Is Superman a Christian?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ben W, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    I found this article looking at the faith of Superhero's and figured that it may well be good for a discussion!

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    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

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13249146/site/newsweek/
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    Superman is a work of fiction. Who cares what religion he is?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. James_Newman

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    Who would win in a fight between him and Mighty Mouse?
     
  4. JackRUS

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    Jesus has no kryptonite problem.
     
  5. lgpruitt

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    Now that is funny! Good one James!:laugh:

     
  6. Brother Bob

    Brother Bob
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    The news program yesterday or day before said he was SuperGay!
     
  7. Friend of God

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    I always thought Superman was Baptist.

    Don't all Baptists stand for Truth, Justice, and the American way?:thumbs:
     
  8. Karen

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    In one sense, you are right. But Ben's article was interesting. Even cartoonists have a world view implicit or explicit in their work. Interesting analyzing it a little bit.

    Karen
     
  9. Magnetic Poles

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    Yes, a silly discussion, but I recall in the comic books, Superman often invoked the name of a Kryptonian deity named Rao. I don't think the religion was ever expounded upon. Also, Krypton was said to have been ruled by a "Science Council", one of the members being Kal-El's (Superman's) father, Jor-El. This would lead one to believe that perhaps Krypton's population was more naturalist. Of course, Joe Siegel and Jerome Shuster who created Superman, were two Jewish kids.
     
    #9 Magnetic Poles, Jun 24, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2006
  10. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    I love Mighty Mouse-------------
    "Here I come to save the day!!!!!!"
    I believe the mouse can take the man.:laugh: :smilewinkgrin: :tongue3:

    Bro Tony
     
  11. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
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    The best thing about Mighty Mouse was he could use the streaks from his cape to tie up the evildoers.
     
  12. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    Yeah, how did he do that? LOL

    Bro Tony

    Hey I wonder if we could make this thread into a seminary course?
     
  13. Ransom

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    Magnetic Poles said:

    Yes, a silly discussion, but I recall in the comic books, Superman often invoked the name of a Kryptonian deity named Rao. I don't think the religion was ever expounded upon.

    I think that particular plot point was experimented with for a few years, but abandoned sometime in the early 1980s. The conventional assumption is that Clark Kent was raised by Midwestern Protestants, and that is where he got his morality from. (Remember the scene in the 1978 movie when Ma and Pa Kent discover the baby Kal-El in the field? Look at the way they are dressed - they're on their way home from church. And Martha Kent thanks "the good Lord" for bringing them a child.)

    On occasion Superman has sought spiritual advice from clergy of other traditions, however. I suspect that the ambiguity about what his religion actually is (assuming he has one) is partly due to the variety of writers who have penned storylines for the comic. (That would not be unique to Superman, of course.)

    Also, Krypton was said to have been ruled by a "Science Council", one of the members being Kal-El's (Superman's) father, Jor-El. This would lead one to believe that perhaps Krypton's population was more naturalist.

    Or the Kryptonian technocracy could simply be a variation on Plato's government by "philosopher kings" - the idea that rulers should be the ones who are wisest. Mind you, a lot of scientists are rather naïve. Then again, so are a lot of professional philosophers . . .

    Of course, Joe Siegel and Jerome Shuster who created Superman, were two Jewish kids.

    I have read some articles that suggest that Superman is an allegory for how Jewish people feel about living in a Western Christian society. The gist of the argument is that just as Superman, an alien, is assimilated into midwestern Christian society, American Jews are being assimilated into a foreign way of life. I don't know whether there's anything to that, or if it's just more post hoc, postmodern noodling.

    By the way, there's nothing "silly" about this line of discussion. Look at the amount of verbiage that has been spent talking about Harry Potter. Why is the religion of the fictional Superman a less worthy topic than the morality of a fictional teenage wizard?
     
  14. Magnetic Poles

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    Good points. Of course, Krypton's Science Council was naive as well, ignoring the warnings of the impeding demise of their planet and the evidence presented by Jor-El.

    I think the 1978 film really played up the Christ/Kal-El parallels. "They can be a great people, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason, above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you, my only son."

    I also found this link on the subject of Superman's religion:
    http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/Superman.html
     

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