Caped Crusaders

Whether they like it or not, fundamentalism does change. The changes, however, happen slowly and quietly all while fundamentalists insist that nothing is changing and that they’ve always done/said/believed/smoked this.

In my corner of fundyland, comic books were eyed with deep suspicion of being a gateway to the occult, pornography, and Communism. You might think I’m kidding about that last one but I’m dead serious. But apparently, this prohibition on the costumed heroes has been abandoned in some fundamentalist camps as evidenced by the Shawnee Baptist Youth Conference website where the speakers are portrayed at least in superhero costume masks if not (thankfully) in tights.

Of course, other fundamentalists like David Cloud aren’t happy about this. Then again, when is David Cloud ever happy? I think the last recorded time was one brief moment in 1984…

78 thoughts on “Caped Crusaders”

    1. Each of you can claim your First First, Fifth at either Lounge on the “Black Pearl of great price Before Swine” over on the forum at any time. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

  1. I always thought it funny when fundies declared things such as comic books and rock music as tools used by the communists in an attempt to seduce the young to their evil ways. The music industry (and the comic industry) are among some of the most capitalistic things out there. πŸ˜†

    And I admit to reading my brother’s copies of Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos. Hey…I liked reading about WWII. :mrgreen:

  2. From the posted flyer or whatever, fundies would have have a lot more credibility if they included caring about the abused & desperate people around them in their “battle against evil” instead of just bashing non-kjv versions of the Bible.

  3. I’m not a huge comic book junkie but I’m offended that they ripped off the Marvel style and then used the Daily Planet paper which is from Superman, a D.C. character. 😯

    BTW, Stan Lee is the man! He came up with some of the best superheroes.

    1. Naysayer David Cloud also misses the Marvel/DC distinction. “The photos of the six visiting preachers are graphically altered to make them look like Marvel superheros.” From those photos, it looks like the preachers are “graphically altered” to be the Green Lantern (DC), Thor (Marvel), Batman (DC, and how!), Robin (DC), Robin from one of the Joel Schumacher movies (DC), and Captain America (Marvel).

      And he misspelled “superheroes.”

      1. I thought the first guy was supposed to be the Green Hornet. I was a little suprised thinking they are supposed to try to be a little relavant but obviously hadn’t seen the movies. I couldn’t get through that movie it was so bad and so full of swearing.

        Overall, I’m impressed with their graphics and cleverness.

    2. Speaking of the Green Lantern, was the movie any good? I haven’t had a chance to go see it but have also heard that it sucked. Definitely want to go see Captain America this weekend. Cowboys & Aliens looked like an interesting concept as well.

      1. That last comment was supposed to go here. We took our 4 and 7 year olds to the midnight premiere…they ended up terrified ( my 7 year old is autistic so it was mostly the noise that got to him because of his super sensitive hearing) of Parallax. My hubby and loved it!

      2. I went to see it with my friend, who is a huge comic book fan and was visiting for the weekend. I personally disliked it, but superheroes just aren’t my thing. My friend seemed to enjoy it.

  4. I love the part at the end of the articles, where he says, “Are you SURE you’re born again? Are you living for Christ each day??????” (not the exact quotation)
    It was a reminder of how fundies really mess up your mind when you grow up in this stuff. And of course before those comments, you get to read five or ten new things you must avoid or worry about-avoid camps trying to make things fun for their campers, avoid certain Christian bookstores, avoid certain books, certain preachers, etc., forever.

    I betcha there are Christian women in these fundie circles that feel they can’t keep it all up much longer.

    1. @Lynn

      I’m with you on being tired of hearing the whole “Are you sure you’re saved?” scare tactic. The pastor at the church that I used to be a member of finished his sermon with that every single week. “Do you know that you know that you know if you died right now you’d go to Heaven.” After a while, it’ll make the most certain person begin to doubt!

    2. Yay for the Great Retreader from Resaka (Sammy Allen) and all his ilk. πŸ˜₯ A friend of my pastor had one of them preach at his church, and then had to undo the damage for three years afterwards, because many of church elders/leaders got convinced they had been serving the Lord as lost people until that point.

