American Sniper Makes you Proud To Be an American

cI felt proud to be an American after watching American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. It is based on the story of Chris Kyle, an American hero who is regarded as the greatest sniper in American history. He has been credited with 160 confirmed kills of enemy combatants in Iraq (255 if unconfirmed kills are included).

Kyle is played brilliantly by Bradley Cooper, who impressively put on 30 lbs of solid muscle, since Kyle was a buff Navy SEAL (Sea, Air and Land).

The movie focuses on Kyle’s four tours of Iraq, approximately nine months each, that totaled about 1,000 days. It also dramatically shows the toll it took on him and his family, especially on his wife Taya, in between and after his four tours. She had to take care of their two children by herself, while wondering if he would make it home alive during each of his four tours when he was away in Iraq.

The reason I found the movie rather moving is because it dramatically showed Kyle’s conflict between serving the country he loves and being with his wife and two children. After three tours of Iraq, his wife tearfully and earnestly pleaded with him to not go back for another tour, since he has already served his country enough. But Kyle said, “My country still needs me.” His wife said, “But I and our children need you too!” As much as he was torn and wanted to stay with his family, he decided to go back for a fourth tour of nine months.

After his return from his last tour the movie showed him suffering from symptoms of PTSD. When a psychiatrist saw him at the VA, Kyle was asked if he ever had any doubts about killing at least 160 people. Kyle said (seen repeatedly in countless trailers) in one of the most memorable lines of the movie, “I am willing to meet my Creator and answer for every shot that I took.” He said these words not with bold triumphant confidence but with eyes that showed his inner pain and brokenness. He knew that he had to kill them (including a woman and a young boy carrying a bomb), for if he did not, they would have killed countless American troops.

As is well known, after Kyle retired from being a SEAL he decided to help and mentor soldiers who returned from Iraq with PTSD. When he was helping one such traumatized soldier, Kyle and another friend was killed by him. The movie ended with actual footage of his funeral procession as an American hero.

American Sniper is poised to become the top grossing film of 2014. It has broken the box office record for January and it will soon beat out the current top two movies of 2014, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay and Guardians of the Galaxy.

I’ve also read some negative critical comments about the movie, which is to be expected. But as a movie that focused primarily on one person and his family, I thought it was exceptionally well done.

In conclusion, Kyle played a Christ-type figure who gave his life for the country he loved. If you’re seen the movie, do share your thoughts.


  1. So we use false evidence to dupe the international community into allowing us to preemptively invade a country that had not declared war against us, murder their people and call them insurgents (even though they rightfully saw us as insurgents) and a psychopathic sniper is now deemed as a Christ figure for sacrificing himself for his country, which was never attacked by the country that we invaded. Makes perfect sense to me. I haven’t seen it yet (and probably won’t), but judging from the reviews, this movie is one of the most delicious batches of kool-aid made in quite some time.

    • You summarized all the negative critiques and commentaries that I’ve read into 1 succinct comment. I don’t entirely disagree with your comment or the critiques. The movie very likely sanitized Kyle and avoided discussing or addressing the political hot button issues.

      Nonetheless, as a movie primarily about one person and his wife in the context of the Iraq war which they had no control over, it was well done, well directed, well acted, well choreographed, and apparently most military vets who saw the movie felt that it was accurate portrayal of their own war experience and they were encouraged by it.

    • I’m sure that it’s an excellently crafted movie. And I do think that we should show a level of respect and concern for those who have been through something as traumatic as war. On the flip side, just because some who served in the war were encouraged or comforted by it, it does not take away from the fact that it was largely an unlawful endeavor. Because of this war and the continuing revelation of just how unjustified it was, America’s reputation has been further irreparably tarnished in the eyes of the international community.

  2. “…it does not take away from the fact that (the Iraq war) was largely an unlawful endeavor.” – See more at:

    I’m not well versed or well read in politics and quite ignorant on a whole host of subjects. (I just like cats, movies, sports, food, theology, church, and my wife and family!) Clearly in hindsight, going into Iraq was a bad/wrong decision. But at the time, it was the general sentiment to go in (both Democrats and Republicans and the whole country), find the WMDs, take down Saddam, and retaliate for 9/11. So, yes, this movie clearly does not address, not even remotely, any of this.

    This is really just a story of the toll it took on a soldier who wanted to fight for and defend the country he loved, out of a strong sense of patriotism, even if it cost him dearly, which it did.

  3. As an American these wars and the premise of this movie makes me ashamed, no matter how well done. This movie is on my list of “never to watch” movies.

    As a Christ follower I am appalled at spinning a killer into a hero. Snipers are cowards in my book, hiding instead of facing enemies directly.

  4. forestsfailyou

    There is an essay by Cs Lewis called why I am not a Pacifist. Cs Lewis himself was a soldier in WW1. It’s one of his better essays because a reason people were giving at the time against going to war was that you couldn’t devote a lot of time to church if you did that. Just like how some other groups claim you cannot do x,y, or z endeavor because you might miss UBF activities. Anyways he says

    “There is this analogy between the claims of our religion and the claims of the war: neither of them, for most of us, will simply cancel or remove from the slate the merely human life which we were leading before we entered them. But they will operate in this way for different reasons…I believe our cause to be, as human causes go, very righteous, and I therefore believe it to be a duty to participate in this war. And every duty is a religious duty, and our obligation to perform every duty is therefore absolute.”

