Trouble In Riverdale: Religious Right Groups Blast Gay Friendly `Archie' Comic Books
Rob Boston printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Jan 13, 2012 at 10:39:43 AM EST
I was never a big fan of comic books when I was a kid, but on those occasions when I did spend some spare change on them, I treated "Archie" comics like they were radioactive. Who cared about the tame antics of the gang in Riverdale when there were superheroes to follow?

Times have changed. "Archie" is really hot now, and it's all thanks to a character named Kevin Keller. In the "Life with Archie" series (which gets the gang out of high school and follows their adventures in their 20s), Keller is an Iraq War veteran who comes home after being wounded. During his hospital recovery, he meets a physical therapist and falls in love. In an issue that came out Jan. 10, they get married.

Have I mentioned that the physical therapist is also a man? Yep, "Archie" comics hosted a same-sex wedding. (And the mayor of Riverdale officiated!)

This is not going over well in some quarters of the Religious Right. The group Christian Response issued an alert blasting Archie for promoting "the gay agenda" and failing to "discuss honestly...the serious physical and mental dangers of gay sex."

But wait, there's more! Christian Response also pointed out that in 2010, "Life with Archie" spun out two plotlines set in separate hypothetical universes. In one, Archie married Betty, and in the other he married Veronica. In neither universe was Archie involved with both women at the same time, but these stories, according to Christian Response, introduce "the idea of polygamy to its readers."

Some of you may be familiar with Poe's Law. It's an Internet dictum holding that it's more or less impossible to lampoon right-wing fundamentalists because no matter how outrageous the parody, an actual fundamentalist somewhere has probably already said it and meant it.

No Poe here. The Christian Response complaint is, alas, real. And it's sad. You'd think that after Jerry Falwell was burned over the infamous Tinky Winky incident and James Dobson saw attacks on SpongeBob SquarePants backfire badly, Religious Right groups would stop obsessing over the sex lives of fictional characters. No such luck.

Over at the Family Research Council, Peter Sprigg was also not amused. "It's unfortunate that a comic book series usually seen as depicting innocent, all-American life is now being used to advance the sexual revolution," Sprigg told Fox News last year. "I think whatever boost in sales might come from the novelty or curiosity factors will be more than offset by the number of both kids and parents who will be turned off by this storyline and its obvious social and political agenda."

Luckily, "Archie" fans aren't listening to the right-wing killjoys. Sprigg is wrong about sales dropping off. In fact, issues are flying off the shelves. The first comic to feature Kevin was so popular it sold out and had to go into an unprecedented second printing. Subsequent issues have also sold well.

Religious Right leaders often claim that the inclusion of gay characters in books, television shows and movies is some type of plot by left-wing Hollywood types to engage in social engineering. I think the opposite is more likely true: The purveyors of media/popular culture see a trend unfolding in larger society and rush to exploit it.

Tolerance of LGBT Americans has been growing steadily. Most young people these days have gay friends and don't see it as a big deal. Riverdale may be a fictional community, but its creators know that if they want to keep it real, they must reflect the times. Thus, a gay character in Archie's Riverdale is to be expected because if the city actually existed, there would undoubtedly be gay people living in it and it's likely that Archie, being the popular guy that he is, would know them.

This is shocking only to the Religious Right, a movement made up of people who, when it comes to gays, are simply incapable of behaving rationally.

I wish Kevin and his new husband a long and happy union. I might just pick up some "Archie" comics to follow their adventures. As an added bonus, I can get an update on what Jughead has been up to these days. Whatever it is, I hope he's also annoying the Religious Right.  




Display:
The Religious Right may be flipping out over this in particular because they remember their much-beloved Spire Christian Archie comics by the late Al Hartley that cast Archie and the gang as creepy Christian right wingers. My fundamentalist in-laws have a framed, signed Al Hartley comic page hanging in their house.

by cbelt on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 02:48:50 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Dominionism Hiding in Plain Sight
Dominionism has been an evolving movement for a half century. Fed by at two main streams, it has becoming a roaring current, tearing through......
By Frederick Clarkson (8 comments)
Chancy Combo: Why The Founders Were Not Fans Of Preacher-Politicians
Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has vowed to repeal a federal law that bars houses of worship (and other tax-exempt non-profits) from endorsing......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Beware The Gender Unicorn: Franklin Graham Takes Aim At The Transgender Community
Part of my job involves monitoring the activities of Religious Right groups, which means every day my email box receives messages from groups like......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
The Politics of Fear
Joseph Ellsworth McWilliams was born on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma.  He moved to New York City and became a Communist.  Later on he......
By wilkyjr (5 comments)
Persecution-Free Park: Religious Freedom Still Not Under Attack In America
I just got back from a week-long vacation with my wife and son. We were in Acadia National Park in Maine.On our second day......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Mike Pence and The Roots of the Right-Wing "Political Correctness" Conspiracy Theory
The term "Political Correctness" was hijacked by right-wing ideologues in the late 1980s to trivialize and disparage concern for basic human rights for people......
By Chip Berlet (4 comments)
Mike Pence in 2006 spearheaded a mean-spirited plan to deport all undocumented immigrants
Many of us know Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a nasty homophobe with a carefully-crafted respectable demeanor. But did you know that In 2006,......
By Chip Berlet (5 comments)
What's Past is Prologue: Dominionism is Still Rising
For a half century, a theocratic political movement has been rising in the U.S.  Like any large, successful movement in history, it has a......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
For Salon.com readers - On Donald Trump and William S. Lind
For readers clicking on the first link in Paul Rosenberg's Salon.com interview with Bruce Wilson, here is a link to my recent report (first......
By Bruce Wilson (3 comments)
Education For Everyone: In Defense Of `Government Schools'
Over the weekend, The New York Times ran a story about a trend among far-right conservatives in Kansas who call public schools "government schools."The......
By Rob Boston (6 comments)
Southern Churches and July 4th Celebrations
I have noticed a growing trend that is spreading like a prairie wild fire regarding July 4th.  Churches are  celebrating the holiday as never......
By wilkyjr (11 comments)
Bitten By A Tiger: Huckabee Must Pay For Unauthorized Use Of Song
Former Arkansas governor and Religious Right favorite Mike Huckabee has not been having a good year.Huckabee won the Iowa GOP caucus in 2008 and......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Trump Meets Man Who Inspired 2011 Terror Attack Deadlier Than Orlando Shooting
"It appears that the shooter was inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet" -- President Barack Obama, June 13, 2016,......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
Terrorism as a "Marketing Method"
On the same day in 2011 during which he single-handedly blew up and shot to death 77 Norwegian citizens (mostly teenagers) and injured an......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Let's Can the Name Calling about Islam
President Obama rose to the occasion in the wake of the horror in Orlando. The president made clear in a speech on June 14th......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)

Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (0 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (1 comment)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (1 comment)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)
Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (10 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (10 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (2 comments)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (1 comment)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (3 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.