Dear Comic-Con Protesters,
Stop. Please stop. At it’s heart this is all I really have to say. However, I know I should expand on this, so I will. Here is why you should stop. It isn’t loving. It is in your face and comes across as very judgmental, whether you mean it to be or not. I mean what are you protesting about Comic-Con anyway. Idolatry or hero worship maybe? I’m not sure. Evangelist is probably a better term for you but your method needs to change.
For the record, this is not the same group as the Westboro Baptist Church members who came out a couple of years ago. They were protesting Comic-Con. I asked this group who they were once but I have since then forgotten.
I have seen you at Wondercon and even at Anaheim Angels baseball games. So I suppose your M.O. is to show up anywhere there is a large group of people and convert them with big yellow signs. Again, the problem is you are not being loving to a community that desperately needs it.
Much of the geek and nerd community has been bullied and picked on, ostracized and misunderstood most of our lives. Especially by the church. I can remember when I was a kid being ashamed of some of my nerdy interest such as Dungeons and Dragons. I was told it was evil because it had magic and sorcery in it and at one point there was even a rumor going around that some kids had become Satanist or something because of D&D (those rumors were proven unfounded).
I never thought this made sense because J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis are two of the founders of modern fantasy and they were Christians who wrote about magic! We could play with Star Wars toys (without the Force of course) yet we couldn’t play with He-Man because he had some weird new age connection. I even remember at age TWENTY, sneaking the video game Diablo into my house so parents wouldn’t worry about it. This is not an indictment of my awesome parents. These are just examples of growing up a nerd in the Bible belt culture. The point is that I have talked to numerous nerds and geeks who have had similar expediences in the church and left feeling very burned by it all. And yet you, who boldly hold up your signs, drive this wedge deeper and deeper.
I could pull out Bible verses here but I really don’t need to. You know that Christ taught us to love others. Part of that involves putting down your signs and getting to know and care about others. Actually loving others.
Can you really make the call about who is committing idolatry and who isn’t? Did you know there are numerous Christians, including yours truly, who attend this convention every year? Do I need to repent as well? But you wouldn’t know because you never really reach out to who you are trying to save.
It’s funny. One time I saw one of your sign holders wearing a San Diego Chargers hat. I almost asked him if that amounted to idolatry and hero worship on his part and if not, then how was that any different then what we do? I didn’t ask him, because I figured it would go nowhere and I had to go get in line for Hall H anyway, but the idea struck a chord in my mind.
The worst part of all this is that you probably think you are being loving by doing this. Even worse, when you get made fun of (which does happen from time-to-time), you probably claim you are being persecuted. You aren’t. Go ask the Christians getting theirs heads cut off by ISIS what persecution is.
Another note. The LGBTQ community has a large presence at Comic-Con. Please, please don’t protest same-sex marriage at the Con. Regardless of your beliefs about this, Comic-Con is not the time or place to force the issue and once again, you are alienating and marginalizing a group of people who already struggle with feeling rejected and unloved by the church.
Lastly, God is a God of creativity and Comic-Con is one of the ultimate expressions of creativity I have ever seen. The artist, writers, and cosplayers are some of the best in the world and they all gather in San Diego to connect with fans. So maybe you could view Comic-Con as a celebration of the amazing talent God has given people rather some wretched hive of scum and villainy.
I just have a hard time believing that if Jesus was walking the earth today he would spend his time outside public events holding up a sign as his preferred way of showing love. Maybe, just maybe, you should put down your signs and rethink your strategy. Better yet, buy a ticket, come inside and join us for the fun! After all, it will give us a chance to love you, and who knows, you might walk away some new friends, a deeper spirituality, cool swag and a better understanding of God’s love.
Plus it’s got to get really hot standing outside all day.
Nerds In Recovery