The Kryptonian Gospel

'Superman Returns' presents a gospel story as moving as 'The Passion of the Christ'--and possibly more affecting.

Heretic_for_Christ

07/11/2006 09:31:14 AM

gloriousblessings, Dear me! What am I to make of the fact that the highest divorce rates in America are seen in "Bible belt" and "red" states?

Gogg

07/10/2006 03:06:24 AM

Superman is a hero story invented entirely by humans ... sound familiar, anyone? I guess not. But maybe you are all making comparisons in the wrong direction.

gloriousblessings

07/10/2006 02:15:14 AM

PT 2 I thought we as Christians were supposed to speak out aginst this type of behavior, but I guess it is OK to ignore certain parts of the Bible, IE sermon on the mount and the teachings of Paul. Sure the special effects might be cool, but heaven forbid a movie should stand up for morals, honor and integrity!

gloriousblessings

07/10/2006 02:10:42 AM

I have not seen this movie and I don't think that I am going too, especially after hearing a letter from a Dr Laura listener who went to preview the movie for his daughter. what bothered him was the fact that Lois was shacking up with her boyfriend while bringing up Superman's child. (as far as the Virgin birth allusion, weren't Superman and Lois married in the last movie?) Meanwhile Superman is off saving the world while neglecting his child. (Do you think he is his own child's hero, also? I thought those guys actually brought up thier own children.) (End pt 1)

namchuck

07/09/2006 07:09:39 PM

There is a well recognized tendency about we humans that, in uncertain times, we will cling to the notion of something, or someone, coming out of the skies to deliver us from all of our problems. Hence, such iconic figures as Jesus, Superman, etc, will come in and out of popularity depending on the mood of the times.

filmdr2b

07/07/2006 01:53:04 AM

Something else to consider is the fact that, along with Superman Returns, The DaVinci Code renders the Messiah as distinctly Anglo in appearance. I read about the controversy on DaVinci Code but while we are asked to question whether Christ married and had children we are forced to accept as fact the fiction of his racial identity as being European to make the story work. Likewise Superman is white and male and All-American in appearance, from Kansas no less, and his Symbolic God the Father, despite being from another planet just happens to be Caucasian as well. So before we all go gaga over the obvious messianic symbolism, understand that the film supports white male privilege and power, in this case superpower. This fact concerns me, an avid movie fan who adored George Reeves Superman on TV. I wonder why, at this point in history, Hollywood has presented us with two racially inaccurate portrayals of The Christ.

oophelia46

07/06/2006 10:57:32 PM

Wow, that's deep. Thanks for the insight. I'll have to go see the movie now.

Richard-ELCA

07/06/2006 08:08:59 PM

Interesting take on Superman and Jesus. I've never seen such a parallel before. I'll be thinking about this when I go to see the film. I've always liked Superman anyway.

dorayjo

07/06/2006 07:57:00 PM

Hold on! What is happening here? I was around when Superman was a corny hero in kids' comic books. When I was eight, and that was 63 years ago, I knew that Superman wasn't real, and certainly was not going to save my soul. How did he get to be Jesus? What's next, Captain Shazam Krishna or Spiderman Zoroaster?

mateo107

07/06/2006 03:27:15 PM

the discussion about Superman's humanity is really nitpicking the metaphor, since it's making quite an assumption about hypothetical biology of aliens. the point of the metaphor was never whether Superman was biologically human, but rather that he demonstrates a human and divine nature. Clark Kent is the manifestation of his human nature, whereas Kal El is the manifestation of the divine nature, which does equate to a duality as taught in orthodox Christianity. i'm not saying science and religion don't mix, but don't mix science fiction (alien biology) with religious metaphor. Superman being alien is simply the literary vehicle that makes the Christ-figure analogy possible. a literal metaphor does not exist.

Jetavan

07/05/2006 10:35:19 PM

Hanuman did some pretty heavy lifting, true, but so did Krishna. Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill in order to protect the people of Vraja from a deluge of rain sent by an angered Indra. Indra sent rain for seven days, and Krishna kept holding the hill for seven days, until Indra said, "I give up!"

filmalicia

07/05/2006 05:49:41 PM

Yikes!!! I didn't mean to be spoilerish about the rock in the Atlantic. There was much more to the movie than that. A thousand apologies.

filmalicia

07/05/2006 03:01:19 PM

cont. But in terms of whether I liked the movie, I thought Brandon Routh was perfectly cast, and he did look a lot like Christopher Reeve, particularly the bone structure. But, please, why would a criminal mastermind think that creating a giant bare rock in the middle of the Atlantic would make him rich? I realize this was meant to be an "homage" to Gene Hackman's "Lex Luthor" in the 1977 "Superman" but it was just so stupid...

