Obsession is the key word

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Obsession is the key word

Postby Angelique » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:34 am

Well, I don't think any of us were saying that only theologians can write about religion. But some of how, for instance, Catholicism was mishandled could have been quite easily avoided by simply asking a Catholic. I'm no theologian, and I know that you can't become a priest after only six months of study, that seminarians and deacons don't wear the stole across both shoulders, that German Catholics tend to pray in German rather than Latin, that we don't use the King James Bible, and so forth. But I've been over all that ad nauseum already.

I'm not a Muslim, and I know that Dust is drawn dressed more like a conservative Iranian than an Afghan. She wears something closer to a chador and niqab rather than a burka. So you see, I don't think it takes a degree in theology to get things like this right.

I do think there is too much emphasis on religion as a source of dramatic internal conflict, however, especially regarding Nightcrawler. A realistic portrayal of a religious person would show them drawing strength, joy, comfort, and courage from their faith at least as often as, if not more than, they grapple with the tough questions.

[Edited on 28/6/2007 by Angelique]
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Obsession is the key word

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:54 pm

Originally posted by Feuerstein
Are you saying I'm not a fanatic? The fact that I'm here multiple times a day as if I don't have a life outside of the Internet hasn't convinced you? (Of course, it could be that I don't have a life outside of the Internet... but that's priveleged information.) Anyway, so what do you mean exactly, if there was to be a story that dealt with Kurt's internal crisis of faith, you'd want a theologian to write it? Putting aside his constant references to "God" and "the Bible" and whatever else, what bothers you about the way his religious side is portrayed. I agree that most writers throw in those words as a lame attempt to say "see, we do know something about this character." I also agree that they're way to in-your-face with that side of him, as if it's the only part that's worth showing. (This is probably also influenced by the movie.) And I agree it would wonderful if they would just step away from that and let him just be Kurt!


Not a theologian by any means. Just someone who actually knows something about what he's trying to write about. I'd say I have a deeper understanding of religion than any of the people who have tried writing about it so far and I haven't taken any classes or anything. When they have him "dealing" with his faith, it reads like they are mimicking something they saw in a movie once. It feels phoned in.

And you're a fanatic, all right, but I meant religious fanatic. Not a Nightcrawler fanatic.

But I stand by what I said before: the way he acted before Holy War - going to the church and sort of battling it out with God - that made sense. That's something real people who believe do. The sum of it all was horrible. And we seriously didn't need that to be all he did over those several issues, and we didn't need it to be done every single issue. But I was just glad they showed he's a thinker, that these issues do bother him on a level that makes him question his own faith. I understand it's not a fulfilling story. I just think it's the best we're gonna get.


The problem is that he isn't thinking about it, at least not in any depth. Meh, maybe I do expect everyone to be a theologian. I just think if it's going to be the main personality trait of a character, that character should damn well have more depth about it than a regular person does.

Originally posted by Angelique
I do think there is too much emphasis on religion as a source of dramatic internal conflict, however, especially regarding Nightcrawler. A realistic portrayal of a religious person would show them drawing strength, joy, comfort, and courage from their faith at least as often as, if not more than, they grapple with the tough questions.


Oh, I get where you're coming from now. Apparently the writers up to this point have never questioned faith in any real way but it didn't even occur to me that they may not have gotten anything positive out of it either. (Positive?? Out of religious beliefs??? WHAAAAT. Tunnel visioning right along here.) That's a good point. He'd be more tolerable if they did it that way too. Anything but the shallow mess we have now.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Feuerstein » Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:21 pm

Well, I have to concede this argument to you two. I've always hoped for better representation of Kurt's religious side, but I've been okay with what we've got so far. (Holy War excepted...) You two are sticklers, but that's a good thing. ;) If more people were, maybe the writers would put more thought into their stories before spewing out what they think will satiate the lumpen masses.

I like what Angelique said too, about showing that religion can be and is a positive force for many people. Kurt has said on a few occasions that his faith gives him courage and strength. It would be nice to see these moments more often and stronger.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:28 am

Originally posted by Feuerstein
Kurt has said on a few occasions that his faith gives him courage and strength. It would be nice to see these moments more often and stronger.


He says it, but he doesn't show it. He needs to stop talking and start doing. Actions speak louder than words, yada yada.

