Tuesday, 10 May 2011


It seems that Brannagh missed a golden opportunity for the Pope to do a cameo spit take.

I saw Thor last weekend with the daughter and I wonder if I'm the only one to worry about the theological implications of a film that shows that:
  • God exists
  • He's Odin
  • He's the Marvel Comics version of Odin.
To quote Tom Servo, If this is the one true religion, I'm going over to the Dark Side, real fast.


Sergej said...

Well, this is the assumption implicit in the Thor funny books, isn't it? An alternative is the one presented by Snorri Sturluson in Heimskringla, about the Aesir being old memories of mortal kings who were especially good at magic and conquering. But I don't believe the Marvelverse ever established that.

eon said...


Myself, I'm for any religion with "angels" like the Lady Sif.

Loki, not so much.

Odinism has one attribute that I suspect appeals strongly to the modern "multicultural" crowd, other than being non-Christian. Namely, no actual "devil". The nearest you get is Hela aka Hel, goddess of the underworld (equivalent to Hades in the Greco-Roman pantheon); not really "evil" , just the one who watches over the shades of the mortal dead in a non-threatening (albeit fairly boring) lot of caves.

No devil= nobody is really "bad". (Loki is considered a trickster with an attitude, basically, sort of like the Native American Coyote on a "got up on the wrong side of the bed" day.) You can't get much more "I'm OK, You're OK" than that.

Of course, somebody else was heavily into the whole Norse pantheon thing- but we don't talk about them for fear of the Wrath of Godwin.



David said...

eon: All good points here, but where does Tony Stark fit into all this?

Sergej said...

At least one important thing Christianity introduced to Northern Europe was the concept of absolute right and wrong, with an ultimate Arbiter whose view was law. Saga characters' motivations frequently take into account helping out friends or family, or avenging a wrong, but there is no such thing as a firm test: is it right? The old religion is from such a world. The forces in its universe can at the most be grouped as preferring order or chaos, though even there, the yin-yang fish have eyes: Thor was certainly with the gods but liked him some drinkin' and smashin', and certain giants were OK guys, according to their lights.

As for the Unnamable Somebodies, they came centuries after the Teutonic version of the Indo-European pantheon was supplanted by Christianity. It is not the old gods' fault that the bottom feeders of the 20th Century liked them, though living in modern times and intentionally adopting the morality of barbarians indicates questionable taste at the least.

Ironmistress said...

Think positively.

The rise of sufficiently strong and ruthless Paganism can actually save the Western civilization.

Only a sufficiently ruthless and strong force can counter the threat posed by a ruthless and strong religion, Islam. Neither Atheism nor Christianity can do it. They are too wimpish for that.

eon said...


One of the most frequent "criticisms" of Christianity by the trendy left today is of its past brutality and ruthlessness. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Albigensian/Cathar Suppression, etc.

If you subtract the cases of the culture trying to consume itself (Inquisition, Massacre of St. Barholomew's, etc.), you still are left with a culture which steps up to the plate when the crunch comes. As a general rule, I think that any culture worthy of the name will "get its mission face on" when faced with annihilation.

Of course, first it has to realize that obliteration is what it actually faces. And also realize that, as the Apollo Mission Control supervisor said when Apollo 13 got in trouble, "Failure is not an option".



eon said...


You may have noticed that the Norse pantheon as depicted in the Marvel Universe does not mention a smith-god. Somebody has to make all that fancy armor for them.

And Stark Industries gives discounts for orders in bulk. ;-)



jayessell said...

Why doesn't Jesus have a comic?

(Marvel or DC?)

I know he had a one-shot where he kicked the ass of the Greek gods.

Todays word: missubbl

It has been declared un-PC because it reenforces negative ethnic stereotypes, despite being a popular catch-phrase during the golden age of radio.

"I's feels missubbl!"

Anonymous said...

I tend to leave Asertru staring at me when I ask them why don't they worship the current Scandinavian pantheon--gods like "Tacit" (god of keeping things to oneself), "No Way!" (god of suspicion, "Vroshno-goo-goo (goddess of sugar cookies and egg coffee), "Lefse" (goddess of bland white food) and of course, "Tomtabotoo" (godlet of sweaters)----SaberBob

Ironmistress said...

I think Jews do have cojones. It would make much more sense if we'd convert to Judaism instead of Christianity.

After all, it is the nation which invented the very concept of chutzpah.

And if worshipping many gods is not an option, it would be Monotheistic anyway.

The Jews have a notoriously poor sense of humour on what comes to religious issues and Judaism hasn't changed a bit in 2000 years. That stubbornness, impudence and stoic fanaticism could provide a counterforce to Islam. Just read the Maccabees.

The flip side is, of course, the 613 mitzvot, the kashrut lifestyle and adherence to Talmud.

Sergej said...

Ironmistress: I have occasionally thought that if there is a gene for stubbornness, we've got it. Several copies' worth, in fact.

Christianity does accept the important concepts of absolute right and wrong, and of developing one's conscience to recognize one or the other. It also added a proselytizing element which I don't think was in Judaism at the time. (Sometimes, too enthusiastically.) I think that early Christianity thought it could do away with a lot of the complexities and elaborations and observances of Judaism, but some information became lost, and in the end, Christianity built up its own set of writings and interpretations, and its own rituals.

For fighting, you can fight fiercely whether you are a Maccabee or a Martel. Neither is going to give you the will to fight, however. Or take the will away.

Steakfinger said...

The only thing good about absolute good and evil is that humans don't have to take responsibility for anything they do. If I do something good - GLORY TO GOD. If I do something bad - SATAN MADE ME DO IT.

Steakfinger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Steakfinger: There's an interesting point about absolute good versus absolute evil that many people don't realise. Absolute good is, in fact, another way of saying objective good. That is, there is one universal morality that all other systems of morality tries to emulate. It what allows us to judge between one system and another by providing us with a point of reference. Absolute evil, on the other hand is an impossibility. All evil is merely a corrupted good. Even Satan has some redeeming features. Absolute evil means absolute corruption and absolute corruption means non-existence. QED