  5. Yeah, the Communism thingy is directly attributable to Jack Chick. One of his tracts or maybe it was in the Crusaders series, he had a page of pannels showing the Communists were using Comic books in order to get their message out to the next generation. By using comics they could introduce their ideology through the use vehicle of super heroes and fantasy.
    (I may get flamed for saying this) I believe there is a degree of truth to that claim. I believe that propaganda is made more palatible when placed in the context of fantasy and alternate reality. Jack must have agreed since he used the comic book medium to get out his message. Home many of us former fundies still have this vision or idea that when we stand at the judgment there will be a giant HiDef screen TV playing back what we have done or at least showing what the current contestant on “This Was YOur Life” did. (I wonder if we can get popcorn? and will it be in 3-D?) 😯 πŸ˜‰

        1. Lets call them allies against evil. I’m sure Jack’s tracts played well in the households of the Birchers.

        2. I can attest to that. My mom was an active member of the John Birch Society and we had BOXES and BOXES of the Chick Tracts around our house when I was growing up. (I would bet money she still has most of them… I didn’t see her handing them out as faithfully as she ought to have been)

        3. @sims
          You need to seriously take a look and see if she does and if she does see if you can have them. Chick Tracts are highly collectable. Especially the ones that are out of print and the ones that are dated based on content. The ones with the ecology movement from the 70’s are prized collector editions. Serious money is ofered for some of those oldies. I am not joking about that.

    1. If you have read Jack Chick’s Crusader Comics it will be obvious that the Roman Catholic Vatican is behind Islam, Communism and everything else that has happened in the world, including the American Civil War and twol World Wars. So ,,, BOO !

  6. Also Batman is DC as well. Stan Lee did come up with awesome characters, but I really prefer DC’s stories to Marvel’s, but when it comes to Marvel I don’t have to be quite as careful when it comes to letting my 7 year old look at them like I do DC. Geez, I’ll never forget the time I pulled out a Batman comic and showed it to my son before I looked at it first to find out from his scared expression that the front cover showed the Joker on his knees about to be beheaded. 😯

  7. At least they are paying lipservice to the Holy Spirit in fighting evil.

    Never was a comic book person, but yeah, they won’t have any superhero women in this Youth Conference.

    1. They could have “Culotte Girl” and her skill could be “Makin’ Sammiches” for the future M-O-g’s there. When the special phone rings she puts on her “Helpmeat Ring” to get the power to SERVE!!!

  8. Aren’t the characters they ripped off copyrighted?

    Why are fundies ok with breaking laws in that way?

    I wonder how far they’ll run with the gag at the convention?

    I’m all for making things for kids fun, but not when it’s just a way to lure kids into sitting through a bunch of propoganda. Can you imagine sitting through all that preaching? blech

    1. One of my good memories at a FBC Youth Conference was a skit they did featuring a bumbling ‘superhero’ named Oops-man (or something like that). He was the only hero left to stop the bad guy after he had minaturized all the other superheroes like Superchristian, Captian Bible, Moses & The Ten Commandos (loved the pun). During the course of the skit he accidentally knocked over one of the jars containing a miniaturized hero (presumably killing him) followed by his “Oops” catch-phrase.

  9. Truth, justice, and the American way! All of these comic superheroes come from the same era that fundies still perceive as the Golden Era so why wouldn’t they love superheroes?

  10. I attended this church for a while. It was there that I learned that it was a sin for men to wear denim and that 150 bus kids could be saved in one service by repeating the magic words after seeing a ridiculous batman skit.

  11. I just HAVE to jump in here and say that this past weekend my son was a volunteer on the staff at Comic Con. I would a thousand times want him there than at this little fundy shin-dig (Even with all the scantily clad female characters roaming around)

  12. Darrell what was that one fundy school you wrote about earlier this year that banned any student from having a facebook or social networking account? I guess they wouldn’t approve of this camp.

      1. Ah yes, i remember that post too. Winona Lake, IN. It’s one of those places that isn’t on the way to anywhere, and no local industry to speak of.

  13. I’m not sure I want to know who the “heathen” are that should marvel. πŸ™„

    Why is it that events aimed at youth like this are often concerned with being like superheroes, or soldiers, or such like? I know the Bible mentions uses the imagery of putting on armor, or being zealous in one’s cause, but I’m starting think that entire conferences themed around things like that put the focus too much on our efforts for God, rather than what He’s done for us through Christ.

    I can give an example, actually; I attended a midweek service at that church during the camp week it runs a few years ago, and for the invitation the preacher took a white towel, laid it on the altar, and said that anyone that was serious about surrendering their lives to Jesus should come down and touch it. (I lacked the guts to go up in front of anyone, since I’ve always been introverted, and so declined. 😳 )

    It was probably Reno Likins, come to think of it. For what it’s worth, he seemed like an alright guy in regards to relating to teenagers in a non-condescending manner. I just probably wouldn’t agree with him on everything theologically speaking.

  14. Quote: “Whether they like it or not, fundamentalism does change. The changes, however, happen slowly and quietly all while fundamentalists insist that nothing is changing and that they’ve always done/said/believed/smoked this.”