Of course, the actions required by the faith they decided to give him are mostly incompatible with being a superhero. D'oh. Even if he personally can manage it, the people around him won't and I don't see how he can justify being part of it. No wonder he's confused, the writers are confused, the editors are confused. They want to keep the "strong faith" (fanservice) they want to keep him on the team (fanservice) but these two things are mutually exclusive if you want him to be cool, and not the whinging wallpaper he is now.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Feuerstein » Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:31 am

I don't know about that. Joan of Arc is a saint, and she was no pacifist. They could manage it if they weren't, as you said, so concerned with fanservice.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Angelique » Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:47 am

Well, yeah. Nightcrawler should frown on gratuitous violence, but Catholicism is not a pacifist religion, and the Church has nothing against people joining the military, working in law enforcement, or fighting in defense of yourself or other innocent people. So being a part of the team and maintaining a strong Catholic faith are not mutually exclusive.

As for sticklers, well, that's what editors are supposed to be.

[Edited on 29/6/2007 by Angelique]
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Obsession is the key word

Postby The Drastic Spastic » Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:18 am

Originally posted by Angelique
Well, yeah. Nightcrawler should frown on gratuitous violence, but Catholicism is not a pacifist religion, and the Church has nothing against people joining the military, working in law enforcement, or fighting in defense of yourself or other innocent people. So being a part of the team and maintaining a strong Catholic faith are not mutually exclusive.


I didn't know this and I bet the writers don't either!

Originally posted by Feuerstein
I don't know about that. Joan of Arc is a saint, and she was no pacifist. They could manage it if they weren't, as you said, so concerned with fanservice.


Joan of Arc was crazy though. She thought God was talking to her... oh right. Regardless of whether anyone here believes she actually heard God, can we agree we don't want any voice of God coming down in the X-Men? :X
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Obsession is the key word

Postby Angelique » Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:20 pm

But see, this is stuff you don't have to be particularly smart in any specialized area to know.
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Obsession is the key word

Postby fourpawsonthefloor » Sat Jun 30, 2007 7:15 pm

Originally posted by The Drastic Spastic

Joan of Arc was crazy though. She thought God was talking to her... oh right. Regardless of whether anyone here believes she actually heard God, can we agree we don't want any voice of God coming down in the X-Men? :X


Hee. Yeah. Preacher style though? That would be interesting. Cyke could get that little glint in his eye and give orders that were actually followed!

Or give it to someone else and let the chaos begin.

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Obsession is the key word

Postby Dedicatedfollower467 » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:22 pm

Angelique wrote:I'm not a Muslim, and I know that Dust is drawn dressed more like a conservative Iranian than an Afghan. She wears something closer to a chador and niqab rather than a burka. So you see, I don't think it takes a degree in theology to get things like this right.
[Edited on 28/6/2007 by Angelique]


I just wanted to say, I loved this one New X-Men comic... it's right after a big fight with Belasco in Limbo, where Dust was shown without a covering over her face. Pretty much all of the students saw her. But in this issue, that's over, and she's sitting in Hank's office with Pixie and Nezhno.

Pixie says something along the lines of: "What do you wear that burka thing all the time? Now we've seen you without it, and you're so pretty."

Nezhno appears to come out of a trance. He says, "It's not a burka. It's a chador with a niqab veil. Show respect for Sooraya by respecting her beliefs."

That's what I want the writer's to do for Nightcrawler. Respect him by respecting his beliefs. It is entirely possible to write a religious, fun-loving, happy character, who is incredibly balanced. I'd much prefer it, like pretty much everyone else, if Nightcrawler's Christianity was shown as one of his perennial strengths than as one of the things he's always struggling with. Superhero kicking butt and being Catholic can indeed exist side-by-side, even drawing strength from each other.

My other big Christian stereotype that I hate? The idea that you can't be a Christian and a scientist. (unless you're a Christian Scientist which is really neither.) I love science. I love Jesus. Why does everybody seem to think that the theory of evolution, the Big Bang, the existence of dinosaur fossils, etc, can't be accepted by Christians? Wow, people... the Church actually funded a great many scientific discoveries, and many of the science/church "clashes" that people always cite (Galileo, Newton, Darwin) were actually clashes in politics as opposed to actually having problems with the new scientific discoveries.

Sorry, ending rant now...
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