Ethos Education

Wonder Woman: Who’s to Blame?

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Assembly Objective:

  • Can human beings be divided into good and evil? This assembly uses an excerpt from Wonder Woman to consider the Christian perspective that everyone is good, made in the image of God, but everyone has also rebelled against God, and is capable of evil action. Students are encouraged to consider their response to evil and to take action to act positively in the face of evil.

Film:

  • Wonder Woman (Warner Bros, 2017, 12A). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of Individual Liberty teaches the free exercise of rights outside Government control. It protects the rights of the individual to exercise freedom of speech in decision making. This assembly encourages students to reflect on the reciprocal nature of rights and responsibilities.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Pass the Blame (game)

Choose six-eight volunteers to come to the front of the assembly and play a version of Pass the Parcel called Pass the Blame. Explain that they are to stand in a line and pass a parcel along it while the music plays. When the parcel reaches the end of the line, the last person must carry it to the top and begin again. When the music stops, the player holding the parcel is out and must sit down. Build the tension by stressing that players do not want to be left holding the parcel of blame at the end. When only one player remains tell them to stand holding the parcel while you explain that when something goes wrong, most of us try to avoid being left taking the blame. In this case, it’s not a bad thing, as inside the parcel is something nice. The final player may now unwrap the parcel (containing a small prize) and return to his or her seat.


FILM CLIP Wonder Woman (Warner Bros, 2017, 12A). Click here to buy the DVD online.

  • Clip 1
    • Start time: 01:32:58
    • End time: 01:34:40
    • Clip length: 1 minute 42 seconds
  • The clip begins with Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) entering the ballroom with a sword hidden in her dress. She approaches Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and they dance. As they do so, she realises that he may be Ares, the god of war, whom she believes is responsible for all war. He is called away, and she goes to draw her sword but is stopped by Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). He tells her that if she kills Ludendorff they will not find the gas he is planning to use to kill others. He also questions whether she is right to believe that Ludendorff is Ares. When she realises that he does not believe her, she tells him that what she does is not up to him and runs off to find Ludendorff.
  • Clip 2
    • Start time: 01:40:51
    • End time: 01:43:40
    • Clip length: 2 minutes 49 seconds
  • The clip begins with Diana/Wonder Woman standing on a parapet overlooking the battle below. She has killed Ludendorff, whom she believes to be Ares, the god of war. However, as she stands, she realises that this has not ended the war. Steve Trevor finds her and she tells him that she has killed the god of war but that nothing has stopped. She says she doesn’t understand why this has happened. He responds by saying that he doesn’t know why, that he wishes he could tell her that one bad guy was to blame, but maybe everyone is to blame, that he is too. He then asks her to help him stop the war. He then leaves, and she does not follow.
  • [Between the two clips is a scene in which Diana sees the impact of the gas on the local village then tracks down, fights and kills Ludendorff. You may decide to show the whole scene, but be aware that some students may find the violence of his death distressing].

