Christians Read Comics Too! is a new blog, started by a friend who has come under some criticism for reading comics. Of course, comic readers expect to come under some criticism. After more than a century of being a part of our daily lives, graphic storytelling is only now beginning to get the respect that other parts of our culture take for granted. This particular reader, however, was faced with a choice. Either stop writing about comics or see the door to his career as a minister close.
It was really no choice at all. His calling came first. Now he is working anonymously to promote a better informed opinion of the medium. As anyone who has read my profile or checked out my links knows, I also write about comics. I haven't been faced with such a choice and don't really expect to be. Still, I can't help but sympathize with him. And I don't just mean as a comics reader. Christians have a tendency to seemingly condemn all popular culture. I say seemingly because we make a lot of exceptions. Christian women read a lot of romance novels. Sure they're sex free, but honestly, how can you be said to feeding spiritual self and not your carnal self when you live on a diet of junk food. I am not even going to started on Contemporary Christian music! (I really could go on and on, but that’s not where I want to go.)
A friend was telling me about a problem that he foresaw with computers. Not wanting anything of the world's influence in his life, he didn't watch TV or go to the movies, but with technologies and media converging the way they are, soon the computer would bring all that into his home anyway. He realized something, though, that rather than get rid of his computer, he needed to foster a greater sense of personal ethics and moral judgment. A need to think critically (in the best sense) about popular culture. Sure, there are a lot of unchristian elements in popular culture. Even anti-Christian. But instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, we need to learn to practice greater discernment.
I know, its a slippery slope. First you let one thing slip in and then another and soon you can't tell saint from sinner. But one thing I've learned as a Christian is that those who want to walk the path of the hypocrite will, and they'll do it with great determination. Instead, you have to teach meaningful values to those who honestly want them.