    He goes on to say that we might have a duty to rescue a person who is drowning, and we might have to die to save him. But “if anyone devoted himself to lifesaving in the sense of giving it his total attention- so that he thought and spoke of nothing else and demanded the cessation of all other human activities…then he would be a monomaniac.”

    He concludes that the soldier is simply rendering to Caesar what is Caesar which all ultimately belong to God.

  5. Snipers are soldiers. Soldiers are given a job. If you’re in the Army, you do your job. Tactically, snipers can do a great deal of work to further an army’s cause. So i think calling sniper’s cowards is mistaking those behind the war with those who are fighting it. My two cents, give it some thought.

    I might see this, I like the way the ending sounds, thinking about what war does to soldiers.

    When we invaded Iraq, mother barry wrote, “I don’t know why our president decided to invade Iraq.” There will never be any justification for the problems since then in Iraq, or the endless cost of the war we waged there.

    The war was ill conceived, culturally mistaken and had unsurprising results to everyone but the US government and media.

    I haven’t seen the movie, and it’s on my redbox list (along with the third movie inspired by the Hobbit aka lord of the rings part 6) but what concerns me is that it seems to stoke a lot of the ignorant pride we had when we went in there with all the “shock and awe.” We owe Iraq a great debt. They might’ve very well had it worse under Saddam, but no one should ever think they can make such a decision as we did.

    And recent interviews with Bush and Cheney show no regret or repentance . . .

    Anyhow, off my soap box.

    • I like your soap box! For the record I’m not for war or for invading Iraq or for shooting anyone. My movie review is simply as a movie fan, who loves heroes, patriotism, good drama/action movies, Clint Eastwood, and Bradley Cooper’s excellent portrayal of a torn conflicted man who is the best at his craft (as a sniper) and suffering from PTSD as a result.

    • Mark Mederich

      i’m starting to feel a little ptbd (post traumatic blog disorder:)

  6. I hope this is not going to offend any Patriot’s fans, or minimize this Sunday’s Superbowl experience, but the Patriots loved this movie:

    Notable quote: “Any time you get to watch those Navy Seals, people that serve our country, and you see it in depth and you see what those guys go through, it puts life in a perspective that we’re just playing a game. You have nothing but the utmost respect for those people.”

    • forestsfailyou

      This is America. Nothing can minimize our Super Sunday Experience. Not liking football doesn’t even minimizes that.

    • Joe Schafer

      We must fight and defeat Superbowl Satan!

      Sorry, that was a flashback to Chicago UBF in the 1980s. Many of the younger people in UBF don’t know this. Each year SL used to schedule special meetings, concerts, etc. to intentionally prevent UBF members from watching the Superbowl. He also pushed fellowship leaders to bring people to worship service “by any means” so that SWS attendance wouldn’t go down. That was back in the day when the UBF Sunday worship service was at 5pm (then moved to 3pm). Anything that kept people from wanting to come to the UBF worship service was considered to be the work of Satan. Anything in the American culture or family life that conflicted with UBF ministry activities was demonized. That is not an exaggeration. Samuel Lee intentionally ran his ministry to create conflicts like this, so that members would be forced to diss their friends and families and culture to put UBF first. Every year, during Superbowl season, I remember this talk about “Superbowl Satan” and cringe to think that I once took part in that foolishness, even though at some level I never fully bought into it.

    • Mark Mederich

      maybe SL was right:)
      go patriots, ya gotta win with those deflated footballs in yer fava!

  7. This heart felt 15 min speech by Kyle’s widow, Taya, is a moving eulogy to her deceased husband:

  8. Yea I can see that my calling snipers as cowards is too strong, I apologize.

  9. Well, Michael Moore publicly posted/tweeted that snipers are cowards. After getting blasted, he said he liked the movie, especially Bradley Cooper’s performance, which I think is the primary reason to see the movie.

    Kyle’s widow’s moving speech ( also explains her husband’s utmost desire and intent to protect the lives of his fellow soldiers, many of whom have thanked him profusely for saving their lives.

    Finally, I have one person who shares my sentiment about the movie! She posted it on Facebook:

    “Ben, that was a well written review! I echo all the sentiments. I have heard that the character that Bradley Cooper portrayed wasn’t 100% true. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, regardless of the fact of whether we should have gone to Iraq. Matthew’s defense of snipers was right on the mark and I was shocked to read that others believe that snipers are cowards. Why don’t you try going in their place?”

  10. “Each year SL used to schedule special meetings, concerts, etc. to intentionally prevent UBF members from watching the Superbowl.” – See more at:

    Yeah, I remember that and willingly participated in it myself. Fortunately (for me at least), in those days I wasn’t that interested in football or the Superbowl, since it was regarded as a “sin” to indulge in such “worldly activities,” for which God will surely punish you for. :-)

    Yes, Lee was a man of his times. I think UBF leaders love to say that, and to some degree I agree with it. His influence and what he did was on a fairly large scale, compared to most people.

    Though there was some/much good in what he did (proclaim Christ and the gospel and emphasizing mission), yet his overall lasting influence after his death is not that good, I don’t believe. There is much pathology and unhealthy practices and attitudes that are still widespread and prevalent that I believe can be traced back to his influence, quirks, sentiments, attitudes and practices.

    The sad and tragic thing is not that such things happened, since we’re all sinners and all sinners sin, including top leaders.

    But the really sad and tragic thing is that it still can’t be seriously and consistently addressed with most/many older leaders, who believe that the past is the past and should either be ignored or buried.

  11. Mark Mederich

    feel like watchin the snipa..