Back in 2001 I was a guest on Tripple J taking phone calls about Asylum Seekers. It was after the ‘fake news’ debacle of Tampa. Towards the end of the session the host, Tim Ferguson, threw in an unscheduled ‘on air’ question. “So, David, you’re a minister, what do you think of the 2nd coming?
My response was quick, off-the-cuff, and honest. I said: “Not an issue for me, I’m still coming to grips with the first one!”
So, my attention was sympathetically captured this week by an article in the Guardian. It appears that a right-wing Christian group in the US called CitizenGo (anti-abortion and anti-LGBT campaigners) have been effective in cancelling a new comic series from DC comics, in which Jesus is sent on “a most holy mission by God” to learn “what it takes to be the true messiah of mankind” from a superhero called Sun-Man. The decision follows a petition that called it “outrageous and blasphemous”.
The Second Coming series, was due to launch on Ash Wednesday. Its story followed Jesus’s return to Earth. “Shocked to discover what has become of his gospel,” he teams up with a superhero, Sun-Man, who is more widely worshipped than him.
Writer, Mark Russell requested that rights for the comic be returned to him. “I decided I would rather keep the story intact,” he said. “Nobody really wants a watered-down, one-size-fits-none version of this story, so they graciously agreed to let me have it back. We also want a publisher who can get it to fans in the near future, so we hope to be able to announce a new home as soon as possible.”
CitizenGo hailed the decision as a victory, claiming that Second Coming “portrays a false view” of Jesus, who is “not a failure”. It added: “Most children grow up reading about iconic DC superheroes like Batman, Superman, or Wonder Woman. It would be a shame to market this false view of Jesus as an equal read to these figures.”
Russell was undeterred. “I first heard of CitizenGo when they ran this silly campaign to get the buses in Portland to drop ads featuring lesbians. They would be completely ridiculous if not for the fact that social media’s anger-made-easy platforms give them access to cranks from all over the world. But it’s OK. Some enemies are worth having,”
“I think the religious fundamentalists and critics who are trying to stop Second Coming aren’t interested in protecting Christ so much as their ability to control his narrative … They probably (correctly) suspect that it’s not Christ who’s being parodied, but themselves and how they’ve twisted his teachings of mercy for the powerless into a self-serving tool of the powerful.”
How nicely put Mark Russell, truth in the form of a comic.
I can’t wait to read it!