Edwin and I both love Robin Hood as a character, and as a story. The BBC has an hour-long show, also called Robin Hood, that we love. We've watched it on dvd via NetFlix. It's clever, dramatic, and humorous. And clean, too. We love cheering for the so very cool Robin of Loxley as he battles the Sheriff (who is the main bad guy on the show, as opposed to Prince John). In fact, I've been checking the BBC website on an almost daily basis to see when the season premier will occur, and if it will be on the net.
But, are Robin Hood's actions justified? Edwin, who is normally an idealist all the way, asserted that it was necessary to steal in order to survive in a country with such a corrupt government. I disagreed, citing such verses Matthew 22:21 ("Give to Caesar what is Caesar's") and Romans 13:1-2 ("All authority comes from God"). Edwin relented. By way of reminder, these verses were written during a time when a very, very corrupt government was in place. (They were brutally killing Christians at the time.) No wiggle room there. So Robin Hood is a sinner.
(Edit: "Mama of the Peas" makes a good point in regard to the situation of sinner-heroes (see comments). This is not to say that there are any heroes who are free from sin, except Jesus Christ. Any movie or television hero is also a sinner. The specific problem here is that the act of heroism in itself is a sin.)
The fact is, we love cheering for a bad guy. If we didn't, Ocean's 11 (12 and 13, too) wouldn't have done very well. I love it too. I love it when a move or show is able to make me feel justified in cheering for the semi-bad guy to conquer. They're sneaky in how they do it, too. The way to make someone feel that the sin is completely acceptable is to make the person who would normally be the good guy into the worse guy. Robin Hood may be wrong, but Prince John is wronger. (I know that's incorrect; I'm going for drama here, people.) It's a winning formula.
I'm not preaching against Robin Hood, or Ocean and his co-conspirators. It's more important that we prevent this idea that the ends justify the means from seeping into our way of thinking. I'm going to keep on cheering for the sinner-hero, but I'm going to be aware that that is what he is. Spin on, Robin. Spin on!