Be careful flipping through the newspaper when the kids are around. Well, at least, when it comes to the arts section of "The New York Times."
I was skimming the "Times" at lunch on Friday, February 4, when a rather large photo caught me off guard. It was a painting of Batman kissing Robin. Ugh, another pop-culture icon under assault from the Left.
The caption noted that this was "Mark Chamberlain's painting from the series 'Queer Batman.'" In the accompanying listing on this small art show in New York City, the newspaper reported that the artist "claims the Gotham of Batman fame as his turf and explores the hitherto closeted relationship between the masked hero and his younger sidekick and longtime companion, Robin." Oh please, give us a break!
I enjoyed superhero comic books growing up. And my parents had little to worry about as I followed the adventures of the Avengers, Captain America or Batman -- all among my favorites. While characters had their troubles, the stories basically reinforced positive values, including courage, sacrifice and fighting evil. In addition, the traditional morality that my parents sought to teach me was not undermined.
Things have changed. Even many superhero comics are no longer appropriate for younger readers. While the battle between good and evil seems to continue, other subject matter and some graphic depictions often push comic books into the domain of teenagers and adults. (Of course, this probably explains a lot about the decline in the overall popularity of comic books today compared with decades past.)
However, some of the superhero cartoons on television offer adventure and messages that can be all right for children. I often use television versions of Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and the Justice League to reinforce with my own kids that evil exists in the world. There are bad guys, if you will, and we have an obligation to oppose them.
Regarding Batman and this art show, put the words queer and Batman in a Google search online, and you get lots of items speculating about Batman's alleged sexual choices and his relationship with Robin. Apparently, Batman and Robin living under the same roof at Wayne Manor and working together in the Batcave is an irresistible target for homosexual activists.
Of course, heading down this path raises additional questions. After all, if I recall correctly, isn't Robin a boy or teenager when Batman takes him under his wing? You know, the Boy Wonder. What does this art exhibit say not only about homosexuality then, but also about pedophilia?
Never mind that major religions -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam -- teach that such endeavors are morally wrong. Some artists today merely worship their own creative freedom. Their lone certainty is that any constraints on expression are illegitimate. They must be able to advance an agenda of moral relativism or even nihilism. Many left-wingers in the media also are more than happy to assist in this endeavor. As a result, we get the "Times" playing up this painting of Batman and Robin for an insignificant art show.
Society always has had immature, self-indulgent artists. They pat themselves on the back for "challenging" cultural traditions, but seem to think little beyond their own desires and appetites. For them, art is not meant to uplift, but instead is a tool for greater self-absorption. I am reminded when Jesus Christ said: "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin." (John 8:34)
The Left is assaulting religion, marriage, the family, the law, the Constitution, and historical and cultural norms in order to push a radical homosexual agenda. So in the grand scheme of things, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Batman and Robin take some hits along the way. Hopefully, they can take it. After all, they are superheroes.Raymond J. Keating is a columnist with Newsday, and a regular columnist for OrthodoxyToday.org. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.