Saturday, July 16, 2011

Before Abraham was... I... AM... Batman

So, who loves Batman? Answer: Everyone. He's awesome: he uses his brains, brawn, and billions to make him a "super"hero, though he posses no actual superpowers. That doesn't stop him from whooping up on the bad guys and doing things that the average person couldn't, or at least wouldn't, do (either from lack of funds, lack of equipment, or too much sanity). With the help of his butler, Alfred, his gadget provider, Lucius Fox, and a police commissioner, Commissioner Gordon, who's good at turning a blind eye, Batman is able to weed out the villains and ne'er-do-wells of Gotham (of which there are many). He's able to incorporate his own style of criminal justice, and able to infiltrate places and apprehend suspects in ways that the normal police force are unable to do. This is because he's, obvioulsy, not part of the Gotham Police Department... and this for a very good reason.
The whole purpose for Bruce Wayne donning the Batman get-up is because of the lack of reliability the residents of Gotham had for the GPD. When the cops are as bad as the crooks, who can you trust? Who can save the people? Who can protect the innocent? Cue the Caped Crusader. By entering the contest as a vigilante, he's able to uphold the law without being subject to the finer rules. Sure, a cop needs a warrant, and probable cause, and this and that... Batman doesn't need any of that! He just needs some sweet gadgets, and a location, and within minutes, he'll have the bad guy.
But, this raises quite an objection amongst many people (besides the villains, of course). Many people are uncomfortable with the vigilante type. They feel it unsafe and reckless for one man to take the law upon himself. What gives him the right? And how can we be sure he won't become corrupted as well? These are legitimate concerns, and obvioulsy it's hard to quell these with a simple "well, he's Batman!" While those of us who know him a little more personally (this group consisting of Alfred, Lucius, and the readers), we know that Bruce Wayne is nothing if not trustworthy. We know he'll never do anything wrong, and only has the best of intentions. However, those who only see him in newspaper articles and as a black blur on the nightly news have no reason to assume him to be infallible.
Many people think he's just a lunatic! Some guy running around with a mask, beating up people? What a nut job. Others fear the possibility of an abuse of his abilities. It's likely that some people even think that he's no less a villain than the Joker or Riddler. But, there are a few who stand by him, praising him for his efforts, and standing up for him as a true hero. These include even such notable public figures as Harvey Dent, the District Attorney (who's opinions obviously change, but that comes later). So, just what is Batman? Hero? Villain? or Maniac?
Batman is far from the first person to be the subject of such public debate. Even when the evidence is obvious, some people will always find a way to slander someone when they don't like what they're doing. Want the ultimate example? Look no further than the New Testament. Jesus Christ, the only perfect human, came to this earth to teach the gospel, establish His church, and die for our sins. While here, He healed the sick, gave the blind sight, made the deaf to hear, and the lame to walk. He did many great and wonderful things... and yet, wast He welcomed with open arms and made the king that He truly was? Of course not! He was ridiculed, questioned, and mocked. He was rejected by even the most devout followers of His Father, and was the subject of many an attempt on His life.
He was public enemy number one amongst the Jews, and when they finally couldn't take anymore, they brought Him under false pretenses, trumping up non-existent charges, and bringing in complete liars as witnesses, breaking all their own laws, just to get rid of Him. He did nothing to them, especially nothing they tried Him for. Their charges were that of blasphemy, heresy, treason, and sedition, of which He was guilty of none. And besides just the Pharisees and Sadducees, the regular man on the street often didn't even realize who He truly was. Many people thought He was just a crazy person, claiming to be the Son of God. Even amongst the signs, miracles, and wonders, many people still didn't believe His claim. They often would say "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?" (John 6:42).
Even His own kinsmen didn't believe Him to be who He was. Still today, people doubt Him: they say He was a prophet, and no more. Or, some even less, no more than a good man. I bare you solemn testimony that Jesus was the Christ. That He lives! He is our Savior and Redeemer, our advocate with the Father. No man can come to the Father, except through Him. It is through Him that we have life, and we will have life eternal. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Only Begotten, and to whom we owe our allegiance and deepest gratitude. So, what was Jesus? Hero? Villain? or Maniac?
Your call.

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