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


The President's Faith: A Matter Of Choice, Not Compulsion
Today President Barack Obama, who is the world's worst Muslim - he drinks alcohol and eats bacon - will do something many Muslims do......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Voting For Jesus?: Candidates Seek To Outdo One Another With Religiosity
The Iowa caucuses are today, and, despite what you may have heard, Jesus Christ is not appearing on the ballot.Several of his close friends......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Conventional Wisdom Watch: Getting it Wrong about the Religious Right
It is a case of the more things change the more things stay the same. I wrote a short post in 2008 about how......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Club Fight: Tenn. Residents Complain About High School's Gay-Straight Alliance
At public schools around the country, students, mostly high schoolers, are forming Gay-Straight Alliance clubs. Fundamentalist Christians often freak out over the existence of......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Zionism and Eschatology
The church I attend just had a member place a display at the back of a Sunday morning Bible class.  The display called for......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Save The Day: Celebrating Real Religious Freedom
Saturday is Religious Freedom Day. While it's not one of our most well-known or popular holidays, Religious Freedom Day shouldn't be overlooked. Our country......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Warning of Theocratic Zones of Control
This week, I published a report -- months in the making --  titled, When Exemption is the Rule: The Religious Freedom Strategy of the......
By Frederick Clarkson (5 comments)
Moore Grandstanding: Ala. Chief Justice Tries Again To Block Marriage Equality
Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore last week tried, once again, to block marriage equality in that state.There is no case pending before......
By Rob Boston (0 comments)
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Maureen Mullarkey Share the 2015 Coughlin Award!
Yes, folks it's that time of the year again. It's time for the presentation of the annual Coughlin Award. As it is every......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
All Quiet on the War on Christmas Front
It is time for my annual response to the preposterous-but-malevolent claims broadcast on Fox News and elsewhere that there is a War on Christmas.......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Christian Right: Inviting Cruz or Trump to Tea?
With Republican candidate Ben Carson dropping like a stone in a pool of confusion, who gets invited to the tea party? Tea Party activists......
By Chip Berlet (2 comments)
A Plethora Of Pulpit Politicking Problems?: Far-Right Pastors Prepare For Electoral Bids
The state of Tennessee used to have a law that banned members of the clergy from running for public office. The U.S. Supreme Court......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Trump: An Apocalyptic Messenger for the Christian Right
We stand in the overflow crowd of some 300 in the small town of Tyngsborough near the New Hampshire border. Several thousand people are......
By Chip Berlet (3 comments)
Trump's Demagoguery Threatens Democracy Itself
Now is the time for blunt talk. Donald Trump is a dangerous demagogue generating "scripted violence." Trumpism threatens not just the First Amendment but......
By Chip Berlet (3 comments)
Irony Implosion: Pat Robertson Opposes Politics Masquerading As Religion
TV preacher Pat Robertson and I go way back. In 1996, I wrote a book about him, and I've followed his career since.I long......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)

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 (3 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 (0 comments)
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 (1 comment)
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 (4 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 (0 comments)
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 (1 comment)
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 (2 comments)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (4 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (6 comments)

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.