filmalicia

07/05/2006 02:56:16 PM

I saw "Superman Returns" yesterday. Personally, I think the Jesus/Savior references are reaching, though it's certainly possible to read them in to the story. Other people have interpreted Superman as a parable of facism, with a literal Nietzchean "Superman." The baseball stadium scene certainly had those overtones. To me, superhero stories whether Superman or Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter are always a metaphor for one of the main issues that goes along with the development of the human person -- learning how to use one's unique powers, and learning how not to abuse them.

jontemplar

07/05/2006 12:10:26 PM

I saw Superman over the weekend. I miss Chis Reeves but this was still a good movie. You can't miss the comparison of God/Jesus. They pretty much throw it right in your face with Jarel stating that he sent earth his only son because he saw that people of earth were capable of good etc. I guess the producers decided this film needed to be given the religious statements possibly as a marketing effort.

bobsil1

07/05/2006 04:45:09 AM

>>Like Krishna, Superman lifts up that mountain/continent of Kryptonite in order to save his friends.<< I think you mean Hanuman, no?

Jetavan

07/03/2006 03:37:44 PM

Superman might not be "human" as in "Homo sapiens", but he does appear to be of the genus "Homo" at least; otherwise, how could he be able to successfully mate with a earthling "Homo sapiens". Maybe Kryptonians are "Homo kryptonensis" or something like that. Obviously, then, both earthlings and kryptonians would share a recent common ancestor. Who, or what, that ancestor could be remains to be divulged in a future Superman movie, mayhaps. On the theological side, the fact that Superman is not "human" doesn't mean that he is not "fully" human. He might be part "human". But let's say for theological argument's sake, that Superman is not human at all. That would make him analogous to The Father. And then Superman's son becomes the one who is "fully human, and fully Superman-ish". The implication of the Superman series can only be described as implicitly Mormon-esque. Josepth Smith himself could not have conceived a more LDS-appropriate super-hero.

PurpleKU77

07/03/2006 10:44:06 AM

Think of it this way, go to your local church, and tell the pastor that Jesus was not human, he just looked like one of us. You would be given a lesson in why this is "wrong," and why Arianism, and the like, are no longer around. Same thing for Superman. He cannot be the Jesus of the Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, etc. because he is not human. His son, on the other hand.....

PurpleKU77

07/03/2006 10:39:18 AM

The funny thing is, it would be a heretical SuperJesus. I saw the movie yesterday, and it was GREAT!! The point about Superman being Jesus would only hold true if the heretics won. You see, Superman is not "all God and all Man." He is 100% alien, without any trace or ounce of human in him. Arianism, Montanism, and other early "heresies" are fine with this, but blood was spilled so that their views lost. According to the "winners," SuperJesus is just another heresy.

EpiscopaliAnne

07/03/2006 10:08:20 AM

You would have to be completly blind not to see the parallels within the movie to Jesus. It's very blantant. Although I didn't pick up on the Jason refence, I picked up on most everything else. Especially, the "Jesus on the cross" pose as Superman floats in space. By the way, I think Joshua is more of a derivation of Jesus than Jason. Still, I think it was a beautifully shot movie and I would recommend it to anyone to see, for the storyline, the action, and the romance. Not just the symbolism. It's true anyone can write a story and tie it to whatever belief they feel, and anyone can build their own interpretation, but the Jesus references are pretty blatant here. Go and see it and see what you get out of it.

TripleCaff

07/02/2006 09:31:05 PM

What's kinda funny about this whole "Christian symbolism' that's being projected into this film is that Superman's original creators were both Jewish, and plenty of Moses parallels can be found in the original story. There's an interesting article on aish.com about it.

Jetavan

07/01/2006 11:18:17 PM

I also saw hints of the Buddha and Lord Krishna in "Superman Returns". Like the Buddha, Superman used his supernormal sense of hearing to find out who on earth needed his help that moment. Like Krishna, Superman lifts up that mountain/continent of Kryptonite in order to save his friends.

windbender

07/01/2006 11:10:25 PM

"These are just movies and should be taken at face value. Fictional characters and nothing more." So you're telling me that Moses didn't really look like Charlton Heston - tall. Next I suppose you're going to tell me that the people who have near death experiences and see a blond haired blue eyed Jesus have been influenced by culture to see what they expect to see. Hey, wait a minute...

sorrowful_mysteries

06/30/2006 11:02:55 AM

Having seen the film last night, I can say that, contrary to the accusations here, Skelton is hardly reaching with seeing Superman as a Christ-figure. The movie really, really beats you over the head with it... To the point where I, a Christian myself, was getting kind of irritated by it. I admit that I actually snickered when Jesus H. Kent fell back to Earth in a crucified pose. And indeed, there was the empty tomb and Superchrist's own series of post-resurrection appearances. Throw in all of Marlon Brando's "you are my only son" voice overs, and it really couldn't be more blatant. Even my atheist, not-especially-Biblically-literate girlfriend noticed it.

