With the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in a landmark gay rights case, this was a big week for anti-gay nuts. Not to mention the paranoid Texans who defended their state from a federal invasion, or the preacher who took to Facebook to wage holy war against a comic book character. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing.
5. Franklin Graham
Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of Billy and noted homophobe, took to Facebook last week to lament the fall of one of America’s most enduring heroes.
The classic comic-book superhero Iceman, aka Bobby Drake—a member of the original X-Men lineup and occasional buddy of Spider-Man—was outed as gay in a recent edition of All-New X-Men. To Graham, this move from Marvel Comics represents the latest in an insidious effort to poison the youth of today.
“This is another attempt to indoctrinate our young people to accept this destructive lifestyle,” Graham wrote. “God’s Word says homosexuality is a sin, and we are to be on guard against all sin.”
I can understand Graham’s frustration. After all, modern comics are one of the few remaining refuges of proper, morally upright God-fearing characters. So to watch the institution of funny papers fall from grace like this… it’s just heartbreaking.
Actually, when I think about it for an entire second, the logic of this move on Marvel Comics’ part becomes clear. Since the title began in 1963, X-Men — which covers the adventures of a persecuted class of “mutants” — has always been an allegory for discrimination. So in a way, it’s the perfect venue for “indoctrinating” young people into the world of tolerance for others.
What’s more, it’s part of a pattern of high-profile comic titles making the move to becoming more inclusive: Recently, a black man assumed the shield of Captain America, a woman took up the hammer of Thor, a lesbian began patrolling Gotham City as Batwoman, and so on and so forth.
And don’t forget, Neil deGrasse Tyson appeared as himself in a 2012 issue of Superman — “indoctrinating” children into science! Comics are becoming a Born Again’s worst nightmare, aren’t they, Reverend?
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