A Beautiful Analogy

A beautiful analogy based on a commentary by Elizabeth A. Mitchell.

In the 1952 classic Western High Noon, Will Kane, the marshal of Hadleyville, has a choice to make. The rule of law has unraveled, and Kane knows what he is up against. Outlaw Frank Miller and his gang are arriving on the noon train.”

Comment. Frank Miller is, along with his associates in crime, seeking revenge against a righteous man. Evil’s attack is anticipated and imminent.

Kane, therefore, visits the upstanding men of the town, asking them, one by one, to stand with him to defend their town. But no one will stand with Kane. They walk away and leave him, either through fear or the futile hope of keeping the peace, or out of allegiance to Frank himself.

Comment. The righteous man encounters varied vices: cowardice, fear, selfishness, bias, and duplicity. Moreover, he encounters silence—complicity with whatever the outcome may be, a lack of integrity, an acquiescence to evil and destruction. Will Kane discovers he has no friends in the face of evil.

When High Noon strikes, Marshal Will Kane faces the Miller gang alone.

Comment. Think of “the trial” of our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

In the Church today the Rule of Faith, together with the Rule of Law, the unchanging Tradition handed down from the Apostles, which is the guardian of the Truths of our Faith, has begun to unravel.

Comment. “Has begun to unravel” or, perhaps more appropriately, has unraveled. With the acceptance of schismatics into an element of Orthodox Christianity, “the unchanging Tradition handed down from the Apostles” has been compromised. The apostolic priesthood no longer exists in the new Hadleyville. And those who serve in person or spiritually with the schismatics have brought on the new “High Noon for the universal Church. High Noon is an appointed time. It is an appointed place. When High Noon strikes it is not an accident, or an unfortunate misunderstanding. It is a well-anticipated event.”

The law, in its essence, demands the light of High Noon. The light disposes us to dispel the darkness and fear, and to call upon the help of God in our daily battle “against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light.” (Prov. 6:23)

There is something simple and uncomplicated about High Noon. The marshal is compelled to step into the street. His duty and his office compel him. He has, as it were, no choice. High Noon is High Noon because the marshal shows up.

The showdown takes place in broad daylight, in the middle of the street, in full view of the entire town. But where are the good townspeople? Is the town deserted and abandoned as the marshal steps into the street? No. The entire town is watching the showdown. They are watching from behind their drawn parlor curtains. They watch and they wait.

High Noon demands men “with direct eyes” (in the words of T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men) – clear-eyed individuals who know God and His unchanging Truth, who speak and act with clarity, men who step forth boldly in their duty. The marshal’s “direct eyes” do not flinch. He answers the call of High Noon.

Comment. Read again. High Noon demands men “with direct eyes” (in the words of T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men) – clear-eyed individuals who know God and His unchanging Truth, who speak and act with clarity, men who step forth boldly in their duty.

The above is a meditation worthy of contemplation. Yes, the analogy is of a film, perhaps my favorite since my childhood to this day—but it is also about reality, my reality, and your reality.

Watch the movie and discern your character in the film.