Comic-Con vs. Church: Where the Capes Actually Stand for Something

Comic-Con vs. Church: Where the Capes Actually Stand for Something September 12, 2023

Image: Unsplash

Ah, Sunday mornings. You could be in two places: a church with stained glass windows illuminating verses you’ve heard a hundred times or a bustling convention center where adults dress up like Marvel superheroes and no one’s judging—well unless your cosplay game is weak.

Comic-Con and church, two institutions as different as the Pope and Deadpool, and yet, strangely similar. Both have devoted followings, iconic figures, and the strange ritual of dress-up. But before you say, “Hallelujah, they’re the same!”—hold your horses. We’re diving into the nitty-gritty and sparing no feelings.

The Almighty Cosplay vs. The Holy Garb

In both venues, you’ll find an interesting array of outfits. At Comic-Con, you’ve got Gandalfs and Stormtroopers rubbing elbows with Daeneryses and Narutos. Over at church, you’ve got your best Sunday suit—a tried-and-true uniform with less flair and no spandex.

But here’s where things diverge. Cosplay celebrates diversity and self-expression. You can be a Black Superman or a female Thor. The sky’s the limit. Church attire, on the other hand, is often about conforming to a standard, and heaven forbid if you stray. Tattoos covered, piercings out—because clearly, Jesus can’t hear your prayers if you’re donning ripped jeans.

The Inclusive Empire vs. The Exclusive Kingdom

Comic-Con is the epitome of inclusivity. Here, everyone is welcomed with open arms, regardless of your fandom or lack thereof. Diverse in race, gender, and orientation, Comic-Con is where the marginalized can feel mainstream.

Contrast this with the church—where, let’s be honest, inclusivity often ends where the doctrine begins. From sexist hierarchical structures to intolerance toward the LGBTQ+ community, organized religion has a sketchy track record on this front. “Love thy neighbor” apparently comes with an asterisk and fine print that would make a lawyer blush.

Celebration of Life vs. Examination of Depravity

Comic-Con is a celebration—a jubilant carnival where every day feels like the season finale of your favorite show. It’s about championing creativity, exploring new worlds, and forgetting that your boss exists.

And the church? It’s often more like a weekly therapy session where you’re reminded of your inherent sinfulness. The emphasis on our flawed nature and the need for redemption is a stark contrast to the celebration of life and potential you find at Comic-Con.

The Party Animal: Where Would Jesus Make His Cameo?

Let’s not forget that Jesus was a man who enjoyed a good party. In fact, one of his first miracles involved turning water into wine at a wedding feast when the booze ran out—talk about being the life of the party. Fast forward to today, and one wonders where he’d show up: a congregation singing solemn hymns or a jubilant crowd at Comic-Con where joy and freedom reign?

In the Gospels, Jesus often gravitated toward the social outcasts, the looked-over, and the looked-down-upon. He had little patience for the self-righteous, the judgmental, or the exclusionary—a demographic that, let’s face it, has found a comfortable home in many of today’s churches. On the other hand, Comic-Con is the epitome of what Jesus preached: a gathering of “the least of these,” a kaleidoscope of humanity where all are welcome.

So if Jesus were to RSVP to an event this weekend, odds are you’d find him hanging out with a motley crew of cosplayers, sharing parables in between photo ops, probably making the wine flow a little more generously in the process.

Final Verdict: The Sanctuary Where Capes and Compassion Coexist

When it comes down to it, isn’t the crux of Jesus’s teachings about unconditional love, acceptance, and the celebration of life? Well, one of these venues clearly nails that sermon a lot better than the other.

So, next time you’re torn between Sunday service and Comic-Con, remember: you might be more likely to bump into Jesus while discussing the nuances of ‘The Mandalorian’ than while seated in a pew. Cheers to that.

About Stuart Delony
My hope with Snarky Faith is to incite change no matter how big or small. I want to cultivate conversations that help people to look for new ways to live out their faith. I'm also one of the weird ones who think that God still moves today - we're just looking in the wrong places. You can read more about the author here.

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