Batman Versus Jesus

// May 20th, 2006 // archive, writing

One day in 2nd grade class, we all gathered into groups to put on plays. I forgot what the intended lesson was, but I did learn an important thing that day. Our group performed “The Nativity” scene. I was the infant Jesus, because I was the smallest. Another group performed Batman and Robin. At such a young age, I didn’t have much knowledge of theatre, action or audience appeal. Most of the kids in our class had a quiet respect for our play and we all got high marks. However the Batman play had action, two fight scenes and the Joker and the Riddler. Not only did that group receive high marks but the class cheered and they won best play. Our play didn’t really have action unless you count when Jimmy Autrey knocked over one of the cows (it was really a desk).

I walked home with Ricky, who played Batman in the play. He and I were both proud of our time in the spotlight and Ricky had decided that his play was better. In fact, he told me that Batman was better than Jesus! I was amazed!

“Batman is not better than Jesus!” I scoffed.

“Yes he is,” he declared. “Batman is a crime-fighter. He’s got the Batmobile and a sidekick. Then he countered with his ace in the hole. “Plus he’s got a utility belt!”

A utility belt! I gasped. It was a pretty good argument. It was certainly useful and I tried to come up with a counter argument. I couldn’t think of one. To my knowledge, Jesus didn’t even have a sidekick and I’d never even heard of his fighting abilities. He didn’t fight at all, in fact, and that was one of the things I liked about him. He was always saying “Turn the other cheek” which was something I could relate to.

By this time we had reached Ricky’s house. He said goodbye, confident that he had bested me. I walked on, confused. How could he not believe in Jesus? was the question I was thinking. It was fine to talk about superheroes and sidekicks, but I couldn’t understand the rest of it. It was like he didn’t even believe in God!

By the time I arrived home, I had worked myself into a frenzy. I was convinced that by even comparing Batman and Jesus that I was doomed. I was sweaty, dizzy and I had an upset stomach to boot. It was time to talk to Mom.

When I think about what my mother had to put up with, I can only shake my head. We asked her everything under the sun. My Dad got the mechanical and electrical questions - How things work, How the toilet worked, etc. My Mom got all the tough, philosophical questions. It was just the way that things worked around our house. We all thought that my parents had all the answers.

Today’s question was a doozy and I flat out told her as I barged in the house. “Mom! Ricky says that Batman’s better than Jesus! How can he think that?! I mean even with the utility belt, how can he not believe in Jesus?!”

I’m sure she hid her giggles well, because I don’t remember her laughing. I know that she sat me down and explained that not all the world believed in Jesus or even God and that our country was founded on religious freedom. They were free to believe whatever they wanted.

“Well I still think Jesus is better. Even if He doesn’t have a utility belt!”

As an adult, I can now say with certainty that Jesus must have had a utility belt. He was a carpenter! Plus he didn’t have one sidekick; he had twelve of them. It’s too bad I don’t see Ricky anymore, because I have a good answer!

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