few weeks back, X-men lovers (including myself) discovered that Bobby Drake, Iceman, is gay. As with any change in the characters we love, there was a public outcry. I’m adding my own pitchfork to the pile in response to Franklin Graham’s post on the subject.
Franklin’s statement bothers me for reasons beyond the LGBTQ debate, which is a hotly contested topic in its own right. Stepping away from the Christianity vs. Gay battle royale here, Franklin’s statement is a prime example of how us geeks are so often misunderstood by the Christian church.
“…our young people…”
My primary frustration is the inferred belief that comics are meant for young people. That is a common misconception in the Christian church. The expectation is that as we grow up we are to “put away childish things,” and comics is one of these.
But I am in my thirties and I still want to read about, enjoy, and follow the lives of these characters.
Franklin’s belief about the comic world appears to be one of subversive agenda. That these stories are only tools to push moral and political agendas. In this particular instance, it appears Franklin reduces the Iceman story to a Sex Ed pamphlet meant to educate a particular worldview.
But these stories have deeply affected me and other comic fans. We grew up with these characters, we get tense when they are in trouble, we grieve their losses, we laugh at their jokes and celebrate their successes. The characters in these worlds are every bit as real and alive to us as a dog is to a dog lover. They are not tools for an agenda, they are our friends.
If my best friend came out as a gay, the last thing I would want is for my pastor to call him out for it on Facebook. To me, Graham’s arguments speak more about his misunderstanding of geek culture than it does to the LGBTQ agenda.
Just as Christians have no expectation of understanding from those who are not a part of their faithful (1 Cor 2:14), I would suggest that those who are not geeks themselves should be cautious about proclamations about our beloved Iceman and geek culture. ♦