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 Secret Antigay U.S. Money Behind The WCF and the Global Evangelical War on LGBT Rights
[note to readers: this is an excerpt from my first installment in a Twocare.org/Center Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties -......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Race as Religion
Reading Edith Beer's book, The Nazi Officer's Wife, I ran across an interesting account of her fake marriage license.  She married a Nazi officer......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
Dark Discussions on the Christian Right
The Neo-Confederate movement has been trying to jump start itself of late.  It has been an especially heady few months for the League of......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Oath Oaf: Religious Right Columnist Calls For Religious Tests In Military
Bryan Fischer, the director of issues analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) is like a demented, right-wing geyser: You can count on him......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Deeper Background on Dominionism -- Revisisted
In the Fall of 2011, there was an extraordinary -- and extraordinarily scurrilous -- wave of criticism aimed at those of us who had......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal
Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we'll have less corruption. Biblical......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
A Visit To The Reality Community: Americans Have Sex. Americans Use Birth Control. Let's Move On.
Over the weekend, Americans United Senior Litigation Counsel Greg Lipper took part in a panel discussion about the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision at......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Thomas DiLorenzo's Rebel Yelling
I have written a great deal in the past few years about the odd phenomenon of Catholic Neo-Confederatism.  Let's add one more name to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Censorship Challenge: Texas Pastor Seeks Restrictions On `Dangerous' Library Books
Back in the 1990s, some Religious Right activists in Virginia got the bright idea to begin attacking America's public libraries. The idea was to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Suspended St. Louis County Officer Dan Page Made Rounds on Rightwing Radio Shows
St. Louis Police Officer Dan Page drew national attention when he shoved CNN's Don Lemon during a broadcast of the protests in Ferguson, and......
By Rachel Tabachnick (1 comment)
Cop Who Shoved CNN Host Don Lemon Lassoed in Another Conspiracy Rodeo
Rachel Tabachnick broke an important story this evening showing that the rant by Officer Dan Page that got him suspended from the St.Louis County......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Exile Excitement: Some Fundamentalists Seek Escape From Decadent Society
OK, now we've done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Controversy Over White Nationalist GOP Candidate Still White Hot
The 2004 Constitution Party candidate for president Michael Peroutka's current race for County Council in Maryland -- as a Republican -- it is still......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Race, Republicans and the Religious Right
The Republicans have a race problem, and by this I don't just mean that racial minorities don't much vote for them, particularly in the......
By Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Rev. William Barber on Religious/Political Inclusiveness
A few weeks ago, I posted about the extraordinary oration of Rev. William Barber at Netroots Nation. (A transcript of the speech is now......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 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 (0 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 (2 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 (3 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 (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 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.