Before the boycott calls go viral, here’s why—IMHO—this is not a big deal in the larger scheme of things, and we probably shouldn’t step on outrage rakes about it before a watching world. To state it clearly from the outset, I’m a traditional Christian who adheres to biblical ethics of sexuality. Now for some context for this controversy (coming from someone who’s both a DC Comics nerd and a minister of Jesus’s gospel) that I believe ought to mitigate some of the Bat-based triggering in our ranks. Not that Bat-friends use weapons with triggers… (Although, in the recent Detective Vol. 6, Batwoman actually… Sorry. Nevermind, I digress.)
A few brief points:
- DC isn’t adjusting canon to press an agenda here. Batwoman is not the same character as Batgirl, or a gender-swapped Batman made for this show. Batwoman has been a major figure in the comics for years, and has always been portrayed as a lesbian.
- There are currently 7 ongoing DC television series, and they all have significant gay characters already. This is not a “moment”.
- Between Gotham, the upcoming Titans series, and the announced Birds of Prey movie, pretty much every Bat-family crimefighter except Batwoman has been granted their live-action bow. If anything, they’ve held Batwoman back for last. Imagine the backlash if they greenlit every other character, but kept her in the closet--the one behind the bookshelf accessible only by setting the Wayne grandfather clock to 10:47pm.
- Nearly every show you watch (if you’re not a TV-less home) has at least one gay character in 2018.
- The straight leads on all of your other favorite shows (exception: Fuller House) fornicate like rabbits on Cialis. But we shrug, because it’s immorality we can relate to.
In sum, sin is all over American pop culture. Our reflexive reactions to its various specific incarnations tell unbelievers which hot buttons matter to us the most--particularly when we react before we know all the facts. Being accurate on an issue isn’t enough; disproportionality says volumes about our priorities. And that, as with everything we do, reflects on Jesus’s reputation.