December 4th, 2011



The Freewill Baptists have been freaking out ever since reports of the church in Pike County, Kentucky, voted to outlaw interracial marriage.  They have not been quiet, saying they don't just disagree with the resulting congregation vote, but that it is, in fact, wrong.

I applaud this.  Really.  See, a lot of things in the world are seen as relational, not absolute.  Amateur philosophers like to say there is no true right or wrong because people can have different values and might see nothing wrong with it.  What's more, even if it is, we have no right to impose our values on others.  Female circumcision is a good example.  Doctors say it is a barbaric practice, but you always have people who want to be worldly saying, "Hey, it's part of their culture, they don't realize it's wrong, so just let them do it."

(Back when Michael Vick was busted for dogfighting, Whoopi Goldberg said on The View that Vick didn't understand dogfighting is wrong because dogfighting is just part of everyday Southern culture and he shouldn't be condemned for what is actually a normal thing for him.  Zay Smith in the Chicago Sun Times wrote, "Have you ever heard a more elegant defense of the KKK in your life?")

Some things are just wrong.  Full stop.  Doesn't matter what the value system is, doesn't matter what their philosophy is.  It is WRONG.  And what happened in Kentucky is wrong.  And it must be dealt with.  By everyone.  Including the over twenty parishioners who didn't cast a vote.  You are being judged by the actions of those around you.  If you don't stand with them, you better say so.

Stacy Stepp, the new pastor, has decided to, you should pardon the phrase, step up.  He asked the people in charge of the Freewill Baptists what he should do.  With their counsil, he has announced he will rescind the vote himself, as he has the authority to do so, so those nine votes can suck it.  Yes, Stepp is going to go pirate and hijack the rules of the congregation because there's no other way to do the right thing.

Will this split the congregation?  Maybe.  Remember, the Episcopalians split.  They have a reputation for being more socially progressive and aware than most other Christian sects, standing up for issues that generally fall on the liberal side of the line.  Then they appoint a gay man as bishop, and several people reacted in a way that translates into, "Wait, you were SERIOUS about that?"  There's now two general branches of the faith.

Those nine dipshits and their silent supporters can go to another church.  Hell, let them found their own.  What they did was wrong, and I applaud the church authorities that aren't standing by the intolerance and stupidity of those morons.

Jesus taught us to love each other.  He made no distinction between Jews and Gentiles.  Christianity spread through the world on the belief that Christianity was not just for this one group of people in Israel.  Besides, if any race is going to be considered superior in Christianity, it would be Middle Eastern.  Jesus wasn't born a white man, he wasn't born in the US, AND HE WAS, IN FACT, JEWISH!!!, so if you believe racism is justified by Jesus, you are discriminating against the very Savior you claim to love and champion so much. 

I don't care what the values of the community are what they are used to.  They are wrong.  And their hateful vote must be struck down.

Pay No Attention To The Man Wearing The Curtain

In my professional comic book life, I am kind of sort of friends with Art Baltazar.  We don't hang out or anything like that, but we are acquaintances who are happy to run into each other and greet each other warmly.  I knew him looooooong ago when he was doing his self-published Patrick The Wolf Boy and was a long admirer of his.  Last year, I was one of the pros at the DuPage County comic book show, and he was another.  Baltazar is distinct -- you will know him anywhere.  I mean, I'm lousy with names and faces, and even I know him as soon as I see him.  I pretty much stayed at my table, thinking I didn't fit with the other pros.  Baltazar came around to look at my stuff.  He loved Sound Waves, both the stories and the art.  Baltazar saying the direction I was moving in was a good one made me feel so great.  Which reminds me -- I need to do another Fan Art Central and show the sketch of Rhapsody and Melody he did for me.

Baltazar is a longtime resident down here in the trenches who got lucky.  He created a comic for DC called Tiny Titans, an all-ages version of the DC characters.  Kids love it.  Adults love it.  Seeing him at a comic convention is hard because there is always a line of people like twenty deep looking to meet him, buy his books, get a sketch, and so on.  Always.  The sales are staying strong, and DC lets him do what he wants.  It's a dream job.

Tiny Titans just came out with its newest issue, and it only affirms why I think Baltazar is such a great guy.  The issue features the mysterious woman in purple that first appeared in Flashpoint #5 and appeared in every first issue of the DCnU books.  Everyone is wondering who she is.

And she appears in the Tiny Titans book.  Not in the background, either.  She is quite prominent, and the others keep trying to guess who she really is.  Wonder Girl finally decides this has gone on long enough and uses her rope to grab the robe and take it off.

So, the mystery woman of the DCnU, according to Art Baltazar, is....

...Ambush Bug.

AB says that he's just going along, making sure new characters fit into the Tiny Titans continuity.

First of all, this is so AB.  Originally, he was a lame character.  But Keith Giffen turned him into a fourth-wall breaker who provided satirical insight into comics in general and the DCU in particular.  He's like a friendlier version of Steve Gerber's Howard The Duck.  So this is absolutely pure AB.

Second, if the mystery woman in the DCnU is actually AB...well, let's just say it's one plot twist I WOULDN'T have a problem accepting.