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|15||08/10/10||A Christian's Thoughts on "God Hates Nerds"||(Blog) (Forum)||San Diego Comic-Con||(Back) (Next)|
I've been thinking about this since it hit the web, during San Diego Comic-Con, and it's just bugging me. Before their "God Hates Nerds" protest, out in front of this year's SDCC, I had never heard of Westboro Baptist Church. I had heard something about their "God Hates Fags" protest, but like most news, ignored it. It's not that I bury my head in the sand where news is concerned, I just generally don't like network newscasts. Most newscasters smile a little too hard, try to subtly take over reports from each other, and use insipid, vapid conversation to segue from one segment to the next. I find that most hour newscasts could have been done in thirty minutes or less, and most of them leave me cringing, wishing for the succinct, professional reporting of Walter Cronkite, and his ending of "And that's the way it is. Good night." Speaking of succinct, back to the point.
One website posted a video report on the protest, and humorously interviewed one of the costumed con goers, who was dressed as Jesus. To quote that "Jesus:" "Fred's got issues." While the "God Hates..." posters are certainly attention getting, they are horribly, horribly UN-Christian. First, "God hates" is an oxymoron - the two words should never be used in conjunction like that, except in one sentence: God hates sin. This could be debated ad naseam, as each person's understanding of the Bible is usually varied in some way. Yes, there are verses in the Bible that don't make much sense, seem to contradict other verses, and there's probably a verse in there somewhere that says God hated something. I don't have the answers to all that, but for myself, I chalk those things up to a lack of understanding on my own part, centuries of retranslating of the original languages (and the agendas of men in doing so), and probably a lack of context, from not knowing what ancient cultures were like (I mean me not knowing, not the scholars [although y'never know]). For the sake of moving along, let's just say either you believe or you don't. I do. If you don't, hey, it's your eternity, do what you will with it.
God doesn't hate the nerd (or the "fag," for that matter). He hates sin. So yeah, if you've built a cobwebbed altar to Spider-Man in your armoire, where you light candles and sing the 1960's Spider-Man cartoon theme as a hymn to Peter Parker, that's idolatry. You're in sin, and should probably take a little time to get right with your Creator. Actually, y'know what? You should probably seek help. Psychiatric help. The kind that uses special medications, and straps you to your bedrail for your own protection. Once you're back on an even keel, then you should get right with your Creator.
If, on the other hand, you call yourself a believer, and you enjoy a Spider-Man comic on occasion (or other title[s] of your choice)... read closely... that's okay. Even if it's every month, or gee, every Wednesday. Now, there are verses about your money indicating where your true love lies. One in particular says "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." So, assuming "treasure" is "money" in that verse, if the bulk of your money's going to your comic shop, then your heart might be a little off balance towards the sequential art side, and Christianity is all about the balance. Let's be practical for a minute though...
People have hobbies, and people have jobs, and comics can be either or both for people, and that's fine. It's an artform, not a contribution towards juvenile delinquency. Read your comics, enjoy them, and keep moving. If you find that they give you joy, maybe that's something to thank God for. If they don't give you joy, maybe you should consider not reading them anymore. A comic is like any other form of entertainment - there's good and there's bad out there. If you throw everything out that's got a little bad in it, pretty soon, you won't be involved in anything. That goes for pretty much everything, including religion. If you can pare your life down to the bread and water existence of a monk, and that works for you, great, but that doesn't mean it will work for everybody, and that doesn't mean it is right for everybody. There is no twelve step program to walking with God, but Jesus said there are two things that sum up all of the Law and the Prophets (most of the Old Testament): "Love the Lord your God with all your might," and "love your neighbor as yourself." If you can strive for those two things, you'll be about as Christian as you're ever likely to be. If anyone tells you they've got some answer outside of that, it's either focusing on the details or it's wrong. Those two broad strokes can get you through just about anything though.
In the meantime, be a comic nerd, if that's your thing. Read it, enjoy it, seal it up in plastic and cardboard, blog about it, chat about it, and debate it until your eyes turn red and you've run out of your favorite beverage. God's not going to be angry with you for that, and he surely doesn't hate you for it. Remember: "Fred's got issues," and "Jesus" was on the side of the comic nerds. And that's the way it is. Good night.
8-13-10 EDIT: I have received a couple of comments concerning the veracity of the protest. One comment has stated that the "God Hates Nerds" pic is photoshopped from a previous "God Hates Fags" pic, and that seems to be the case. Another comment asked if I could produce a link from something besides a comic fansite. My first response on a possible rumor is always to go to the source, so I first tried the WBC website, and could find nothing. Half of their links were broken, according to my Internet Explorer, and their pickets schedule starts at the present day and moves forward. I could find no information on past pickets, and could not access the blog link, to see if I could find the quote mentioned in just about every single article on the comic con protest. However...
Here's the Atlantic Wire, talking about the then upcoming protest: Westboro Baptist Church To Protest Comic Con.
Here's an article on sandiego.com, talking about their experience of driving past the protest: Comic Con: The Westboro Baptist Church Gets Out Protested.
Here's examiner.com's article: Comic Con Counter Protest Sends Westboro Baptist Church Running.
You can find a few youtube videos from people that were there also, but they were a little sketchy. So to answer any future questions, as far as I can tell, the protest actually happened, but whether there was actually a "God Hates Nerds" sign is questionable.
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