Friday, July 2, 2010

Life Imitating Comics

If I start talking about Bruno Mannheim and the Religion of Crime, you probably won't have any clue as to what I mean. That's a shame because it means you don't read comic books, but I'll let that go. Just check this out for a quick primer.

Apparently, this particular aspect of my four-color escapism has gone real on us. From Time:

The chilling call appears to be the latest attempt to take the moral high ground by a quasi-religious drug cartel that has become one of the most dangerous threats to Mexican security forces. The caller identified himself as Servando Gomez, head of a narcotics mafia that has baptized itself La Familia Michoacana. The gangsters, who had bought ads in newspapers and given an interview to a leading Mexican magazine, claim that although they traffic drugs, they protect their local community and purport to be devout Evangelical Christians. All members are disciplined to abstain from narcotics themselves and care for their homes and children, La Familia says. They are also made to study a special Bible authored by the gang's spiritual leader, Nazario Moreno, alias El Mas Loco, or "the Maddest One."

The Maddest/Craziest One strikes me as an apt name. It, too, would go well in a comic book. The article goes on to provide an excerpt from The Craziest's Bible:

Federal agents seized one copy of La Familia's Bible in a raid last year. Quoted in local newspapers, the scripture paints an ideology that mixes Evangelical-style self-help with insurgent peasant slogans reminiscent of the Mexican Revolution. "I ask God for strength and he gives me challenges that make me strong; I ask him for wisdom and he gives me problems to resolve; I ask him for prosperity and he gives me brain and muscles to work," Moreno writes, using terms that could be found in many Christian sermons preached from Mississippi to Brazil. But on the next page, there's a switch to phrases strikingly similar to those coined by revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. "It is better to be a master of one peso than a slave of two; it is better to die fighting head on than on your knees and humiliated; it is better to be a living dog than a dead lion."

"Evangelical self-help." Does this mean we can shut down Joel Osteen for promoting these kinds of ideas since they are spurring Mexican drug violence?

Sorry, I'm laughing now because I just got an image of Osteen or Rick Warren as Bruno Mannheim and Darkseid.

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