Archive for Superman

Advent Calendar Day 14: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

Posted in Music, Religion with tags , , , , , , , on December 15, 2012 by bradellison

I’m not going to talk about Connecticut.  I don’t have the stomach for it.  I’m not going to talk about guns, or gun control, or mental illness, or our irresponsible news media, or America’s culture of violence.  I don’t want to hear your opinions about those things right now, and I doubt you want to hear mine.

I’m going to skip to talking about love, and I’m going to stick to what I wrote last night, because it conveys what I feel this night, as well.  Tonight, tomorrow, and on all the days to come, let’s love each other, hold each other close, and take care of each other.  I love you all.

First off, there is a beauty in in Loreena McKennitt’s voice that almost hurts me to hear.

Anyway, whoever hath ears let him hear, there’s some worthy preaching in the carol as well.

First, let nothing you dismay.  Having spent most of the last year in various degrees of dismay, having suffered grief, frustration, exhaustion, futile anger and the occasional nugget of despair, I need to hear that now more than ever. Let nothing you dismay.  Because it’s true; while Jesus Christ our savior was born nowhere near this day (sorry about co-opting your festivities, ancient pagans!), he was born, and that matters to us a great deal, and now’s the time we fix that into memory.

We were gone astray.  We go astray.  God knows I do, anyway.  Walk away from what we should do, and towards what we should not.  The Apostle Paul said he had the corpse of his old self hanging around his neck to drag him down, and Kanye West said that everything bad makes him feel good while everything they told him not to is exactly what he would.  We do our best, and we pray for grace to cover our inevitable failures, and we try to do better next time.

Satan’s power, the poisonous insinuations of the One Who Accuses, well, we all hear that voice in our ears from time to time, don’t we?  Satan’s power makes itself felt when we’re at our low points, when we feel like we’re not worth anything and never will be.  That’s his voice you’ll here telling you you don’t deserve to be loved.  That you don’t deserve to be happy.  That you’ll never be free from whatever shackles bind you, be they debt or mediocrity or loneliness or unemployment or depression or a pointless dead-end job. Do not heed that voice.  Christ our savior was born on Christmas day, and he loves you.  And if you reading this don’t believe in him, believe in me, because I love you too.  I don’t know who’s reading these words or when, but love from me to you is my pledge on this night, and if that isn’t worth much it’s still not nothing.

Anyone who says Garth Ennis hates Superheroes never read the issues where Superman crossed paths with Tommy Monaghan

“If you knew how you are loved, not one of you would raise a hand in rage again.”

God rest ye merry.


Some more notable Christians of the 20th century

Posted in Religion with tags , , , , , , on August 24, 2009 by bradellison

Mister Rogers

I think probably there’s never been a better, purer human being on television than Fred Rogers.  He was a saint, a bodhisattva.  With every atom of his being, he was a conduit of unconditional love, flowing out in an endless torrent to everyone around him.

Read this.  I’m not messing around here, you click that link, and you read that essay, and see how hard it is to keep a tear from your eye.

Look at this.

What you see there, in that video, is one man overcoming the United States Senate through sheer force of virtue.  Kindness.  Gentleness.  Meekness. Humility.  These things emanated from Mr. Rogers in a palpable wave, and they gave him a power against which no strength, pride or cynicism could prevail.

I’m a surly misanthrope who drinks, smokes, curses, loves violent movies, and tends to regard the human race with a detached cynicism.  I’m not like Mr. Rogers.  I don’t think I have it in me to be, although certainly I could try harder than I do.  Maybe it’s best that I’m not.  But the world needs people who are like Mr. Rogers.

I just watched that video.  Tears are welling up in my eyes as I type this.  This man was a living embodiment of agape, the perfect love of the Christ.  How many lives, how many millions of lives, did he touch with that love?

T.S. Eliot

That’s right, we’ve got the greatest poet of the 20th century.  Suck on that, other religions.  It makes up for having Stephen Baldwin.  It almost makes up for having Kirk Cameron.

As a fan and co-religionist of Eliot, and of Tolkien and Lewis, I also find it kind of hilarious that those latter worthies hated Eliot’s poetry.

The church shall be open, even to our enemies.
We are not here to triumph by fighting , by stratagem, or by resistance,
Not to fight with beasts as men. We have fought the beast
And have conquered. We have only to conquer
Now, by suffering. This is the easier victory.

Johnny Cash

Look up the word “badass” in a dictionary.  If the definition is anything other than that picture, your dictionary is probably defective.  Johnny Cash was probably the greatest country musician ever.  His voice was made of raw pain, anger and power.  In his earlier years, he spent a considerable amount of time raising hell.  Then one day he crawled into a cave while out of his mind on drugs and looking for a good hole to die in.  What he found instead was God.  He crawled out, got clean, married June Carter, and went to his knees before the altar at Evangel Temple in Nashville.

He continued to be a total badass.  He wasn’t much like Mr. Rogers at all either.  Indeed, he spent his final years on Earth covering metal songs in a fashion guaranteed to break the heart of any human being listening.

If you can watch that music video without being moved, you’d probably fail the Voight-Kampf Test, because you’ve got a subhuman lack of empathy.  But while his version of “Hurt” is the one people remember, I maintain that the better epitaph for the man is “Further On Up the Road.”


So what if he’s fictional?  He’s Superman.

In fairness, Batman is almost certainly an atheist.