superheros

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Scott

Puritan Board Graduate
What are people's thoughts about letting kids et involvedi n the superhero (eg. batman, Spiderman) genre, such as wathing cartoons, reading comics, etc.?

Some possible issues:
[1] Superheroes tend to be vigilantes. They are often not authorized by the government to fight crime.
[2] Superheor universes are are not Christian. They have non-Christian gods, non-Christian origins, etc.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Comics aren't for children. There is WAY too much garbage in them, even remembering how "tame" they were 15-20 years ago.

The comic world in general, and superheroes, are usually, even at the very base level, the idea that "I" can make a difference (but without God or Jesus Christ).

Can moral stories be morally helpful?

Well, can moral stories really be moral without the King of morality?

I would personally not allow my children (if I had some) to watch superhero movies or read comics.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Ryan,

You're a nut. :lol:

You should become a humorist and sell books.

I don't have a problem with letting my kid watch superhero cartoons. By the same logic some have used, you could condemn any extra-Biblical fiction as corrupting.

My four year old boy James will put on his Batman, Spiderman, or Superman costume and will hug his sister Anna (2) and say: "Anna, I'm going to protect you", which she allows and enjoys.

I bought the old Hall of Justice cartoons that were new when I was about 8 in 1976. He loves those. He also likes the original Batman cartoons. I think the best Pixar movie made yet is The Incredibles.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Well I was going to try to market the concept of "Habanero Man" to DC comics. Half man, half hot pepper: his DNA was altered when he consumed a radioactive habanero....

I think the Superheroes are part of the fullness of the earth that is the Lord's. Certainly there are the same things to be watched out for there as everywhere else-- immodesty, sinful lifestyles, etc. But they exist because we know we need a hero. and even more significantly, because we have one.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Originally posted by a mere housewife
Well I was going to try to market the concept of \"Habanero Man\" to DC comics. Half man, half hot pepper: his DNA was altered when he consumed a radioactive habanero....
:lol:
Does he have powers like "The Spleen" from Mystery Men?
 

Larry Hughes

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm with Rich on this one. Plus, its always a teaching opportunity. You have to of course play to their ages. I think it was J.R.R. Tolkein to CS Lewis speaking of exercising fantasy writing and other worlds scenarios in general who said, "What do you call those people who won't let you get out...oh yes, jailors".
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by weinhold
Here is an interesting article about the Superman mythology and the recent Superman film:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/5223302.stm
See this also thread.

I agree with Rich, Heidi and Larry. I think heroes and superheroes and even "Messianic" characters in movies, comics and literature are worth reading, studying, critiquing and enjoying. Homo sum humani a mi nihil alienum puto (I am a human being; nothing human is strange to me)," Terence, Heautontimoroumenos.

Like all things in life, they require discernment. As a parent, I would not let my children read comics unsupervised or unguided just like they would not watch TV or read the newspaper unsupervised or unguided. But one of the goals of educating my children according to Biblical principles is that they will be able to interact with the world, and be equipped to appreciate and redeem that which is good and noble in the arts and critique or reject the rest. My parental goal is not to exclude from their experience any non-Christian character in the dramatic or literary arts, or history for that matter, but to enable them to view such characters and persons from a Biblical perspective and within a godly context.

In so doing, I make distinctions between the kinds of characters that exist and the context in which they appear, not to mention the age and abilities of my children. Captain America is one kind of superhero; the Punisher is another. When it is said that Superman fights for "truth, justice and the American way," that is a perfect opportunity to talk to my children about what is meant by "the American way."

It is a good thing to root for the "good guys" even when their cause is not explicitly Christian, if one understands that distinction. America is not a Christian nation, yet as a Christian I am patriotic and support America when she is in the right. (Christian Patriotism subordinates one's earthly citizenship to the duties, goals, and privileges of one's heavenly citizenship.) Thomas M'Crie the Elder wasn't just a fan of the Scottish Covenanters. He was a passionate advocate of Greek independence, which was not a distinctly Christian cause, but it was a good and noble cause.

It is right to appreciate the nobility of man and other Biblical values and virtues, even if the context is not distinctly Christian. In the arts, heroes are good. Heroes have their flaws, and some are really anti-heroes, but these truths can be discerned without throwing the baby out with the bathwater, in my opinion. :2cents:

[Edited on 8-15-2006 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Good post Andrew.

Andrew forgot to mention that he is a poser. A spy on Reformed boards.

I merely had to mention The Spleen and he would have known it was Paul Ruben and the movie I was referring to.

Why?

He's a poser.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
I'd forgotten that Andrew was a spy. Thanks for helping me get my guard back up, Rich.
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
Have any of you heard of "BIBLEMAN"?

When my son was 5 and 6 he really loved those videos...

Even today he likes the thought of putting on the "WHOLE Armour of God" as Bible Man promotes. (he's 11)


http://www.bibleman.com/

[Edited on 8-15-2006 by BJClark]
 

ChristopherPaul

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by BJClark
Have any of you heard of "BIBLEMAN"?

When my son was 5 and 6 he really loved those videos...

Even today he likes the thought of putting on the "WHOLE Armour of God" as Bible Man promotes. (he's 11)


http://www.bibleman.com/

[Edited on 8-15-2006 by BJClark]
Bibleman is the most ridiculous thing I have seen. The show is an embarrassment.