TALK

Download the Who’s to Blame? PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Who’s to blame?
  • [PowerPoint slide 2 ]
    • When things go wrong in life, there is usually a reason. If a door is left open and a pet escapes into the road, the person to blame is the one who left the door open. If a pot of boiling water is left on a cooker with the handle sticking out, and it topples over and scalds someone, the person to blame is the person who left the pot boiling. If you fail your exams because you have not spent time studying for them then, unfortunately, the only person to blame is yourself.
    • When you’ve been hurt or treated unfairly, it’s understandable that you would want to find out what was responsible for what happened to you. However, sometimes, when we blame somebody else for bad things, we forget that we are to blame for our own mistakes.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • In the film Wonder Woman, we meet Diana Prince who comes from a tribe of strong women known as the Amazonians. She has been brought up to believe that one person, the god Ares, is responsible for all the war in the world. She has been taught that if Ares is killed, all war will end. Diana unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of the First World War, and, as we are about to see, believes she has met Ares, in the form of a German general called Ludendorff.
    • Play Clip 1 from Wonder Woman (Warner Bros, 2017, 12A)
    • Clip 1
      • Start time: 01:32:58
      • End time: 01:34:40
      • Clip length: 1 minute 42 seconds
    • The clip begins with Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) entering the ballroom with a sword hidden in her dress. She approaches Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and they dance. As they do so, she begins to suspect that he may be Ares, the god of war, whom she believes is responsible for all war. He is called away, and she goes to draw her sword but is stopped by Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). He tells her that if she kills Ludendorff they will not find the gas he is planning to use to kill others. He also questions whether she is right to believe that Ludendorff is Ares. When she realises that he does not believe her, she tells him that what she does is not up to him, and runs off to find Ludendorff.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Diana believes that if she can kill Ludendorff, she will put an end to all war. However, she is confused by the fact that Steve does not share her belief.
    • Obviously Wonder Woman is a comic book heroine, and we can see that her belief is not true, but perhaps we are not as clever and advanced as we like to think we are. It’s tempting to believe that there are people who are bad and people who are good. When bad things happen to us, we want to find someone to blame. When terrible atrocities or acts of evil happen, the people responsible are often described in our newspapers or online as being ‘evil’. Describing someone as an evil person, helps us make sense of why terrible things happen. In some ways, our beliefs are not so different from this held by Diana Prince.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Sadly, though, bad things often happen for no reason. There is no-one in particular to blame. People make mistakes. People who are otherwise very normal can do terrible things. Sometimes we even do bad things ourselves.
    • Diana believed with all her heart that killing Ludendorff would end the war. Let’s find out what happened next.
    • Play Clip 2 from Wonder Woman (Warner Bros, 2017, 12A)
    • Clip 2
      • Start time: 01:40:51
      • End time: 01:43:40
      • Clip length: 2 minutes 49 seconds
    • The clip begins with Diana/Wonder Woman standing on a parapet overlooking the battle below. She has killed Ludendorff, whom she believes to be Ares, the god of war. However, as she stands, she realises that this has not ended the war. Steve Trevor finds her and she tells him that she has killed the god of war but that nothing has stopped. She says she doesn’t understand why this has happened. He responds by saying that he doesn’t know why, that he wishes he could tell her that one bad guy is to blame, but ‘maybe everyone is to blame, that he is too’. He then asks her to help him stop the war. He leaves, and she does not follow.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Steve understands that although Ludendorff has done terrible things to people, he is not the only one to blame for war. Did you notice what he said to Diana?
    • ‘It’s about what you believe. You don’t think I get it? After what I’ve seen out there? You don’t think I wish I could tell you it was one bad guy to blame? It’s not. We’re all to blame…maybe I am.’
    • Steve’s words sound like words from the Bible by a man called Paul. In a letter he wrote to some early Christians, he quoted some words from the Old Testament, and  wrote:
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • As it is written:
    • ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands;  there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.’ Romans 3:10-12.
    • Like Steve, Paul was realistic about who is to blame for the bad things in the world. He understood that all the evil that happened could not be blamed on one individual, but he made the point that everyone does bad things.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • What about you? Let’s think about that for a moment. I’d like everyone to [invite students to raise their hands, stand up or simply think about their response as appropriate]. I’m going to read a series of statements and I’d like you to [put your hand down/sit down/rule yourself out] if you fall into the category:
    • Have you ever committed a murder?
    • Have you ever kidnapped someone?
    • Stabbed someone?
    • Hit someone?
    • Talked about someone behind their back?
    • Told a lie about someone?
    • Thought a mean thought about someone?
    • [By the end of the statements everyone should be ‘out’. If not you may have to add other statements, or draw an end to the list by pointing out that people may not be telling the truth if they are still ‘in’!]
    • Thank you for your honesty! If we are being completely honest today, we’d probably all admit to having done some things that we are not proud of, and have caused other people pain or sadness. The Bible calls this sin, and it simply means making choices that go against the way God wants us to live, with love, kindness and peace.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Steve Trevor is right when he says that ‘we are all to blame, even me’. However, the Bible says that this is only half of the story. A little further on in the same book, Paul wrote something else:
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8.
    • The good news that the Bible contains is that God has provided an answer for the problem of human sin. The verses we have just read explain that Jesus Christ died because God loved us, and that even though we do bad or evil things, we can be forgiven by him.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • What will you do? We all have the freedom to choose how we act. Sometimes we make good choices, sometimes we make bad ones. We live in a world where there is war and suffering. At the end of the clip we watched, Steve asked Diana to help him stop the war. When we see evil or bad things happen, we have another choice to make. We can get involved in standing up to evil, or we can choose to do nothing. Whoever is to blame for the bad things in the world, we can all do something to help those who suffer the consequences of war and suffering by speaking up or helping in practical ways.

