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Superhero Religions

Postby Omaha Red Sox » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:14 pm

I saw this in Newsweek while at the dentist yesterday and thought it'd be some good GT discussion material.

Super Religious: Some say Superman's a Christ figure ... or Jewish

Newsweek
June 19, 2006 issue - Is the Man of Steel a man of faith? The upcoming "Superman" movie has sent fans picking over primary sources. Jews have often claimed the archetypal superhero as their own. Superman sprang from the imaginations of two Jewish cartoonists, and scholars have compared him to golem myth—the supernatural creature who vanquishes the Jews' enemies (early on, Superman battled the Nazis directly). Most fans believe the man from Krypton is a Methodist, an opinion divined from Clark Kent's Midwestern upbringing. But there's another possibility. In the original 1978 movie and the new one, the superhero's father tells him: "They can be a great people ... They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all—their capacity for good—I've sent them you, my only son." Yes, Superman is a Christ figure. "A heavenly father sends his only son to save the Earth; in his mission or ministry, he will fight for truth and justice; he will die and be resurrected; he will ascend into heaven, and now is the time of his second coming," says Stephen Skelton, author of a new book "The Gospel According to the World's Greatest Superhero." "This is the story of Superman."

Preston Hunter, founder of Adherents.com, has analyzed dozens of comic-book characters. He says Batman may not be the churchgoing type, but glimpses of the crosses on his parents' gravestones may mean he's a lapsed Roman Catholic or disaffected Episcopalian. The Thing from "The Fantastic Four" is Jewish, a rare instance of a character's faith being discussed openly in the story, but what about the "X-Men" villain Magneto? He spent time in a Nazi concentration camp. Jewish, or maybe Roma (Gypsy). Hunter's site says "X-Men"'s Rogue is Southern Baptist, Cypher from "New Mutants" is a Mormon and Elektra from "Daredevil" is Greek Orthodox. Captain America is a churchgoer, and Spider-Man sometimes addresses God in spontaneous prayer. Who's left for atheists? Mr. Terrific of DC Comics' "Justice Society of America."

—Steven Waldman and Michael Kress


Popular Comic Book Heroes Faith-by-Faith

Given Name Affiliation Faith
Superman Clark Kent /
Kal-El Justice League Methodist / Kryptonian
Wolverine Logan X-Men Former Atheist, Known to Practice Buddhism, Believes in God
Captain America Steve Rogers Avengers Protestant
The Thing Ben Grimm Fantastic Four Jewish
Phoenix Jean Grey X-Men Episcopalian
Batman Bruce Wayne Justice League Episcopalian / Catholic (Lapsed)
Shadowcat Kitty Pryde X-Men Jewish
Wonder Woman Diana of Themyscira Justice League Greco-Roman Classical Religion
Spider-Man Peter Parker Avengers Protestant
Nightcrawler Kurt Wagner X-Men Catholic

Content courtesy of Adherents.com


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Postby acsguitar » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:16 pm

hahah I wonder if any of them are Pastafarians
I'm too lazy to make a sig at the moment
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Postby Coppermine » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:19 pm

Interesting article Omaha! I'm just not sure how to respond to it. For instance, I always considered X-Men simply an allusion to the Civil Rights Movement; or that Batman was just a dude in a bat costume who kicked ass (and Christian Bale proved that point). I can see the whole "Sent my son to earth" thing as being a representation of Christ but that seems to be where the similarities end.

Interesting nonetheless. I wish I could have gone to The Thing's Bar Mitzfah.
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Postby Dan Lambskin » Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:29 pm

acsguitar wrote:hahah I wonder if any of them are Pastafarians


nice. it's all about the FSM
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Postby bigh0rt » Fri Jun 23, 2006 1:36 pm

Interesting.
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Postby josebach » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:10 pm

Know how I know he's not Jesus? He's not black. ;-)


Actually, it's human nature to think others are like you and to look for meaning when there's none to be found.
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Postby acsguitar » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:21 pm

josebach wrote:Know how I know he's not Jesus? He's not black. ;-)


Actually, it's human nature to think others are like you and to look for meaning when there's none to be found.
adrian beltre dat.


I like how jesus is portrayed as the whitest looking person ever in all of his pictures/statues
I'm too lazy to make a sig at the moment
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Postby josebach » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:33 pm

acsguitar wrote:
josebach wrote:Know how I know he's not Jesus? He's not black. ;-)


Actually, it's human nature to think others are like you and to look for meaning when there's none to be found.
adrian beltre dat.


I like how jesus is portrayed as the whitest looking person ever in all of his pictures/statues


Actually, I was joking about him being black. He wasn't white either. Jesus probably looked very similar to the Jewish people of today.

wikipedia wrote:The current dominant opinion among secular historians and scientists is that he was most likely a bronze-skinned man, resembling modern-day persons of Middle Eastern descent

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_of_Jesus

My point was that it's human nature for people to want postitive figures like Jesus and Superman to share the same attributes as they do. Sometimes, they'll even project something that doesn't exist. (ie, seeing Superman as a Christ figure or seeing the Virgin Mary in a grilled cheese sandwich)
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