[size=-3]my son LOVES Bibleman[/size]

:)
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Just in case we are not talking about the same things....


In the comic series "Web of Spiderman" MJ (married to Peter at this point) takes off her shirt and bra and asks Peter if he'd like to take a few photos for a private collection.

Sable (Xmen) Luke Cage, Iron Fist, all have filthy mouths.

Punisher....well, need I comment on the blood bath and language?

Wolverine's series? Terribly vicious.

All thorugh the Marvel universe you have women wearing pieces of cloth that are barely enough to cover thier graphically drawn figures.

In the 80's movie, Superman II, Lois sleeps with Clark out of wedlock. (See Superman's bastard son in Superman Returns).

Iron Man's alter ego is a raging drunk.

Shall we comment on Storm's skin tight outfits, and the nude Mystique in Xmen?

In the Dark Horse series, do we need to go there? Sex, murder, nudity, swearing, etc.

Batman's dark night series, even the movie, definitely too intense for children.

The list could be quite extensive after spending five minutes in a comic book shop.

You guys really don't want your children seeing this stuff eh?

4 year olds?
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
I agree with Matt here. I used to read them in late 1980s and very early 1990s, and even then, some of them were sorta over-the-top in violence and innuendo back at that time.

Perhaps you guys could draw a line, as they do have some comics still styled after the really old ones with some of the long-standing heroes.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The Judges were flawed superheros; but what good they did accomplish is attributed to the Spirit of God. I would be wary of glorying in independent human virtues.

The Messiah is the Anointed of God. Only those anointed of God served as types of Him; and now that He has come in the flesh any that come after Him are simply false.

Augustine's City of God shows the antithetical nature of Christian and Roman values. Christians should not train their children to think in terms of the Roman mindset.

Dr. McMahon's comments on immorality should be seriously considered by all Christian parents, and especially by those who have brought their children to baptism, and engaged them to be the Lord's.
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
Rev. Winzer thank you for your comments. They hit hard. How easy it is for us to fall prey to our culture. We are so immersed in it that it's like we are covered in mud when God intervenes and it takes years and years of sanctification to slowly slough it all off. Hero's are for those who have none. We have the best one of all. How hard it is to live in America. It's a blessing in many ways but it makes us idle because things are so easy here. There is so much distraction. Idle minds are the Devil's playground.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
Matthew, the comments in your one post that reveal a far more detailed knowledge of the comic world than I possess are logically a distinct issue from the idea of heroes. The immorality, violence, language, etc., etc., are separate issues from whether it is legitimate to follow the adventures of some person engaged in epic struggles.
The issue doesn't really change whether you go from something like the Bourne movies, to Smallville (I exlcude sports movies because I hate them so much).
And for Mr. Winzer, I would suggest that if we are to have any fiction at all (a thing the Apostle Paul did not object to, as I don't think we could call Menander a historiographer) there will be Christian themes --that is also logically different than being a type of Christ. Is it not the case that types must be divinely authorized? And yet is it not also the case, that we will see people, non-Christians, in fact and in fiction, laying down their lives for their friends?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Originally posted by py3ak
And for Mr. Winzer, I would suggest that if we are to have any fiction at all (a thing the Apostle Paul did not object to, as I don't think we could call Menander a historiographer) there will be Christian themes --that is also logically different than being a type of Christ. Is it not the case that types must be divinely authorized? And yet is it not also the case, that we will see people, non-Christians, in fact and in fiction, laying down their lives for their friends?
I have no difficulty with fiction per se; my problem is with the breaking down of the secular/sacred distinction and secularising sacred concepts. Fiction can serve the same good purpose as philiosophy, elucidating the human condition. Regrettably, though, many writers of fiction have learned to use their art to gain sympathy for the sinful aspects of the human condition. But more regrettable is the fact that many Christians do not pick up on the way these fictional works play upon their sympathies to shape their worldview.

Yes, types must be divinely authorised. This is the point. Our modern Christian litterateurs are seeking to find Messiah and salvation everywhere from Shakesperean characters to superman. It is false gospel!

No, I do not believe you will find a non-Christian who lays down his life *for* his friend. He will ultimately lay it down for himself, because he has no higher motive from which to act, Rom. 5:7. Blessings!
 

turmeric

Megerator
I'm still stuck on Habanero Man! :lol:

But seriously, Rev. Winzer brings up a good point. I used to be interested in writing fiction, but can't think of a way to do it that isn't irreverent. How can you have Christian stories without God being a character? It seems highly irreverent to make God a character in the story, as one would do if one wrote about Christian themes.

[Edited on 8-16-2006 by turmeric]
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Originally posted by Augusta
How hard it is to live in America. It's a blessing in many ways but it makes us idle because things are so easy here. There is so much distraction. Idle minds are the Devil's playground.
Traci, the climate is much the same in Australia. Augustine wrote his great work when the prosperity and security was fading away. Hopefully we will learn the lessons ahead of time. Blessings!
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
Mr. Winzer, if you are referring to "Finding God" in this or that sort of thing, then I wholeheartedly agree. It is a mistaken and misguided effort.
I am not sure how Romans 5:7 supports your point.... And I am not sure that it would apply to fiction at all. But is it not possible that certain stories resonate with us, precisely because they are a sort of echo (and like most echoes, rather partial) of the real story?
 
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