger to produce six fake versions of the painting. He lined up potential buyers and had the forgeries shipped abroad.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • When news of the theft became public, Valfierno proceeded to sell the forgeries, passing them off as the real thing.
    • He didn’t need the real painting, so he didn’t bother contacting the thieves again. Two years later, the thieves were caught and the real Mona Lisa was returned to the Louvre.

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Marvel, 2014, certificate 12):
    • Start time:       0.54.34 (in chapter 8 of the DVD)
    • End time:         0.55.59
    • Clip length:      1 minute and 25 seconds
  • The clip starts with Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) driving a stolen jeep. The first line is Black Widow asking, ‘Where did Captain America learn how to steal a car?’ The clip ends after Black Widow says, ‘Well, there’s a chance you might be in the wrong business, Rogers.’
  • The clip shows the two heroes discussing the importance of truth and honesty with Black Widow arguing that there’s nothing wrong with just inventing a past and new identity for oneself.

TALK

Download the Truth Winter Soldier PowerPoint with this presentation.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Is it ever okay to tell a lie? What kind of situation tempts you to fib? [click] When you are asked why you didn’t do your homework, perhaps? [click] Or when you tell your parents why you were late getting home? [click] Maybe when a friend asks how they look in some new clothes, and you don’t want to hurt their feelings by saying how awful they look?
    • But what about bigger lies, the lies we tell about ourselves or even the lies we tell to ourselves. Does it matter if our lives are based on truth? Here’s a clip from the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Captain America and Black Widow have discovered a lie at the heart of SHIELD, the organisation they work for. They don’t know who to trust, apart from each other, and they are desperately trying to uncover the truth. The trouble is, each of them has a very different attitude to the question of truth, as this clip makes clear.
    • Play the clip from Captain America: The Winter Soldier:
      • Start time:       0.54.34 (in chapter 8 of the DVD)
      • End time:         0.55.59
      • Clip length:      1 minute and 25 seconds
    • The clip starts with Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) driving a stolen jeep. The first line is Black Widow asking, ‘Where did Captain America learn how to steal a car?’ The clip ends after Black Widow says, ‘Well, there’s a chance you might be in the wrong business, Rogers.’
    • If you are unable to play the clip, say, ‘Black Widow’s whole life is based on lies, and she doesn’t see any problem with simply inventing a new history for herself, a whole new identity, if the situation demands.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Who is right? Black Widow says that, ‘truth is a matter of circumstances. It’s not all things to all people all of the time.’ In other words, she thinks that you can make up your own truth, and present different versions of that truth to different people, depending on the needs of the situation. That might sound tempting, and very convenient, [click] but as Captain America points out, it’s a tough way to live.
    • The trouble with not sticking to the truth is that eventually, it comes back to haunt you. The Bible tells us this:
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed. Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace! Proverbs 12:19-20 (New Living Translation).
    • Lies will be exposed. More than that, deceit consumes us when we allow ourselves to ignore the truth.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Scientists would agree that lying isn’t good for us. [click] Lies cause stress. The whole reason that polygraphs – lie detector tests – work is because they are able to detect the signs of stress that accompany the telling of a lie. Lying releases stress hormones into the body, influencing our heart rate and blood pressure. [click] Over time, this can lead to tension headaches, back pain, even infertility. [click] Lying is bad for us, and the more we do it, the worse it gets.
    • Living a lie takes a lot of effort. We have to constantly remember what we’ve told to different people, and make sure that we maintain our assumed position. With telling the truth, all we have to do is to remember what the truth is, and we don’t have to worry about being found out. Truth is simple, and even when it isn’t convenient in the short-term, it’s usually the better option in the long run.
    • You might feel that you can’t always tell the truth, but the more that you do, the happier your brain and your body – and you – are likely to be.

Headings and Bullets

Download the Truth Winter Soldier PowerPoint for use with this presentation.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]

    • What kind of situation tempts you to fib?
      • [click] when asked why you didn’t do your homework?
      • [click] When your parents ask why you were late home?
      • [click] When a friend asks how their new clothes look?
      • What about bigger lies?
      • Does it matter if our lives are based on truth.
      • Introduce clip from Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
      • Captain America and Black Widow don’t know who to trust.
      • Each of them has a very different attitude towards truth.
    • Play the clip.
      • Start time:       0.54.34 (in chapter 8 of the DVD)
      • End time:         0.55.59
      • Clip length:      1 minute and 25 seconds
    • The clip starts with Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) driving a stolen jeep. The first line is Black Widow asking, ‘Where did Captain America learn how to steal a car?’ The clip ends after Black Widow says, ‘Well, there’s a chance you might be in the wrong business, Rogers.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Who is right?
      • Black Widow says, ‘truth is a matter of circumstances; it’s not all things to all people all of the time’.
      • She thinks you can make up different versions of the truth, redefining it according to the situation.
      • [click] Tempting and convenient, but a tough way to live.
    • When we don’t stick to the truth, it comes back to haunt us.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed. Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace! Proverbs 12:19-20 (New Living Translation).
    • Lies will be exposed and deceit will consume us.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Scientists say lying isn’t good for us.
      • [click] Lies cause stress.
      • Lie detectors work by detecting the signs of stress when we lie.
      • Lying releases stress hormones into the body, influencing heart rate and blood pressure.
      • [click] This leads to tension headaches, back pain and even infertility.
      • [click] Lying is bad for us. The more we do it, the worse it gets.
    • Living a lie takes a lot of effort; truth is simple and usually the better option.
    • You might feel that you can’t always tell the truth.
      • The more you do it, happier your brain and your body – and you – are likely to be.

Photo Copyright for Marvel Alter Ego Pie Out PowerPoint: Slide 1 public domain

Photo Copyright for Truth Big Lie PowerPoint: All images from iStockphoto.com

Photo Copyright for Truth Winter Soldier PowerPoint: Slide 1 and 3 iStockphoto.com / Slide 2 Black Widow Marvel Studios, Captain America Marvel Studios / Slide 4 public domain


RESPOND

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you that you are a God who loves the truth. Help us to be more honest in our dealings with one another, and to be more honest with ourselves. Help us to recognise the impact that lies can have, and to avoid the problems they cause by always seeking to be honest. Amen.

Reflection

  • Have you ever told a lie and seen the consequences get more and more complicated? Have you ever been hurt to discover that someone has lied to you about something? What difference would the truth have made to those situations? How would things have been different if everyone had been honest from the beginning? In the light of that, do you want to reconsider your attitude towards honesty and telling the truth?

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Marvel, 2014, certificate 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Marvel Alter Ego Pie Out PowerPoint.
  3. Truth Big Lie PowerPoint.
  4. Truth Winter Soldier PowerPoint.
  5. (Optional) suitable musical accompaniment for Truth Big Lie PowerPoint.

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