Headings and Bullets

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Who’s to blame?
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • When things go wrong:
    • If a door is left open and a pet escapes into the road, the person to blame is the one who left the door open.
    • If a pot of boiling water is left on a cooker with the handle sticking out, and it topples over and scalds someone, the person to blame is the person who left the pot boiling.
    • If you fail your exams because you have not spent time studying for them then, unfortunately, the only person to blame is yourself.
    • Sometimes we are to blame.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Introduce Diana Prince:
    • Comes from a tribe of strong women known as the Amazonians.
    • Brought up to believe that one person, the god Ares, is responsible for all the war in the world.
    • Believes that if Ares is killed, all war will end.
    • Diana unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of the First World War.
    • Believes she has met Ares, in the form of a German general called Ludendorff.
    • Play Clip 1 from Wonder Woman (Warner Bros, 2017, 12A)
    • Clip 1
      • Start time: 01:32:58
      • End time: 01:34:40
      • Clip length: 1 minute 42 seconds
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Steve does not share Diana’s belief that if she can kill Ludendorff, she will put an end to all war.
    • Wonder Woman is a comic book heroine.
    • We can see that her belief is not true.
    • But it’s tempting to believe that there are people who are bad and people who are good.
    • When bad things happen to us, we want to find someone to blame.
    • People responsible often described in our newspapers or online as being ‘evil’.
    • Describing someone as an evil person, helps us make sense of why terrible things happen.
    • Our beliefs are not so different from this held by Diana Prince.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Bad things often happen for no reason.
    • There is no-one in particular to blame.
    • People make mistakes.
    • Sometimes we even do bad things ourselves.
    • What happened next?
    • Play Clip 2 from Wonder Woman (Warner Bros, 2017, 12A)
    • Clip 2
      • Start time: 01:40:51
      • End time: 01:43:40
      • Clip length: 2 minutes 49 seconds
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Steve understands that Ludendorff is not the only one to blame for war.
    • ‘It’s about what you believe. You don’t think I get it? After what I’ve seen out there? You don’t think I wish I could tell you it was one bad guy to blame? It’s not. We’re all to blame…maybe I am.’
    • Introduce Bible passage.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Romans 3:10-12.
    • Like Steve, Paul was realistic about who is to blame for the bad things in the world.
    • He understood that all the evil that happened could not be blamed on one individual.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • What about you? Invite everyone to raise their hands, stand up or simply think about their response as appropriate.
    • Have you ever committed a murder?
    • Have you ever kidnapped someone?
    • Stabbed someone?
    • Hit someone?
    • Talked about someone behind their back?
    • Told a lie about someone?
    • Thought a mean thought about someone?
    • Complete honesty.
    • Probably all admit to having done some things that we are not proud of, and have caused other people pain or sadness.
    • The Bible calls this sin.
    • Making choices that go against the way God wants us to live, with love, kindness and peace.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • We are all to blame, even me. The Bible says that this is only half of the story.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • Romans 5:6-8.
    • The Bible says God has provided an answer for the problem of human sin.
    • Jesus Christ died because God loved us, and that even though we do bad or evil things, we can be forgiven by him.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • What will you do? We all have the freedom to choose how we act.
    • Sometimes we make good choices, sometimes we make bad ones.
    • We live in a world where there is war and suffering.
    • When we see evil or bad things happen, we have another choice to make.
    • Standing up to evil, or choosing to do nothing.

Photo Copyright for Who’s to blame? PowerPoint: Slide 1 Warner Bros Entertainment and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC / Slide 2 boiling pan Beosmrx, dog Public domain, girls iStockphoto.com / Slide 3 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC / Slide 4 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC / Slide 5 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC / Slide 6 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC  / Slide 7 Pixabay.com / Slide 8 Photo by Clay Enos – © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac Entertainment LLC / Slide 9 Photo by Clay Enos – © 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC / Slide 10 iStockphoto.com / Slide 11 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC


RESPOND

Prayer

  • Father God we pray for peace. We ask for forgiveness when we have made bad choices. We ask you to help us to forgive those who have caused pain and suffering. We ask for strength to stand up against evil and to do good today. Amen.

Reflection

  • Ask everyone to close their eyes for a moment and to think about a situation in the world where evil behaviour or bad choices have caused pain or suffering. Ask them to think about that situation and to think about the answers to the following questions:
  • Is there something practical that you can do to make the situation better?
  • What needs to change to make the situation better?
  • Who can help you do something about it?
  • If appropriate, let the students know that they can speak to a member of staff about any difficult situation in their own lives.

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. A copy of Wonder Woman (Warner Bros, 2017, 12A). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Who’s to blame? PowerPoint.
  3. Music and a wrapped parcel (containing a small prize) for Pass the Blame opening activity.

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