Aurora, Batman, Crazy Congressmen

As James Holmes, the alleged Aurora shooter appears this week for pre-trial hearings, I find myself thinking back to an article that came out right after the shooting. HuffPo’s Jennifer Bendery reported on comments made by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) in which the congressman demonstrated a clear fixation on guns, an ignorance of Batman lore, and more importantly, any understanding of religion.

In a rambling statement, Gohmert made two points. One was that we need more people with guns to kill people with guns—he revealed himself here to be clearly oblivious to the downward spiral of that logic. The other point he made is that the shooting was the result of an attack on Judeo-Christian heritage.

One commenter noted that the association of Judeo-Christian heritage with Batman seems forced. The stories of the Golden Age of Comics were written primarily by Jews, who brought their historical memories into their work and redrafted familiar stories. Superman was based, in part, on the story of Moses. Batman bears a strong resemblance to the Golem, a creature created by the Jewish community of Prague.

I wonder which Judeo-Christian heritage Gohmert is referring to when he says that one is under attack. There is the heritage of anti-Semitism that Batman is a symbol of, echoing the need for Jews to have protection against Christians, or the neologism that subsumes Judaism as a watered-down version of Christianity for political purposes and threatens to bring back medieval anti-Semitism. Neither one of these seems worth fighting for.

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