    This is so true and one of the major reasons I had to leave Fundy land. I couldn’t take the cognitive dissonance. When you would hear, “old time religion.” or “Things never change” or even “God never changes.” There would be this ringing in my ears. I couldn’t shake it. And eventually it was either leave or go nuts.

  15. When I was a fundie, 25 years ago, homeopathy and other alternative treatments were seen as Satanic gateways. Now they have somehow morphed (among the same people) into total acceptability.

        1. I have never, ever hosted a candle, kitchen, stamping, or other kind of selling party. I just couldn’t put that kind of pressure on the ladies in our church, making them possibly feel as if they HAD to buy something to help me, their pastor’s wife. Just couldn’t ever do it.

        2. PW you are one of the most gracious, thoughtful and caring folks it has been my priviledge to know. I did not mean to implicate you in my hyperbole. I was slinging a wide brush and slopping fundie paint all over the place. I apologize if I slung any on you. 😳 (still friends? πŸ˜‰ )

        3. Thanks, Don! I didn’t mean to make you feel you might have to censor your feelings!!! Sling away! πŸ™‚ I don’t want to be the type of person that’s so defensive that anytime something negative is said about someone in a category I’m in (pastor’s wife, former fundy, BJU grad, mother, etc.), that I always have to say, “NOT ME!!! I DON’T DO THAT!”

          I thought it was funny that you’d mentioned that instance though because through the years I’ve been to many such parties and been pressured to host my own and I always refuse because I could see the very scenario you suggest: women feeling obligated to buy because I’m the pastor’s wife. Not a good thing.

          Please feel free to express your annoyance at abuses you’ve seen in the IFB without having to justify yourself to me! You’re a great guy, Don, and I won’t take anything as a personal attack against me unless you specifically call ME out! :mrgreen:

        4. PW I’m calling you OUT!….

          ..for being a great friend and a most gracious member of our online family here at SFL.

          “can I get an amen?”

          (sorry it’s hard not to do that after a week of hearing it. Amen?)

          see?

    1. Score! You are so right! It’s all part of “the world is bad” mentality. Vitamins, Medulas, Midwives, Homeopathy and Ezekial Bread. It’s got to be good because it’s back to nature and God gave us nature right? We don’t need a man with a degree to tell us what is wrong with our body.

    2. I can’t tell you how many fundy evangelicals I know that will complain about how regular doctors, who are beholden to “Big Pharma,” just want to hook you on medications for life, but then think nothing of going to their chiropractor to get massaged β€” I mean, adjusted β€” every other week for life.

      Of course, my pastor father in-law gets free care at his chiropractor, but he never seems to wonder why. Could it be that the chiropractor knows if he gives free care to a pastor, that the pastor will convince at least three or four of his flock to go to the chiropractor to get massaged β€” sorry, adjusted β€” every other week? Nah, I’m sure that no chiropractor would have any kind of financial motivation like that. πŸ™„

      One of my sisters in-law was once talking about how she only took “natural” cures for her ailments (in the form of over-the-counter supplements). I replied to her that mushrooms are perfectly natural, so if I went out and picked a bunch from the woods at random, that she would have no problem eating them, right? 😈 She didn’t have any kind of meaningful reply to that.

  16. I get stories of the time one of our deacons (an ex-Methodist) dressed up in a Superman costume to do a children’s talk one Sunday morning. He apparently stunned everyone by doing so, though thankfully he didn’t wear the tights.

  17. My youth group went to this YC in the early 90’s. They have always played on the superhero idea. They have done “Batsaint” skits for as long as I can remember. I wish I had the videos from the skits to give to Darrell, unfortunately my brother has them.

  18. Re: comics being viewed with suspicion.

    I’ve gotten around that one simply by waiting until I was old enough to have my own money and my own internet access, and then just ordering them without mentioning anything to my parents. So they can’t really do anything about it, although I know my mother thinks I’m being childish. I don’t care; Batman is awesome.

  19. Speaking of Fundy Superheroes, how could anyone forget that robocop with a paintjob — BIBLEMAN! whose powers were not just memorizing the entire Bible, but also included… well… let’s see… okay he did have a cool sword.
    All together now:
    Bibleman, Bibleman,
    Does whatever the Bible can… πŸ˜†

  20. Fundy Superhero?
    Is it scriptural to wear your underpants outside your trousers?
    Is it unscriptural for a man to wear tights?
    The mind boggles at the thought of David Grice in tights…. WONDER WHALE ! The Biggest Superhero of them all!

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