Should Christians Care About Conventions Being Cancelled?
In the age of COVID-19, we may be witnessing the end of the sci-fi, comic book, geek convention as we know it. All across the United States, the pop culture conventions are cancelling dates in droves. Even the larger ones are experimenting with virtual get togethers. Certainly cosplayers are not new to the concept of wearing a mask all day long, but the idea of walking around packed, shoulder to shoulder vendor rooms, standing in long food lines, sharing a hotel room with 8 other people, or pouring into a 100 seat conference room to hear the latest muses of the cast of your favorite CW show, just isn’t at the top of many people’s priority lists in a post-pandemic world. But the big question is: should Christians really care?
I’ve always been a fan of those “person on the street” videos where someone approaches random people and asks them simple questions that they then proceed to fumble over in confusion. Think about it. 67 percent of the United States identifies as Christian. So it stands to reason that there are a lot of Christians at conventions. But, are there? Does anyone really know what the general, demographic make-up of your average convention goer is? Maybe a person could walk the convention floor and take a quick sample by asking, “do you identify as a Christian?” Of course, tell them how cool their costume is first. I’ve always heard that Christians are under represented among geek fandom, but that is mostly from church leaders who view conventions as the modern day version of Sodom and Gomorrah. But, they could be right. Are Christians noticeable absent from the world of pop culture conventions?
Christianity used to be prevalent in comic books, television and movies. And you could often find your fair share of it in the sci-fi, fantasy and super hero genres. Didn’t Marvel even once publish an entire guide on the religions of their major characters? And what’s with Bruce Wayne being atheist now? That
is is not to say that every character needs to be or should be Christian. Diversity is important, both in our fandoms and on the convention floor. But bringing one group forward, shouldn’t diminish the role of anyone else.
It may seem premature to be approaching this subject when so many Christians are wondering when they are going to be able to return to their own churches on Sunday just to worship. But, what do you say? Should Christians care about conventions being cancelled? My answer is pretty simple. Yes, I think so. I, for one, hope to see the return of the convention very soon, just as I equally hope Christians will decide to play a bigger role in them. And not as bystanders, standing outside, shouting how “God hates this or that”( no, He doesn’t) or holding up signs reminding us all how Jesus is greater than Spider Man (we already know that). And certainly more than the occasional Moses cosplayer walking around with the Ten Commandments under his arm. But rather as content creators, bringing our Christian perspective and worldview into these unique and exciting genres that make up geek fandom. I would love to see sections of the convention floor and panels dedicated to the characters and stories we are sharing. And who knows, maybe even see some cosplayers dressed up too. Being a geek is pretty cool, but so is being a Christian.