OK, we’re going to lean heavily into geekdom today, but I’m a nerd at heart, so forgive me. I’m going to talk about a couple of comic-book heroes today to make a point. Largely because I didn’t have a topic in mind so I actually looked through my pile of images for inspiration, and Green Arrow and Green Lantern provided it.
Also, the topic is really short (for me), which is a plus; I’m still digging out of a backlog of paying work.
You don’t need to know that Green Arrow has all sorts of high-tech trick arrows and Green Lantern has an obscenely powerful ring that can create almost anything he needs in a whoop-ass fight. I’m telling you anyway, but you don’t need to know. What you do need to know are the personalities of these two heroes, particularly back in the early 70s, I believe it was, when they were teamed up together in a single comic book.
Green Lantern was a very law-and-order type. I think he would have been voting along “red state” lines. He was ex-Air Force test pilot, and thus a more military/heirarchy minded kind of guy. He fought the good fight, but he did so as a soldier or lawman. Even as a superhero, he took his marching orders from an interstellar organization that had appointed itself to keep order and peace in the universe…something much like the miliary he had once served.
Green Arrow was a more social justice type of guy. Liberal. You can make some safe bets he probably voted along “blue state” lines. He wasn’t out to turn people into pincushions. I mean, look at the way he dressed. He’s all swashbuckler/Robin Hood, ain’t he? And who did Robin Hood sidle up to? The poor and disenfranchised.
From a moral standpoint, neither character was better than the other. They balanced each other out and they complemented each other. This is something I’d like to see more of among Christians.
I don’t necessarily expect the far right wing to get along with the far left wing in the religious circles. I mean, when one side might believe that everything in the Bible is 100% literal and the other might be trying to say that not only is it symbolic but most of Jesus’ words weren’t even his own true words, well, that’s not a recipe for success.
But most Christians aren’t that extreme, I don’t think. I think most of the conservative ones and the more liberal ones have enough in common to sit at the same table. What we need is working together, even if we argue about the fine points of how best to serve God. What we need is dialogue instead of picking apart whose views are “right.” What we need is synergy, and not arguments about who loves Jesus more.
Working in opposing corners not only diminishes our strength in terms of evangelism and education about Jesus but also makes us look bad. Because when two big groups of Christians seem to be almost always at odds with one another, following Jesus doesn’t look like such a savvy choice.
There is a whole world hurting out there, and it’s time for us to team up, just like in the comic books.