Jesus, Superman, and the Perils of Superficiality

Ruth Gledhill, religion correspondent for The Times [London] reports that religious educators in Great Britain plan to use Superman as a way of getting school children to think about Jesus.

This is how Gledhill introduces her report: The comic book hero Superman is to be used by religious education teachers in Britain to help youngsters understand the concept of Jesus Christ. School children will be told that Superman is like Jesus because both arrived on earth in usual circumstances after being sent here by their fathers, both move from relative obscurity as a child to a more prominent adulthood, both help the humans they are sent to live with and both struggle to stand up for truth against injustice and evil. Superman is just one of among the Hollywood icons being enlisted to help children better understand their country’s majority religion of Christianity.

Now, I have seen some really awful ideas in my time, but this one ranks with the very worst. When Jesus isn’t interesting enough, bring in Superman. We should note that this kind of banality is just what you should expect from state-run religion classes, even in Britain, which has an established Christian church. Still, this looks like a joke at first glance.

Don’t laugh. It isn’t.

SEE ALSO: Press release from Sheffield Hallam University.