Before I continue, let me say that this is the first time I've seen Atomika, so I don't know anything about him, but I did find this site. Because I don't know Atomika, this means that I don't know how significant it was for EGN to be having this particular discussion with him. Anyway, I have to admit that I was a bit startled to see such - unhateful - discussion taking place about Jesus that didn't start out or eventually devolve into a venomous spiel about the evils of Christians and Christianity.
I had to think about what word to use there, and "startled" was the best I could come up with, because it was that unexpected. I then had to think if that was a good thing or bad thing. Had I become that accustomed to hearing only bad things about Christians and Christianity; even in the genre that I love? Have the left-leaning writers and artists not only of comics, but other entertainment media drifted so far into pushing their ugly attitudes about Christianity into their entertainment creations that we now expect it? I can't say anything other than yes, because that's the only explanation that I could come up with for my startled reaction. Understand that like any huge fan of comics, I love plot twists and turns, but this was wholly unexpected to the point of being startling.
The thing is friends, I am fully accustomed to hearing angry, hateful, and hostile things being said about Christianity, because that was the attitudes that my Marxist parents had about Christians. To my parents, Christians are lowbrow knuckle-dragging troglodytes that are barely literate and intelligent. My exposure to these sorts of attitudes continued into the schools I went to and even into college. This is the norm for me, in other words. How I ended up being a Christian is really a tale for another time, but even after my conversion, I still expect to hear ugly things about Christianity in everything I read - even in comics. As Christians, we expect it. Not necessary accept it, but we expect it.
Think about how ingrained these attitudes are. When was the last time you heard anyone complain about how the Lord's name is taken in vain in all our entertainment media? How many times have you heard G** damn - even in comics? Any other faith system will get the "be respectful, open-minded, and tolerant" treatment from the left, but when it comes to Christianity (and sometimes Judaism), all that goes out the door and they feel fully entitled to unburden themselves of the worst sorts of ugliness that they can come up with - and boy, at times they let their imaginations and sick fantasies run wild!
For example, last year on Bill Maher's show, even NOW had to weigh in on one of his guests stating that he hopes that Michele Bachmann's husband "fucks her angrily" (apologies for the f-bomb, but I thought you should read it as it was said). Can you imagine such rape fantasies being expressed publicly about Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, or Barbara Streisand, and it being allowed to slide?
However you feel about Bachmann and her views, that was a pathetic and disgusting thing for Maher's guest to say about her, and yet these hateful attitudes are so ingrained in our society that it got barely a peep from the left - and it certainly didn't spark anything like the sort of outrage that came out of them over the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke issue. I think Maher's guest hoping that Bachmann's husband "fucks her angrily" would warrant a more outspoken reaction from the left than Limbaugh calling Fluke a slut, but I guess that's just me.
This illustrates how far we've come in accepting hateful attitudes towards Christians and Christianity. It's gotten to the point that I was actually shocked to see something positive being said. And for that, I feel very sad for our country, our entertainment media, and for the state of our educational system that has fallen so far in how it educates our students. I feel disappointed, like I should be doing more, because what have I done besides bringing it up on my blog and on FB?
I also think that those on the left who do truly adhere to the ideal of being open-minded, tolerant, and respectful towards others should do more to speak out against the sorts of ugliness that comes from their side of the aisle. I truly believe that there are more of them out there than we know who are disappointed and maybe even angry over the hostility that their fellow ideologues have for Christianity, but for some reason, they can't muster the courage to say so; probably because they risk getting labeled as a "closet conservative" and thus will lose all cred with their liberal kind (not to mention being fatal to their career ambitions).
The barbarians have taken over the marketplace of ideas, and those of us on both sides of the aisle who hate this turn of events seem to be able to do nothing more than vent about it on the Internet. And here I catch myself being startled about a page in a comic book that exposed to me how much I've accepted this, and it leaves me feeling ashamed - because I feel that I am failing to do more to defend the faith that I say I love. And that's where I'm at right now; asking myself "Now that I have come to this realization, what shall I do next?" Well, I guess the first step is to blog about it! LOL
Friends, this is why I love comics. A lot of people out there think of comics being just for kids, but those who think that way are those who haven't read comics since they were kids. Comics today broach all kinds of adult topics. Comics can encourage, inspire - and yes, even startle - just as much as any other entertainment media. To the creative staff of WotI, I say "thank you", from one comic nerd to another, for making me fall in love with comics all over again. :-)
As for the discussion in WotI that is at the center of my own discussion in this blog post, I will say that I am curious as to what direction it goes from here. Again, I don't know anything about Atomika, so I don't know how significant his discussion is with EGN. EGN has previously expressed his Catholic faith in the past, waay back in his origin story (yes, I have that book, thanks to the boss!). It's good to see that he still is a faithful Catholic, so kudos to EGN's creator, Richard Dominguez, for keeping him that way.
I will say that if Atomika did know Jesus back in the day, then I think that he probably would have seen him as one of many "Messiahs" of that time that had gained popularity and then lost it. Jesus might have drawn at least some interest because of his miracles, but then being crucified would have "sealed the deal" in Atomika's mind as to how genuine he was in being the Messiah. Who has ever heard of a Messiah being executed - much less crucified as the common criminals were at that time?
It would have been very easy for Atomika to dismiss Jesus after that, but how would he explain how his followers continued to evangelize their crucified prophet, and how they kept getting followers after that? There's a disconnect here, because if Atomika is immortal, then he would have seen the rise of Christianity a long time ago, and yet he tells EGN simply that "your God is dead". Perhaps this will be explained in future issues. Anyway, I love it when comics make me think. :-)
And again I say to you all, go Occupy Marvel and DC by buying these WotI comics! Show support for the 99% of the comic artists and writers who get left out of the "1%" that are the Big Two! Support the Indys!