<WARNING: This post includes some strong opinions and is likely going to offend. If you are easily offended, move along. If you are open-minded, continue!>
This post is months, nay years, in the making…
This past Sunday, at the in the social Circle before Ritual with my local group, I got the final piece I needed to actually finish this post.
So everyone knows I’m a Cap fangirl. If you don’t know that, you don’t really know me. …Ok, I’d give a lot of people the benefit of the doubt because I didn’t really start embracing my nerdy side til after Witchlette was born. I was a closeted Marvel comic nerd/Cap fangirl.
This is not me saying I’m going to drop my stance on I don’t see deities as being actual entities. This is not me saying I’m going to start worshipping Cap (although he wouldn’t be a bad one to pick up!)
It all started with this meme:
Yes, I see that “Spiderman” is spelled wrong, but the point remains valid.
And this post. It discusses the gods of America. Not Native American gods, the ones who would be indigenous to our country, but rather the ones of the majority culture. Columbia, Victoria, Liberty. Uncle Sam, George Washington.
Then, there’s Cap.
“He is one who embodies the American Dream, what it means to be noble, just, courageous, powerful, and righteous without being self-righteous.” Yupp.
I wouldn’t necessarily put him on the pedestal of god. Myth, however, is a different story.
So I started looking. In the time I’ve taken researching this post, I’ve read both sides of the argument:
- Superheroes are as close to American myths as they come because the dominant American culture is so young in comparison to Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Norse, etc. They give us narratives that are close to our daily lives with an extra element but [usually] include a moral/lesson- even if it now takes a massive amount of issues to get to it at the end of an arc. This lesson is one that we can apply to our lives. It is something that, when you take away the masks and the powers- superheroes are just people trying to get by. And they do get by. And it leaves us with hope. You can compare a superhero story to the story of a deity- Isis and the Seven Scorpions for instance: be humble and hospitable to all those you meet because you never know who may come knocking on your door. The morality from X-Men: make the right choice, not the easy choice, and things will work out for you in the end, despite what hang-ups and prejudices you face along the way.
- Superheroes are not and cannot be myths because the peoples of these times listed above believed their myths to be truth (think about Christians today and their myth). No one really believes Batman exists and no one worships him.
Again I say…
It’s all stories revolving around one character created by someone with different adaptations through the years.
But I digress…
I had never heard of, read, known, etc anyone who worshipped superheroes as deities. Until Sunday…
I was not at the Ritual. A lot of detail was not shared. The point of even mentioning this previous ritual was to establish for newbies how the group is run by it’s members who all have different paths and who each lead Ritual in their path. Some of the rituals are serious and some are fun. One of the fun ones was centered around superheroes and featured Superman and Wonder Woman as the God and Goddess on the alter.
Granted, it seemed as though it was done metaphorically and perhaps a bit tongue-and-cheek. But still very cool.
My final thought on all this is to look at census data. How many people currently list their religion as “Jedi”? A lot.
Give the power of superheroes a few more years…it took a few decades for Jedi to move from a concept to a basis for a spiritual movement.
I’m coining the term Mavelist now: one whom follows the teachings of the Great Leader Stan Lee, one who finds good in bad situations and works for justice. One who knows that right always wins.
And one who already has his own catchphrase. “Excelsior!”
Gives me chills.
When this turn does come to pass, I call Cap as my patron.
Plus his emblem is a five pointed star inscribed in a circle…just saying!