Prima5

06/30/2006 10:18:54 AM

Why is it that people are always trying to equate characters in movies to being a Christ-like figure? It is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! These are just movies and should be taken at face value. Fictional characters and nothing more.

Aquari

06/29/2006 09:10:06 PM

Speculative fiction - a category which certainly includes The Matrix, and might include Superman depending on where you drew the lines - is a neutral forum for trying out ideas. What if this wasn't the real world? What if there were super-powerful beings who watched over us ordinary folks? What if ... etc. You can get people talking about a supernatural idea by stripping it of its cultural and political baggage, and presenting it as a bit of unknown technology. Straight religion or philosophy demands to be accepted or rejected in earnest; fiction just wants you to consider the possibility, without obligation.

Cusidh

06/29/2006 05:33:00 PM

I guarantee you that The Matrix forms the religious ideology of many a young person Hey, you said it. Maybe it should.

Aorto

06/29/2006 07:26:38 AM

Do we not have anything better to do? Our cultural icons - our movies, our music, or celebrities - are slowly become this country's religion. I guarantee you that The Matrix forms the religious ideology of many a young person and, for many who are older, The DaVinci Code is yet another religious ideology. Anyone read The Tao of Pooh? The Pooh Perplex is the perfect rebuttal to this. We can basically read anything into anything.

Cusidh

06/28/2006 10:44:37 PM

Though, actually, it does seem to be pretty heavy on Christian-specific imagery. This may be unfortunate, as the Superman character has always really referred to an *archetype.* Curious about the author focusing on this, though: "But despite his broken heart, Superman must face a more far-reaching and potentially tragic challenge. Lex Luthor (our "Lex Lucifer") Why that, instead of 'Law of Luther,' Which would be pretty interesting, right there.

Cusidh

06/28/2006 10:37:58 PM

Clearly a symbol of Lugh, the Samildanach, part otherworldly, heat vision, extremely solar, ....they left out some religions in their survey. :)

nnmns

06/28/2006 10:09:47 PM

Nice post, fromoz.

nnmns

06/28/2006 10:07:45 PM

The review makes it sound like a lot of laughs as we enjoy a movie pretending to be a religion. I'm pretty sure Jor-El sent his kid off because his planet was being destroyed, not to save another planet. Though one has to wonder why they all didn't just fly off to other planets, as Superman has shown they could. And if they couldn't fly off and didn't have rockets before the one the kid went in, how does Jor-El know so much about earthlings? And if earth is so close they could study it, why does it take Superman 5 years? And we know he can go back in time (he used this to save Lois in an earlier movie) anyway so why didn’t he just come back right after he left? Sounds like he has no complaints about how Lois behaved. And do we know Lois’s son is not his? Lots of plot holes, but Christians (and other religious people) are used to that.

pcg

06/28/2006 09:18:41 PM

Here is my opinion. Although I have not seen the movie yet, I plan to. Like Merlock said, there may be some parallels but I think Mr. Skelton is probably over-reaching. To me Superman is just a fictitious story, and I'm not really going to try to relate it to Christian mythology. I highly doubt the movie will make me think about Jesus more, since I don't believe that Jesus was the son of God (the One), that he died for our sins (Savior), or that he was resurrected. Jesus was just a man, whereas this movie is about a “Superman”. I believe many movies (Star Wars, Matrix, etc) take mythological themes from here and there and try to incorporate it into their overall story line because it gives the movies a certain familiarity and greater depth.

fromoz

06/28/2006 09:06:16 PM

Religion that was invented thousands of years ago just doesn't cut it anymore. Science and knowledge have moved on dramatically taking morality with them. Westerners need a new religion and that religion is being formed by the morality expressed in many movies, and especially those related to super heroes. It is impossible however to tie that new religion to a religion thousands of years old with the violence and injustice that religion promotes. Superman has also moved on with his being for truth and justice, no longer is he for the "American way". In recent years we have all seen what the "American way" stands for.

Merlock

06/28/2006 07:34:10 PM

While I agree there are parallels, I think Mr. Skelton may be reaching too hard; I can't say for sure though. (Not to be litigious, but he seems to have also mixed up the Immaculate and Virgin Conceptions, and I'm pretty sure the name Jason is Greek for "Healer," not a derivitive of Jesus. Again, may be wrong.) God bless!

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