In Too Deep: Would Superheroes Set Off A Religious War?
Hello and welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.
Now my blog after this will be my 500th blog (according to my main blogspot), but before we go there, lets take a look at the second ever blog I ever wrote. Back when I gave a crap about offending anyone with my opinions, back before I actually bothered structuring my blogs with paragraphs. Back when I asked (and somewhat proved) that Jesus was a superhero. Now, presuming that’s true, I never did the follow up: How would the world react? So, almost four years later, lets re-examine the concept and see things from a much wider cultural perspective.
Now then. Was Jesus a superhero? Much of what I said four years ago would stand as being true nowadays. Jesus Christ would, in some capacity, be a superhero of sorts. Or at least he would be a superhuman being, a being who has powers and abilities far beyond the average human. This much can be taken as read. So, following the next steps in all this, how would the rest of the world react to this? Well, as discussed before, it would make people less likely to believe in Christianity. After all, what’s so great about just another superhero being? There’s no big deal now, is there, not when we have a universe of them running about. Be it Superman or Thor, superhuman people just aren’t as interesting as they use to be. They become a fact of life. Preachers on street corners could prove that their faith is real because if a godlike being is flying around in red underwear, why is it so absurd that someone out there also walked on water? But there’s a hidden downside to this, a downside we’ve really seen in the forty plus months since I first wrote that blog. Because while it would cause some level of apathy among some citizens, it’d increase the dangers of others.
Now before we start, don’t misread anything I say as â€œall Islamic people are terroristsâ€. At not point am I saying that or even implying that. Islam is a rather good religion that’s been misrepresented by a bunch of extremists (which is true for all religions at one point or another, but Islam is on the receiving end of it in our day). But lets take a look at these extremists who believe that they are doing Allah’s/Muhammadâ€™s work. Now we can look at them in our world and go â€œWell even if Allah/Muhammad was real, it’s incredibly unlikely he’d agree with what you’re doingâ€. But what about in the superhero world? Because it’s not just superheroes that can be confused with powerful deities, there are supervillains as well. Supervillains can be just as strong as superheroes, in terms of raw power. They could easily claim that what they’re doing is for some religious belief. And, if they’re really savvy, convince a bunch of devout people to follow them. Now comics have never really followed this story (as much I know off the top of my head, I know it’s never been touched in the mainstream public culture enough to be well-remembered), but imagine if some supervillain did straight up decide that he needs an army of followers? Worse, he decided to use current religious text to do it. Is it not conceivable that some superpowered being would claim to be the reincarnation of Muhammad, or Jesus, or whoever, and use his devout followers in order to carry out his evil plan? These followers would have even greater reason to justify their cause, since they literally have their deity in front of them. How would you go around stopping it? Saying that their belief is foolish? They have proof, what more do they need? That the being in front of them isn’t a deity? Well if someone looks like a God, and has the powers of a God, and says they are a God, you say yes. So how does this tie into a religious war?
Well, what happens if multiple superpowered beings get into this? They all start trying to one-up each other and become more powerful. Suddenly we’d have a very serious problem. Factions would be going to war with each other at the behest of their deity. Countries would be torn between supporting them and actively fighting against them. If ‘Jesus’ returned (and proved that he was Jesus) and said that America should declare war on those who are against it… Just how many Americans wouldn’t be for it? The country is 75% Christian last I checked, how many of those would be hesitant to go against the word of ‘God’? It would cause turmoil to say the very least, outright civil war at most. And this is just in one country. What if the same starts to happen in other countries? Other deities turn up, convince followers to get on their side, and tell them to carry out attacks. We’d be in a full-blown religious war as people either fight for their deities, or fight to protect their country and their family. It might even lead to a full blown nuclear war, depending how severe it got. If nothing else, the fighting would last generations. The only way it’d end is if everyone agreed that these deities weren’t worth following, and instead focused on trying to kill them (if that was at all possible). Basically, if a bunch of deities came to our world today, there lies a very real possibility that if they wanted to, they could get us to wipe each other out. While people think superheroes are great, would we be so eager to have some if they were seen as gods instead? Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a great comic book idea I should write down before anyone nicks it.
So there you have it. A revisit of my second blog to explore the ramifications of something I came up with over one thousand days ago. If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.